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Sunday, September 23, 2012

Earth's Equinox and guide to fall colors in NC Mountains. Fall Equinox starts Sept 22 and Spring Equinox on March21

Brown Mountain Lodge and Creekside Cozy Cabin cabin rentals guide to see peak color in the Blue Ridge Mountains of NC.  See tons of pictures and details of our cabins and calendar of  availability at:                 Brown Mountain Lodge Cabin Rentals

I've been coming to the mountains since I was kid and up here every couple weeks and over the years have determined the basic cycle to the color at different elevations.  For starters though here is a diagram of what happens in the heavens and the earth passes over the celestial equator and changes us from Summer Soltice to Fall:

The Spring and Fall Equinox:

The seasons will change this Sunday (Sept. 22), with the Northern Hemisphere moving into autumn and the South emerging from winter into spring.
The celestial event that marks this transition is called an "equinox," and it happens twice every year, around March 21 and Sept. 21. Just what is an equinox, and why does it occur?
The Earth moves in two different ways. First, the planet spins on its polar axis — a line through the north and south poles — once every 24 hours, causing the alternation of day and night. Secondly, it moves in its orbit around the sun once every 365.25 days, causing the annual cycle of seasons. The equinox occurs when these two motions intersect. [Season to Season: Earth's Equinoxes & Solstices (Infographic)]
Because the Earth is so big, its mass has an enormously powerful gyroscopic effect. For this reason, its poles always point in the same direction, although a major earthquake can cause tiny wobbles in this axis. Most importantly, the Earth's motion around the sun has absolutely no effect on the direction the poles are pointing, which has very important consequences for Earth's seasons.
Astronomers mark the positions of objects in the sky relative to the Earth's poles of rotation (those are the red lines you see in the picture). The most important line is the celestial equator, which divides the sky into the Northern and Southern Hemispheres.
The Earth's pole of rotation is tilted 23.4 degrees relative to the plane of its orbit. This tilt is always toward the same point in the sky, called the celestial pole, no matter where in its orbit around the sun the Earth happens to be.
This tilt makes it appear to observers on Earth's surface that the sun is moving across the sky at an angle to the celestial equator. This is marked by the green line in the image, called the "ecliptic" because eclipses happen along this line.

Scenic Drives 
Fall Color Leaf Guide
One of the most beautiful times of the year in Western North Carolina is Autumn. The mountains seem to come alive with color. People travel from miles around just to catch a glimpse of the splendor. 
Peak foliage viewing depends on many factors. The most important factor is elevation. Trees of the same species, can peak weeks apart depending on their location. Cooler slopes, that face the north, will peak much earlier than slopes facing the sun. Certain species of trees also peak earlier than others. In addition, an early frost and unusually wet or dry summers will affect the process differently. 

Estimated Peak Viewing Times 

Higher ElevationsOctober 1 - 15
Lower ElevationsOctober 15 - 31

Scenic Drives 
Looking for that perfect autumn vista? Choose one of these scenic drives and wind 
your way through the Western North Carolina mountains splashed with the hues of 
autumn. You may also want to consider one of these craft excursions to understand 
the beauty that captures the hearts and imaginations of the region's artists and crafts 
Craggy Gardens 
Craggy Gardens is a wonderful place for viewing the late summer wildflowers and 
bright scarlet colored berries of the mountain ash. Bring a picnic lunch, hike some of 
the Parkway’s many trails and take in the panoramic views of the Blue Ridge 
Mountains. To reach this area, take the Blue Ridge Parkway north from Asheville 
for about 20 miles. (One way driving time: 45 minutes.) 
Grandfather Mountain 
From Asheville take I-40 to Hwy 70 at the Old Fort exit. Continue east on 70 to 
221 north. Take 221 to Linville Falls area. Pass the Blue Ridge Parkway and at the 
intersection of 181 and 105 look for a billboard directing you to Grandfather 
Mountain. View the native animal habitats, enjoy hiking and picnicking and test your 
courage on the mile high swinging bridge which also provides a great vantage point 
for viewing autumn’s rich colors. (One way driving time: 1 hour 45 minutes.) 
Mount Mitchell 
Take the Blue Ridge Parkway north. Exit NC 128 from the Parkway to Mount 
Mitchell State Park. This peak, the highest east of the Mississippi, provides 
sweeping views of autumn color on the slopes below. In addition to expansive 
views, the Park offers an observation tower, hiking trails, picnic areas, a natural 
history museum, and a restaurant. (One way driving time: 45 minutes.) 
Mount Pisgah/Graveyard Fields 
Take the Blue Ridge Parkway south from Asheville toward Mount Pisgah, where 
you will find picnic areas, hiking trails and a restaurant. Mount Pisgah was originally 
part of the 100,000-acre Biltmore Estate bought in the late 1800s by George W. 
Vanderbilt. Continue on the Parkway to Graveyard Fields (milepost 418) where you 
can take moderate 2.29 mile hike. Yellowstone Falls can also be seen from an 
overlook on the Parkway. Return to Asheville on the Parkway heading north. (One 
way driving time: 45 minutes.)

Wilson Creek Wild and Scenic River Gorge Corrider in Grandfather Mountain Ranger District:

Our guests favor the Wilson Creek Wild and Scenic River Gorge as well for the off the beaten path and no traffic.  The Brown Mountain Beach Road is hard packed gravel but is well maintained and is mostly public.  There are 9 miles of River Gorge with public parking and stairs to the river.  Bring your camera, the trees the leaves, the boulders and river hydraulics are amazing.  Bring a fishing rod to catch some of the coolest looking fish...... a beautiful Brown or Rainbow Trout.

