Leaf Peeping in the High Country-West Jefferson NC-2017

The last leaf peeping episode for a while. I promise. Some friends wanted to go leaf peeping with us. It was pretty last minute so I got a cabin near West Jefferson instead of the Smokies. Why, well it was closer and they left a few days before us. Mt Jefferson made for a perfect place for our rendezvous as it was easy to find. I wanted Momma to see this place that I talked so much about. So we decided to meet at the picnic grounds at Mt. Jefferson, which by the way are at the top of the mountain; and remember this is a drive up.

view from the picnic area at Mt Jefferson

After a picnic lunch of turkey sandwiches etc, I took my friends to Luther Rock, a short hike to the top of the mountain. The views as always were fantastic.

We went to the cabin and did some research and found that there were two churches with frescoes in the area. Since the parkway was nearby and one of these sights was right off of it we made the short drive to Glendale Springs. This one is called Holy Trinity Episcopal Church.

the Last Supper.

These frescoes were painted by Ben Long a North Carolina native who went to train in Italy and France. When he returned after 8 years of study abroad he and his students painted these frescoes.

Since it was dusk we drove out the parkway to find a place to view the sunset.

Sunset on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Glendale Springs NC.

Next day we went waterfall hunting as our female friend wanted to see a waterfall. We started with a great breakfast at Shatley Springs, an old mountain resort in the area. The food and service were phenomenal.

There is an actual Spring, at Shatley Springs. Discovered in 1890 by Martin Shatley, the springs were believed to have medicinal powers. Shatley stopped to wash in a spring he found flowing out of Little Phoenix Mountain, and cool off while travelling, and by his own testimony a long suffered skin ailment was cured. People started to flock to the spring and a resort was built in the 20’s. Testing later did show that the springs contain Radium but there is no proof that exposure to low amounts of radium are healthful and of course high amounts of radium are harmful.

Shatley Springs
Shatley Springs
Down these stairs is the actual springs

Then at milepost 272 on the parkway we found Jeffress Park and this beauty of a waterfall.

Jeffress Park Cascades

As usual the leaves had not changed much but we did some sightseeing anyway. After Dinner we went to St.Mary’s Episcopal Church in West Jefferson to see more of the frescoes.

Next day we decided to drive home on the parkway through Doughton Park to Roaring Gap

the Blue Ridge Parkway near Doughton Park
The Blue Ridge Parkway as it skirts Bluff Mountain.
Love this shot. Near the center you can see Stone Mountain.

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