Hawksbill Mountain, Linville Gorge Wilderness, USA by Joshua Moore

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A friend of mine and myself set out on a morning adventure to Hawksbill Mountain in the Linville Gorge Wilderness in Western North Carolina. I have photographed Hawksbill Mountain many times from the Blue Ridge Parkway, but I had never hiked to its summit. Our journey started at 3 a.m. as we started to make our way from East Tennessee to the Hawksbill Mountain. We arrived at 5 a.m. and started hiking, it was just three fourths of a mile to summit, but half of that was a climb straight up, my knees were burning.

We arrived in time to rest and lay back, I was expecting it to be in the low twenties, but it was in the fifties and it felt great. Stars could be seen peaking in and out of the clouds and after a short rest, the sun started to rise. It was a vibrant, beautiful sunrise that filled the sky. I knew if it was this pretty in front of me, then behind me was looking pretty nice as well. I turned around and saw the pink glow catching in the sky and the cool blue tones filled the rest of the area. I had a large rock formation just in front of me and I used it as my foreground, I really wanted to give a sense of scale to the gorge as well, so I shot this very wide. I also captured a bit of glow on along the ridge line across from me as well. This was just one of those mornings that you will always remember and the rush of excitement from enjoying will never go away each time I look at the images I captured here this day.

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