Vacationing in the mountains (Part 3)

Posted by erin matthews on

Due to weird weather conditions, our outdoor activities were up in the air for the second half of our trip. We only managed to get out to the Great Smoky Mountains once. It was kind of late in the evening, so we just had time to walk by the river that runs near the Oconaluftee Visitor Center.

smoky mountains

While we were walking, we stumbled upon a herd of elk! There was one elk eating leaves on our side of the bank and there were several others cooling off in the river. 

elk river

elk smoky mountains

elk great smoky mountains

(Great Smoky Mountains)

On another hot day, we decided to climb to the top of Richland Balsam Mountain to escape the heat. The summit is among the 20 highest in the Blue Ridge Mountains. This trail is one of my absolute favorites because it's isolated, quiet and only moderately difficult. 

blue ridge parkway richland balsam

brp richland balsam mountain

(Richland Balsam and highest elevation on the BRP)

Mr. Panda and I had planned on going to the Beaver Lake Bird Sanctuary a couple of times, but we had to make do with a single trip. We walked around the entire lake, which we had never done before. I got photos of cedar waxwings, a kingfisher and some birds that I couldn't identify. All of those photos were taken with my Pentax, so I still have to sort through them. [Any images that you've seen in my North Carolina blogs have been from my phone.] 

pink roses

beaver lake

beaver lake asheville

(Beaver Lake Bird Sanctuary -- Asheville)

I also brought some of my embroidery pieces on the trip. :) These are available in the store.

red rose hand embroidery

hammerhead shark hand embroidery

(My embroideries @ Lake Junaluska)

And that wraps this segment. I'll sort through my photos and make a blog post about some of the birds that we saw in North Carolina and I'll also be making a blog post about the unfortunate parts of our trip. See you next Monday!


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