Whitewater Gorge is located off of N.C. 281 about 8 miles south of the juncture of U.S. 64 and N.C. 281 west of Brevard NC.
(Continued from A Winter Blast at Whitewater Falls). This image looks through the trees to the opposite side of Whitewater Gorge on a recent February morning. I arrived on the heels of a winter storm the afternoon before to find the gorge blanketed in a tenacious fog that relented only twice to reveal in misty obscurity a landscape from out of my dreams, a vision so tempting as to woo me into the choice to spend the night there in anticipation of morning’s clearing. It was the full moon’s reflection that swept the valley clean as Whitewater falls serenaded me to sleep. Dawn found me encased in a bivy of hoar frost, stiff in my reluctance to venture forth into the cold, but only for a short second.
Everything I had hoped for greeted my waking; indeed a dream world awaited me, and despite the temperature and the icy breath of the falls, there was something else enticing me out, something alive and moving beneath the surface of all that I could see, and hear and feel upon my tingling skin. Perhaps it is evident in this image even now, the warmth of that embrace that touched me deeply, reaching past my bone and blood to deeper depths still, like sunlight breaking into and through cold contracture, easing, melting, cracking open an encasement seal to a heart once blind to such an existence as this. “I’m slipping away; let this continue and lose all control!” It was a warning spilling from out of who I thought I was and at first I listened and fought back the tears to stifle the thawing. Come this way enough, risk the thaw often enough, and the learning curve simply gets gentler, I’ve found, and love has its way with me sooner each time rather than later, to remain within me as that expanding ‘otherworldly’ ambience that the greatest dreams are made of. Slip now into the warmth of that embrace and dream a little dream of truth.
Nikon D90, 20mm, 1/500 sec, F/22, ISO 200, +1 Exp comp, CP
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