Mid-Summer along The Blue Ridge Escarpment

From a place five miles northeast of  Lake Lure, in the westernmost Foothills, the Blue Ridge Escarpment dominates the horizon, from the South Carolina border, running northeast to Interstate 40 near Marion, North Carolina. Along that almost impenetrable wall, only three Gaps allow passage to the west. The southernmost is Hickory Nut Gorge, with Chimney Rock guarding the steep passage, Stone Mountain-Round Mountain Gap, along the Old Fort-Bat Cave Road, and Sugar Hill-Old Fort Road north of 3,100 foot Hickory Nut Mountain.

PanoramaTryon Mountain is behind the tree to the far left, with 3,900 foot Sugarloaf Mountain next on the far horizon. Chimney Rock and the Hickory Nut Gorge are behind the big tree, then 4,000 foot Mount Shumont is behind 2,800 foot Young’s Mountain, with the tallest of all, 4,250 foot Little Pisgah Mountain on the far horizon to the right. This lookout is just three miles east of my home in Otter Creek Valley.

SugarloafSugarloaf in Polk County…

YoungsShumont and Young’s in Rutherford County…

Cedar Creek GorgeCedar Creek Gorge between Stone and Round Mountains in Buncombe County. That’s Little Pisgah on the far horizon, the tallest mountain east of Asheville and South of Black Mountain. Look carefully, and you can spot a home near the summit of Round Mountain. The view east must be spectacular, with Charlotte visible on the horizon.

On this last day of July, the special haze that gives the Blue Ridge its name, was out in full force. Just three hours later, thunder roared over these giants, and a deluge dropped the temperature from a high of 87 degrees, to a chilly 69 degrees. So it is along the Eastern Escarpment. 


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