Blue Ridge Parkway
Flat Top Mountain Carriage Trail
On this particular day, I was ever so eager to get outside and bask in the gorgeous weather.
On days like this, I like to hop on over to the Blue Ridge Parkway.
We live less than an hour away from some of the most magnificent hikes you'll ever see.
I realized the other day that, I haven't shared a whole lot of them with you.
Know this, I plan to change all that!
This hikes ascends from the Moses H. Cone Manor House to the summit of Flat Top Mountain.
The trail is 2.8 miles one way, but offers one of the most gradual grades.
You make your way to the top using switchbacks which makes it a rather pleasant jaunt.
The beginning of the trail takes you through pastures, and open fields,
you even stop over at Mr. and Mrs. Cones' final resting place.
As I turned the corner, I spotted the 'kite' you see above.
It wasn't the size of a normal kite, so I'm sure there's another name for it.
It did, however, look like a lot of fun.......
The person operating the 'kite' was wearing a harness, I mean, he was fully strapped in.
At one point, I saw his feet lift off the ground.....I thought to myself,
"If I try that, I'm likely to get swept AWAY!"
Continuing through the pastures.....
I followed this trail into the shade of the maple trees,
where wildflowers lined most of the path.
The butterflies were extra flirty with me.
As a result, I was finally able to get my summertime butterfly bokeh flower shot!
They cooperated beautifully......
After spending waaaaaaay too much time with the
butterfly beauties, I kept chugging along.
There wasn't any point of the hike were I was exerting myself, it was a very leisurely walk.
The very end of the trail - which is by far, the coolest part -
brings you to a fire tower that Moses Cone built upon the summit of Flat Top Mountain.
From the top, you are rewarded with expansive
vistas of the surrounding mountain range.
These grandstand views are truly magnificent, honestly,
it brought a tear to my eye I was so captivated.
I really love when that happens, as it reminds me that,
I am exactly where I want to be......
Now, I'm no videographer, but I wanted you to see the 360 degree view live.
To my defense, it was hard enough walking around the
stairwell while looking through the viewfinder,
and the tinge of vertigo didn't really help matters.
But there you have it.....
See that road.....I was all the way down there!
Isn't that a lovely scene.....
I didn't want to leave, but was forced to sit aside while a pack of cross-country training
teenagers commandeered the tower.
Scraping their names in the paint while swearing to let me know that they were cool - it wasn't.
I waited patiently for my turn to go back up.....
I wasn't ready to say goodbye, yet.
I was glad I went back up.....
I took my time making my way back down the mountain,
although my knee was acting up again?!
I think that I may need a brace for those downhills?
The easy 5.6 mile hike took me over 4 hours to do.
Thankfully, Cody wasn't with me or else he would have been doing
a lot of waiting around while I took photos!
It was nice to go as slow as I wanted to......
I even stopped and had a long chat with the fella who keeps the fields perfectly manicured.
He was an interesting guy who had the quirkiest sayings.
I tried to make mental notes, but we talked for so long......
One I remember him saying was,
"I've fallen off a truck before, but it wasn't yesterday!"
His hat says Git -R- Done!
I asked if I could take his photo, and he obliged,
but every time I pointed the lens his way, he froze.....it was funny.
When I turned the camera to take a vertical portrait,
he wanted to know why I was flippin' him upside down?! haha
Going back the way I came, I made it back to my car.
I was so happy that I had just ended my day in such a way.
I was fully decompressed after a rough week........
Nature + Photos, does it to me every time!
How are you decompressing these days?