A Frigid Hike Toward Brushy Top Mountain
Located due north from my house and straddling the Rutherford-McDowell County line north of Lake Lure is Brushy Top Mountain. It’s called that because of the esposed granite face on its south slope. Although it is only 1,850 feet high, it provides an excellent vantage point to observe the higher peaks along the eastern escarpment of the North Carolina Blue Ridge. At sunrise this morning, the temperature was at 20 degrees, but with no wind and a bright blue sky, a hike to a new area seemed appropriate. Buddy and Hunter, my two canine companions on my morning walks, were itching for an adventure, so I headed in the direction of Brushy Top, not knowing where we would end up. The lower forest trail, below, was lined with oak trees, still coveting their autumn leaves even into April…
Another quarter mile and I was surrounded by pines. Tom’s Mountain to the east was now visible above the trees.
Climbing another quarter mile, I reached the summit of this ridge that leads on to Brushy Top Mountain. The view toward Lake Lure to the southwest was breathtaking. The brilliant blue sky with a few snow clouds on the horizon made the perfect contrast to the mountains along the escarpment.
On the way back down, a long snow cloud drifted over the escarpment. Over a foot of snow had fallen in the higher mountains over the last three days, and rogue clouds were breaking away from the pack.