to the observation deck

10.10.23 ~ start of Summit Tower Trail
Mount Mitchell State Park, Burnsville, North Carolina

It was a steep quarter-mile trek from the parking lot to the summit and observation deck, but the view at the top of Mount Mitchell was well worth it!

Elisha Mitchell (August 19, 1793 – June 27, 1857) was an American educator, geologist and Presbyterian minister. His geological studies led to the identification of North Carolina’s Mount Mitchell as the highest peak in the United States east of the Mississippi River. … Elisha Mitchell fell to his death at nearby Mitchell Falls in 1857, having returned to verify his earlier measurements…
~ Wikipedia

looking up from along the trail
one of the rest stops Tim made good use of
a view from along the trail
I believe these are other mountains in the Black Mountains range

After reaching the summit we went up a ramp to the observation deck. From there we had an impressive 360-degree view of forests, mountains and clouds, as far as the eyes could see.

On the way back down I started noticing the many kinds of lichens growing on the trees and the wooden fences.

Sometime back in the 1980s we took our kids on the Cog Railway up Mount Washington in New Hampshire. All this time I thought it was the highest mountain on the east coast, until moving to North Carolina and reading about Mount Mitchell, which is 396 feet higher!

Mount Washington, in New Hampshire, is the highest peak in the Northeastern United States at 6,288.2 ft (1,916.6 m) and the most topographically prominent mountain east of the Mississippi River.
~ Wikipedia

I can see what is meant by Mount Washington being the most topographically prominent mountain, though. Mount Mitchell is surrounded by other peaks in the Black Mountains range, which has 12 summits higher than Mount Washington’s.

I had another treat waiting for me as we headed back down the trail.

21 thoughts on “to the observation deck”

  1. Interesting photos and now I know about Mt. Mitchell’s significance. That seems like a bit of valuable trivia.

    I love your new name for your blog, btw, but I find that when I see it pop up in my Feedly account, I have a moment wherein I forget it’s you. Weird how my mind works [or doesn’t I suppose].

    1. Finding out the facts about Mt. Mitchell was an eye-opening experience for me. Thanks for liking my blog’s new name. With hindsight I’m questioning if I should have changed it because I seem to have lost some of my readers along the way, perhaps because they don’t recognize it in whatever feeds they use.

      1. That’s a bummer. The new name is perfect considering where you are now. People are fickle, the ways in which we follow blogs are screwy, blogging is a bit of a guessing game no matter what you do.

        1. It’s true, sometimes there seems to be no rhyme or reason to how readers come and go. There are some blogs I loved that suddenly stopped posting with no explanation. Likewise, some readers just vanish, too.

          1. You’re right. I wonder about readers who just drop me. Did I say something to upset them or am I so optional I’ve been forgotten? Either way, I wish them well… not paying attention to me. 😉

          2. I wonder about the same things, Ally. Or worry that they’ve fallen seriously ill or died. But that seems to be the way of things in the blogosphere so we can only hope for the best and carry on. 😉

          3. I found your conversation with Ally interesting. I recently started using WordPress to manage my blogs feed as a reader. I purposely did not add your site to WordPress manager because I didn’t want to loose you, Barbara. So I have been reading / commenting on your blog through my email. My previous comment on this post went from my email.

            I find the WordPress manager confusing. It was easier for me to read and comment from my email. It has taken me a while to get more familiar with WordPress. After reading your conversation with Ally I decided it was time to add your blog to my WordPress manager. This comment I am sending through WordPress.

            I started reading blogs in 2010 when I reach 50 years old. My first blogger I followed for over a decade did age along with me. And yes, it’s true, sometimes both bloggers and readers do become ill and circumstances no longer allow them the energy to continue blogging or reading to comment. I know that I miss her, my first blogger friend. I’ve learned that it’s part of the nature of blogging because most bloggers do not cross that line of exchanging email addresses to keep in touch outside the blogosphere. It is usually, not always, a one side give of an email address from the the reader to the blogger.

