Mountains Piled Upon Mountains: Beth’s Travels on the Bartram Trail 47

“Not to be exceeded anywhere…”Speaks William Bartram on the Appalachian Mountains. Take a moment to listen….*

Tree with Mountains Piled  from Beth's Travels on the Bartram Trail

Tree with Mountains Piled from Beth’s Travels on the Bartram Trail

Sublimely Awful…

William was traveling outside of Cowee Vale, near Franklin and Highlands North Carolina when he climbed these mountains and saw the sublimely awful sight of mountains piled upon mountains.  As Highlands is only a couple of hours from my home in Athens, GA, I have visited frequently. However, most of my visits have been in the fall, whereas William traveled the mountains in the springtime.

Dry Falls from Beth's Travels on the Bartram Trail

Dry Falls from Beth’s Travels on the Bartram Trail

Dry Falls…

Of the rocky creek bed he crosses, I have no pictures, but I can well imagine. I photographed Dry Falls, so called because it’s possible to walk behind the falls without getting soaked. Cold even in the warmth of summer, I can only imagine how frigid the waters William crossed in early spring must have been.

Stony Narrow Vale from Beth's Travels on the Bartram Trail

Stony Narrow Vale from Beth’s Travels on the Bartram Trail

Stony Vale…

And there is the narrow stony vale he passes through too.

Of the grassy place beside a sweet rivulet I have no pictures. But! Mountains piled upon Mountains, I have plenty.

Mountains Upon Mountails in Fall: From Beth's Travels on the Bartram Trail.

Mountains Upon Mountails in Fall: From Beth’s Travels on the Bartram Trail.

Obscured Scenes…

I climbed one mountain a few years back with my father. As we climbed, cloud cover blew in, but before it obscured the scenes I managed to get some pictures of the mountains piled up in the distance.

This hike also afforded a sublimely awful scene of a cliff of a mountain, hanging some distance below me.

Sublimely Awful Cliff from Beth's Travels on the Bartram Trail

Sublimely Awful Cliff from Beth’s Travels on the Bartram Trail

Tree and Rock…

With the William Bartram Conference, I climbed Scaly Mountain. Along the way we saw a magnificent tree, which had sprouted on top of a rock, and grown down about the rock to the soil beneath.

Tree on a Rock from Beth's Travels on the Bartram Trail

Tree on a Rock from Beth’s Travels on the Bartram Trail

Quartz on the Beach…

We stopped and talked about the book at the top of the mountain, and the mountains piled upon each other. We discussed how the shiny white beaches of the Gulf Shore owe their whiteness to the quartz washed down the ocean from the very mountains we stood upon.

Scaly Mountain View from Beth's Travels on the Bartram Trail

Scaly Mountain View from Beth’s Travels on the Bartram Trail

I mentioned the carbon cycle, and the importance of rock bacteria to maintaining the earth’s temperature in a range that can support life. By trapping carbon more and more as the earth heats up, they remove it from the atmosphere, and as the earth cools, so does the activity of the bacteria. This was presented in the Book the Web of Life on Systems Theory, which is a theory that informs my Possible Perceptions. I expand on the link between Systems Theory and Possible Perceptions in my Artist’s Statement on Possible Perceptions.

Here is the view from the top of Scaly Mountain, one of the possible routes William may have chosen through the Appalachians.

Mountains Piled from Beth's Travels on the Bartram Trail.

Mountains Piled from Beth’s Travels on the Bartram Trail.

And here is the Possible Perception of that view.

Possible Perception 6079: Piles of Mountains by Beth Thompson

Possible Perception 6079: Piles of Mountains by Beth Thompson


*Opening Stanza from “The Slacks” by Trip Shakespeare.

 

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