Fall At Outside Clyde

Tired of waiting for the leaves to change color at home, we decided to go over the mountain to a place known far and wide for its transition of foliage from summer green to dusky crazy quilt hues. Destination: A mountainside outside Clyde, North Carolina to visit fellow blogging friend Christopher. Or as we like to think of it, *she’ll be comin’ ’round the mountain when she comes*. Exiting the interstate at the appropriate spot we begin the ascent.  (That is the royal we, for The Financier has taken a group of the clan up to Pennsylvania to witness live a Penn State football game.)  The camera is armed and ready for action. The road is somewhat desolate, so pulling over for a shot of this picture perfect barn backed by the turning leaves while still in the car seems like a good idea. It looks a little foggy on up higher and there is rain in the forecast.The road climbs and the visibility is lessening. There is so much to admire around me that the driving is taking second fiddle to the search for a nice photo opportunity. This tree tunnel with a rustic fence looks promising, let’s just stop here in the middle of the road to take a quick pic. Snap. Just as I get back into the driver’s seat, a couple of motorcycles come racing around the bend and yell at me to get a move on. Uh oh. I hop in and throw her in gear just in time to see more motorcycles and a couple of trucks come around the blind curve behind me. Boy, bad luck for them because this road is narrow, no room to pass, and I am not comfortable racing up the zig zagging road even on dry pavement. There is now fog and a steady drizzle.The camera gets put onto the passenger’s seat as driving gets my full attention now. Having impatient motorists behind me always makes me a little edgey. Wet pavement also makes my feel unsure of braking ability and sharp hairpin curves on a steep mountain road are not going to speed me up either. Pretend like there are no vehicles behind me, that’s the ticket. It seems now like we are driving through a cloud, seeing the road is getting more and more difficult.  Where oh where is our landmark?Uncle Ernie! There is his smiling welcoming face. But we have missed the driveway. We pull into the drive across the road and signal for the parade of cars, trucks and motorcycles in the long line  behind us to go on past.  See, I have business here, belong here and don’t make those kinds of rude gestures at me either.Backing up and pulling into the driveway at the cabin in progress to take a portrait or two of Uncle Ernie I notice that Christopher’s truck and another car are at the cabin. It is raining lightly now. Driving  down the steep driveway to look for friendly human lifeforms seems like a good idea. Hi guys, don’t let me interrupt the serious work going on here. I’ll just go up and visit with Bulbarella while you finish up. Except I am now stuck with no place to back up and turn around to mount the incline to get back to the road. There is some traffic control, car movings and finally I am headed up to the next driveway to enjoy a delicious lunch and exchange a few plants and seeds. As is always the case when garden bloggers meet up, the talk is nonstop. Plants are discussed, cameras are shown to hold secrets of video making, and cabins are toured at length. It is raining as the car makes its way down the mountain to continue the trip on to Asheville. (To be continued.)

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23 Responses to Fall At Outside Clyde

  1. Lovely photo. Our leaves have all changed and most of them have already fallen.

    Hi Crafty, thanks. Our leaves at home are very erratic. There are trees that are past their peak and many more that are still all green, the same type of mature maples. The mountain was very beautiful once the sun came out a little bit so it could be seen. ;->

  2. Gail says:

    Frances, Thanks for taking us along for the trip to Outside Clyde. It seems you had a good time with Christopher, an exciting ride and met some interesting travelers! What is it about rain that makes people even pushier on the roads! Beautiful photos of the road side attractions. Fall leaf color at the higher elevations is always so lovely. See you soon! Gail

    Hi Gail, thanks. The leaves were lovely although Christopher’s dad thought they were less so than normal this year. The traffic up the mountain seemed to include groups of motorcyclists and hunters. I may have been the lone lady with a camera and a garden blog that is hungry for photos. Can’t wait for you to get here.

  3. linda says:

    What beautiful scenery on the road to your destination Frances! Looks like you had lots of wonderful photo ops!

    Hi Linda, thanks. The base of the mountain gave the best shots, it was very foggy at Christopher’s and the rain got harder and harder. We were soaked after walking around the garden and took refuge in the cabin. It is going to be a wonderful hideaway.

  4. We are lacking in wide spots in the road around these parts that in for sure. One will just have to get used to my driveway being a pullout. It can only increase as a garden of delightful gifts continues to take shape.

