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  • Writer's pictureMelissa Anne

Icy Solstice Adventure

Going off topic right out the gate, folks, get yourself a partner who will grab their coat and hat whenever you say something like, "Hey, I'm going out to chase sunset on the parkway." Solo exploring is cool and all, but having a partner who is open to whatever adventurous whim you might be having at the moment is a gift and I'm grateful.

With that intro, you may have already guessed how this particular adventure began. What you may not have guessed is that my whim to catch the sunset came after a ten-hour drive from coastal Alabama to way up in the mountains of Western North Carolina where my family lives. Conveniently, there's a beautiful sunset overlook off the Blue Ridge Parkway not far from home, so the chase concluded easily enough.

You never know what you're going to get at sunrise or sunset, which is part of the thrill. I've learned to look toward the horizon and wait patiently for the post sunset color show, but I've also learned to look over my shoulder for surprise moments in natural beauty as well. On this particular day, a wall of icicles was to my back as I gazed at the light fading over the mountains.

The parkway was all but abandoned. We hadn't passed a single car on the road, so I felt emboldened to cross and approach the wall of icicles. After several minutes of snapping pictures and allowing wonder to take over my senses, a park ranger's vehicle zoomed around the bend and came to an abrupt stop in the parking lot. I thought I was about to get reprimanded for standing under a hundred ice daggers, but he was there to inform us that the parkway was closing soon due to the approaching inclement weather and we were about to get locked in. It was then that I realized why it felt like we had the entire parkway to ourselves. I should have known better, but how soon we forget the ways of home once home becomes a place to visit rather than a place to live.

I hopped back into the car and jumped the curb in my haste to get back to the gate before it was locked. Once we arrived at the gate, we noticed that the rangers had already closed the incoming side, which led us to muse what would happen if we had arrived at the gate and both sides were locked. If you know or have an amusing response to our inquiry, please comment below. My best guess is that we would have to call highway patrol to send someone out to our aide.

In the end, it was a good little adventure and a thrilling way to end a long and arduous day. I posted a video on Instagram of the sounds that the ice was making as it melted. Click the IG icon below or above and check it out.

Y'all take care and stay warm!

Carpe Diem,

Melissa Anne

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