words and art by w a l t e r w s m i t h

Posts tagged “Blue Ridge Mountains

your world beginning | maps, mountains, and trails – day 7


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Day 7 finds “Your World Beginning”, on the trail to the summit of Waterrock Knob. In search of a transitional ambience of Fall colors, fog, and rain. This is an incredible location here at the summit. There is always a constant or intermittent wind blowing. The clouds shift quickly above, or as today, the fog can be seen everywhere.

Waterrock Knob is a mountain peak in the state of North Carolina. It is the highest peak in the Plott Balsams and is the 16th highest mountain in the Eastern United States. It is the 15th highest of the 40 mountains in North Carolina over 6000 feet.

The mountain is split by both Haywood and Jackson counties in the western part of the state. It is located in the Plott Balsams mountain chain between the Great Smoky Mountains and the Great Balsam Mountains. The mountain’s summit is located within the Blue Ridge Parkway National Park Service unit.

The mountain is a popular destination with tourists and amateur hikers as it is easily accessible from the Parkway. A visitors center is located near its summit and a hiking trail leads to its top. The hiking trail and visitors center are manned and maintained by the National Park Service, part of the United States Department of the Interior.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Mountains 05

On the Pinnacle Mountain trail, South Carolina

One of my favorite places to hike in South Carolina is the Pinnacle Trail. It is located in the Blue Ridge Foothills. I came across this rock structure on the hike and fell in love with it. It has the stern look of a man grazing out beyond the ridge.

Here is a summary of the trail.

It is six miles round trip with an elevation gain of 2673 feet. It has a rating of strenuous and takes about 4 hours to complete.

The first 0.2 miles is a relatively
flat, paved path that parallels a creek. Small cascades and pools are easily
accessible from the trail. After the pavement ends, follow the trail signs for
the Pinnacle Mtn. trail.

The trail is in fair shape most of the way.
There is significant erosion in a few places and parts of the trail can be quite
muddy.

At about the 2.5 mile mark is the Bald Rock Overlook where you can
look back towards Table Rock Mtn. The summit is marked by a sign and a pile of
rocks but you’re in the middle of a forest with no view. Return the way you came
or continue on the Ridge Trail that connects the Pinnacle Mountain and Table
Rock trails.

This trail is rather remote at times. I was hiking it alone and felt a need to see someone on the trail.


Race Day April 3rd 2011

Mountain biking race day at Tsali Recreational Park

Mountain biking race day at Tsali Recreational Park, North Carolina

It is Race Day

Take what life gives us

Let us meet under the great pavilion

Where the sounds of aspirations

Are heard in the ballet of bikes

It is race day

Clutching our forged carbon loves

Sinewy muscles tense with sweat

We dream the dance

The dance of the mountain

It is race day

There is life in every breath

Let us meet silently at the starting gate

The noise of wind and sky to shatter our thoughts

While colors merge

A kaleidoscope forms

A kinetic fleeing pursuing blur

Rotating wheels and quick descents

Gorges rivers trees and falls

Pick yourself back up

Your pain body calls

And look up into the crying sky

To a transformative end

Finding yourself deep inside

It is race day

Transcending our weekday life

We are here to meet in joyous celebration

The sound of Kopeland

The sound of music

Victory for one

Pleasure for all

While arms and smiles embrace

Here at Tsali North Carolina

Its sure to be

A great race