Max Patch Mountain – Old Time Mountain Living

I found this video on YouTube today…

Located near the North Carolina and Tennessee border in the Newfound Mountains northwest of Asheville, a short drive south of Hot Springs, Max Patch is the southern most bald on the Appalachian Trail. The summit tops out at 4,629 feet.

The trail from the parking lot to the summit of Max Patch is said to be a gentle climb, surrounded by wildflowers in season.

Max Patch was privately owned until 1982 when it was aquired by the Forest Service for the AT.

Max Patch

Hike a section of the famous Appalachian National Scenic Trail (or A.T.) on top of Max Patch Mountain near Hot Springs. This 4,600-foot mountain was cleared and used as pasture in the 1800s. Today, it’s a 350-acre tract of open land on a high knob with 360-degree views. On a clear day, you can see from Mt. Mitchell on the east to the Great Smoky Mountains on the south. What a picnic spot! And great for star gazing and enjoying wildflowers. The summit is a short walk from the parking lot. Max Patch is part of the Pisgah National Forest.

Two easy loop trails lead you to, and around, the summit. The 1.4-mile short loop crosses the summit. The 2.4 mile loop circles the mountain for outstanding views from all the sides. From the parking lot, follow the marked trail to the left. You will ascend through a forest and then reach the top for amazing views. The rest of the hike is on the grassy bald. You can also hike north or south on the Appalachian Trail for as far as you want.

The Great Smoky Mountains, only 20 miles away, dominate the southwest horizon. To the west the terrain drops over 3600 feet into the flatlands of eastern Tennessee. To the west, 50 miles distant, rises the dark ridgeline of the Black Mountains. Endless ridges and peaks fill in the panorama everywhere else.

Max Patch & Hot Springs, North Carolina Hikes & Hiking Trails.

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Max Patch Bald is the kind of place that becomes a part of you after just one trip. The route up to the summit passes through picturesque mountain communities that have largely escaped the mass tourism radar. Passing by old red tobacco barns, little white churches, pumpkin patches, Christmas tree farms, and even the occasional country store, the route eventually starts a long gradual climb through the deep forest. Then out of nowhere it appears, an enormous grassy bald, and what may be the single most stunning view in the entire region.

Though many mountains are higher, none seem so when you are on the summit of Max Patch Bald. On a clear day you will see completely across most of eastern Tennessee, the Great Smoky Mountains, the Black Mountains, Craggy Mountains, Pisgah Ledge, the Newfound Mountains of Haywood County, and Walnut Mountains of Madison County. Pictures cannot do justice to the summit, a la Sound of Music. This exceptionally beautiful grassy peak is often covered in wildflowers and affords a spectacular 360-degree view. At near the 5,000-foot level, this is one of the first places to see brilliant fall color and substantial snowfall. The one-mile loop trail to the summit is easy to moderate. Take the trail to the left. It is best done in the clockwise direction, saving the steepest sections for the downhill return. You don’t have to be a serious hiker to enjoy what has been called The Crown Jewel of the Appalachian Trail.

Asheville: The Circle Route to Max Patch Bald – TripAdvisor.

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Max Patch Mountain Details

Max Patch Mountain is a mountain summit in Madison County in the state of North Carolina (NC). Max Patch Mountain climbs to 4,616 feet (1,406.96 meters) above sea level. Max Patch Mountain is located at latitude – longitude coordinates (also called lat – long coordinates or GPS coordinates) of N 35.797045 and W -82.956811.

Anyone attempting to climb Max Patch Mountain and reach the summit should look for detailed information on the Max Patch Mountain area in the topographic map (topo map) and the Lemon Gap USGS quad. To hike and explore the North Carolina outdoors near Max Patch Mountain, check the list of nearby trails.

Max Patch Mountain Summit – North Carolina Mountain Peak Information.

Directions: From Hot Springs head south on NC 209 for 7 miles. Turn right onto NC1175. Drive 5 miles to Max Patch Road (NC1182). Proceed 3 miles to the parking area at the foot of the Bald.

Related Links

Max Patch Road – My Viewfinder – John Roberts

Fall Barn; On Max Patch Mountain – My Viewfinder – John Roberts

Record Low Temperature Tied at Grandfather Mountain – Constantly Updated High Country NC News Source

It has been a season of extremes for Grandfather Mountain.

