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Worlds largest rhododendron garden

posted Feb 14, 2014, 6:58 PM by Jason Arnold   [ updated Jan 8, 2017, 1:00 PM ]
It was a round about view of the mountain we hope to fly in the lee of, Sarah and I explored a driving loop through the high country from Marion NC to Banner Elk, Roan Mt to Spruce Pine and returning to Marion. Along our way we visited Beach Mountain, one of the local ski areas and their ice rink there. The ice rink was a bit soft so we skipped our planned skate and watched a couple of kids enjoy the creaking surface before going along our way. The road took us to the "Roan Highlands" atop Roan Mountain. We started a hike near the worlds largest natural rhododendron garden and climbed along the Appalachian trail through a stand of spruce-fir forrest finally emerging onto the longest stretch of grassy bald in the Appalachian mountains; Round Bald, just short of Jane Bald, and Grassy Ridge Bald, See the view of Mount Mitchell from atop Round Bald above. - Jason