Grandfather Mountain

So I have lived in North Carolina all of my life, but until recently, I had never visited one of our greatest attractions!  Its called Grandfather Mountain, located near the blue ridge parkway in the western part of the state.  It is famously known for its ‘swinging bridge’, which sits over a mile high across two mountains.

I figured I would check out the place, and there were some storms out so I figured it could make for some interesting pictures.  I pulled up to the gate, payed my $18 parking fee, and headed up the mountain.  Keeping my eye on the sky and radar, I noticed two storm cells located on either side of me, slowly moving closer.  Knowing my time was limited, and feeling sprinkles, I ran to where the swinging bridge was and started setting up.  It took about ten minutes for the rain to pick up, and I watched as a shelf cloud moved toward the swinging bridge.  There were still a fair amount of tourists at this time, and so I ran across the bridge and waited for the inevitable panic to ensue.  Soon enough, the rain became thick and people started clearing out.  I spotted a gentleman hanging behind wearing a blue jacket and keyed in on him as my subject.  After everyone else crossed the bridge, the man started to make the slippery walk across the bridge, with the wind kicking up and rain pounding.  I waited for him to cross, and then quickly ran across myself to get my camera to safety.
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It was quite an experience, but still not over!  I caught a break in the storms and before heading home I got another shot overlooking an area off of Grandfather mountain.  A truly beautiful day and an interesting place to visit.  However, I would recommend either preparing for a 5 mile hike to save the 18$ parking fee… something I plan to try when I return.
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