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Home > Vacation Photos > North Carolina - June 2003

In Search of Rhododendrons


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I really, really needed to get away for a while. I had a grueling May and it was starting to get hot in Florida. I knew where to go. The mountains beckoned. Here are some pictures from my quest for spring blooming rhododendrons. I got there a little late but nevertheless did some hiking in places like Craggy Gardens, Mount Mitchell, and Roan Mountain (where I finally found the blooming rhododendrons!).

24 files, last one added on Aug 02, 2004
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Random files - North Carolina - June 2003
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Hiking Trail at Craggy Gardens190 viewsCraggy Gardens is right off the Blue Ridge Parkway. Aside from being a popular picnic area with a huge parking lot, it has a hiking trail to a summit covered in rhododendrons. When they are blooming, the whole summit area is pink. (But not this time. I was too late.)
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Rough Hewn Colums and Beams121 viewsThe shelter at the top of Craggy Gardens.
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Ohio Couple117 viewsI met these two nice people at the top of Craggy Gardens. They were looking for rhododendrons, too. They had done a lot of hiking, as is evident from the stickers on the staff of the male member of the duo. He suggested that I check out Roan Mountain, which is at a higher altitude such that the rhododendrons would bloom later. Good idea.
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Mount Mitchell State Park139 viewsThe next day, I decided to skip the rhododendron hunt and do one of my favorite hikes: the Deep Gap Trail from the summit of Mount Mitchell to Mount Craig to Big Tom, and then down to the Buncombe Horse Range Trail 1000 feet below, and then, of course, back to the Mount Mitchell Summit.
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High Altitude Bee123 viewsI found this fuzzy little critter at the top of Mt. Craig (6,663 feet). He's a little dizzy from the altitude, as you can see. That's not a flower he landed on!
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Black Mountain Summits145 viewsAnother name for the Deep Gap Trail is the Black Mountain Summit Trail. The reasons are obvious. This is a view from Big Tom Mountain looking north at some of the other peaks.
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Rhododendrons, Finally!206 viewsHere, finally, at Roan Mountain, a bumblebee and I find some rhododendrons for our mutual enjoyment.
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Abandoned Building193 viewsHaving finally found my rhododendrons, I could relax and find miscellaneous photo-ops. I liked the looks of this abandoned building.

Last additions - North Carolina - June 2003
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The Obligatory Poison Ivy Picture227 viewsThis, from a city park in the north end of Asheville, North Carolina.Aug 02, 2004
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Abandoned Building193 viewsHaving finally found my rhododendrons, I could relax and find miscellaneous photo-ops. I liked the looks of this abandoned building.Aug 02, 2004
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Shady Path on Roan Mountain235 viewsA foggy day at the summit created this beautiful, misty view of one of the accessible trails through the woods and to the rhododendron gardens at Roan MountainAug 02, 2004
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Columbine183 viewsThis is a little different from the red and yellow columbines I've seen, but I guessed it was still a columbine by the leaf shape and the flower configuration. Somebody please correct me if I'm wrong.Aug 02, 2004
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Roan Mountain Scene187 viewsSo, as directed by the folks at Craggy Gardens, I went to Roan Mountain, which is on the Tennessee/North Carolina border, in search of rhododendrons. The first thing I spotted was in the parking lot, and here it is. The girl who got out of this car looked like she fit perfectly.Aug 02, 2004
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A Close-up While I'm Here174 viewsTook me long enough to find some rhododendrons, so I wanted to have some pictures.Aug 02, 2004
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Old Mitchell Trail169 viewsAfter hiking a few miles on the Buncombe Horse Range Trail, I intersected with the Old Mitchell Trail at Commissary Ridge, which would lead me back to the summit of Mount Mitchell. One mile (straight up).Aug 02, 2004
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Rhododendrons, Finally!206 viewsHere, finally, at Roan Mountain, a bumblebee and I find some rhododendrons for our mutual enjoyment.Aug 02, 2004