Sunday, December 18, 2011

A Peak Experience

Last Wednesday I was taken on an adventure.  My friends, Noel & Patrick own 100+ acres of a ridge and mountain top near the Blue Ridge Parkway in Western North Carolina.  They have a small off-the-grid cabin there they spend time at whenever they can.  High Knob, where the cabin is located sits at 5200 feet.  There's a narrow, steep jeep road to the cabin and a parking place for larger vehicles about a mile and a quarter below--about 1400 feet below.  Patrick drove to the top in his jeep with supplies while Noel, the dogs and I came along separately in her car.  We parked and started up the mountain on foot. Although I hiked up with them a couple of years ago, this time around I didn't make it all the way up on my own!  I ran out of steam about 1/4 to 1/3 of the way up and absolutely couldn't go further.  I felt light-headed and nauseated, and had to stop to sit down--even threw up a bit!  Noel made sure I wasn't going to pass out, and then rushed on to the cabin so that Patrick could come to my rescue in his jeep--cell phones don't work in that neck of the woods so she was both blowing her emergency whistle and shouting for Patrick on her near run to the top.

After throwing up I began to feel better almost immediately.  I sipped water, began to look around at the landscape, even took a few photos of the leaves just at my feet and the trees and sky... I was standing and walking around by the time they got back to me with the jeep.  They asked if I wanted to leave or if I wanted to go to the top... what do you think I chose?

So... here's a slide show of the adventure.  A few of the photos are also from their other property.  Both places are magical.


  1. Beautiful spot Tommye! What a great adventure (except for the throwing up--were you getting some altitude sickness? We see that a lot out here, but our altitudes are much higher)... did they sell their other property yet? I don't think that is going to happen for us, but it was nice to dream about. A weaving studio in the Blue Ridge Mountains. :)

  2. Yes, it is indeed a beautiful place. The dome is at the level where we began the trek up to the top. They didn't sell it yet and it's off the market right now. But it's available for retreat time to friends. I hope to stay there some days next spring or summer, in fact!

  3. I would love to be able to buy the piece of property they were selling...looks like paradise to me. My Husbands, family have a place in Franklin, and his brother-in-law worked as a research Forest Hydrologist in that area many many years ago before teaching Forest Hydrogly at UGA. He would be very interested in what Patrick is doing. In fact, our nephew mentioned concerns about the hemlocks and I quickly refered him to Patrick's work.

  4. Sorry you got altitude sickness, Tommye! I think it has more to do with the rapidity (or steepness) of the ascent than with the height. We live at 5000 ft, and our cabin is at almost 9000 ft, but going there never bothers us. However, whenever we go to one particular town in CO, we both get migraines from the drive up. It's at the same altitude as our cabin! But you progress the last several thousand feet to it quickly, instead of gradually. Next time, take some sit-down rests frequently as you go up to let yourself adjust more slowly.