Prev: Day 15: Blue Ridge day 5: More fog and drizzle
You're at the end
10/18/2013: Day 16: Asheville back to Cherokee. Finally some colorful views!
Basically, we got a liesurely start from Asheville, and finally had some clear weather to see views from some of the best vantages on the Blue Ridge.
Looking down from the parking lot of the Alpen Acres Motel across from the row of rooms: The sign for our motel near Blowing Rock, NC where it stands high above US-321 just off of the Blue Ridge Parkway. The trees across the highway are near peak color.
--Click to Enlarge--
Picture 201310151716
After a leisurely start from the house of our hosts in Asheville, NC we drove back up onto the Blue Ridge parkway. Here is a last look back at Asheville. Note the power plants.
--Click to Enlarge--
Picture 201310181102
As we head west the range gets pointier. Thus more tunnels. I tried several types of exposures to show either the interior of tunnels, or the light at the end of them. But here is a sort of impressionistic view of one taken with a wrong exposure that seems somehow more interesting.
--Click to Enlarge--
Picture 201310181104
Finally, we have actual views from the overlooks. We stop at one and I get to sit and watch the cloud shadows rolling over the colorful hills by setting up a time lapse camera.
--Click to Enlarge--
Picture 201310181156
Karen takes a shot of me peacefully enjoying the scene. As we sat there, many other tourists stop, take a snapshot and move on. The hair-tossing fem to the right was one of a different set that I'd noticed: Girls who were using the scenery as a backdrop for portfolio stills. At least, that's what their interactions with their photographers led me to think.
--Click to Enlarge--
Picture 201310181158
As the time lapsed at that lookout point, our hosts from Asheville (Dennis and Fran) pulled up with a couple of guests they were showing around. So we got a picture with them.
--Click to Enlarge--
Picture 201310181208

Karen got a phone call about an hour later, when we were at Log Hollow. We got our first cell phone in our 40's, so it still amuses me that we can be in touch when we are far from home.
--Click to Enlarge--
Picture 201310181236
Another view from the Log Hollow overlook
--Click to Enlarge--
Picture 201310181237
We finally have good views, and this may be the peak color Saturday up here.
--Click to Enlarge--
Picture 201310181249
Karen takes a picture of Dan, taking this picture of the waterfall.
--Click to Enlarge--
Picture 201310181258
Another pair of turnabout simul-pix
--Click to Enlarge--
Picture 201310181318
Testing the wind at Caney Fork Overlook (elev: 5650)
--Click to Enlarge--
Picture 201310181332

Tipping my hat to the high point of our journey.
--Click to Enlarge--
Picture 201310181357
A sign that the end of our travel today is near. Smokey Mtn is tomorrow's goal.
--Click to Enlarge--
Picture 201310181436
Pulled in again to the visitor's center. The view is very different today than it was yesterday.
--Click to Enlarge--
Picture 201310181452
So from the Visitor's Center, we climbed the trail up to the actual highest point on the Blue Ridge. This picture is just an observation of textures.
--Click to Enlarge--
Picture 201310181501
Just Dan taking a shot of the Smokeys from the Blue Ridge
--Click to Enlarge--
Picture 201310181528
Karen tips her hat on our way back down.
--Click to Enlarge--
Picture 201310181546

We decided to spend the night in Cherokee. Unfortunately, Wille Nelson was playing the casino, and there were no rooms. We had a friendly concierge at one of the many motels call around. Finally, he found a room just off the reservation. Here you see the old highway and the motel that got all the business before there were actual hotels on the reservation. We spent the night in a cabin on the river that marks the boundary of the res.
--Click to Enlarge--
Picture 201310181726
We drove back onto the res, parked, and walked along the river as the sun set.
--Click to Enlarge--
Picture 201310181758
The back door of the cabin there opens on a small porch so close above the river that people can fish from it.
--Click to Enlarge--
Picture 201310181907
Back to the List of Days
Back to the List of Trips