I live in east Tennessee and my mom lives in Asheville in neighboring North Carolina. Driving directly it isn’t much over an hour, but it usually takes me way longer. I pull over for what I intend to be a short photo stop at a scenic overlook and hours later sunset has turned into night.
In summer and winter the drive is fairly homogenous, with fully green mountains or bare peaks all along the route. But in spring and fall, the elevation change creates dramatic differences. I climb from around 1500 feet at my house up to 3760 feet at the Tennessee and North Carolina border before dipping back down to Asheville.
Making the trip two of the last three weekends, my car has become a time machine. As I climb the mountains, the year goes backward. This past weekend was especially dramatic, with two seasons in one. Rain at home became snow at the pass, with white clinging to the highest peaks. Evergreens shared the slopes below with deciduous trees just starting to leaf out in many delicate shades of green. Maples were flowering with a pale red haze. Time was suspended here between seasons. I look forward to seeing spring’s progress on my future voyages through time and space, less dramatically known as my drive to Asheville.