I have to say, I truly enjoyed my Fathers Day weekend. You see, I am a step father to two awesome kids, Abbey and Ethan and this year the gift was a full day on the Blue Ridge Parkway. This trip was a great escape, no worries, no having to be somewhere, just a day out on the road with no schedule.
Our day started around noon, we took our time getting up and I was in no hurry, the light wasn't looking so good. We ended up hitting the road about 2 p.m. and stopped in at Taco Bell in Erwin, TN before heading down to Asheville, N.C. to jump on the Parkway. After getting on the Parkway we began to notice all of the storm clouds rolling in, you could see lightening in the distance. There were spots were you could see walls of rain moving through the valley as well. We ended up at the Looking Glass Rock Overlook and as soon as we pulled in I saw a lightening streak go across the top of Looking Glass Rock. I was excited, I thought I might be able to capture a streak, so I pulled my gear out and set up here. I waited here for a while, nothing happened and the storm started to break apart. I was a little bummed that it quit lightening, but you win some and loose some and I was ready to move on.
We took our time along the Parkway, I didn't see anything that really caught my eye, but I was happy to be out and enjoying the views. We eventually made our way to the Cowee Mountain Overlook, I liked the "blue hue" in the mountains here and took a nice shot of the layers of mountains. The day was starting to get late and we had been enjoying a lot of the views, but my wife and I were getting hungry, we decided to head on down to Cherokee, N.C. and grab something quick at Wendy's. That was a mistake, they were very unorganized and I have to say it was almost comical. For example, a lady that went through the drive came in and asked to speak to a manger. They had packed her baked potato in the bag and thrown the rest of the food on top it. It was not in a container, just setting at the bottom of the bag. When she opened the bag the potato was stuck to her sandwich. I about lost it, it was too funny. They left a lot of our food out and I had go stand back in line with my receipt. By the time we got everything I was ready to go, I had been in this mess far too long and my wife couldn't agree more.
We left Wendy's and were headed back to the parkway. I was wanting to do a sunset at Waterrock Knob, but when we arrived we couldn't find a parking place. We ended up going down to a little known overlook called Woolyback. He had the same view as Waterrock Knob, just without any other people and I was ok with that. My wife was excited to photograph the sunset as well, she had brought her camera in hopes of getting a good layers shot, which she did. My wife took some really great shots and had some really nice sunburst shots as well.
The sun started to set and the valley began to fill with the most beautiful golden light and the sky looked as if someone had set it on fire. I felt so lucky to be able to witness this. You might say it's just a sunset there's always going to be another one, but your never guaranteed that, so I enjoy each one to the fullest. After the sun went down behind the mountains, the sky turned pink and the mountains had the most beautiful blue/purple hues going on. We ended up staying here for about an hour and a half. We decided to head back toward Asheville, N.C. instead of just jumping off at a junction. I was hoping the sky would clear up so I could get a Milkyway shot, but it didn't. I did stop by the Looking Glass overlook one more time and took a shot here, mostly because I just wanted to take a picture before heading home.
After grabbing that shot at Looking Glass Rock I packed up and went on home, we got back at around 12:30 a.m. We were tired for sure, but it was one of the best days and not just for the photographs. I enjoyed being out with my family and I enjoyed the drive. It was the perfect gift and was just what I needed.
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