Enjoy the Colorful Photographic Impressions created by Vann Helms
Located along the Blue Ridge Escarpment just northwest of Marion, North Carolina, this 80 foot high waterfall is one of the least visited falls in Pisgah National Forest. An easy half mile walk gets you to the base, but a more difficult climb gets you to a pool at the top, great for swimming, if you can stand the cold water. Make sure you find the ruins of an old generating station, where a large water wheel once operated. Mica is plentiful in this area, and you can leave with a great souvenir.
Biltmore is always a wonder to visit. The Gardens are especially colorful in July.
A recent addition to the choices offered to visitors of the Biltmore Estate in Asheville is a special “Architect’s Tour”. Not only do you go into rooms that are normally off limits to the regular public, but you also are taken outside onto the walkway of Biltmore’s distinctive roof. You are above the gargoyles, and have panoramic views of the front lawn and gardens. Arriving early, the chateau is a silhouette against the rising sun.
From the normally off limits side loggia, the main staircase tower is resplendent with statues of Joan of Arc and St. George (?). The balconies are actually camouflage for the cantilevered stone stairs that protrude outside of the staircase walls.
Being above the gargoyles gives one an…
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Haven’t seen another Wood Rattler in seven years. That’s fine with me.
Let’s say that you’re in Asheville, North Carolina, and you decide that you would like a dining experience like no other in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Get on the Blue Ridge Parkway and head in the direction of Cherokee, and you’ll experience twenty-five miles of the most spectacular scenery anywhere in North Carolina. You’ll have a leisurely drive with no billboards to obstruct your view, and you’ll pass through seven tunnels as you approach 5,600 foot Mt. Pisgah. Suddenly, giant Douglas Firs will dot the mountainsides, and you’ll think you’re in northern Canada. Brilliant magenta Rhododendron will line the Parkway, and you can stop at any number of scenic Overlooks to take everything in. As you come around a sharp curve at Milepost 408, there it is on your left. You see a rustic two story building nestled amongst the weathered trees and shrubs, so you pull in and find a place to park. Just twenty miles southwest of downtown Asheville, at 5,000 feet, you have found the historic Pisgah Inn, and on a hilltop just past the lodging area, you’ll find an amazing restaurant where you’ll be pearched along a ridge overlooking breathtaking mountains and valleys, and, like the diners who got there before you, you’ll wait for a table along the expansive wall of picture windows, where you’ll be served delicious Southern Cooking by the most attentive team of young people anywhere. You’ll pinch yourself to make sure you aren’t dreaming.
You’re NOT dreaming…
You’ll walk up to one of those windows, and this is what you’ll see……unlimited blue ridges toward Looking Glass Rock, with thousands of acres of dense forests, and even on your left, you’ll see the Parkway as it carves a trail around the next bend.
When you’ve finished your meal, you’ll walk out onto a deck just to take it all in…
You’ll ask someone to take a picture with your friends, just to prove to the folks back home, that you were really here…
Then you’ll visit their incredible gift shop where you’ll find the perfect souvenir.
And if you’re lucky, there will be an empty rocking chair where you can just relax and maybe experience one of the best sunsets you’ll ever see.
After over a foot of rain in June, and another half inch yesterday, everything is like a rain forest in the valley. Out before sunrise with Buddy was cool and damp, but smelled so fresh.
Trumpet Flower and Poison Oak
Wild Morning Glories
Queen Anne’s Lace
Field Corn in Otter Creek bottom land.
Mimosa along the creek…
The Sun greets my newly painted roof and deck railings.
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