Maggie Valley, North Carolina, USA by Joshua Moore

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Picture Story

Quarantine has been pretty rough, and they just lifted all of the restrictions for travel in Tennessee and North Carolina. My wife and I did work through quarantine, however we just went to work and to the grocery store for essentials. Usually I am going somewhere all of the time, taking pictures here and there through out our region. But at this point, I really hadn't been out but one other time, and that was just briefly. I was aching to get out, so as my wife left for her night shift in the ER, I hit the road.

I was determined to take in a sunset somewhere, and that somewhere was the Blue Ridge Parkway in Western North Carolina. I am a volunteer photographer for the National Park Service, and one of the parks I cover is the Blue Ridge Parkway. I was starting to feel like a huge let down (Even though I know I wasn't) because of the lack of content I usually provide for them to promote the park. I was dead set on making it for a sunset, it's easy, but I didn't leave until 7 p.m., and I kind of live 2.5 hours from where I wanted to do the sunset.

With a full tank of gas, and a fairly good amount of luck on my side (despite an exploding cola while driving), I managed to make it right as the sun started to set. I had drove through a thunderstorm, which had me worried if I would even get a sunset and was reviewing all of the overlooks in my head for the best possible location. As luck may have it, I ended up at an overlook I had never felt the need to stop at before. As I drove along the Parkway, I was watching the clouds. I had thought I might end up at the Cowee Mountain Overlook, but something new was needed whether I knew it or not. As I came to the Roy Taylor Overlook, I slammed my brakes and pulled into parking area. I knew this was the spot.

Take in mind I have drove by this spot a hundred times before, and it never appealed to me, but for some reason, the light called to me here. This was where I was supposed to be. I was alone, with one of the most needed views my soul was aching for, with the most delicate light rolling around the ridge tops. The only thing that would of made it better, was if my wife was there with me. I captured a bunch of stunning images, some great panoramic images, but this one vertical image holds a special place in my large library of images. The thrill of seeing something so beautiful, after being away for what seemed like forever was just overwhelming. I believe it is just the calming nature of this image coupled with majestic light and soft tones. I love to photograph layers, our region is full of beautiful mountains that seem to never end, to always go on kind of like life does, and it was refreshing.

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