Site Meter


Copyright 2009-2010 by
Mary Brotherton
All Rights Reserved

Inside my Brain

email me

Saturday, November 09, 2002

Treasures of Nature

Curtis and I have just returned from a magical four day weekend. We drove the the mountains of North Carolina and it seems the weather was custom made for our visit. The grass was emerald green and the skies were a most amazing blue with just the smallest thoughts of translucent clouds overhead. As we curved our way up the mountains, the leaves put on a magnificent show of color for us. In some areas, the yellows looked like they were children of the sun himself, dancing on the trees. Some areas were filled with nothing but yellow, and when the magnificent sunshine filtered through the leaves, the whole strip of road was brightly illuminated. Further along, we passed trees of every possible color and hue: red, green, purple, pink, yellow, orange, brown, and probably some I could not attempt to name. At times, the distant mountains looked as if they were actually on fire with color, and at others, they seemed cold and stony. We drove further north, and saw icicles had started forming on the rocky surfaces which surrounded the Parkway .

Nothing could prepare us for the wonders that awaited us as we passed through the Craggy Pinnacle Tunnel! A few hundred yards past the tunnel, we found that we were in a real Winter Wonderland. During the night, for some reason, in a stretch no more than 3 miles long, something magnificent happened to the area. Each and every tree, shrub, and bush was covered in white ice. This was not snow, but it was snow white ice. The wind had frozen it on the vegetation in a horizontal fashion so that the area had a surreal atmosphere. Some trees did have bright red berries to which the ice had not stuck, so it looked like a Holiday card! The grass was brilliantly green and the sky was spectacularly blue, which made the white ice more pronounced. The nearby rocks and walls of mountains were covered in this white ice too, but most of the taller walls had the clear ice that is common, but it was layered over layers upon layers of other ice. We got out, but could not remain long in the frigid, arctic wind. The wind felt like tiny knives cutting through our clothes, and we quickly sought the shelter of our car. The trees leaned over the road, which gave the area a white tunnel effect. I felt that I was in a fantasy world - I did not want to stay, but I did not want to leave, either. We had bought lunch in the town which lay at the foot of the mountain, so we sat in the midst of this white world and ate before we ventured up to the top of Mount Mitchell, the tallest peak in the Eastern USA. Mount Mitchell is even colder than the ice world was, but this is due to the altitude. Now, the view from the top of the world was vastly different from the colors that we saw on our trip up to the white world. Mount Mitchell is covered in evergreens and even though the air is cold there, little ice or snow had formed. We looked around briefly and took some pictures, but we could not remain long in that air. You see, neither of us had prepared with the proper clothing for such an outing. We continued our drive down the mountain and further north and east, just to see what would await us.

I would not have believed anyone who may have told me that the fall colors could be more brilliant or more beautiful on the eastern slopes, but they were. I suppose there is a scientific reason for this, but I just enjoyed the breathtaking beauty of the drive. Curtis drove and I held the video camera, which could not capture the beauty that was made only for the human eye to enjoy. We drove to a place called Linville Falls, but did not take the hike to see the actual waterfall. We decided to save that activity for a warmer day. We watched the sun set behind the mountains, and I felt that, even though it was beautiful, there is nothing in the world like a sun setting over the ocean, and I know that I will be happier in Florida. As night began to fall, I leearned why the Blue Ridge Mountains earned that name. With twilight approaching, the mountains took on a dark blue tone that was like nothing I have ever seen before in my life. The blue was deep and constant until nightfall. I was sorry that our camera's battery had died, because I would have enjoyed keeping that on film. Instead, I will keep the memory in my heart, forever. I was breathless as I saw the colors of the trees which were close to me, yet the mountains that had moments before been afire with color were now simply BLUE. As night approached, we saw the cities and towns below come alive with lights. Our decent from the mountain top was not unlike an airplane approaching a city
at night. It was truly a magical day for me.

We visited with Curtis' sister only a few hours this weekend, as she and her husband had been out of town all week, and only returned home (where we were staying) late on Saturday night. We shared our video with them, and early Sunday morning, we drove to South Carolina for my family reunion. My family was my family, and little had changed, but it was nice to see them all again. My treat in South Carolina had Curtis holding his sides while he laughed hard enough to hurt. My best girlfriend Suzy - a woman whom I did not like on our initial meeting -was finally able to coordinate her schedule to be with me a few hours on Sunday evening. This was our first time to be together in the three years since I left the area and moved to Atlanta. We did not intend to exclude our "menfolks" but when we got together, we talked of people to whom they have no reference, we laughed about private jokes when only a few words sparked a memory, and we hugged and cried at our departure. We have vowed that we will never allow time or space to separate us so much again. Sometimes you can't miss the water until the well runs dry, and you can't miss your friends if you are always nearby.

On that sage wisdom, I shall promise to do my best to post more often. We will be packing and planning, as well as house shopping over the next few weeks, so if you do not see new words here, know that our relocation to Florida is moving along as planned.