Right now the Parkway has 9 open miles above Asheville; it is mostly closed during the winter season. I took my time winding up the roads, enjoying the vistas between stretches of dense foliage. I wasn't in a big hurry. It was below freezing.
Eventually I pulled over. The Smokey Mountains showed purple behind a thick tangle of trees. I set up my easel and sketched on the canvas with thinned-down Quinachronome Burnt Orange. The biggest challenge was to simplify the foreground. Behind me, icicles hung down a rocky face, glistening in the sun. Every now and then I jumped at the glassy crash as they slid and broke.
It was cold today but the sun was a fine companion. Tomorrow I point the car home. The best part of any trip is returning! I especially look forward to pulling out these four paintings, having not seen them since started. It's just a little bit like Christmas. And when they are finished, I will have completed 20 states. I'm on target to wrap up by the end of 2015!