Friday’s whirlwind of activities was a chaotic counterpoint to the previous day’s relaxed introduction to the Asheville scene. The powers that be had scheduled an early morning hike along the Blue Ridge Parkway for family and friends. I got up and out early to try to catch some good light on the iconic views of overlapping ridgelines along the parkway. Unfortunately, the light beat me and by the time I got out the sun was fairly high above the horizon[i]. Still, there were some fantastic views to be had even if the photos were a wash.
Blue Ridge Parkway Vista, Driving onto the Parkway!, Monarch, Morning Parkway Vista
The rest of the group slowly trickled into the meeting location parking lot over the course of the next few hours. There was a frenzy of welcomes and introductions among the about 20 people heading out. We made lunches from the back of a truck laden with an amazing amount of baked goods, deli fixings, etc, and then drove out to a trail near Devil’s Courthouse. There were some experienced hikers, some weekenders, and a lot of kids, so we didn’t hike all that far. A short jaunt through the woods and up a ridge left us with 360 degree views of the surrounding country. Some of us continued on to a summit a little farther past the main group, but we all eventually settled down to eat a lunch in the high meadow, surrounded by a cloud of butterflies taking advantage of the fields of late blooming wildflowers. Most of the crowd headed home to prepare for the rehearsal, but my father in law and I made an additional short hike up to the top of Devil’s Courthouse.
Devil’s Courthouse Vista, Blue Ridge Parkway Vista, Hike Vista, Fall Color, Hiking Party, Parkway Hike Vista
The pleasant sojourns of the morning gave way to the rehearsal preparations of the afternoon[ii]. The ceremony was to be held, outside, at an arboretum near Asheville. As we arrived, saurian roars ripped through the air (apparently it was a dinosaur exhibit week at the arboretum[iii]). I was serving as makeshift videographer for the event, so I spent a bit of my time in a panic trying to figure out good angles and microphone distances. After places were placed, roles rolled, and machinations machinated, the group headed back to Asheville for the rehearsal dinner. It was a really nice affair, in the back room of a restaurant. They had a slideshow of pictures of the couple at various life stages and family and friends, etc. Toasts were made, wine was drunk, gifts were given, and it all worked out very nicely. For all the pomp and circumstance of the reception, I really think I like intimate rehearsal dinners better.
[i] We flatlanders have to adjust to the fact that light in mountainous areas is usually well above the horizon ere it reaches into the valleys. I have missed a lot of great shots due to this principle.
[ii] Sadly, I have few pictures from this time frame all the way through the wedding because I was trusted with my brother in law’s beautiful Canon 5d Mark II to video the proceedings. I’m sure there are a couple nice pictures I might add later. I have no comment that about the potential existence of video showing me dancing lkike I was 20 years younger. Let’s all pretend that isn’t a thing that might have happened.
[iii] Because, as we all know, dinosaurs are, phylogenetically speaking, in the same clade as trees.