This is what we saw when we woke up.
If I had to give you one particular thing that left the biggest impression on me over our 12 hour stint in Lake James State Park it would be "color". Cue collective sigh of everybody working in film . . . but hear me out:
When you're out of your element or routine, you start to look at things differently, right? Often times that's a social thing. For example, the people I know have a certain image of who I am and somehow I perpetuate that. I'm part of that process.
Being outside overnight camping, I was looking at things in the way that I usually look at things. There's a certain rigidity to organizing your visuals, but it helps you in a routinized situation to notice things that are out of place. If I studied things like that, I might insert a link to a recent study of colleagues of mine, here. I don't, so you'll just have to follow along.
So we camped out and I was out of my routine and there were all the sounds and sights that I haven't seen in a long time. And they're all very interesting, you know? It started with that sunrise: I have seen that light before, and I'll see it again (knock on wood), but that morning it was perfect, just because I had absolutely no need to do anything but look at it. I just sat there, next to Whitney in the tent, in the cold morning looking at that sunlight. At a more reasonable hour, Whitney put our view from our breakfast table down like this:
I should note at this point, that I slept horribly. That's right, I went out camping, had all the tools I needed to sleep comfortably and had just about the most abysmal night of sleep in recent history, because I was too cold, SMH.
There were two other times when color really stood out to me while we were at Lake James. Whitney pointed one of them out to me, and it was the color of the sap of a tree that had recently been cut down.
The other one was while Whitney and I took a short hike just before we left the campground. It was a hike that led us out onto a spit of land.
I have to interrupt the thought here real quick because there can be absolutely no doubt that the German translation for "spit" is superior: Landzunge, or tongue of land. Just makes perfect sense.
Anyway, we're walking along and all the undergrowth has been burnt off recently, as part of their fire prevention and eco system promotion program. Most of the ground along the trail was still blackened because of that. The air was filled with a charcoal smell that accompanied us the entire hike. Looking through the trees in the forest we could see this blue haze, which looked a lot like the blue smoke of a diesel engine to me.
The trail hugged the coastline all the way out to the tip of the Landzunge. From there we had a wonderful view across the lake and the beautiful little inlets to the left and right of us.
On the way back we came to a clearing. The sun was streaming through the tree branches and hit the mossy grass on the floor of the forest. It was about 1pm at that time, but because of all the haze and smoke it looked just like "magic hour". Everything was enveloped in this rose golden color!
Driving in and out of the State Park we had some absolutely stunning views, but my coveted shot of the Blue Ridge Mountains didn't present itself, until we were crossing over I-40 that morning looking for a place to sell us 2 eggs. That's a funny story in of itself which ended with the following exchange:
"You don't sell just 2 eggs, do you sell a half a dozen?"
"We sure don't"
Well then, no eggs breakfast it is, Whitney.
Here's the picture:
Right after our hike, we set out on the road again, onwards to our next destination: Asheville!
As always, there are a lot more pictures on flickr (permanent link is at the top-left "PICS").