N 35°43’3.71″ W 82°13’21.89″ Google Earth location
Back when I was trying to locate Crabtree Falls, I stumbled across this location on the map (Green Knob Overlook) and instantly recognized it; comparing Street View with my photo produces an exact match. Many years back I was doing my second trip along the Blue Ridge Parkway north of Asheville, NC, and stopped at an overlook to do a few frames. Not the best of conditions, since the day was pretty close to overcast, and as I stood there I watched the fog come boiling up through the valleys immediately below me. It was quite memorable, because you typically don’t see fog move like this, if at all. The Parkway was cut along the side of the mountain and immediately behind me, opposite this view, rose a steep mountainside. The wind suddenly started to pick up, blowing a bank of fog up over where I stood, and then I watched it also come boiling down the mountain face behind me in a quite dramatic and foreboding manner. In moments I was completely enveloped and visibility dropped down to a dozen meters or so. Abruptly I realized this was not fog but an actual raincloud – not like there’s a lot of difference, but I was high enough up in the mountains that ‘cloud’ was actually more appropriate. I could feel the humidity in the air and the dropping temperature and took the hint: within a minute, I had the cameras and tripod in the car just as the first raindrops fell, and by the time I was leaving the parking area it was rapidly becoming a deluge. This did, in fact, continue for the next hour and I cut my trip short, knowing I would get no more decent opportunities within the mountains.
The Blue Ridge Parkway meanders all over the place, constrained by the terrain, and I didn’t even consider trying to locate the spot where I got the photos – and then happened across it by accident, and confirmed it for this post. You really should go to Street View, turn to face the rising mountain opposite the parking area, and imagine a billowing cloud of grey rolling directly down that face towards you. While I had done some video of the cloud coming up from the valley below, I had put that camera away before the bank came down the mountain face – no great loss, because what I had for video at that time was the Canon Pro 90 and the quality was execrable, which is why I’m not uploading those clips for this.
But if you’re after mountain photos, the exact location really doesn’t matter a whole lot; if you’re anywhere near this spot, as long as conditions are good you should be able to find plenty of scenic views. Curiously, I’ve done too few trips out there and my ‘Mountain’ stock folder is disturbingly spare – I really should work on this.