I've had 2 or 3 folks interested in yesterday's photograph, so I thought I'd share a couple more that I intended for the vacation photo album.
Whitetop Mountain rises about 5500 feet and is the home to a 200 acre Southern Appalachian Grassy Bald, pictured in the lower photograph. According to forest service information, after the last ice age faded away, the mountain was left with a mix of vegetation that lives on the extreme edge of it's climatic territory. If you know what you're looking for, you can find threatened and endangered plants and animals (such as salamanders). I don't know what to look for, but I appreciate the place quite a lot for that fact. Also a nice place to go for solitude plus a road to get there to boot.
Back in the 1930s, this mountain was the site of an annual music festival that appears to have been quite popular. I've read accounts that Eleanor Roosevelt attended one year and over 10,000 folks were here to greet her. The yearly festival had a stage, tents, and a barbecue.
There's quite a lot of things that make it an interesting place: history, solitude, beauty, and nearby is one of the best bike trails in the Eastern part of the country.
(Update: I forgot to mention that the top photo is a tripod-shot of my son and I. During school vacations, we often take drive-abouts to find out of the way places then Mark Pennington accompanies me during other times of the year. You have to count yourself fortunate to find friends that are willing to drive long hours for things that some folks don't consider spectacular. We enjoy it quite a bit, though. Thanks guys!)