The trail to the top of Whiteside Mountain near Highlands, North Carolina, was still icy this past Saturday, but it was melting! That alone created a very interesting atmosphere on the mountain—mist, fog, mud, rain, and ice on the rocks! Yikes!

Whiteside is a landmark in the Nantahala National Forest. It rises to an elevation of 4,930 feet and is located between Cashiers and Highlands, North Carolina, on US Highway 64 (A favorite area). In the mist, Whiteside’s cliffs look like sheets of ice draped across the mountain. A moderate two-mile loop trail takes you on top of sheer 750-foot high cliffs. There’s plenty of railings for safety. The views are outstanding.

We traversed across a lot of very wet terrain. It was just plain out and out muddy, which was the result of melting snow and ice!

Here’s a photo of the trail to the top of the mountain. It was later in the day when we began our trek but it’s a short two mile adventure so it was easy to do.

We were shrouded in fog and mist. At one point, we were hiking in the clouds!

Pat and Anne at the top of Whiteside Mountain. I was kidding Pat because to get her to smile, I just said, “Lipstick.” She immediately laughed.

Repelling is a favorite sport on Whiteside Mountain. Rock climbers, who are looking for a thrill, usually step over these boundaries and attach their ropes and repel down and then climb back up. But no one was doing that on this day!

Well, I hope no one went over the edge!

We commented that Wendi Bailey would have loved this trail.

Holly looks like a white dog in this photo. She was anything but that by the time we got to the end of the hike. Her innocent look tells me that she knows nothing about the “bath” that was in her future later in the evening!

Beautiful in rain or shine. . . .

This was taken last summer from just about the same spot!

Beth with her camera and then she pulled out a surprise for all of us. I’ll post those photos next. (smile)

I love rain droplets!

The promise of spring—buds on the Mountain Laurel that seem almost ready to open but they won’t do that for another two months.