Just this past Tuesday, I thought I noticed smoke near one of the most iconic views in Morganton, Table Rock. There was a controlled burn scheduled for Dobson Knob located West of the Linville Gorge, but they had postponed that as a front with strong winds was to move through in the afternoon.
As the day wore on, many folks were saddened to learn that the area around Table Rock was on fire. I had to see for myself the destruction that my beloved Linville Gorge was experiencing, so I drove up on Wednesday 11-13-2013.
I arrived at Wiseman's View off of Old NC 105 at around 10pm. On the road up over the spine of DogBack Mountain, the flames that were under the smoke revealed themselves. I have never seen anything quite as frightening or as beautiful at the same time as this fire. As I made my way along Old NC 105, it was like I was watching a firey serpent crawling over the ridges of the Gorge.
After I made it to Wiseman's View I saw this spectacular and sad sight. I had hiked this area twice in the past month exploring it's 'new to me' views and sharing the trail with some photographers that were as smitten by the views as I was.
It will take many years for this area to recover and heal the scars left by this fire, but the good Lord always lets the Linville Gorge recover. It just takes time.