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Entries in Table Rock (2)


The Table Rock Fire

Table Rock Fire Linville Gorge 11-13-2013 16

Just this past Tuesday, I thought I noticed smoke near one of the most iconic views in Morganton, Table Rock. There was a controlled burn scheduled for Dobson Knob located West of the Linville Gorge, but they had postponed that as a front with strong winds was to move through in the afternoon.



Table Rock Fire Linville Gorge 11-13-2013 9 (1)


As the day wore on, many folks were saddened to learn that the area around Table Rock was on fire. I had to see for myself the destruction that my beloved Linville Gorge was experiencing, so I drove up on Wednesday 11-13-2013. 


Table Rock Fire Linville Gorge 11-13-2013 6

I arrived at Wiseman's View off of Old NC 105 at around 10pm. On the road up over the spine of DogBack Mountain, the flames that were under the smoke revealed themselves. I have never seen anything quite as frightening or as beautiful at the same time as this fire. As I made my way along Old NC 105, it was like I was watching a firey serpent crawling over the ridges of the Gorge.



Table Rock Fire Linville Gorge 11-13-2013 20


After I made it to Wiseman's View I saw this spectacular and sad sight. I had hiked this area twice in the past month exploring it's 'new to me' views and sharing the trail with some photographers that were as smitten by the views as I was.

It will take many years for this area to recover and heal the scars left by this fire, but the good Lord always lets the Linville Gorge recover. It just takes time.



Shortoff On a Cold and Windy Day...

Icy Rocks 583


I headed up to Shortoff Mountain at the Southern end of the Linville Gorge. The weather forecast called for high winds and highs in the lower 40's, a blustery day but a great hike. As I began the hike I noticed that the icicles were melting, it would warm up slightly, but not enough!



On Frozen Pond (Shortoff) 585


The pond on top of Shortoff was frozen as well. I always enjoy visiting this spot.



Looking up the Gorge from Shortoff 587


One of the many overlooks along Shortoff. This is looking North up Linville Gorge. The wind was so intense here, that you could only stand for a few minutes before the wind chill would burn your finger and face with COLD! It was a pity I could not stand and stare like I like to do.



Table Rock Near Chimney Gap  607


My goal was to hike toward the end of Shortoff near Chimney Gap. I didn't want to loose much elevation so I opted to stop at a rock outcropping and take a few shots of Table Rock from this angle. This area was damaged in a forest fire started by lightning back in 2007.




Here is a 15 second video I took of the area, there was NO shelter from the wind here!



Table Rock near Chimney Gap 594


Table Rock is the icon of Morganton and the namesake for many businesses in the area. It is also a fascinating rock formation that changes dramatically from different angles. 



Pinch-in Rdige Close up 604



On the way back out I took a closeup of Pinch-In Ridge where Pinch-In Trail goes down to the Linville River.If you follow the ridge, you can see the trail in places. It is one of the hikes I plan on going on once day!



Clouds moving in on the North, time to go! 605


As much fun as I had hiking solo, I knew a strong cold front was coming through and with it, snow! The clouds were blowing in  from the North and it looked like I had better head back down Shortoff. Later on that evening this area received several inches of snowfall! 

And so ends another glorious experience in the Linville Gorge Wilderness Area!