Monday, February 11, 2008

simple and elemental needs

Our minds, as well as our bodies, have need of the out-of-doors. Our spirits, too, need simple things, elemental things, the sun and the wind and the rain, moonlight and starlight, sunrise and mist and mossy forest trails, the perfumes of dawn and the smell of fresh-turned earth and the ancient music of wind among the trees.
--Edwin Way Teale (1899-1980) American naturalist, photographer, and author

The winds were howling through the high country of western NC yesterday. Fallen limbs and trees littered the Blue Ridge Parkway, making driving perilous. In hindsight, probably not the best day to be hiking in the forest. But we survived, somehow avoiding being ka-bobbed by falling pines. Linville Falls was all but deserted - an unusual thing for this popular destination along the parkway (Mile #316.5). The above photo was taken from "Chimney View" - click on the thumbnail map to the right to get an overview of the various trails and lookouts at Linville Falls. Click here to see a photo from last July and to read more about this spectacular waterfall.

Click here for more info from -- which indicates that typically the main parking area is gated during the off season. Today, the lot was open. But if you plan to visit this winter, you might want to print off that page which describes an alternate parking area off of highway 183 in case you need it. I'll have more photos to share this week.

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