First Day of Summer at Roan Mountain
Welcoming Summer By Climbing Our Favorite Mountain
Summer is officially here! We always welcome Summer in by getting out and this year was no different. T’s favorite place to hike is Roan Mountain. He loves the lower trails but climbing to the Balds offers a sense of peace and accomplishment that it is hard to find elsewhere. The climb is gorgeous and rewarding in views and flora. This year we invited my Mom to join us in climbing a mountain. We all thoroughly enjoyed the day!
We started at Carver’s Gap and couldn’t wait to get into the forest that starts the trail. The trees are thick here and I love to go right after the rain because their trunks are black like ink and the mica deposits sparkle along the path. This trip the trees were dry but the journey through them was still magical.
Once we emerged from the forest we discovered several people gathered around what was being called a very rare flower. It was absolutely beautiful and we found several of them at different elevations as we made our way to the Balds. It turned out it was called a Rare Gray’s Lily. They bloom in late June so we were very blessed to catch them! So beautiful!
As we continued to climb T was drawn to several small groves of trees. We enjoyed the cooler air in those before moving on to inspect some beautiful orange and yellow azaleas! We were not the only ones enamored by these blooms!
As we continued to climb T could no longer contain himself and he took off to run through the high grass, feeling free!
The higher we climbed the more expansive the views and soon the mountains were surrounding us in waves. It was breathtaking!
We had just missed the Rhododendron Festival and heavy rains and high winds had swept most of the blooms away! Some remnants still clung to crooked branches, but T didn’t mind their absence.
T has the best eye and he also discovered what some we were sure was some form of litter. It was an orange colored circle tucked deep under a giant rock. T refuses to leave any litter on any mountain so he took a stick and gently removed it. Imagine our surprise when he pulled it out and we watched it unfold into this orange lizard. It turned out to be an eastern newt and isn’t it adorable?
At last, we reached the peak and the view was gorgeous and felt like victory itself. The last part of this climb is the hardest but so worth it.
We were blessed to run into the President and Treasurer of Friends of Roan Mountain and have an opportunity to thank them for all that they do. We also ran across several crews restoring the trails and removing some of the invasive plants. Finally, at the top, we ran into a couple who had encountered a dog that had apparently escaped its owners long ago. It had been attacked by an animal and lost a lot of weight but they were able to make a lead out of a jacket and bring it to the bottom of the mountain so that it could be brought to a vet for medical attention. Several other hikers pitched in to offer some financial assistance for that to be taken care of. I love the hearts of hikers!
Roan Mountain always delivers a beautiful hike. Check out some of other visits:
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