    Hi Christopher, thanks again for the gracious hospitality. You must come to the Fairegarden someday and really load up on goodies to take home!

  5. Brenda Kula says:

    Such beautiful nature shots you captured, despite the distractions! I get in my Pathfinder with the two dogs and a camera and off I go down the country roads. I do have 4-wheel drive for the slippery spots in rain, however! And the impatient drivers I try to watch for, as I’m derailed mentally by a potentially good snapshot! So I try and go out on a weekday morning when I assume I will have more time and less traffic. Don’t they understand we gardeners have important things to document here? Ha!

    Hi Brenda, thanks. Distractions is a good word for it. Some of those drivers were armed! I drive a durango with four wheel drive, but still feel nervous when the roads are wet. You are on the right track about going out when there is less traffic. It was a friday and usually there is not much traffic on the mountain when we have gone before. It is hunting season now and leaf peeking too. I thought motorcycles were not good in the rain and would appreciate a nice slow driver to lead the way. ;->

  6. Kim says:

    I’m envious you got to visit with Christopher. I need to find some Maryland (and Virginia) gardeners to visit. Your photos, as always were lovely, and you featured a Sheffie!

    Hi Kim, that is one of the beauties of Blotanical. Go to the search bloggers tab and click on the US map and keep zooming in to find your area. I think that is how it works. You can bet there are some out there for you to visit. Christopher has a piece of sheffie from my garden that has grown beautifully into a mound of salmon blooms. I am so proud. ;->

  7. tina says:

    I was right there along with you-rude drivers! Glad you made it safely.

    Hi Tina, thanks. I could have used you with me for real to settle my nerves!

  8. Racquel says:

    Gorgeous photos of some amazing fall color Frances. Thanks for sharing your trip with us. Now put both hands back on the wheel, lol 🙂

    Hi Racquel, now really I am a very good driver, very careful and always go the speed limit, now. In my younger days…. well anyway the fall color was so enjoyable as was the visit with good people.

  9. What a wonderful trip! This morning, my husband and I were talking about driving up to Fancy Gap, VA and down the Parkway to Shatley Springs for a nice, hearty meal. We made that trip last year and the leaves were gorgeous! Cameron

    Hi Cameron, thanks it was. Your idea sounds great, I like the hearty meal part! Let us all enjoy the leaf color while it lasts, and eat hearty meals. ;->

  10. chuck b. says:

    What a nice time!

    My dad taught me not to worry about the people on the road behind me.

    Hi Chuck, as always, your name was mentioned! This was a particularly nice visit because I had lots of time to hang around, it was raining, as usual though. Some day I am going to tramp around that space without fear of being drenched or blown off into the air.

    That is the best course of action, but easier said than done in my case. If they could have passed me, that would have been the best, but there just wasn’t room and no straightaway where it would have been safe. Sigh.

  11. Lola says:

    Thank you so much for the trip Frances. I really love the old barn pic. Once you drive down a road like that with the colors surrounding you you will never forget. It will always be in your mind.I really miss it.

    Hi Lola, you are most welcome. I know exactly what you mean. When I have lived in big cities, with no natural landscapes untouched by man, I could never feel at home. Just a country girl at heart.

  12. Patsi says:

    Fun road trip.
    Waiting for part 2.

    Hi Patsi, thanks. Glad to see you still want more. ;->

  13. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    What fun to be with you on your road trip. It will be interesting to see your view of Outside Clyde.

    Hi Lisa, thanks. That was the view of Christopher’s since it was raining and foggy. The only pix taken were on the way up and Uncle Ernie! Christopher has a new camera though and the views he can capture with it are much better than anything I could ever manage. It rains every time I go there!

  14. Chloe M says:

    Great story – and oh how I envy you those beautiful autumn colors. Here in Southern California it seems as if everything just gets more and more tan/brown/grey. You have to look closely to appreciate the subtle changes.

    Chloe M.

    Hi Chloe, thanks. We lived in Fullerton for three years and had no fall color, just falling pine needles everywhere! There was great beauty there though at the beaches and mountains so close by.


  15. Pam/Digging says:

    I remember driving on slick roads in those mountains from my time in N.C., Frances. You were smart not to let yourself be rushed. It’s delightful that you were able to make another visit to the gardens of Outside Clyde and Bulbarella.

