Since I'll be laid up for quite a while due to the knee surgery, I'll relive a few past hikes here. I'll be depressed until I can get out into the forests again.
One Spring day we headed up a long climb from Curtis Creek to the summit of Green Knob, an outlying peak of the Black Mountains. Green Knob was once a manned lookout location. The rangers have long abandoned the tower, but the structure is still there. Since it's close to road access, it has suffered some vandalism. Those who enjoy destroying are also notoriously stupid and lazy, therefor they only get to practice their barbaric violence on things that are easy to walk to.
The views from the tower are phenomenal. One of the single best places to stand and see the main bulk of the Black Mountains and most of its high peaks. The day we were there the wind was strong and it was pretty cold, so we all took refuge in the cab of the tower where we could get out of the weather for a bit. Across the gulf we could see the Black Mountains all covered in a bank of dark clouds. Occasionally the clouds would lift--just a bit--and we could see that the highest peaks, all of the land above 5200 feet or so, was frozen solid in rime ice.
Click on this panorama to embiggen. One of the best views I ever caught of the mighty Black Mountains of North Carolina.