Friday we decided to take another drive on the parkway. After the rain we knew the colors must have changed dramatically and with the wind, we knew the leaves would be falling rapidly.
We packed a lunch and decided to eat at the Craggy Garden picnic area. It rises above the parkway and has lots of picnic tables spread out at safe distances. The colors were magnificent. Blazes of oranges, golds and reds adorned the trees.
The elevation at the picnic area is approximately 5,600 ft. We could see clouds rolling in at a distance. As we turned to drive into the picnic area, we could actually see the fog push across the truck. Visibility was very low by the time we reached the parking lot. The temperature dropped to 49°F (9.4° C). The wind was cold so we ended up eating in the truck.
After we ate, we drove up to the visitors center. It was completely socked in. We were feeling sorry for bicyclists wondering how they would finish their descent safely. There are normally long range views, but as you can see from the video, there were no long range views to be seen. It was cold and windy!
We realized it would be futile and precarious to continue up toward Mt. Mitchell, so we headed back home. The wind shifted direction and suddenly things started to clear. We drove back into the picnic area and the difference in the weather in only 15 minutes was unbelievable.
Below the fog, the colors were truly amazing. Well worth the trip!