10.22.2007,12:07 PM
Gravel, Mountains and Colors

Forest Road 210 veered south to a state fish hatchery, but we followed FR 217 (also known as North River Road) northeast which narrowed even more and turned to gravel. The river was our companion alongside us for what seemed like a few miles, but when you're so immersed in a ride, enjoying the road and the scenery, time seems to disappear. Or perhaps we disappear and time continues on.


Jack had recommended a turn (FR 61) off of FR 217 to a spot he described as a "view not to miss". And he was right. Riding a gravel and two track road that wound along the side of a mountain, which seemed to take forever, we came to a gravel turnaround and a barrier on the left.


Looking in that direction I could see a clear meadow, the horizon tempting further scrutiny. Parking the bike, I pulled off the helmet and grabbed the camera, intent on 'seeing what I could see." Midway up the hill I stopped and pulled off the MX boots; they are half a size too small and my toes protest loudly when off the bike and walking. I carried them a few feet and then put them on the ground to retrieve later. The brown close-grazed grass and ground felt good on my socked feet.

At the crest of the hill I could see vistas that made me realize how long it's been seen I've been in the mountains. The sensation was different from the skyway vistas simply because here, I was alone. With just the trees, mountains, sky and myself. The silence was soothing, enhancing and heightening my senses: vision, hearing and smell. I wanted to sit there for hours, maybe spend the night, as I suspected others have done judging by the campfire pit filled with ashes.



A ring of blazing colors surrounded the peak like a crown of glory, leaving the crest of the mountain bare like a bald head with soft fuzzy hair of short grass. Whigg Meadow is located below Haw Knob, the highest point in Monroe County, Tennessee. The 360 degree view overlooks the Cherokee National Forest and a large section of the Skyway, including Mudd Gap.






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posted by Macrobe
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