In the final weeks before leaving for the Peace Corps, I have made an effort to spend time outside among the mountains. I grew up before this backdrop, but it took travelling and coming back before I realized their beauty or even noticed the mountains the way an outside observer would. Their gentle sloping ridges and valleys paint a picture that seems to show many “layers” of various blues and greens. It’s a beautiful sight which I believe does justice to the rich variety of life they hold and their long history.
First, to give some context: If you don’t already, you should know that the Appalachian Mountains are very old. Not only are they the oldest North American mountain range, they predate the formation of the continent and are part of the same mountain range as the Atlas Mountains in Morocco where, incidentally, I have also hiked. Although the Appalachians seem relatively smooth and of modest height, they used to look more like the Alps or Rockies. If you like reading facts as much as I do, you can find more here.
I feel lucky to have spent so much of my life in close proximity to such vast expanses of natural scenery. In minutes I could literally walk to the woods and run for hours without seeing humans. While I love doing that, I am grateful that I have so many wonderful friends willing to explore with me in my last few weeks around Asheville. Here are a few pictures from our recent hikes.