Earlier in the month, the tourist attraction experienced record highs for two days in a row, but unseasonably cold weather tied the record for the daily low temperature in Wednesday.

The reading was taken at the official US Weather Service reporting station located next to the Mile High Swinging Bridge on Grandfather Mountain.

The temperature dipped to 18 degrees early in the morning tying the previous daily low record for the day set in 1968.

The all time lowest temperature ever recorded in October at Grandfather Mountain is 12 degrees on October 26th, back in 1962.

The storm also brought high winds and snow to the area.

GoBlueRidge.net – Record Low Temperature Tied at Grandfather Mountain – Constantly Updated High Country NC News Source.

Fall Color Report – Grandfather Mountain

I wish I was here…

View of Lost Cove on the south slopes of Grandfather Mountain:

Grab your sweater because the temperatures are falling Highs will be in the low fifties this weekend

Friday had lots of wind and rain, so most of the leaves from the trees above 4,000 feet are finding their way to the ground today. Grandfather remains an excellent leaf-looking destination, however, because you pass through color in all the lower elevations on your drive to Grandfather Mountain, and because Grandfather’s peaks make a great vantage point for looking out at the color changing in the valleys. Today’s photograph from Lost Cove illustrates that there is lots of green left in the valleys.

NC Highway 105 between Boone and Linville ranges from 3,000 to 4,000 feet in elevation. Trees in those slightly lower elevations are only now beginning to change color, which guarantees lots of lively leaf looking for the next 10 days.

Fall Color Report- Grandfather Mountain.

Before our trip last year, I always looked at these photo’s with a bit of skepticism. My corner of the world doesn’t have color changes like these…I learned just how wrong I was when we hit the Appalachians in early November of last year.

Here is the first “real fall” I ever saw…

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Mountain Weather Dreams

I walked out of my house this morning before sunrise. It is garbage pickup day. With the wildlife population explosion we have had I don’t dare take the garbage out too early. When I stepped out on the porch the hot, humid air settled down on my shoulders like a load of bricks. When I made it back into the artificially cooled interior of our home I looked at the weather station on the wall…81° and the humidity was 86%.

After making my lunch to haul in to work, a couple of pieces of toasted ciabatta bread with jam and butter with my morning coffee as I fired up my email led to this report…

HOME
Currently (on Tue 5:53AM CDT from Pearland Regional Airport)
Clear Clear Temp: 82° (Heat Index 89°)
Dewpoint: 75°
Wind: S 5 MPH

VALLE CRUCIS
Currently (on Tue 6:44AM EDT from Ashe County Airport)
Clear Clear Temp: 52°
Dewpoint: 48°
Wind: Calm MPH

FLOYD, VA
Currently (on Tue 7:20AM EDT from Virginia Tech Airport)
Mist Mist Temp: 50°
Dewpoint: 48°
Wind: Calm MPH

Now…Do you understand why I dream of the Blue Ridge Mountains? Do you see that heat index at 5:53 in the morning? The middle of August and we still have months of this hot humid weather to go.

To top it all off, we are still in a drought situation here. We have a front (I refuse to call it a cold front) moving our way and all day long I’ve watched the rain vanish on the radar as it gets close…

So all you folks up on the Blue Ridge…Enjoy that beautiful weather. I wish I was having my morning coffee and email on the porch looking out on the morning fog rise from the valley…

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Mountain Dreaming

I was cruising around the backyard yesterday after work, mowing with the Deere and thinking about how unlike a normal early June evening it felt. The temperature was hovering around the 90 degree mark and the heat index was even higher, so naturally my mind wandered up on the mountains…Daydream style as I went round and round.

I see that Ray is calling for a warm summer day in Valle Crucis. The seventies seem a little warm for this early, but I really don’t have a lot of mountain weather experience to go on. Seems nice and cool to me for the heat of the day…I keep telling my wife that no matter what happens with global warming/climate change, it’s gotta be more comfortable up on the Blue Ridge. Besides, when it’s too hot to do anything but sit in a rocker on the porch, at least you have a view of something outside the yard around the house…

I can remember summers on the porch at my grandparent’s ranch house in south Texas…Way down toward the Rio Grande, sitting high and dry between the Frio and the Nueces River in McMullen County. It was hot and dry but with a breeze most of the day off the Gulf of Mexico over a hundred miles away. Staring off into the distance…Watching the clouds winging north. The buzzards coasting along looking for dinner. An occasional roadrunner sitting in the mesquite across the drive with a collared lizard hanging from it’s beak…Watching and waiting for the afternoon heat to break while my grandfather enjoyed his daily siesta. It wasn’t a habit a teenage boy could acquire, napping after lunch.

