One of my favorite returning-to-home drives is coming west on 40 in the late afternoon. There is this spot around Lake James where the most amazing section of the Blue Ridge rises above you.
I headed home Saturday from a beautiful wedding in Chapel Hill and was fortunate to make excellent time. The weather was overcast so the drive into the West was not accompanied by the blinding glare of the setting Sun. A blessing!
When I reaching that spot near Lake James–that gentle rise that reveals my homesweethome–the mountains ranged ahead of me were picture-perfect shades of blue, each outlined in the glow of the Sun as she set. The heights of Mitchell were wreathed in cloud and the mountains westerly were crowned in a fiery orange, softened at the edges by the grey of the storm clouds.
It was as though the Misty Mountains had birthed Mount Doom: so much beauty and majesty, so much power and threat.
I gasped at the drama of it, after my drive from the East. I marveled anew at the beauty of this ancient place and wondered how anyone could not love it, or how they could wish to plant ticky-tacky houses atop the ridges.