“The mountains are calling and I must go.” (John Muir)
Let’s face facts. I’ve always visited the small towns in the American South with kind of an urban, “chip on my shoulder”. At such times, my childhood TV impressions of rural comedy depicted in Andy of Mayberry” and “Green Acres” from my TV past clouds my mind. How sad that I also tend to cringe at the thought of engaging in meaningful conversation with strangers of a more conservative, southern mind. I have, on the other hand, enjoyed the cool glass of sweet tea, fried chicken, and collard greens at a local country diner in a southern town. Taking in a dose of bluegrass music now and then or casual shopping in a “mom and pop” store has seemed equally enticing. Clearly, then, some seeds” have been planted already for me to obtain a “Deep South” connection to enlighten my travel spirit.
Perhaps a relaxing, encounter with nature in Western Carolina’s Smoky Mountains at the end of our road trip could provide impetus for a clearer perspective. Foregoing the ambitious plan for a full day of entertaining historical/cultural sightseeing in nearby Asheville, I would instead opt to embrace the simpler option of seeking inner silence/solitude along a late morning drive of the “Blue Ridge” Parkway. In spending “quality time” at each overlook, amidst the sheer panoramic bliss of these spectacularly forested mountains, it seemed that any anti- southern mind distractions seemed utterly pointless at the time. I thus encourage you to feel my version of “southern hospitality” that I experienced In the following photographic display.