By Lynn R. Mitchell
The autumn leaf color was somewhat muted Saturday under overcast skies but the golds, reds, and oranges were still vibrant along the mountain ridge tops of Virginia Blue Ridge Parkway. Fall colors have been running about a week behind this year and so we have been able to stretch leaf season longer to embrace and squeeze out ever bit of this once-a-year event. Because it is fleeting, it is treasured.
Our destination was Peaks of Otter to meet up with the kids for lunch at a rustic table along the creek in their picnic area. As we drove along, every curve in the road brought another view that seemed even more stunning than the one before …
As a child camping with my family at Big Meadows in Shenandoah National Park, I would be in awe as the wind swept those wisps of fog across the roadway in the campground, and my sister and I would run through them and around them and chase them. It felt like walking in the clouds with the dampness on our faces, and that feeling remains to this day. Yesterday we watched as fog strings skittered across the parkway and filled the autumn woods with smoke-like paleness, something that always brings up thoughts of the pioneers who lived in these mountains before us. How isolating it may have felt to be completely socked in when the clouds dipped down to earth and blocked the views of mountains, trees, and the road. For a few minutes on Saturday I thrilled again at being among the clouds on top of Virginia’s mountains.
Photos by Lynn R. Mitchell
Blue Ridge Parkway, Peaks of Otter
October 24, 2015