We hope that you had a memorable and wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends.
Now that the rush of Black Friday is over, come out to see us on this beautiful day to support local businesses here in Black Mountain. We have a wide, colorful selection of local T-shirts that would make great holiday gifts featuring hiking trails, Mt. Mitchell, Black Mountain, the Appalachian Trail, and more! You can find long and short sleeve t’s, and sweatshirts.
We also have a vast selection of hats featuring the AT, Black Mountain, and the Take A Hike logo. John’s favorite trucker hat in the store features the Appalachian Trail, pictured left.
Come on by and say hello as you venture out on Small Business Saturday! Thank you for your support!
This is hike #3 for the Fall season. The temperature was 51 at noon when I left and 48 at 330 upon getting back. The first of two fronts have moved thru pushing out most of the clouds and cooling things down a lot.
Looking south to High Windy and the Blue Ridge conference center
The picture to the left is taken from the first overview on the first switchback.
Freshly downed pine needles cushion the trail
Next picture is the transition from the 3rd to the 4th switchback. The wind must have been howling the night before because the trail is covered with pine needles.
Cloud over Pinnacle
Craggy and the Parkway
Mitchell with a crown of clouds
This picture is the usual view of Craggy and the Parkway. I say usual but everyday is different and beautiful in its own way. On top, the wind is 20-25 constant with gusts well into the 30’s. I only lasted about two minutes on top and had to head down to the relative warmth of “out of the wind” It might be another week before I get back up here. Work calls. If anyone is reading this, would love some feedback. Still working on how to format and work with a blog. Thanks for your patience.
Looking West Northwest over the head of the watershed and Craggy Gardens
Pinnacle Mtn in the foreground and Mount Mitchel in the background somewhere
The clouds contrast with the lush green of the rhododendron
OK, this is hike #2 for the Winter season. I started out at about 12 noon with the temperature at 63. There was no other car in the parking lot and the trail was slightly moist but not muddy. About half way up the first switchback I was startled by the cutest little dog, my second thought was what a little trooper! Then the parent came up shortly. By the time I reached the summit the breeze was brisk and chilly and my breath was freezing. Don’t know what the temperature was but it had to be in the 40’s. The clouds rolled in and out. Mount Mitchel was totally socked in. This is some of my favorite weather to camp in – makes the coffee/tea taste much better and the sleeping bag feel real cozy. The thought flashed into my mind, “Only a 4 1/2 mile hike to get this far into the backcountry”. We truly live in a special place
On the way back down the sun peaked thru the clouds just long enough for a quick warm-up and to know that God is smiling on me – a little unexpected treat. Everything is as it should be. Also took some water this time. The temperature was 64 back at the parking lot.
Coming back down into the clouds and Rhododendrons. This is a silent and peaceful winding down. I never get tired of this!
Hiked up thru the clouds to a beautiful view of Craggy and Mitchell. Everything is as it should be.
Top of the fourth switchback sun starting to peak thru. Laurel, light and moisture coming together in a magnificent dance.
Today was the first assent of Graybeard for the Fall. I had to wait for the first good freeze so the bee’s would be in hibernation. It started out nice and drizzly and 51 degrees at the trailhead. At the beginning of the first switchback started to get into the clouds. A great walk in the clouds up to the end of the fourth switchback and the light started filtering thru. The vertical picture tried to reflect that (not so well). The moisture on the Laurel and the sun reflecting off was a special treat. By the time I made it to the shelter all was sunny. Ok, so being the first hike of the season there were a couple of reminders about what and what not to do. First of all take some water. I didn’t and was plenty dehydrated by the end of the hike. Second, make sure not to over do it when first starting back. I did that also and am feeling it. This January thru April hiked Graybeard around 40 times and did not know how to blog. So now I am going to take pictures and share with you guys on a weekly basis. This is one of the best trails around and changes on a daily basis.
Asheville was voted Beer City USA in 2010, and came in 3rd place this year, respectively. The city and surrounding area has continued the momentum since 2010 with local breweries springing up all across the city. New Belgium Brewing out of Fort Collins, CO will be established here in Asheville by winter 2015. To sample the top breweries in Asheville you can jump on a Brews Cruise downtown to hop from bar to bar via shuttle.
Locally here in Black Mountain, I enjoy the atmosphere, food, and great selection of local micro brews at The Alehouse. I sat amongst friends the other night and we greatly enjoyed the atmosphere, brew, wings, buffalo chips, and hummus plate. Everything we ordered was exceptionally good, and the service was fantastic. The live music offered filled the room but did not crowd out the chatter amongst friends. If you get a chance, you won’t regret supporting local business by stopping by the Alehouse for a micro brew and delightful food!