As you know, Larry and I love road trips, but there’s something extra special about road trips in search of snow.
When I was in about the ninth grade, my younger brother and I were surprised with a quick, weekend, road trip to see snow for the first time. As Floridians that was quite an exciting prospect. Although I didn’t hear the actual conversation, I can imagine my mom telling my dad to pack the VW Beetle, because we were heading to North Carolina to find snow, as well as what was probably his tepid response (my mom was the more adventurous one in the family). I suspect he wasn’t thrilled about a nine-hour drive (it was probably significantly longer 55+ years ago, pre-interstate travel) with two kids in the back seat of a VW Bug, but he was a good sport, and off we went. As we approached our destination, maybe in the Lenoir/Hickory, North Carolina area, we stopped for gas. At that point there was no snow anywhere to be seen. My dad asked the gas station attendant (remember, it’s the 60’s) if there was snow in Blowing Rock. The answer was an emphatic, “Yes”. As we drove away, Mama told my Daddy he probably saw our Florida license plate and was getting a good laugh. Climbing up to Blowing Rock, however, specks of snow became prevalent, and a general dusting turned into a winter wonderland. The snow was deep, and I loved it.
We only spent one night in Blowing Rock. It was a sleepy, winter town, and as I remember we had difficulty finding a place for dinner. The next morning, however, we tramped around town in our Florida winter wear, oohing and awing at the beautiful sights. I remember my dad showing us how each snowflake was slightly different by placing our gloves lightly in the snow to capture just a few flakes for observation purposes. I was enchanted! We didn’t linger, because it was a long drive back to Jacksonville, but that trip has always been special to me.
I wouldn’t have another snow experience until Larry and I moved to Washington DC after our wedding. Admittedly, living in it isn’t necessarily as wondrous as visiting it, but I still find snow magical. So after being off the road most of 2020, we were ready for a snow trip this winter. We watched the weather, probably as my mother did those many years ago, although using slightly different resources, for a snow forecast in the Blowing Rock, Boone, Beech Mountain area and hit the road on short notice. We were rewarded with spectacular beauty. Please check out our latest video on YouTube, or the Video tab on the website, to see the stunning scenery we were blessed to encounter.
Since our trip, large portions of our country have been blasted with frigid, artic air and are suffering through disastrous results. Our hearts go out to those still trying to recover. The joy we experienced in our quest for snow is in no way meant to diminish the tragedy that severe weather can create in areas unaccustomed to such. Nature’s forces, in innumerable forms, can be devastatingly harsh and magnificently beautiful at the same time.