            I also read Ally Bean. However, I don’t always comment. Sometimes I do. I absolutely love her wit!

          4. I generally use email notifications to follow other blogs because I like reading blogs on the actual webpage with all the backgrounds, fonts and sidebars completely visible. Reading blogs on the manager/reader doesn’t reveal the blogger’s personality with its uniform font, picture size and lack of backgrounds. No magic there!

            The only time I hop over to the manager/reader is when WordPress gets buggy and won’t let me comment on a blog. Then I can usually comment from the manager/reader. Not sure why that is but its a work-around when that happens…

            I sympathize with you missing your first blogging friend! I’ve instructed my husband and my son to let my readers know if I become too ill to continue blogging or if I should die suddenly. It would save them from wondering.

            I love Ally’s sense of humor, too. Especially because I’m such a terribly serious person and need to remember that life can be full of irony and amusing situations. That’s also what I appreciate most about my fun-loving (and pun-loving) husband. 🙂

          5. I did not know that WP manager would uniform the look and feel. That is a bit sad to loose personal creativity. Your reply will have me hopping to the websites more!

  2. Snow? What was the treat, Barbara? I’m hanging on to hope!

    I loved seeing the shades of color in the distant mountains. Theses photographers remind me of so many hikes of mine during my Colorado days. I’m smelling the pines!

    Looks like you all would enjoy this trail as well as the drive to and from this magnificent place.

    1. No snow, TD, it was smelling the firs and spruces! I’ve often wondered what it would be like hiking in Colorado or the Pacific Northwest — the pictures I’ve seen of the forests and mountains look so inviting. We saw many families that day enjoying the views and it brought back memories of being young parents exploring the world with the little ones.

      1. Ahhhh. Purposeful sniffing, I see! 😉
        You could smell the firs and spruces!! 😃

        I love that you included the YOU ARE HERE sign. It’s incredible to see all those peaks and know the elevations and you were on the top of your world that day!! Very cool. 😎

        1. Oh yes, and I thought of you, TD, while I was doing all that purposeful sniffing. 😉 I was happy to find that sign, too, which helped me get my bearings. Being so high up was exhilarating and I enjoyed every minute of it. Our ears did a lot of popping as we went up and down in elevation that day. 🙂

  3. Well your photos that I was anticipating didn’t disappoint Barbara. Those are some interesting factoids you shared with us and that’s quite the hike, but well worth it for the view. I enjoyed seeing the mist in the mountains so I can see how it would be chilly up there. What a difference from the humidity you’ve been enduring since your arrival in NC in June. I’m thinking the lichens were waiting there for you to take a photo of them.

    1. I’m so happy you enjoyed the pictures, Linda. I wish we had made note of the temperature up there on the summit. Tim was comfortable with long pants and his new fall jacket but I was bundled up in my sweater, winter jacket and gloves. Kind of wished I had added thermal leggings under my jeans. 😉 But it was a nice change. The misty conditions and abundance of lichens gave the whole experience an enchanted, mystical feel.

      1. Good thing you didn’t get rid of your thermal leggings or heavy clothing you wore for walking in Connecticut. Last weekend I went to Heritage Park to take pics of the gourds and harvest decor and froze – I knew it was cold, but it didn’t seem like it would be THAT cold. I was there about 45-minutes and the marquis said 42 degrees when I left. I just saw a picture today on the Wildlife Refuge site of “gold” lichen.

        1. How quickly we go from sweltering to freezing! One website says there are at least 18,000 species of lichens, possibly as many as 250,000 — amazing! There is so much left to discover on this beautiful planet of ours, if we don’t destroy it first. Will have to keep an eye open for some golden lichen around here.

          1. Yes, this weather is so abnormal now. I had no idea there were that many types of lichens – hope you find the golden lichen that look like they were sprinkled with gold dust. 🙂

          2. You know, I think I may have seen gold dust lichen in the past, but I think it may have been on glacial erratics and/or stone posts near the beach. It’s a pretty fuzzy memory. Nothing I ever took a picture of, though.

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