Two easier trails today.
First up was the 0.8 mile Flat Rock Loop Trail.
No competition for parking today.
We did a easy climb through the woods to the viewpoint.
There was not much colour on the trail up but the rhododendrons were out at Flat Rock.
It had been very sunny when we left the car so we didn’t bring any rain gear. It stayed that way going up but at the top there was an ominous band of very dark clouds directly over us.
We never did get rained on though.
We had passed a winery, that had a lot of customers, on the way home yesterday. We could see the vines off in the distance.
I love the orange azaleas. They never seem to occur in groves. You just see one or two at a time.
About 15 minutes farther up the parkway was our next hike. It is a 2.1 mile loop called the Green Knob Trail. For the first 1.5 miles you gently climb about 500 vertical feet and then steeply go back down in the last 1/2 mile, assuming you do it in the right direction.
Around the pond.
Then follow the stream that feeds it for quite a while. It was dark and cool for this section.
Always gently uphill.
We crossed under the parkway.
One wet and slippery section.
And out into a wide open meadow.
I was wondering what Jennie was doing so long down there. She was waiting for these moths to pose.
Whenever Jennie sees the Tulip Tree petals on the ground she always searches for the tree. We finally found one still in bloom.
A happy stump, on the steep downhill.
Another lone azalea.
Another, somewhat more overgrown, meadow.
Then back in the rhododendrons for a short while to get us back to the car.
The sky had been getting darker so we waited to have lunch until we got to a picnic area just up the parkway. It sprinkled for a few minutes while we sat in the car.
We got home early at about 2 pm and had a restful afternoon. There have been lots of looming dark clouds but no rain or thunder so far.
The campground has gotten much emptier after the weekend, even though at most it was 1/3 full then. Tonight there are 7 out of 70 campsites taken.
I had hoping to be able to get my telescope out here. We are in an open field far from the lights of any big city and there are no lights in the campground. The only problem is that the week I pick to be here coincides with a full moon which washes everything out. It was even a clear night.