Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Blue Ridge Parkway — Part 3

It was cold but clear when we resumed our drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway this morning, not far from the town of Boone, NC. I'll start off with your daily foliage update photo:

I've been intrigued by the spectrum of fall foliage along the drive. In some places, the trees have barely turned color at all. In others, they've already lost their leaves entirely. I've mused about the possibilities of microclimates, elevation differences, relative densities of particular species, orientation to the sun on mountainsides, etc. No clue what the answer is.

So far, this has been the most interesting and view-licious part of the parkway. The mountains seem to be higher and the road more exposed. There's also more geology going on to highlight the drama.

For those of you who have been traveling along on this excursion from the beginning, you will see that I've succeeded in my quest to find the bit of road shown in my first post. You will also notice that my photo is not nearly as striking!

I'm disappointed at the quality of photos I've been able to take. I partly blame my basic travel camera, but I can cut it some slack because I think it's very hard to capture the views on a drive-by basis. I suspect the best photos available were shot with very high quality gear, after days of waiting for perfect conditions, and ample enhancement on the computer.

That said, I think my shots are good enough to give you a flavor of the views. In these two, you can see the difference in color between areas only a few miles apart.

Truth be told, the road is getting a little boring. The routine of forest drive, side hill climb, saddle apex, side hill descent, forest drive is feeling like wash, rinse, repeat. We are about 80 miles from the end of the parkway and I will be ready for it to be completed... Stay tuned!

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