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.