It was great to spend time with my sister. I enjoyed our easy companionship and the retelling of old family stories that only the two of us remember now. We started our journey by driving to Asheville, North Carolina, and ended it when we left the Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge area of Tennessee to come home. In between we spent part of one day at a Cherokee village, another part of the same day on the Blue Ridge Parkway, another day exploring the grandeur of the Biltmore Estate, and still another whole day traveling back through time on one-lane roads through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
It was amazing.
So, I guess I'll start in the middle, with the mountains as viewed from the Blue Ridge Parkway. I have to say that pictures I've seen of the Smoky Mountains don't begin to do them justice, and you can say the same thing about my own photos that accompany this post. "Purple mountains' majesty," a songwriter's attempt to describe them, falls just short. They are splendid. They are grand. They're magnificent, spectacular, breathtaking, and I'm not talented enough to describe how it felt to be traveling so high among those peaks, sheer cliffs on one side of us, deep drop-offs on the other, our ears popping again and again as we rose and descended.
I couldn't stop myself from taking photos of the mountains at every lookout point, even though I worried that all the photos would look alike. They don't. Each image has its own mountains, its own clouds, its own greenery, all arranged uniquely as if by the hand of God.