Thursday, June 28, 2012

RV Trip To Roan Mountain – The Mountain

This is the trip post I've been anxiously awaiting putting up, but I like to keep them in order so waiting was required.

When we got back to the campground after the second day in Blowing Rock for the power shoppers, we got some fresh drinks and headed up the 8 mile grade to the top of 6300’ Roan Mountain to check out the rhododendron gardens.  While I’d heard of Roan Mtn. and it’s rhododendrons for at least 35 years, I was totally unprepared for what we found as we got to the top on a clear 65* afternoon – it was 74* down at the campground.

RoanMountain is home to the largest native growth of rhodys in the country and while trees have started crowding some of them out or hiding them, the maintained garden area is stunning.   I was having trouble with the sun and shadows and some of my shots are washed out.

I was not as surprised that the plants were beautiful as I was by the gardens area complete with concrete paths and lots of picnic tables nestled throughout the gardens. 

Bev saw a man taking some close-up bloom shots and suggested I do the same.  I first shot this lighter colored one.

Then I moved over to a darker one.

And while I was shooting, this little guy showed up in the view finder complete with pollen covered legs and back.  I didn’t have to move or do anything but snap another shot - be sure to blow it up.

These are shots from the site of the former Cloudland Hotel which was split by the TN/NC border.

Bev and I had made a day trip to the mountaintop last Sep. which made us want to come back at this time) and here is a comparison shot on the same path – I’m sure you can figure out which is which.

The trip up the mountain finished off a pretty busy day.

All photos can be enlarged by clicking on them (AND THESE SHOULD BE).

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by Almost Heaven South.

One year ago: How To Eat This Meal

Two years ago:  Bevs Early Summer Garden



  1. So much natural beauty! The photos are gorgeous.

  2. Absolutely gorgeous pictures, Larry!

  3. AHH-HA! That's the bush in my neighbor's yard. Every year when it blooms I ask him what it is. He has no idea. (this is Carne Asada Miguel neighbor) I've heard they don't grow here, because of our Winters, so we don't' see them. Guess this one seems to have survived. Beautiful photos Larry, what a great place. Would love to visit. When we move in, you'll have to drive us up there. ;-)

  4. AWESOME... THAT is something we would LOVE to see. Reminds me of Craggy Gardens on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Asheville... They have the gorgeous Rhodies like that also. We loved walking UNDER the Rhodies... NEAT...

    Thanks for sharing.. We'd love to get to Roan Mtn. sometime.

  5. Some beautiful shots you got. We don't see too much flowers like that here in Florida. So good to see.

  6. Beautiful sky, and beautiful rhodos. And of course, your beautiful wife among them. Must have been a great day, Larry.

  7. Very impressive Larry. Your photos tell it all beautifully. I can understand why you & Bev were excited about this trip to Roan Mountain.

    Rhododendrons are some of our favorites in the mountains. Here they thrive and grow wild near water, but we also have some very healthy ones in our garden.

  8. The rhododendron are absolutely gorgeous. I have a feeling that we're going to be putting Roan Mountain on our list of places to visit.

  9. Larry, Nice photos! We've lived here in East Tennessee through 3 rododendron seasons now and we have yet to get down the timing so that we actually get to see them in person instead of someone else's photos. Maybe next year! Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

  10. This reminds me of the photos my mom has taken as my dad and she have traipsed through these same areas.


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