That’s the way the weather here is feeling these days…Hot and dry…The grass I was mowing was almost like straw already this year. We don’t normally see weather like this for a couple of more months. All of the rains in the last few months have passed by to the north. Even the rains that get close falter before they fall on this dry ground we call home…Dry, dusty dry.

Today is the second anniversary of my Photoblog. Two years ago today I started posting photos with a shot I am still proud of taken at the Brinegar Cabin on the blue Ridge Parkway…I’ll bet the water from the spring is still cool at this time of the year…

The Cool Truth About October: Shorter Days, Longer Harvests – washingtonpost.com

This column from Barbara Damrosch came at a very good time.  It reminds me why I loved fall as a boy…The air is cooler but the overall feel is of warmth…

When T.S. Eliot wrote “April is the cruelest month,” he might have added, “October is seriously underrated.”

Consider those two months. We expect from both a temperature range midway between hot and cold, with unpredictable doses of either. But gardeners, especially, embrace April with exaggerated hope and cheer, oblivious to the imminent onset of blistering heat, drought and bolted lettuce. By October many edge wearily and even gratefully into the shadow of oncoming winter, forgetting to enjoy the gardening year’s best weather.

Source: The Cool Truth About October: Shorter Days, Longer Harvests – washingtonpost.com

Fall is in the air for the North Carolina Mountains around Valle Crucis

Ray is promising a fall weekend for the northwestern corner of North Carolina. Forecasted low for tonight is 40 degrees. Fire up the wood stove, throw some logs in the fireplace, it’s time for some chili simmering on the stove.

After the refreshment of Humberto’s leftover rains, now its time to enjoy the good side of a departing remnant tropical system. Improving skies today will bring abundant sunshine and a feel of fall throughout the High Country this entire weekend. We hope this leads to high points on the Mountaineer side in today’s game against a tough Northern Arizona squad. Brisk breezes will usher this airmass into the region, setting the stage for a cold overnight with some of the mountain valleys flirting with a slight frost potential in a few sheltered spots by Sunday morning. An overnight breeze should prohibit that in most locations but the need for knits (as in sweaters or your grandma’s comfy afghan she lovingly passed down) will be in full order. ENJOY!

I’ll second that sentiment sitting as I do at sea level on the Gulf Coast of Texas where the low tonight will barely make the low 70’s…Enjoy the fall weather North Carolina.

Source: Ray’s Weather Center – Valle Crucis – booneweather.com

Thursday Morning – June 7, 20 O'Seven

What a difference a day makes…Yesterday morning I was in Medical Mode and not hurrying out the door, so I drew my first cup and glanced up at the “Weather Station”. The outside temperature was 68 and the humidity was lower than normal, just in the 80% vicinity, so I took my cup and myself out into the backyard to sit and enjoy (which is part of the reason for no post yesterday, I enjoyed it immensely). Today, I grabbed so garbage bags for the trip to the curb while the laptop loaded up. The minute I stepped out the door for the trek to the curb, I felt like I should be paying for a spa treatment. 6:00 am and the heat and the humidity were in your face. Once I was back in the kitchen for that first cup I read the truth…79 degrees and 89%. What a change.

Yesterday was still with a light layer of dew on the world. But the air was clean and clear, the mockingbird was singing loud and cheerful above my head, and the sun was bright on the trees in the yard and woods. The dew on the sunlit cypress tree gave it a kind of green jewel quality, but softened in a way.

I was reading US News this week and I see the secret is out as Boone makes the top 10 in budget retirement locations…I would say congratulation but I was hoping the secret would stay hidden (at least until we moved to the mountains). I was happy to see that one of our earlier retirement hopes was on the list also…Fredericksburg, Tx is where we go many years for our anniversary runaway from the kids weekend. It is also about as close to the Houston area as you can go and find what passes for mountains.

