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

Posts tagged “Grandfather Mountain


Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections | Summit

Weekly Photo Challenge: Reflections | Summit

A soft subtle reflection of the sky in a puddle of resting water. After hiking to the summit of Grandfather Mountain, and crossing the gorge via the Mile High Bridge, I was treated to this beautiful view. What a lovely reflection.


A Rewind: Grandfather Mountain | Hiking in 2002

A Rewind: Grandfather Mountain | Hiking in 2002

One of the coolest places at elevation in North Carolina is Grandfather Mountain. It is home of the mile high swinging bridge. At just over 6000 feet it is one of the highest mountain peaks in the state.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Textures

While hiking the Grandfather Mountain trail in North Carolina, I became fascinated with the rocks at the very summit. They were breathtaking mainly because of the textures they revealed when observed up close.

Rocks at the summit of Grandfather Mountain

Weekly Photo Challenge: Mountains 03

The rocky edges of Grandfather Mountain, North Carolina

Another classic view of Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Mountains

Grandfather Mountain, North Carolina

Grandfather Mountain is a mountain, a non-profit attraction, and a North Carolina state park near Linville, North Carolina. At 5,946 feet (1,818 m), it is the highest peak on the eastern escarpment of the Blue Ridge Mountains, one of the major chains of the Appalachian Mountains. The Blue Ridge Parkway passes by the south side of the mountain. It is located at the meeting point of Avery, Caldwell (highest point), and Watauga (highest point) Counties.

Until 2008, Grandfather Mountain was privately owned and operated as a nature preserve and tourist attraction. It was and still is best known for its mile-high swinging bridge, the highest in America, built in 1952 by Hugh Morton. The bridge links two of the mountain’s rocky peaks, and is known as the “swinging” bridge due to its tendency to sway in high winds. Morton inherited the mountain from his grandfather and developed the tourist attractions. He died on June 1, 2006 at the age of 85. After Morton’s death, he donated all of his photographs, including many of Grandfather Mountain, Mildred the Bear, and many other aspects of life on the Mountain to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

This Photograph was taken during an earlier visit to the mountains of North Carrolina.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Water

Grandfather Mountain @ 6,200 feet

This a photograph taken during a hike across the Mile High Bridge at Grandfather Mountain. The elevation above sea level is just over 6,200 feet. What a great place to hike and explore. Just getting to GrandFather Mountain is a beautiful journey as you travel along the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway.  I found it exciting during my hike, from the base of the mountain to the bridge, and then crossing the gorge below. It was amazing to find puddles of water on the mountain top.

The Narrow Way: Choosing a Path

When we find a path that leads back to ourselves, we discover things anew

In 2002 I moved from Philadelphia to South Carolina. It was a time for a deliberate and conscious change. The beautiful natural landscapes of the Carolinas, Tennessee and Georgia all provided a sharp contrast to the harsh urban decay of what was becoming, in some parts, the City of Philadelphia. It was a very positive move for me, and I immediately embarked on a journey to rediscover some important sustaining elements of my life i.e. Mind, Body, Creativity and Spirit. I call them my Four Jewels.  The very first thing I did when I arrived was go up into the mountains. I hiked, explored and found beauty, space and peace. Hiking as an adventure has a wonderful aspect to it, that is physical, emotional and exploratory.  Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina is home of the Mile High Swinging Bridge and various trails. It is one of the highest peaks east of the Mississippi. While walking along the bridge, above the beautiful gorge below, one can begin the journey of self discovery. And in doing so, find a subtle, yet profound emergence of the meaning of man and nature as one.

The Narrow Way / The Bridge to Knowing

The Narrow Way / The Bridge to knowing begins with your daily meditation practice

We often try to understand who we are through the process of knowing. In doing so, we come face to face with a peculiar dialectic.  That peculiarity is how to bridge the awareness of being the knower and the known. To do this, one must understand that everything in awareness is known because of you. Our perception of the things around us is derived from an ever changing inherent existence. Things can never exist upon their own power, nor can the awareness of things be from the thinking mind alone. We exist in that place in between the two — You are Knowing. It is the state of Knowing that frees us from the misconceptions, the untruths of the object / known relationship and the subject / knower relationship. We begin the journey with our daily practice in meditation, and move forward when we let go of ourselves and the world around us and just Be That which Is.