Blue Ridge Mountains, Sylva, N Carolina, USA by John Brooks

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Picture Story

I visited North Carolina in July 2019 for the first time to seek out my cousins and the family "seat" since the 1700's which is at Sylva in Jackson County. We met up with my cousin Jeff and his wife Loretta who live atop a mountain near Sylva. Loretta told us that we had to see Waterrock Knob being the highest peak of the Plott Balsams with stunning views and on the Blue Ridge Parkway not far from Sylva.

We were driven at speed in Loretta's four wheel drive along with Jeff and daughter Vinnie up a fairly steep but extremely winding road to the top of the mountain which for me was somewhat uncomfortable as I am not fond of heights. There were precipitous drops at the edge of the road but thankfully the abundance of trees hid the majority of scenery below without obscuring the scenery beyond.

We stopped a couple of times to explore the adjacent forest and as Loretta is a frequent visitor with her camera she showed us some well hidden gems of picturesque rocks, waterfalls and riverlets.
Eventually we topped the peak and arrived at the lookout area which has stunning views of the Blue Ridge Mountains surrounding us.

We were told that the sunsets were spectacular and the distant mountains would present their famous blues in abundance with the fading light and be backlit by the sunset.

We had to wait about an hour for sunset but it was well worth it and as promised nature performed perfectly with the scene as promised. The event happened quickly and within about ten to fifteen minutes it was all over but engraved upon our memories and into our memory cards!


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