Garrison Keillor takes a long look at the state of the world in Salon and brings back this look of the future for thee…

You look at the Amish and you see the past but you might also be looking at the future. Our great-grandchildren, faced with facts their ancestors were able to ignore, might have to do without the internal-combustion engine and figure out how to live the subsistence life. Maybe someone will invent a car that runs on hydrogen, or horse manure, or maybe people will travel on beams of light like in old radio serials, but the realist in you thinks otherwise.

Source: Amish like me | Salon.com

Mr. Bush must have done Harvard Business School about like he has done everything else in his life…

The White House said it would hold firm against concrete long-term targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, a major priority for Merkel, the host of the Group of 8 meeting.

At some point in his college career they must have mentioned that in oder to set goals they have to be achievable and measurable. Setting goals without actual…well, you know…goals is like…cheating. Oh (slap my forehead) that’s right…We are talking about George W Bush aren’t we…
Source: U.S. rejects greenhouse gas initiative at G8 summit | Chron.com – Houston Chronicle

Time to run…catch you later.

Tuesday Coffee Muses

Looks like the same old game for the Bush administration. Give a big speech taking the oppositions side away from them, do some back office finagling to ensure what you just promised doesn’t happen, and then just assume no one will notice.

WASHINGTON — The Bush administration is drastically scaling back efforts to measure global warming from space, just as the president tries to convince the world the U.S. is ready to take the lead in reducing greenhouse gases.

Not only are they scaling back the numbers of satellites but they are pulling out the instrument packages that would have been used to study long range climate data. That’ll pretty much put an end to the inconvenience of having your own data used against you in the court of public opinion…or not.

Source: U.S. slashes global warming monitoring | Chron.com – Houston Chronicle

Tomorrows weather will be brought to you courtesy of the EU and our good buddies in the Bureau of French Climate Studies…Have a great day George, and all the rest of you also.

It's Sunday Morning

Rolling out of bed late on a Sunday morning always seems a bit decadent. I tend to get up and catch “Sunday Morning” on the TV. Then roll through a couple of the Sunday liars clubs before moving on to something useful for the rest of the day. Sometime today the grass needs mowing before it outstrips the mower.

When I stumbled into the kitchen this morning to start the coffee maker the temperature was at 73 and the humidity was at 98%…Now the television is flashing a Severe Thunderstorm Warning for the counties to the NE of here…Texas weather, wait around 15 minutes, they say, and it’ll change.

I am supposed to be heading out for this years Boyd~Cox reunion. With my voice acting up right now, I don’t want to add any additional strain to it, so I’ll be missing the family get together. We are down to two of the original family group left. My dad’s twin sister, Helen, who lives out of state and only makes it once a decade or so is 85. My Aunt Gertrude, who married into the family in 1929, is 97. Aunt Gertrude hasn’t missed a reunion in decades, that I know of. My dad was the youngest of 12, even Aunt Helen beat him into the world. He didn’t miss many of the family get togethers over the years, they were one of the highlights of the year for him. I’m sorry to miss the fun this year.

It’s not often that the Washington Post publishes a life celebration that grabs my interest in the morning and pulls me in to read the whole story…The following paragraph in the morning email did.

A couple of decades ago, a man driving from South Carolina to Pennsylvania broke down on the Beltway and managed to nurse his car to the Westbard Citgo service station in Bethesda. Carlos Bonds, the station owner, looked under the hood, then tossed the man a set of keys.

“Here’s my wife’s car,” he said. “Just bring it back in a week.”

Take a moment today and go celebrate a life well lived…

Source: He Repaired Cars and Restored Trust – washingtonpost.com

In twelve paragraphs of column Robert Kagen makes one statement that I can actually agree with. Sadly, he didn’t mean it the way I take it…

When people want to justify the unjustifiable and accept the unacceptable, they try all kinds of ways to make themselves feel better about their decision.

Most of what follows seems to me to be another neocon version of reality, and a realists version of Bush inspired acid dream. Highly appropriate I suppose for the 40th anniversary for the “Summer of Love”…The blurb at the end says Kagen is an adviser to the McCain Campaign. Could this explain part of the failure of the McCain run for the Presidency to actually take off this time around?

Source: Robert Kagan – The ‘Blame The Iraqis’ Gambit – washingtonpost.com

Y’all have a great Sunday…Catch you tomorrow…