Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Late afternoon Montreat trail hike

After a day of running holiday related errands I took Asta for a short hike around 4 PM, giving us a few hours of daylight. We started at the end of Appalachian Way in Montreat, taking the spur trail up to intersect with the Old Mitchell Toll Road and the East Ridge Trail. Here's a description of the Old Mitchell Toll Road, taken from a Montreat Trail Guide:
After logging operations on Mount Mitchell were shut down, a venture wanted to build a tourist road for automobiles along the route of the old railroad bed. Montreat wanted the road to be moved to the other side of the ridge to minimize noise and traffic in the valley. Montreat won a court decision, and the road was re-routed in several places.
The trail went up the western side of the ridge, and by the time we reached to Toll Road and East Ridge Trail, the sun was low in the west and the light was fantastic. Here's some photos from the hike. 
Asta on the Old Mitchell Toll Road. We're on the eastern side of the ridge in the shade.

Looking east from the Toll Road with Hawksbill Mountain and Table Rock in the distance.
A closer took at Hawksbill Mountain and Table Rock.

The sunset bathed everything on the western side of the ridge in a rich orange light.