June 30, 2016. I enjoyed an unexpected escort coming down from the top of Mt. Mitchell (off the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina – highest US peak East of the Mississippi). You can drive almost to the top but a fairly steep (albeit paved) path leads to the summit. For me, going up that path took all my concentration. Coming back down, in contrast, was pure pleasure. What a treat to catch a photo in one of my guide’s brief pauses!