Weather Calls the Shots

Weather decided whether we would be outside. The forecast included thunderstorms, but storms are iffy in the mountains. We planned to find a swimming hole for grandson David if the temperature turned unbearable. If we were cool enough, we’d go to the arboretum in Asheville, which we’ve not been to yet. As we set out in the car, we headed for the arboretum. About five miles from it, I saw a dark cloud coming our way. The three of us dithered and decided to drive beyond it to the visitor’s center for the Blue Ridge Parkway. The center was lovely, having interesting displays about the building of this scenic highway perched on the mountain ridges from Virginia to North Carolina.

We heard thunder, and then came a huge downpour. We watched the video, looked at the exhibits, and examined the map of the whole parkway. I mentally pointed to the spot where our house is. I took a photo of John and David in front of the map. We left when it was only sprinkling.

Just down the road was the center for folk art. It’s a beautiful showcase for the work of contemporary mountain artists and includes a permanent display of historic crafts. I did not take photographs there, since most galleries do not allow it. It’s understandable that people might profit from stealing ideas. There were racks of clothing, Christmas ornaments, pottery, wooden utensils, musical instruments, paintings, furniture, jewelry, quilts, kaleidoscopes, and other decorative items for sale.

David and I got out at several overlooks on the parkway. I liked the foliage of some wildflowers and asked David to pose with white-bloomed autumn clematis.

Is this David’s gateway to the mountains?

On our way down the mountain, we stopped at David’s and my favorite waterfall, Sunburst. I took a photo of David with the falls. Where he is sitting is not a dangerous drop off. This is one of the places where people hop on the rocks and get closer to the falling water.

We were impressed with the low level of the water, and David held his phone out to get a closer shot. Light rain hit us at the falls, but it did not fall on the car a few feet away. At the bottom of the mountain, we stopped at Jukebox Junction to get David a milkshake.

On the way home, we stopped at a supermarket and a dollar store. If only I had restricted myself to looking for the things on my list, we would have made it home dry! John opted to stay in the car to watch lightning, but he came in to bring me my rain jacket. Just as we checked out, the deluge hit. We stood under the covered walkway waiting. It was amusing to watch people go through the rain to their cars. Some ran as fast as they could, and others shrugged their shoulders and walked. We couldn’t see past the parking lot for the heavy, heavy rain. When it slacked off, we waded to our car. Very few surfaces are level here in the mountains, and that included the parking lot. The water was rushing downhill as fast as it could go, but it was still an inch or so deep. The storm came down the valley, soaking Waynesville and Clyde. We live on the other side of Utah Mountain, and the roads near our house were bone dry. That afternoon we had several thunderstorms at home, and there was another storm raging when David and I went to bed at midnight. What an odd-weather day it had been!

As I was writing this the following day, a thunderstorm blew through. A photo of the deck in front of my computer shows heavy rain on the deck, with drops splashing up two inches in the birdbath. Behind the mountains were blue sky and white clouds.