Friday, January 16, 2009

Thematic Photographic 32: "Aged" v.2.0 - It's All Downhill From Here


"What's Up Doc?"
Mt. Mitchell State Park, NC - February 2002 (Click to embiggen)

Thematic Photographic hosted by Carmi - Button Image by Smarmoofus Hosted by Written Inc.

You're looking at the summit of Mt. Mitchell, the highest point in the Eastern Continental Divide and the oldest state park in North Carolina. It's also the coldest and windiest place on average in the eastern half of the US. The climate is described as being closer to that of Eastern Canada than Western North Carolina and in fact, many species of plants not normally indigenous to this part of the country have taken root in this forbidding environment.

Inside the fence is the final resting place of Dr. Elisha Mitchell for whom the mountain is named. Dr. Mitchell was the first to estimate the summit elevation of the mountain and his last measurements, taken in the 1840's, put the summit at 6,672 feet. Amazingly, Mitchell's estimates disagree with those of the modern era made using far more sophisticated equipment by a mere 12 feet. Officially the summit is put at 6,684 feet, higher than Denver, CO by over 1,000 feet.

Dr. Mitchell literally gave his life to his work in 1857, after a 40-foot fall that rendered him unconscious and causing him to drown in the pool at the base of what would later be named Mitchell Falls. The US Geological Survey officially upheld Dr. Mitchell's measurements in 1881 and named the mountain after him the same year. The 1,946 acres surrounding the summit were established as the first state park by the legislature and on March 3, 1915, both Mt. Mitchell State Park and the North Carolina State Parks System were born.


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7 comments:

Mama Zen said...

Does it make me a terrible person that I found the naming of the pool "Mitchell Falls" absolutely hilarious?

Mamapippa said...

It's a beautiful photo, but it looks a little scared to me ...
Have a nice weekend !

Julie said...

Wonderful informative post and a great shot.

Julie said...

Wonderful informative post and a great shot.

~Just Me Miranda~ said...

It is a beautiful shot, looks so abandoned.

Heather said...

Interesting story and a very nice photo :)

kenju said...

I hope to go there someday. Good photo!!