The last few days of 2012 were dismal weather-wise here in Northeast Tennessee. Cold temperatures, soggy (too warm to snow) lazy days coupled with the reflection of the past year and the upcoming New Year were reason for a flight to Roan Mountain – and that’s never disappointing.

So with a flurry of thoughts and reflection I grabbed the camera and made the trek to Elizabethton and up Highway 321 to one of my favorite spots for clarity and splendor. The clouds were still hanging low and the ground gradually became peppered with light snow as the temperature started to drop. As I turned into the Roan Mountain State Park, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but just about 2 miles from the peak, the barren trees were painted with a coat of fresh snow and before long the roads were covered. About a half mile from the top, I had to stop a grab the first photo of an avenue in my favorite Winter Wonderland.

At the top, near Carver’s Gap, the wind was roaring across the summit and there were a few cars, but skies were amazing. An azure blue panorama gave way to a valley filled with clouds that seemed to move like ocean waves and snow was everywhere.

As usual, I had packed way to light for the trip. Nevertheless, a small coat, a pair of boots and a hat that wouldn’t stay on my head was enough to begin my ascent to the first round bald.

Walking through four or five inches of snow, the trip to the top was easy today. The wind really picked up near the Summit and I spent more time chasing my hat it seemed.

However, there were some amazing views today. The clouds on each side of Tennessee and North Carolina were laying low and this local mecca was a splendid sanctuary for photos today. Couldn’t do much wrong when Mother Nature behaves like this.

This gallery shows the photos I was able to take this day. By the time I had made it to the second bald, my hands were freezing and it was getting late, but overall – another magical moment on Roan.