Waterrock Knob with a Writer

How many times can I blog about Waterrock Knob?

Purple aster
Purple aster

As many times as I want, I guess, since this is my blog.

How many times can I go to Waterrock Knob? As many times as I want to or need to.

Look at the picture above. This is the view of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail from Piet’s Bench as far as the eye can see. On Friday, at 5,500 feet above sea level, with perfect autumn weather, the view was magnificent.

John Manuel
John Manuel

But I was there on business. I was guiding John Manuel, an outdoor writer, doing a three-part story on the MST. He writes for Wildlife in North Carolina, the magazine of the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission. He wanted to see the fantastic trail around Waterrock Knob and I was recommended.

John is obviously a hiker and outdoor person. But this wasn’t about hiking; it was about seeing the trail, the flora and fauna, and getting his questions answered. It is very difficult to hike and take notes at the same time. And don’t even think about using a voice recorder unless you have to take notes so precisely that you’re quoting people.

So we walked. I talked and I gave him time to take notes his way.

Mountain ash
Mountain ash

He had walked some of the MST around Asheville with Becky S., another Carolina Mountain Club member. She really knows her flora. But the vegetation this high is much different.

Purple asters are everywhere in the fall but not mountain ash. Here in North Carolina, it grows at high altitude only, so it’s unlikely that John would have seen it in Asheville.

I really emphasized that CMC volunteers built this whole trail – not participated or helped or cooperated – but built it all. That’s why it took six years, but look at it now.

I’m not done with Waterrock Knob. On Sunday October 16, I’m going to lead a CMC hike which takes in the whole new CMC section. Look at our schedule and come on out.

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