When we pushed off for the mountains of North Carolina and onto the Blue Ridge Parkway I immediately wondered how I had somehow missed the memo on this spectacular, scenic roadway. I am so glad we took the time to finally experience the 480+ miles of protected national park and scenic roadway through NC and Virginia to make our way north rather than taking the usual route on 95 north and all that other traffic-y madness.
How can it be that we are practically the only ones using this road? Went through my mind many times as there seemed to be no one on the parkway, compared to the GAZILLION cars, trucks, motorcycles, rvs on the faster routes....I'll take the empty highway any day.
My first painting stop was at Green Knob Scenic Pull Off at mile post 350. For a few hours that morning there was absolute pea soup fog and I started to think my painting would be a wash of opaque grey.
But then, things started to clear a bit as the fog started burning off...
Setting up, it was still misty, raining, and the gnats were swarming me but it was totally worth it because it to see these fluffy clouds seep in and out of the mountains.
As I sat down to work I quickly realized that I am out of practice with plein air painting after a month break and the colors are so different from the palette I have been conditioned for on the Florida coast! So I have some work to do. Let’s see if I can pull it together and make some cool stuff in the next 30 days :)
Where: Green Knob Scenic Pull Off, Mile Post 350 on the Blue Ridge Parkway
When: 10:30 am
Best Moment: Sitting there, looking at this incredible view, despite the spitting rain and shifting cloud mist (Florida is flat as a pancake, so it felt very exciting to be in the mountains again...!)
Biggest Challenge: black flies swarming me, rain and fog shifting the clouds so quickly, (but I brought my trusty 20% Picaridan bug spray and they seemed to be more of a nuisance than anything)
Biggest Surprise: No one was there…but us to see this incredible place....how is that possible?
Favorite part of this painting or the experience: listening to the birds amongst the kind of silent nature I haven't heard in I don't remember how long...see the video below for a snippet of the sights and sounds of silence in nature...
To check out my first stop in Maine, Mt Agamenticus at sunset, check out this post.