We just returned last week from a wonderfully relaxing trip to the North Carolina mountains, more specifically Blowing Rock, NC. We hoped, but didn’t expect to see much fall color. To our delight, while there was only a little, there was far more than expected.
We usually stay in local bed and breakfasts or the Chetola Lodge. This year, we rented a cabin near Boone, NC. The weather was lovely: 70’s in the day and high 60’s at night. For the first time since childhood, we slept with the windows open.
Of course, I Snapped Photos of Flowers Everywhere We Went
Blowing Rock has plants and flowers everywhere, and I do mean everywhere. Nowhere is there any ugly gravel or bare dirt. The town has a very active garden club that keeps the area beautified year ’round. Hostas and ferns abounded, but petunias, geraniums, poppies, candytuft, purple and white coneflowers, impatiens, and nasturtiums, to name a few. The beds looked slightly like small English gardens because of the way the flowers of complementary colors tumbled over each other.
Autumn Joy Sedum
We Explored the Mountains Again, Too.
Did you know that, a few million years ago, the Appalachians were taller than the Rockies were at their highest point? The Rockies, too, have begun to lose height at a rate of about 1/2 inch every 10 years or so. I learned that little tidbit when we lived in Colorado.
The tallest point we reached was at Rough Ridge Overlook where the elevation is 4,293 feet above sea level. Entering Blowing Rock from the south on US Hwy. 321, the Eastern Continental Divide elevation is much lower.
We drove up onto the Blue Ridge Parkway and looked out over the Blue Ridge Mountains, and walked a short trail where we saw many beautiful, but unfamiliar wild flowers.
Appalachian Wild Flowers
Here are some of the mountain wild flowers we saw. All were growing in dense shade. I still need to learn their names. Because they are native to a colder climate, and higher elevations, they will likely grow well in a lot of places, but not here in central Florida where we are less than 100 feet above sea level.
We’re back home now, trying to catch up on work that was left behind. I love it here, but I miss the mountains sometimes, too. We’ve decided to go back every year, but a bit later in the season for more color. Also, so we can use the fireplace in the cabin. It just wasn’t cool enough this time. We also can’t wait to go back to some of the restaurants we discovered while there. I will write about those, but in a food-related blog/website that I am building. It’s not yet ready for prime time.
I cut more basil today, so I need to go now and dry it. Gotta have plenty to last through the winter, you know.