I took a drive out to Shelton Laurel yesterday.
The foliage was amazing--pretty much at peak.
The sun, however, was hidden behind low clouds but I still found a lot to photograph. These are a merciful few of the 159 pictures I took.
I poked along, stopping whenever there was a pull off--either to let people in a hurry pass me and/or take pictures.
There wasn't much traffic--except at one point, a clutch of bear hunters in their camo outfits and bright orange caps. Excited dog noses poked out of the dog boxes in the back of their trucks.
I wish I could have gotten a picture, especially of the truck barreling down the road with one hound standing atop the dog box, busily sniffing the air.
And I should have tried to record the baying of the hounds already loosed, a deep, melodious sound echoing through the valley.
Though I'm no fan of bear hunting, especially as it's done here with radio tracking dog collars, it's as much a traditional way of life for some folks as the pig roast at the VFD.
Shelton Laurel is a beautiful place, fiercely loved by its people.
I was acutely aware of present and past as I meandered up the valley, remembering the events I wrote of in And the Crows Took Their Eyes.
Much that I saw could have been what they saw back then.
I made a call of respect to the chimney that remains of Judy Shelton's house.
And I stopped to photograph the place that some believe to be the site of the massacre.
The clouds kept getting lower and rain was forecast to begin soon.
So I turned around at the Carmen Church of God and headed back home.
Still taking pictures.
So much to enjoy.