Thursday, November 27, 2008

Sunrise on Rough Ridge - Mountain Trip - Thanksgiving

One of the last mornings of our two week mountain trip, daughter and I got up in the dark and drove out for a hike up Rough Ridge. Everything was timed perfectly, and the clouds were amazing. First we had pink ALL around the sky before the sun actually rose. This was from Price Park picnic area, on the way to Rough Ridge.

Then when we got to the Ridge boardwalk (the environment is so fragile on the peak that they built a boardwalk to keep feet off the delicate turf) the sun was just up, and the light was unbelievable. So clear, and golden, and gentle, and stark. The wind was also incredible, nearly knocking us down with some of the gusts. It was tough trying to stand still enough to line up and take three shots each for these panoramas.

Grandfather Mountain, looming over the ridge, had trapped a cloud in an eddy of the air. As the wind howled over the top, blowing down on us on Rough Ridge, the cloud was caught and spun, with the top curling over like a waterfall, only to be tucked back under at the bottom, blown back toward the mountain and up the granite cliffs, and poured outward again. It went on for hours, because we saw it later in the morning.

We stood there as long as we could, a bit breathless in the wind. I laughed and laughed out loud for the sheer wild joy of it, and for the light, the colors, and knowing that it would be one of those moments I will remember forever.

I was particularly happy to be sharing it with my other dearest girl.

I have so many things to be grateful for - in my present, past, and the hopes for the future. I hope all of you do, as well, and that today is a good day for your to recall those things, enjoy some of them, and be refreshed.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.


Mojo said...

Those last two shots are simply mind-blowing! I've spent many happy hours in the Blue Ridge and the Smokies trying to shoot the last roll of film in the known universe, but never caught a cloud getting snagged on the mountaintop like that.

I found you through a comment you left at Pagan Sphinx and saw we're actually neighbors. (I live in Raleigh.) Always nice to discover another local in the blogosphere. Stop by sometime, the door's always open.

linda said...

grandfather mountain keeps falling into my consciousness, knowing others whose pictures have scrolled across my screen...strangely- different people, different times, all this month and each time, the sight of that mountain moves me ancestors are from the carolinas, having fought and died there, eventually leaving and coming makes me wonder, why and where it is, what does it mean to me ... where in the spaces between my thinking mind, does it exist...thank you again for sharing and many many blessings to you and yours this day....

Steve Emery said...

Mojo - Thanks for dropping in. I checked out some of your photos - I particularly like We'll Leave the Light on for You and Causeway Bridge. The light and shadow on the bridge almost elevate the concrete to the beauty of Greek columns, and they really set off the lovely curve above them.

The Cunning Runt said...

Your framing of these photos is masterful. Like you were an artist, or something! :)

There's nothing I know more moving than a mountain morning. Glad you got to share it with your daughter.

Steve Emery said...

Cunning Runt - We tend to do mountain evenings (sunsets) so this was startling for us. And yes - getting to share it with daughter was special indeed.