Friday, June 15, 2012

Rhododendron Gardens in Full Bloom - Roan Mtn. State Park

Last weekend we took the time to ride up to the Rhododendron Gardens at the top of Roan Mountain outside of Elizabethton, TN. It's a pretty long haul for us and the weather was brutal, but with circumstances as they were we knew it was the only time we'd have to see the blooms this season and get Bug up there for her first visit. We also wanted to avoid the Rhododendron Festival which is being held this weekend - Sat. June 16 & Sun. 17, 2012 from 10am-5pm. I hear it's a wonderful event, but we wanted a little solitude on top of the mountain.

And that's pretty much what we got. There were very few people venturing out. With rain in the forecast and mountain temperature highs in the mid-50s, we saw maybe six other people at the top. It was pleasant, eerily quiet, and very misty and cool. I didn't exactly go as prepared as I thought I had, but when challenged, this girl knows how to improvise.

See, we were in such a hurry to get on the road that I forgot Bug's warm clothes sitting on the table. So at the mountaintop (her highest elevation yet!), Bug ended up wearing one of her two jackets (yeah - I took two jackets but no pants) on her legs, wrapped around sarong-like and buttoned behind her. Then we threw on her rain jacket, covered her in two blankets, and she was ready to go play among the blooms.

The other two girls were prepared for the cool, but not prepared for their hair to get all damp in the clouds. They don't call it Cloudland for nothing! But they had fun nonetheless, and I know they wished we could have stayed longer.

Essentially, we ended up just walking to the overlook and walking back. We were out maybe 30 minutes, but with Bug being so small and her little cheeks glowing red, we decided it was time to head back to the car.

We enjoyed every minute of it though, and if you're in the area, you should definitely go view the blooms before they fade for the year. They are gorgeous this season!

Happy Trails,
Robin and Tim

Here are some additional photos for your viewing pleasure: