High Lodges at Otter Creek
With the first day of Summer only days away, it was time to revisit the gated community just up the road from me. Recently, someone has cut the grass along Fibber Magee Drive, and the main gate, long inoperable, has been recently repaired.
Roan Horsetop Mountain toward the southwest is imposing at 2,600 feet.
High Lodges Pond receives water from three creeks that drain eventually into Otter Creek.
Brushy Top Mountain marks the northern boundary of Otter Creek Valley.
Carolina rhododendron surround a small falls at the base of Brushy Top. From mid-June until July, the showy blossoms are in full bloom.
Another view of Roan Horsetop as Fibber Magee Drive winds its way down through the valley.
The long slopes of Bear Gap Mountain form an impenetrable wall along the northwest boundary of the valley, marking the separation of McDowell County on the north, and Rutherford County on the south.
Large stands of Loblolly Pine cover the floor of the valley. A large fire ten years ago killed most of the old growth trees, but nature has a way of replenishing that which was lost.
My trusted walking companion, Buddy, loves the rolling hills and curves of Fibber Magee Drive. I have always called this one mile stretch of road my own private “Blue Ridge Parkway” because of the wide mountain vistas, and the overlooks created when the road was built seven years ago. In the autumn, these verdant slopes transition to the most beautiful shades of red, orange, and yellow, as seen in this photo, below, made last November 1. I’ve been all over these Blue Ridge Mountains in fall, and I have yet to find colors that rival those of Otter Creek Valley.