Wilson Creek River Gorge

Brown Mountain Lodge and Creekside Cozy Cabin are right down the road from the The Wilson Creek River Gorge and only 13 miles to the Blue Ridge Parkway and Linn Cove Viaduct.  From there you can turn left and go see the Linville Falls and turn back to the right and go across the Viaduct and make a stop at Grandfather Mountain......breathtaking.  After that cap off the evening with mountain gear shopping in Blowing Rock and dinner at Canyon's Restuarant.

Here is Canyon's sunset view from the dining area and deck:

Canyons Restuarant View

View of Grandfather Mountain with telephoto at Canyons

For your next romantic weekend and evening camp fire and terrific accomodations in the mountains check us out at our web site:


CCC Outdoor lounge with fire pit

BML Outdoor lounge with fire pit

BML newly added charcoal smoker grill

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Eastern US Continental Divide near Grandfather Mtn

             Map of the North American Continental Divides

The Continental Divide is the water shed flow of water from mountain ranges around the world.  Below is the picture fom the Divides in North America.  The Wilson Creek Wild and Scenic River starts at the top of Grandfather Mountain and traverses through the Brown Mountain area which is part of the Grandfather Mountain Ranger district and surrounded by Pisgah National Forest.
The Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina and Eastern Tennessee are the result of the action of plate tectonics. The crust of our planet is composed of five primary plates, or huge pieces of rock which move very slowly over deeper layers of hot, pliable rock.  Here you can see how the Appalachains were formed.

Some of the plates are composed of heavy oceanic crust, while others are made of lighter continental crust. At the middle of each oceanic plate a large crack pours forth lava onto the ocean floor. This causes oceanic plates to expand an inch or two every year. When oceanic crust is forced against continental crust, the oceanic crust is pushed underneath the continental crust. When continental crust is forced against continental crust, huge mountains usually are formed.
The Appalachian Mountains were formed in the remote past by collision of two continental crusts. During such mountain building, huge sheets of rock are pushed over each other. A rock layer called the Blue Ridge Thrust Sheet was moved over 60 miles to cover what is now Grandfather Mountain.
These mountains were once much higher (10 times as high!) than they are today. Erosion over hundreds of millions of years has carried away most of the rocks to form thick layers of sediment all across the Piedmont, Coastal Plain, and in the Atlantic Ocean. At Grandfather mountain, erosion has worn away the Blue Ridge Thrust Sheet from over top of the underlying older rock, allowing us to study them. Geologists call this a “window” in time.
                            Here is the video of Grandfather Mountain the first Billion Years!

A 23.3-mile mountain stream, Wilson Creek was added to the National Wild and Scenic River System in 2000. Much of Wilson Creek lies within the Pisgah National Forest. The stream starts atop 5,920-foot high Grandfather Mountain, just 100 yards above the Blue Ridge Parkway. Twenty miles later, the headwaters rush through the Blue Ridge Mountains into a 200-foot deep gorge of granite bedrock.
The Wilson Creek Wild and Scenic River gorge is one of North Carolina's best kept secrets for the natural beauty and unspoiled commercialism.  The river and terrain has been a family favorite spot for exploring in the great Pisgah National Forest part of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Here is a view of a kayaker taking in the beauty of the Gorge as the Wilson Creek has cut a path through the boulders and solid rock formations that are billions of years old.  Thees are the oldest exposed rock formations and  mountains in the world.
For perfect home base accomodations to enjoy your Mountain Adventures visit the Brown Mountain Cabin Rentals website.  Tons of pic's video and details of the Wilson Creek River Gorge area and the fun stuff to do here.  We are centrally located between Grandfather Mountain, Blowing Rock and Lenoir.

                                         Click below to view our website home page:

            Pet Friendly Brown Mountain Cabin Rentals

Brown Mountain Lodge Cabin Rentals east of the Continental Divide in the Grandfather Mountain Ranger District, located   near the Wilsons Creek Wild and Scenic River Gorge.


CCC Fire pit

BML Fire pit and Grill area

BML New smoker Grill

CCC Outdoor lounge area

CCC Outdoor lounge family hangout by the creek

            Here is the link to our website of Creekside Cozy Cabin and Brown Mountain Lodge:                      

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Brown Mountain Lodge - Guest Reviews link to post

CHILLAXING in the Wilson Creek River Gorge - Mountain Home vacation rentals Guest Reviews Links for BML.

Here are the links available to post guest reviews for Brown Mountain Lodge:

Merchant Circle

Yelp - Reviews

Brown Mountain Lodge - About - Google+

At BML we just added a new charcoal grill as well as kitchen table.  Plenty of space and amenities for family and friends to enjoy the mountains at some of the most unique vacation rental homes in the Wilson Creek Wild and Scenic River area.  Stay with us at Brown Mountain Lodge or Creekside Cozy Cabin, Outdoor firepits for cool Fall evenings for chillaxing in the Mountains:

                            Creekside Cozy Cabin fire pit area, has gas grill as well

New Charcoal Grill at BML - Propane Gas Grill also

                                         Fire Pit at BML Gas grill swings and hammock, dart board


                                                     New Kitchen table at BML just added
                                          Covered outdoor Lounge area at CCC by the creek