Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Southwest Virginia

Another of my favorite spots is the area in southwest Virginia. Carole and I used to go there periodically because it's close to where her land is located at the North Carolina/Tennessee border. The mountains there are relatively high so there's a great diversity in forest type. Plus, there are many streams and lots of waterfalls.

The place is also where a lot of cool towns have been built. One of the nicest is Damascus, Virginia, often referred to as "the friendliest town on the Appalachian Trail". It deserves the title, in my experience.

There is so much to do and see in this compact vicinity that even though Carole and I have been visiting it extensively for years, we feel that we've barely scratched the surface.

Backbone Rock, just across the Tennessee line near Damascus. Often called the world's shortest tunnel.

Just below the summit of Whitetop Mountain, the second highest peak in Virginia.

Typical scenery in southwest Virginia.

Wetlands at Beartree Recreation Area.

Waterfall along one of the highways near Damascus.

As I was crouched on a rock to take the waterfall photo, I looked down to see this fellow slithering under me.


MarkGelbart said...

Whitetop Mountains looks like an excellent example of a grassy bald.

Looks like there's even fewer trees here than Roan Mountain.

James Robert Smith said...

Yes, Whitetop has an enormous grassy bald. The actual tip of the summit has a series of towers--microwave and such and is capped with a forest of Red spruce trees. But the ridge leading down to Buzzard Rock (which you can see behind me) is nothing but grass interspersed with brambles (which are slowly encroaching on the meadow).

Roan has more extensive grassy balds, but the summit of Roan has more trees than that of Whitetop.

(Several years ago there was a proposal to introduce bison to Roan, but I doubt it will ever happen.)