Is there anything better than great light and a snow covered scene.  Maybe a little fog in the valley and mist all around. 🙂

The above shot was captured on the last day of the Mountains to Sea Workshops Winter Workshop in Boone North Carolina.

The entire week before I carefully watched the weather and I was psyched to see so much snow in the forecast and on the ground already.  We had almost no snow the year before so all this fluffy white precipitation was very very sweet!

Gingerly I made the final ascent up to Boone in my little car.  The temperatures plumeted as I got closer.  It had been almost 70 degrees in Charleston when I left and as I neared the final ascent it was already below freezing.  Luckily the roads were totally clear and I kept telling myself that as long as I stayed on the main roads I would be fine.

I rolled into Boone with no major problems.  The most excitement came when I missed the entrance to the hotel and turned onto a very icey side street.  Luckily there was enough grip to turn around and get into the right parking lot. 🙂

Right away I was excited to get out and scout. Patchy clouds were forecast for the evening and I knew there was a good chance for some decent light.  I met up with Tommy and we quickly loaded up and headed out to the Parkway.  After a little discussion we settled on Boone Fork Creek which was only accessible via backroads.  Most of the parkway was closed.

DSC_6150After finding our spot I was eager to get into the white stuff and I quickly donned my hat and gloves and face mask. Temperatures at this point were around 0 degrees Fahrenheight.  We set of down a foot deep snowy trail through the rhododhendron thickets to the river.  It was hard going as more snow was falling, but I was thrilled!  The thick fluffy snow was a joy to hike in but I was kinda wishing I had some cross country skies.

We got to the river after a little while and quickly realized that it would not work for a whole group of folks.  The water was only visible in one or two spots.   Scrambling down into the creek bed over rocks covered with feet of snow and then navigating out into the creek was a lot of fun. A hole in the ice drew my eye immediately and I made my way gingerly over to this spot trying not to step on the ice. The light was fleeting and blowing snow accentuated the moment. 5 minutes later it was all gone and we headed up the trail to the bridge.

Again we realized that there was not enough water to justify this spot for our crew and so we headed back to the car.  The return trip seemed a good bit longer.  Maybe we were going back uphill, or maybe it was because it was getting dark.  Maybe because I was wiped out from driving all day.

Nothing a good irish stew wouldn’t fix and a cold one.

The next morning we headed out to Bass Lake and I had fun making Tommy nervous around the edges of the lake.  Tommy grabbed this one of me out on the edge.  He told me that I was actually standing on about 4 feet of lake. 🙂

After Bass Lake we scouted the parkway and verified access to a few more locations before heading back to the hotel.

That night we hit met the whole crew and headed to Price Lake to watch a spectacular sunset over grandfather mountain then it was off to bed to get up early and make a push on Roan Mountain.  Early morning came and with it the snow and sleet.  As we headed out it really intensified and we made a call to keep everyone safe and head for the Parkway instead.  It was a fanstastic time hiking the parkway and shooting the Viaduct in the snow with a great group of folks.

On the last day we hit another excellent sunrise spot and watched as magic light, cloud, fog and snow all came together.  What a great trip.  I can’t wait for the next one. 😉 Read more from the entire weekend and check out the behind the scenes pictures.

If any of this sounds interesting to you then come join us on our next adventure.  We are all sold out for Spring in Charleston but we still have two spots for our Astrophotography class also in Charleston and one spot for Spring Waterfalls in Western North Carolina.  2015 is going to be a great year!