First Blue Ridge Parkway Sunrise of 2022

Just over a week ago, I was out on the Blue Ridge Parkway with my camera. The majority of the gates had been re-opened to travelers, and I drove an hour and a half to the Saddle Overlook to get there by sunrise. It was a beautiful way to start the day!

First sunrise of 2022 from the Blue Ridge Parkway! Visit Beautiful Sun Photography for options to purchase prints!

My next stop was Mabry Mill on the Blue Ridge Parkway. There weren’t any leaves on the trees yet, but the early morning sun through the trees behind me created some exquisite light and shadow combinations! The blue sky above was reflected in the mill pond, creating a beautiful image!

The sun had only been up for just over an hour. The light was fantastic! Visit Beautiful Sun Photography for options to purchase prints!

Both of these areas created some special memories for me. Last fall, when I was at the Saddle Overlook, I heard another car pull up in the parking lot. Suddenly, the guy who got out of the car shouted at the top of his lungs, “I have the best girlfriend in the world!” In the stillness, it was rather shocking (and loud!). I had to laugh, though. He was professing his love for his girlfriend, literally shouting it from the mountain top. Good for him (and her!).

Mabry Mill has always been a favorite stop for me. I drove up there in the rain last fall, not knowing just what I’d find when I got there. I wasn’t able to stop at many of the overlooks on the Blue Ridge Parkway along the way because it was either raining so hard or the valleys had disappeared completely behind a cloudbank. But when I got to Mabry Mill, it was either lightly sprinkling or just a bit misty – perfect for early morning photography!

Light Rain at Mabry Mill in Autumn. Visit Beautiful Sun Photography for options to purchase prints!

In next week’s article, I’ll discuss the importance of having a walking stick when out hiking and a first aid kit that includes an instant ice bag and pain relievers. Shortly after my most recent visit to Mabry Mill a week ago, I tripped and fell on a stone path. Fortunately, I didn’t break any bones, but I had a number of sprains, including my right hand. It all worked out and I’m healing well. Even better, my camera and lens didn’t suffer any lasting damage! My next article will speak to the benefit of using a lens filter (that was the only real damage to my gear!).

Until next time, be well and be safe!

8 Comments Add yours

  1. Steve Heap says:

    Good on you for getting up so early to be there for sunrise. I used to drive down Skyline Drive from the North and there are some great sunset views (never there early enough for the sunrise!). I’ve never been to Mabry Mill though – it does look like an intriguing place for photography!

    1. Thank you, Steve! Sunrise is my prime time! I’m hoping to expand my horizons and get more sunset views in the coming year.

  2. jim hughes says:

    Spectacular color. I envy people with the energy and willpower to get out and photograph at sunrise. Worth the effort in this case.

    1. Thank you, Jim! I’ve always been an early riser and it starts my day off right.

  3. Kay Gibbons says:

    Good on you. Beautiful images and we both know the feeling of falling head over. Whoopsie. Glad there wasn’t too much damage to you or the camera!

    1. Thanks, Kay! Yeah, I was lucky, that’s for sure! The jams we get in to as photographers!

  4. Bob Decker says:

    I love the western part of my state. The Blue Ridge is a wonderful drive full of great photographic opportunities. I used to be an early riser. These days, however I seem to be more of a sunset than a sunrise kind of guy. Love the story and photos in your article. Keep up the good work.

    1. Thanks, Bob. Last fall, I got as far as the VA/NC state line (it takes a long time when I stop at every single overlook and several points in between). The vegetation change is so dramatically different and striking!

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