October Color 2018

Here’s the transcript of the journal that I keep for my photography trips. I usually write at the end of each day on these trips. They usually wind up being a mix of photography & travel advice to myself for future trips.

Tuesday 10/23/2018

I was going to come to Linville Gorge over the weekend, but due to a bad weather forecast I came early. Too early for good color. It’s REALLY late this year.

I drove in through Johnson City. It feels longer, but it’s actually 30 minutes shorter. I hiked Hawksbill first. It’s about the same as Table Rock, but the views aren’t as good. I did get a good view of Table Rock from here though. The trail head for this hike is at the second parking spot on the road to Table Rock. The first parking area is for Sitting Bear – plan on doing that next time.

View from Hawksbill Mountain

I got a few shots that I hope turn out. Rock ledges over the gorge. Left there & headed to Table Rock. The road was pretty bad in spots – glad I have a 4WD. Parked and headed up to the top. The sunset was OK and the moon rise was less than I expected. May need it to be darker for the moon to shine more.

Set up camp next to a group of climbers. Ezra, Todd, Denmark, & Jody. Nice folks – mostly older than me. Cooked chicken alfredo for dinner and then stopped by the campfire with the climbers. Learned a lot about climbing.

In the tent @ 10:30 – sunrise is @ 7:41. Getting up at 6:30 – probably make coffee first. Getting cold tonight.

Wednesday 10/24/2018

Up at 6:40 – not too cold. Got the camera set up on a ridge south of the campground. Sunrise was mostly a red orange color. Moon set across the gorge as well.

Coffee (instant) and oatmeal for breakfast. Need to try pour-over cofee next time. Maybe bullet coffee for breakfast – tip from Jody.

Left & went south to Linville Falls. Good color near the bridge at the visitor’s center and also at the BRP bridge at the picnic area. Stopped at the sunset spot and Chestoa View to measure the view angle for later. Met a couple that had hiked the Chestoa View trail – need to try that next time.

Blue Ridge Parkway bridge over Linville River

Now at Crabtree Falls to see what I can see. Eating a sandwich hand listening to Mermaid Avenue by Billy Bragg & Wilco.

The hike down and back wasn’t bad. Really need a wider angle for the falls. Would be GREAT with more fall color. Also stopped at Crabtree Falls picnic area – killer place to kick back for a bit.

Crabtree Falls

Got back to camp and climbed Table Rock one last time. The sun set behind Mt. Mitchell again. Got a few shots.

Sunset over Mt Mitchell from Table Rock

The moon came up about 20 minutes later – blood red. Got several shots with the release and timing by hand. Should have stuck around a little longer. Helped Mike & Cindy hike back down in the dark.

Moon rise from Table Rock

More campfire storied with Mark & others. Called it a night.

Thursday 10/35/2018

Up at 6:30 for sunrise. Skipped breakfast to get there earlier. Had great red color long before sunrise. Pretty sure I could see the Charlotte skyline.

Charlotte at sunrise from near Table Rock

Caught up with 3 climbers headed to the amphitheater, but lost them when they went over the edge. Hung out for a while on a ridge. Colors are coming out more, but it’s getting really cloudy. Shot a roll of B&W here.

Looking down Linville Gorge from the Amphitheater

On the way back, found a guy “walking” across a slackline! Burned a roll on him. 600 ft line across to the chimneys. Apparently this slackline group comes out every October – shows up unannounced. Now back at camp eating lunch. Then packing up and heading out.

Slackline to the chimneys
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