Jeff said it well as the Blue Ridge Mountains rose up before us a few weeks ago: "There's nothing dramatic about the Blue Ridge, but they're pretty and you don't feel like they're trying to kill you all the time." So true. They aren't the Rockies. They aren't the Andes or the Himalayas. But they are comfortable and beautiful in their own below-the-tree-line-type way. Plus they really are quite blue. (See the last photo for evidence.)
In October we spent a weekend in the Montreat area of North Carolina. This time we headed about an hour and 45 minutes north of Montreat for a week in the Grandfather Mountain area between Boone, Banner Elk and Blowing Rock. We stayed in a residential town called Seven Devils, perched on its own mountain. Our little cabin sat along a ridge at the top of Seven Devils at 3,655 feet, an altitude that is no joke on the scale of the Blue Ridge. (But when we thought of our place in Colorado, which sits at 9,200 feet in mountain valley, we had to laugh a little at the lack of intensity here in North Carolina. And then be grateful it's not -20 degrees, so the little ones could play outside.)
I wasn't sure how exciting the non-snowy winter mountain landscape would be to photograph, but the rising sun—and believe me, we were awake to witness every sunrise thanks to a couple of ear infections—sent me running for my camera each morning to capture its perfection. And then, of course, little things would start to catch my eye here and there...but only after we'd hit up our favorite coffee shop in these parts, Mountain Grounds Coffee & Tea Co. (We also fueled up along the way with takeout from Bella's and Valle de Bravo Mexican Grill.)
I decided to split my photos from this trip into two posts. This post covers the more classic mountain scenes, while the next focuses on a little valley community called Valle Crucis, which we fell in love with.
Above: Sunrise view from the cabin with clouds above and below. (Grandfather Mountain to the right). Below: Another perfect sunrise with the moon still high in the sky.