Recently, I flew to Atlanta to visit one of our daughters. Once she had picked me up from the airport and we were on our way for some much needed coffee (it was only 7:30am at this point), she surprised me with the news that we were headed to Asheville. Hiking was on our list of things to do and we set off on the Blue Ridge Parkway. We stopped on several occasions just to admire the view.
As we drove on, we gained altitude and the views just got better and better.
We were lucky, the weather was perfect; sunny, clear and not too hot.
At one stop, the old Buck Spring Lodge site is near the Pisgah Inn on the Mt. Pisgah Summit and there are a few trails around the parking area. Take the stone stairs and follow the trail toward the inn, the views are worth the walk.
We were headed for Black Balsam Knob and we drove on. These were spotted on the Flat Laurel Creek Trail. If anyone can identify these, please do-I have no idea what they are.
Even though were around 6000ft, honeybees were present. While I am sure that the altitude was not an issue for them, I could only wonder if they were there because a beekeeper has hives out there somewhere or if there were feral bee colonies.
These were spotted along the Art Loeb trail as we hiked up to the top. They had finished blooming for the year and were loaded with seeds for next years blooms.
There was no shortage of Mountain Ash berries.
And with goldenrod in bloom, the bees had plenty of flowers for foraging.
Again, I am looking for an assist on the ID, if you know what this is, I would love to know as well!
When we finally did reach our goal, not the entire trail but a nice high elevation, we were standing on this rocky spot. The pattern in the surface of the stone is intriguing.
We stopped for a bit and enjoyed the view. If you want to take a hike near Asheville, we highly recommend making the trip to Black Balsam Knob.My hiking partner, Alix. It was a wonderful surprise and it was a perfect afternoon!