Almost heaven

Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah River. A remembrance for good old John Denver. I got to live out his ubiquitous country rock ballad this month, unexpectedly. And you can throw in the Allegheny Mountains, too. My home is in the middle of the country. It’s hilly, but it’s not the mountains. As I’ve blogged before, for some reason I feel a kinship with the Appalachians, the Blue Ridge and now my new relation the Alleghenies. I follow them on social media, keeping track of rainstorms and snowfalls on Skyline Drive, black bear and pink rhododendron sightings along the Blue Ridge Parkway. And no matter what disasters befall the Appalachians throughout the year, even when I arrive unexpectedly the rangers and road workers have the mountains ready for me. Trails are cleared, roads repaired, overlooks swept free. The Blue Ridge Parkway and Shenandoah’s Skyline Drive represent the perfect union of public accessibility and wildness to me. It is not wilderness. There are working farms in the valleys. But the mountains still look endlessly blue and the stars remain the dominant light in evening. Fog obscures the bottom land most every morning. Despite chemical plants and southern suburban sprawl, it’s still home to our largest concentration of black bears and rhododendron blossoms. It's indeed almost heaven, Mr. Denver. I call this photograph Oh, Shenandoah. Take me home, country roads - any time you wish.

Copyright RC 2018


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