The air smells so sweet up there.
As I drove north from the foothills in Hickory to the higher peaks in Avery County, the leaves grew darker and became more sparse. Avery County rcvd snow recently, leaving the lower foothills with the remaining fall color.
I drive the backroads and take part of the Blue Ridge Parkway into Banner Elk, home of Lees-McRae College. From one of my favorite perches, I took the below pictures. My smile broadened and my olfactory senses kicked into gear as I drove with the windows down, curving around some narrow runs that wind along crocked streams.
My time at home in the midst of an alma mater going through a rather large Renaissance period was inspiring and heart warming. The hugs I receive from faculty and staff who have watched me and supported me as a leaped from college to law school to the professional world to Alaska were given back in full. Meeting new students was a highlight, and seeing old friends was a tradition. Already, I am making plans to return in May, for yet another meeting. This next time, I plan to stay for several days to hike, commune with nature, and breathe some more of that sweet, sweet air.