Saturday, July 14, 2012

God's Country

Before I get back to commenting on current events -- of which there are many -- I want to post some pictures from our trip to North Carolina during the week of Independence Day.

The town of Franklin was patriotically spangled:

In Asheville, we took an afternoon bus tour that was informative and uproariously funny. That night at the home of our friend Allison, the moon gave a spectral glare through the branches above her back deck:

Away from towns and cities, Sarah and I went lake swimming:

And as always, the mountains turned up beautiful views in all kinds of light:

I captured the following shot of the Stecoah Valley at the foot of the Cheoah Range. Even with the power lines, this has always been one of my favorite views in all of Appalachia:

Finally, we hiked a small (1½ miles one-way) portion of the Lakeshore Trail, an underappreciated path that travels for 34 miles through a remote section of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, above the northern shore of Fontana Lake. Parts of the trail track the route that used to be followed by State Road 288, back before the park was established in the 1930’s. Evidence of this turns up along the way, in the form of several abandoned Depression-era automobiles. This one made for a nice photo both in color and black and white:

It was Parker’s first trip to the mountains and we can’t wait for the ones that lie ahead! To top it off, here is a photo of us surrounded by a classic Eastern hardwood forest:

If you get a chance to visit the Southern Appalachians, by all means go!

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