A couple weeks ago Brian and I escaped hot Raleigh for a couple days to camp along the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia. Ive been late posting this one, as I have started my new job, but after this I will get back to the garden soon!
Just a 2 hr and 45 minute drive north from our little garden gets us to some amazing hiking and camping spots in Rocky Knob Recreation Area of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Although we have been to this area before, this time was special because we were at the peak of the Flame Azalea blooms with wildflower accompaniments, in the best section of the parkway to see it, with the rainy weather keeping away any crowds. For most of this post, I'll let John Muir take the reigns.
"The mountains are calling and I must go"
"Now comes sundown. The west is all a glory of color transfiguring everything. Far up the Pilot Peak Ridge the radiant host of trees stand hushed and thoughtful, receiving the Sun’s good-night, as solemn and impressive a leave-taking as if sun and trees were to meet no more. The daylight fades, the color spell is broken, and the forest breathes free in the night breeze beneath the stars. "
"How deep our sleep last night in the mountain’s heart, beneath the trees and stars, hushed by solemn-sounding waterfalls and many small soothing voices in sweet accord whispering peace! And our first pure mountain day, warm, calm, cloudless, —how immeasurable it seems, how serenely wild! I can scarcely remember its beginning. Along the river, over the hills, in the ground, in the sky, spring work is going on with joyful enthusiasm, new life, new beauty, unfolding, unrolling in glorious exuberant extravagance, —new birds in their nests, new winged creatures in the air, and new leaves, new flowers, spreading, shining, rejoicing everywhere."
"Warm, sunny day, thrilling plant and animals and rocks alike, making sap and blood flow fast, and making every particle of the crystal mountains throb and swirl and dance in glad accord like star-dust. No dullness anywhere visible or thinkable. No stagnation, no death. Everything kept in joyful rhythmic motion in the pulses of Nature’s big heart."
"Another of those charming exhilarating days that makes the blood dance and excites nerve currents that render one unweariable and well-nigh immortal."
"Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is necessity; that mountain parks and reservations are useful not only as fountains of timber and irrigating rivers, but as fountains of life." ~ John Muir