    Hi Pam, you know what I am talking about then. Slick roads are scary even when the road is wide and flat. This was the opposite of those conditions. We did have a wonderful visit though. Christopher and his parents are very charming and welcoming to guests. I was well fed.

  16. Philip says:

    Your photo essay just tranported me. I have so enjoyed looking at these images you have shown here. Uncle Ernie! that is a distinctive landmark. I also love the fences shown here. All is so evocative with the damp, the autumnul leaves and rustic fences and barns. a world and time away.The tool you used to help the magic staff would be at home here! “She will be coming around the mountain” That is the perfect song for this adventure.

    Hi Philip, thanks so much, you are too sweet. The world in this post is very similar to where I live, we just lack the elevation. The old barns, many nearly falling down, farms, mature hardwoods and old fences dot our landscape. It is quite scenic and rural even though we live in the *city*. Our tool probably did come from a place like this. I really am coming around the mountain to get here. ;->

  17. joey says:

    Stunning scenery, Francis. You made me laugh … fearing cars behind us, my husband thinks I’ll never live to see another day when I drive with camera near!

    Hi Joey, thanks. HA If The Financier had been with me there would have been no photos on the way up the mountain since there is no place to pull off to the side. Never would he have just stopped in the road!

  18. Anna says:

    Since I grew up in these parts, I enjoyed your nervous trip up the mountain. My dad has hauled moonshine on those roads and he took them at break neck speeds. He was not natured and our windows would be hailing in the mountain air. Back then, you could smell the Hemlocks. I sure do miss those days.

    Your photos are beautiful. I like the long shots with the road up ahead dipping and rising with the hilly terrain.

    Hi Anna, what an interesting story about your dad. Sadly the hemlocks have suffered greatly from the insects and will be dying off in large numbers soon. The other trees will take over those spots but there were not many evergreens at Christopher’s. It is sad. Thanks for following along, hope no one got carsick but I was going reaaaaalllllly slow. ;->

  19. Siria says:

    Hi Frances! When I first started reading your post and saw that view of the barn with the clouds moving in to the mountaintop behind it, I thought, Oh no….Frances is going back to see Outside Clyde and the weather does not look too good. Have you ever been there when it is nice? Even when the weather is hazy, foggy or rainy, there is something special about the area. Your photos were beautiful and having met Christopher, Bulburella and the Building Contractor, I know you must have had a wonderful visit! You need to plan it next time for a gorgeous clear day. :))

    Hi Siria, you may have seen that barn as you turn onto the road up if you are coming from Knoxville. The weather was awful as always. They were all joking that I bring it with me. The first time the cold rainy wind about blew us right off the mountain. One of these days I am going there and it will be warm and sunny. ;->

  20. Frances, what an adventure. I laughed when I saw the photo for I knew you were either parked or standing in the middle of the road. You’re one brave girl. I love a good garden visit. Next spring, I’m going to visit some of my OK blogging friends.~~Dee

    Hi Dee, thanks for riding along. Brave or foolish, perhaps. It is so fun going to visit those who share your passion. You will never run out of something to talk about.

  21. Siria says:

    Hi Frances..I am not sure coming from Knoxville which exit you get off. I don’t recognize the barn, but there are so many lovely spots like that out there. I hope the weather cooperates next visit! :))

    Hi Siria, we get off at Fine’s Creek from Knoxville and a different one from Asheville, those two roads meet at Ferguson’s. You are right about there being many barns like that one around too. We have them here where I live too, but not with a mountain like that in the background. If it rains the next time I visit him, they are going to call me the rainmaker. lol

  22. Sue says:

    I don’t remember which blogger I’ve told, maybe it was you, that my husband and I drove from Nebraska, through Kentucky, the Smokey Mountain National Park to the Blue Ridge Parkway to Ashville, then the interstate to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. We experienced fog on the Parkway, and that’s why we spent the night in Ashville. We were going to go up further on the Parkway, toward Mt. Airy. It was beautiful in June. Your photos show how impressive it is in fall colors.

    What fun memories, and great shots from your car. ;o)

    Hi Sue, it might have been, but my memory is not what it used to be. 🙂 Having to stay in Asheville may have seemed a drudge at the time when you were on your way to the beach, but June is an excellent time to view the parkway. In the fall is the high tourist season, the highest rates for hotels too, but the leaf color is worth it. Christopher’s mountain is so beautiful it brings tears to one’s eyes.

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