I have had Hawksbill and Table Rock NC on my want to see list for a long time.
The website I read said no low sports cars. My car isn’t a sports car but it is pretty low to the ground. Autumn was late. In fact, when I wrote my last post it was still mostly green and browns. Then it was like God turned the dial up and colors exploded into one of the best Autumn colors we’ve had in a while. Monday was warm for this time of year, like sunny and 70 but hubby was on a job all day. I thought we were taking his truck when we went to this one. Tuesday was 100% cloudy with rain forecast late in the day but if we went Tuesday before the rain Wed – Thursday we thought we’d see more leaves. It was absolutely beautiful!!
Hubby has replaced shingles and has been working on a deck. His back, neck and shoulder blades are all hurting, add on not sleeping well and a headache and he still said he could go. We didn’t leave until 9:30, had to make one quick pitstop made us getting to the parking area for Hawksbill at 11:30. We drove through so much fog that I thought there was no way we’d be able to see anything. BTW the road was fine for my car. I thought we’d do both Hawksbill labeled as 1.5 miles round trip by RomaticAsheville.com and Table Rock just a bit farther down the road as 2.2 miles round trip. Both were listed as strenuous. Well, I’ve clearly been spending too much time at the computer. Hawksbill kicked my butt. I had to rest half a dozen times and got my hikers hack even though it was in the upper 50s.
At something close to .50 there is a clearing on the right side of the trail with spectacular views. The mileage to the top was wrong. It was .76 to the sign that said to go left to Hawksbill and just over a mile to the top where the trail splits three ways. Climbing that extra unexpected quarter mile after the sign is the steepest, rockiest part. Our State had it listed right. The peak is at 4000 feet, a 700′ difference from the trailhead and 2000′ above the valley below. The view was awesome looking up the Linville Gorge and we think we could hear Linville Falls. God is the ultmiate artist.
On the way up another Vanguard tripod photog said the view was best if you went to the right. We past two guys that said they hoped and prayed the fog would clear by the time we made it to the top. We were passed by another guy going up when shortly after we went left at the sign the trail kinda split and we were deciding which way to go. He made it all the way up and was coming back down when he said he prayed the fog would move for us. I don’t think we’ve ever had so many people pray for us. 🙂 I must have looked like I felt. At the top, one guy said his wife said to go on without him. I hope she rested and continued up.
It was so worth it (after I sat for a bit at the top). The view was awesome. Truly awesome.
We like to hike mid-week even if it means we work on the weekend so we encounter fewer other people. We were the 6th car in the lot when we got there, and there were 14 others when we got back to the car at 2:00, plus we must have passed like 30 people. For a “strenuous trail” on a Tuesday, we were both surprised. Hubby and I have had this discussion before about settlers, and the first to blaze a trail. I have a hard time following trails that have already been walked on and wonder how in the world those that came before us did it. What’d they do when the got to the Mississippi River with their horses, families, wagons, and belongings? What they do when they bushwhacked to the top of a mountain to find it was a sheer rock face cliff? When was the first real compass made? Why’d I wear my vest in the upper 50’s to hike uphill?
Video is handheld.
When we got back to the car we started eating our packed lunch when a truck pulled up. We motioned for him to take our spot. We exchanged a short communication of hand signals and we made sure to tell others we passed about the views to the right at the top. Like other hikers did for us. I love how nice most people are in this world.
Our church is preaching about Loving your Neighbor, which may or may not be your literally neighbor. Some neighbors are harder to love than others, but God loves me and all His children so I try. Now it would be easier if they mowed, kept their pets and their property in their own yard, didn’t fire guns off in our way- too-close-houses with no backstop, and didn’t rev a car engine till midnight. But I digress. I’ll be the first to admit God is not finished with me yet. I feel like I should go meet and personally thank the red stairs neighbor for being such a good neighbor.
I don’t think I posted this on my blog yet. We have a pair of coyotes. They kept showing up on the netcams. One has an injured or missing part of its back leg. They’ve come up all the way to the porch. I let our neighbors know, the ones that don’t keep their cats inside, where I think all cats should be. Then, around 9ish one morning, I saw one of the coyotes running from across the main road across our yard and up the street. It was indeed a coyote and was larger than I’d thought it was based on the size of our shrubs and the night vision on the netcam videos. Okay back to Hawksbill.
Looking at the fog and clouds move by riding on the wind, seeing up the gorge encased in vibrant Autumn colors, hearing what we think was Linville Falls of the wind was all so peaceful. There was one girl who sat the entire time at what I had in my head as “Hawksbill” but there were plenty of other spots to look out across the gorge. I was so impressed and so exhausted. We’d have to save Table Rock for another day. I’ll also be checking other websites for info since the mileage was off. We didn’t make it home until 5pm. 3 hours later than I’d thought we’d be after doing both hikes.
On the way back I thought we were near the spot where I shot the photo for CC Tillery Brown Mountain Lights series and I was going to shoot one in Autumn while I was over that far in case that is what they wanted for the 4th book in the series, but after driving 30 miles out of the way and not seeing the spot we gave up. I hope they didn’t want an Autumn scene, but I haven’t heard anything either way. We did pull off for me to shoot the Linn Cove Viaduct.
I truly love where we live! I will have to see Table Rock NC at some point. We passed Catawba Falls to and I haven’t been there since they added a bridge. When I went I had to wade the river. I know there were some waterfalls near us but I didn’t throw Adams book in the car and really was too beat unless they were right beside the road. Another day. This weekend there is a Ballonfest in Greenville SC and the Rodeo at the AG center. Plus if it doesn’t rain we may still have some Autumn colors left to enjoy. This weekend we also had both sides of the family in plus hubby’s neck is still messed up.
Sometime the week before this, we did a short drive just to Graveyard Feilds then had lunch in Brevard. The color around the Cradle of Forestry was at peak. I really thought it was going to be a dud year. Boy was I wrong. We saw this older couple and she was helping steady him while he took his photo. A big thank you to all the photography spouses out there!
Remember the leaf butterfly/dragonfly I made for the camera club? Well, the leaves wouldn’t stay laid down so I pressed petals and made these while hubby watched football one Sunday. Fun little project, especially if you take the time to press them first. I go the idea from here.
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Nice pics! It would be a lot to do table rock and hawksbill on the same day! Brown mountain I relook is south of Gingercake on 181 towards morganton
Thanks for the wonderfully descriptive prose and gorgeous pictures. It was a privilige to have lived for 20 years in such beautiful surroundings. My memories will have to suffice as I make my way forward in the alien, city-like atmosphere of suburban Charlotte.
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2 hours Joe. 2 hours 🙂