Thursday, December 06, 2018


I like this old photo because of the contrasts I saw and heard here at this spot. This was taken from near the summit of Sams Knob, one of North Carolina's 6000-foot peaks. I took this image on the way back from an overnight backpacking trip into the Middle Prong Wilderness. The day I passed through headed to my campsite, the large empty meadow below had been packed with dozens of loud hippies walking around, banging on leather drums, blowing on flutes, and generally making a complete nuisance of themselves while camped all over the field and in the verges of the forest. None of them, I was happy to note, were on the top of the mountain where I went to take in the views. I intentionally did not take any photos of the meadow packed with humans, but later I wished that I had, just for the contrast.

On the way back to my truck (parked on the ridge along the road you can see), I returned to the top to take in the view. I can never resist the hike to the top of that mountain. Looking down I could spot no one else (it was a Monday and the multitudes who had filled the meadow on the weekend were gone back to Asheville). Best of all, the place was silent. Completely quiet. I couldn't hear a single human voice, no flutes piping away, and no damned annoying drums. Just the wind and some bird song.

At any rate, I always think of the contrast when I look at this old photo. What a huge difference a couple of days can make.

The meadow devoid of humans and noise.