Up Along the Appalachians

My mother and I took a road trip in 1995 up along the Appalachian Mountains from Georgia through the states of Tennessee, North Carolina and Virginia, Thomas Jefferson’s Virginia, not far from Jefferson’s Poplar Forest retreat, though it was only just being restored and wasn’t ready for visitors yet. Here are some photos of our trip.

Dillards & Marble Angel

Dillard’s, a popular family restaurant, Dillard, Georgia.

Gatlinburg & Cove Field Ridge BR Pkw 1

Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

Pidgeon Crk & BR Pkwy

This vista is at the junction of Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway. We drove through the Great Smoky Mountains, then through the Blue Ridge Mountains and Shenandoah National Park, with a stop in Asheville, N.C., to visit the Biltmore Estate and author Thomas Wolfe’s childhood home.

Gatlinburg & Cove Field Ridge BR Pkw

Cove Field Ridge, from the Blue Ridge Parkway, elevation 4,620 feet.

Pidgeon Crk & BR Pkwy 1

Pigeon Creek, N.C. My mother took this photo.

Biltmore House

An aspect of Biltmore House on the Biltmore Estate, Asheville, N.C.

Gargoyles & Hermit

“Spires and Gargoyles”: F. Scott Fitzgerald, who stayed at the historic Grove Park Inn in Asheville, titled his first novel This Side of Paradise and named the second chapter “Spires and Gargoyles,” after the architecture of Princeton University where he had studied as an undergraduate. Here is an apt excerpt from that chapter:

“The night mist fell. From the moon it rolled, clustered about the spires and towers, and then settled below them, so that the dreaming peaks were still in lofty aspiration toward the sky.”


Gargoyles & Hermit 1

The Hermit.

Finally, this side of Asheville …

Thomas Wolfe House 1

“My Old Kentucky Home,” author Thomas Wolfe’s childhood home in Asheville, N.C. This was the boarding house his mother ran. It figures in Wolfe’s autobiographical 1929 novel, Look Homeward, Angel as “Dixieland” in the fictional mountain town of Altamont.

Dillards & Marble Angel 1

This marble angel, a centerpiece in Look Homeward, Angel, is inlaid in the sidewalk in Asheville.

... a stone, a leaf, an unfound door; of a stone, a leaf, a door. And of all the forgotten faces. –Thomas Wolfe, preface to Look Homeward, Angel.

–Samantha Mozart