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


12 Responses to Up Along the Appalachians

  1. Gulara says:

    Breath-taking views and stunning architecture!

    • sammozart says:

      Yes, the Appalachians are so inviting with their own special kind of silent beauty, I think, Gulara. And that Gothic Biltmore House architecture — I love the spires and gargoyles — so interesting to look at and study. Inside is beautiful, too. I think the house has something like 26 bathrooms — you know, one for each guest room. All I could imagine was having to clean them all; but, I suppose if I could afford such a vast house I could afford the help. 🙂 (I could be wrong about the number of bathrooms, but that number sticks in my head.)

      Thank you for coming by!

  2. The marble angel is so beautiful. Looks like you and your mom had a great road trip.

    Blog: QueendSheena
    2016 A to Z Participant
    Joy Brigade Minion

    • sammozart says:

      We did have a wonderful trip, Sheena-kay, My mother loved to travel. The photos bring back many fond memories.


  3. We traveled to Virginia some three years back, but didn’t venture off the beaten path — there seems to always be the issue of time. Did the touristy places, Jamestown, Williamsburg, both nice and historically mesmerizing. This is a different kind of beautiful — just splendid scenery and history. Would love to go back. Thank you, Samantha.

    • sammozart says:

      It is a different kind of beautiful, Silvia, but beautiful in its own right. Virginia’s a beautiful state. I have visited Monticello and would love to go back. Thomas Jefferson’s spirit is still there. You can feel him all around you. I didn’t know about Poplar Forest until a few years ago. That is because it didn’t exist as such. The land all around it was built up and Poplar Forest was privately owned. But the private owners are gone and Poplar Forest and the land that is still part of it is being restored. That tops my list of places to visit and only about four hours from home.

  4. Gwynn Rogers says:

    I LOVE your pictures as I have never traveled in that area. Your area of the country drips in fabulous history as it oozes out all over. It is FUN to see. Thanks for the education and sharing your world.

    • sammozart says:

      It does drip and ooze, Gwynn. It’s humid.

      I’m glad you like my photos. Thanks! 🙂

  5. susan scott says:

    Gorgeous photos Samantha, lovely part of history explained too. And the photo of your Look Homeward Angel is so lovely to see – I remember from a long time ago when I first came to your blog, reading that inscription –

    • sammozart says:

      Yep, that poem is still here on my blog. The poem, the novel and the marble angel are all part of that peak synchronistic moment that showed me I must write. That moment happened when I climbed the dirt road in Jerome, Ariz., with the sculptor, whom I thought had fallen into a bag of flour, to his studio overlooking the open copper mine. “I look like this because I am a sculptor,” he said. “Let me show you what I just finished.” And, so, we walked up the hill and there on the back shelf lying in a box of straw was a flat marble angel he had sculpted.

      Welcome back, Susan! Can’t wait to hear about your trip!

  6. Pat Garcia says:

    Do you know you were actually in my part of the woods. Well, you were in Northern Georgia and I was born in Southern Georgia but I know Georgia, North Carolina and the Southern States very well. I also go to North Carolina every time I go visit the States.
    Excellent article my dear.

    Visiting from the A to Z Blog Challenge.

    Patricia @ EverythingMustChange

    • sammozart says:

      Yes, I figured I was in your neck of the woods, Patti. And now my daughter treks all through those states — on business and with my granddaughters for cheer. She lives in Charlotte. And, as I’ve mentioned to you before, I did live in Southern Georgia briefly, on St. Simon’s Island for four months in 1967, when my daughter was a newborn and my husband was going to a Navy officers school in Brunswick.

      One of these days we’re going to overlap. Won’t that be fun! 🙂