Friday, October 2, 2015

October 1, 2015 - BRP South of US276 to the Smokies and up to Clingmans Dome

Cindy and I decided to hop on the Blue Ridge Parkway today and head south towards the Smokies to check out the color situation.  The forecast called for rain again and we figured we would run into fog also. We took our usual route up to the Parkway which is up 276 from Brevard. The color has picked up along 276, but is still spotty with most of the color being yellow. There were more reds and maroons mixed in around the Pink Beds area, but that area has a lot of the early turners like sourwoods, dogwoods, and I think some species of gum.

Sourwood with tassels

Once we got close to the Parkway, the fog thickened and we were in and out of it the rest of the day. We still had some views and could see that the color has intensified a bit along the Parkway, but is still mostly green off of the Parkway up to Graveyard Fields. We couldn't see much today, but when I drove by yesterday the color was really popping with a lot of peak trees, but still some that haven't turned. There's a picture of Second Falls in my last post if you missed it. We pulled over today at the (unofficial) Second Falls overlook and could see that the waterfall was till very full, but I didn't bother with a picture since the fog was moving in and out so fast.

Our next stop was one of the overlooks on the left after crossing the exit for NC215. There were some colorful trees along the Parkway, but really not much happening down below - and there shouldn't be in early October.

The rest of the way along the Parkway to the Smokies was about the same. Some nice pre-peak color along the road in the higher elevations, but not much in the lower elevations. We stopped at Waterrock Knob for a break and the views from there weren't showing much color either.  Once in the Smokies we decided to head up to Clingmans Dome to see what was what in that area. There was barely any color change at all all along US441 until we got really close to Newfound Gap. We decided to head into the Tennessee side on 441 to the first few overlooks for a look, but the fog got us and we saw nothing. I was expecting some yellows among the evergreens. We turned around and headed up Clingmans Dome Rd and were seeing some nice yellows through the fog along the road. Once we got to the parking area, the fog thickened and it started raining. On the way back down to 441, we got some clearing and pulled over to get a few shots before heading home.

along Clingmans Dome Rd

view from Clingmans Dome Rd

This week end looks like it's going to be a total bust for leaf peeping. Very heavy rains are expected with potential for a lot of flooding, so we're staying in. We'll probably be back out on Monday.

1 comment:

  1. Fog or no, sounds like you guys still had a lovely day. Hopefully the wind won't take too many of the turned leaves before you can get out again on Monday.