Today we took Shannon up to Mount Mitchell. For those of you who aren't familiar with it, Mt. Mitchell is the highest peak east of the Mississippi River. We love going up there during hot summer days. With an elevation over 6000 feet, the summit is always several degrees cooler than it is here at 3000 feet. We hiked from the parking area up to the summit, then around an "easy" trail called the Balsam Trail. Obviously the "easy" only applies to people who are under 55 or physically active. Since I am neither, I found it a bit strenuous. I will definitely need some Tylenol tonight for my knees.
Of course, Bert and Shannon decided that they wanted more hiking, so they hiked the Old Mitchell Trail. They hiked a mile down to Mount Craig and back. While they were gone for two hours, Libby (my cocker spaniel) and I decided to hang out at the picnic area. Libby rested under my bench while I drew the following picture. I call it "View from Mitchell". Of course that isn't the most creative title, but it is accurate.
I think I am inspired most by the different textures in this vista... the hardness of the rocks against the softness of the shrubbery...the gnarled and weathered trunks of the dead trees balanced against the feathery softness of the pines...and the soft, velvety look of the mountains in the distance. I especially liked drawing the dead, storm damaged tree trunks. Storm clouds were also rolling in, and I tried to capture them with my pen.
I hope you enjoy seeing my latest creation. I was able to finish it just as it started to rain. Libby and I gathered up our belongings and headed for the covered picnic cabins. We were dry and doubly blessed as well! Some other picnickers who were leaving gave us some fresh cold watermelon. Yum!