|Standing atop misty Mount Mitchell: elevation 6684 feet|
|A view of the mountains en route to Mt. Mitchell|
I know my last post was brief and so I'd quickly like to run through where I have hiked since I left the little mountain town of Boone. Beginning on trail along the parkway, I hiked up to Moses Cone State Park, grazed the edge of Rich Mountain, then descended into the valley, meandering along the edges, fording, sloshing, and splashing through over a dozen creeks and a handful of rivers...
|a foggy morning on the creek|
|A view from above the Linville Gorge|
|Quite the find atop The Pinnacle on a hot sunny day|
|Descending from the mountains...Asheville laid just below these clouds|
|Turk's Cap Lily (Lilium superbum)|
|Basil Balm (Monarda clinopodia) - the individual florets are edible with a subtle minty flavor|
|Green-Headed Coneflower aka Sochan (Rudbekia laciniata) - the greens of which are edible, however traditionally require a couple changes of water to prepare.|
Back in the abundant Mountain region, I feasted upon Common Wood Sorrel (Oxalis montana), Wood Nettle (Laportea canadense), Stonecrop (Sedum ternatum), Virginia Waterleaf (Hydrophyllum virginianum), various species of Violet leaves (Viola spp.), admired the Ramps (Allium tricoccum) that I wished I could have caught in leaf, and chewed on Birch twigs to freshen the breath...
|A whole wheat pita with Cabot cheddar cheese, kalamata olives (I'm lovin' those new individual travels packets!) and a pile of Wood Sorrel (Oxalis spp.)|
|Virginia Waterleaf (Hydrophyllum virginianum)|
And then once in Asheville...look at what I found sitting on the shelf amongst some of my most treasured books in one of my favorite bookstores, Malaprops....
|A Guide to the Edible and Medicinal Plants of the Mountains to Sea Trail - found at Malaprops Bookstore - I must say it felt good to see it shelved with some of my favorites, such as Botany in a Day and Wildflowers and Plant Communities|
Having once lived here in Asheville, and for nearly 10 years, it is always a thrill to hike into town. I've now been here since Thursday morning enjoying the company of amazing friends - thank you to Rachel for providing the home base and the sweet welcoming, and Amanda for joining me on my rounds down in Asheville and for hooking me up with the Black Mountain Farmer's Market. Thank you to ALL my ladies - Robin, Jodi and Noah (I know, not a lady but I'm including you here), Raeleen, Addy and Alex - I had too much fun to go through ALL the good stuff - however I must say dancing to ol' skool hip hop under the full moon and a yoga class with long time yoga teacher, Sierra, were among the highlights! Thank you to Maria at Filo and Bob at Long Time Sun Yoga and Wellness for hosting me and also for simply being awesome. And thank you to EVERYONE that attended my events. Asheville was a hit! And I am quite pleased to say that I am quite nearly sold out of books...however, not to worry there is a second printing on the way!
|Kori and Risi, two of my beloved yoga students I had the pleasure of seeing again, and myself while on an impromptu plant walk around the grounds of Long Time Sun Yoga and Wellness on Charlotte Highway in Fairview|
Thank you to Asheville for peanut butter tofu and kale, spicy Indian food, salad by the pound, dark microbrews, dark bars full of people dancing, friendly day hikers on the trail, and for being the funky mountain town that you are!
And now...I kid you not...I have 10 DAYS LEFT TO GO until I reach my final summit atop Clingman's Dome. I am going to savor every sweet step (well, at least the ones that don't hurt). I will be taking the River Valley Route which is a one of two new routes in this section. This will be a combination of roads and trail, as I continue my journey through the mountains of Blue Ridge Parkway, then into the little towns of Sylva and Dillsboro, and finally into the wilderness of Great Smokies.
I should be able to get at least one more post in before completion, as I will be stopping in one of these small towns along the way to resupply and also very likely do a book event. Whoop, whoop! Here I come!