I came back today to my favorite spot on the Appalachian Trail for an encore visit and came away more enchanted than ever. Fortune smiled on me - I happened to be here during the height of azalea and rhododendron bloom, and the color along the trail was spectacular.
The blooms are concentrated along the stretch of AT between Carver's Gap and Grassy Ridge, but I also ventured into the expansive grassy dominion around Hump Mountain. Here the wide open spaces were the attraction.
And in between the stretches of open bald there were some woodland pleasures. I found this delicate cluster of mushrooms straining to orient themselves in conformance to gravity's pull despite emerging from the side of a rotting log.
The weather was not ideal, but frankly better than I expected. I didn't get wet and there wasn't any haze obscuring the views. So I came away satisfied - it was a day well spent in a special place.
Here's a map of the route of the final hike in this series of hikes across North Carolina - a series that began four months ago on the Outer Banks.
The Roan High Balds in bloom at EveryTrail
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