As Fall reaches its peak here in the Piedmont, and unusually cold temps give us a taste of winter, I was beginning to miss my Rock Canyon. The mountains in general, the Rockies in specific, provide the best stage for season shifting. From my parents' "former" home in the foothills of "Y" mountain in Provo, Utah, she was a only a small stroll up the hill. We have our own LOVELY version performed Southeastern-style, but it is different and wetter.
I found a remedy. I prescribed a trip to catch the colors of our own mountains before they faded for another year. Though not as short a jaunt (a three hour drive) I think the mountains flanking the Blue Ridge Parkway nestled in our Smokies will fill the void, well. More than well. I couldn't stop oohing and aahing the whole "squiggly" drive (as Seth termed it). Vineyards, farmsteads, and Christmas tree farms coated the rolling hills interrupted only by quaint mountain towns and creeks cutting through the countryside.
Grandfather Mountain provided a much needed getaway. With degrees in the forties, we frolicked with our four, .4 miles up the mountain on a tree-lined trail to the mile-high, swinging bridge. We were shocked to find snow and ice coating the peak where we crossed said bridge. On top, a whopping 26 degrees (not to mention the view) took our breath away . What a view.
I recently finished reading Thomas Mann's Magic Mountain where the hero travels to visit an ailing cousin at a Sanitarium in the Alps. He ends up staying--not the three weeks planned--but seven years. There truly is something "magic" and certainly healing about those places of higher topography. I think we'll also stick around for awhile.
As we climbed the steps to cross the bridge, Seth said, "This is the best time of my life!!"