Oh my, oh my, blogging from Fork Ridge Overlook just off the Blue Ridge Parkway- how novel!
So far the hike has been awesome. What I just posted below was my journal entry from the first night. It's been a bit more challenging than expected to get an internet connection on a nightly basis. But as you can see I've hit a "connected" spot. I am now out of the Smokies and not too far from Waynesville, so this helps.
The plants I have seen has been too many to list, at least in this post, as I am watching my battery carefully. But let's just say its been a challenge simply to get down the trail with stopping to see so many plants. My hiking style has been forced to change. To give you a general idea, some I've seen the most of have been, Wake Robin Trillium, Large Flowering Trillium, Creeping Bluets, Carolina Spring Beauty, Smilax spp, Marsh Violet, Northern White Violet, Yellow Birch, Witch Hazel, Wild Geranium, Blue Cohosh, Indian Cucumber, and Pedicularis, just to name a few. Some of the more unusual ones, which I honestly don't know at this point if they have any medicinal and/or edible qualities, are Indian Paintbrush, White Miami Mist, and One-flowered Cancer root.
The last couple of days I have been mostly on the parkway and so have been passing lots of our more common "weedy" plants- dandelion, common plantain, common fleabane, however also pin cherry, yellow birch, tulip tree, willow, and sassafras trees. Oh and of course, lots of Carolina Hemlock and Red Spruce.
As soon as I am graced with a power outlet, I promise to upload lots of pics- considering I've already taken over 200 (!) The plants are overwelming, the scenery beautiful, and hike, well a butt-kicker, but that is to be expected. Tonight I am grateful to have just missed a storm, found some water, and a place to put my tent. Nice to know you're all out there!
Oh, and if you can believe it, I ran into one of my favorite Filo regulars just yesterday, while I was nearing the parking lot at the Oconaluftee Visitor Center...so Carol, if you're reading this, it was a pleasure to see a familiar face! Also, I'd like to tell the Allen family what a pleasure it was to meet them and chat some- I'm appreciating my human interactions out here- a whole lot less on people on this trail than on the AT. When I'm on trail, I don't see a soul.
Nice to know I have folks hiking virtually with me :) Pics to come soon!