Well, this is it for now. Covid-19 has grounded us, and we are more than happy to stay at our homes and wait until this storm passes by. But I’ve already set a goal for the future and that is to hike to Browning Knob via Waterrock. Planning the next hike is a mental health thing for me.

Yes, I’m digging in my garden, working for the clients that are still up and going, checking on my mom, talking with my brother, walking, and advising Anne to go out and hit golf balls on her beautiful golf course that is basically all hers now. But we all need to think ahead to the joyful moments or events to come. That can keep us going and motivated. We need to rest but we also need to think about the times to come—moments by the fire pit with new friends, and a time of celebration. My mom will be 93 on May 20!

So, for right now, here’s the last photo for a while from the Blue Ridge Parkway. We drove there last week. I wrote to Anne and said, “I’ll buy a picnic lunch, if you will drive?” So, with plenty of antibacterial packed up with us, we all road up to the parking lot at Waterrock and Browning Knob. We stayed in the car except to photograph the trailhead for Yellow Face.

We saw people but there was no interaction. Eyes only looked back at one another through car windows. Some started up the path to the summit at Waterrock (good for them!), but most of us stayed right where we were. Distance was between us. There was a certain hopeful despair (figure that one out) in doing exactly what we were doing—saying good bye for now—but looking forward to a safe return in the summer.

The pathway that leads to Yellow Face always makes me smile. It reminds me of Beth and her tall tales of climbing it with her brother Joel. Of course, I also wanted to climb it too and did. There are some pretty cool memories from that hike to the top a summer ago. Here’s the post from then: Yellow Face.

And of course the view from Waterrock. No sunsets or sunrises here on this day—just dark winter colors and the ever constant emerging blues of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

And for the parting shot: I sort of like this photo for now. I realized when I took it that I would not get to witness the greens of spring in the mountains—the green patchwork quilts that rolls out each year announcing the return of summer. Some of the trees are just beginning to tip out with reds and yellows but there were no greens except among the spruce fir trees.

So, what I did realize is how amazing this country is. I don’t know why this thought came to me at this time, but we truly have been given such rich beauty to enjoy and to share.