Reconnaissance at the Thomas Divide Overlook mile marker 462 on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Objective: Make visuals with the rumored ghost lights in the area and if possibly bring back photographic evidence.
No this is not a build up of anticipation for Mission Impossible… but it did make for a fun format to exchange information. I was assigned this mission by Nikki. I had nothing else going on and it was a ten minute drive from the house.
So I accepted the mission.
I waited until the sun was starting to set before driving to location. It had been rainy all afternoon so I took it slowly on the wet, steamy roads. I stopped at each overlook on the way there, a. to take some fantastic pictures, and b. to buy me a little more time for dark to fall.
I reach the destination and line up the car to point toward the divide. The story goes that it’s one of the lesser known locations of pretty consistant ghost lights. With some coaxing from flashing your lights and honking your horn, red lights will appear in the sky above the divide and dance in the air before vanishing. I set up my camera, and prepared to wait.
There was still a lot of light in the sky. Whenever I’m at home or out hiking, it feels like one minute it’s sunset and the next it’s full dark. Not so when you’re WAITING for full dark.
I took some recordings…. which I may or may not post at a later date. They require some doctoring up which I don’t have the means to do at the moment. I also took some pictures which I will post on Dream Hike Love‘s faceb
ook page so be sure to check that out.
As the sun set, the night birds started singing. The call of a whippoorwill echoed morosely through the damp night air. The moon rose above the hilltop behind me, having nothing to do with the setting sun, it just happened to be that time in it’s cycle that it creeps into the sky during early evening.
Short of the light polution beyond the ridge from Gatlinburg… the last of the day faded from the sky.
And things started moving in the woods around me. There were a number of things it could have been, from opposums, raccoons, foxes, elk, birds… I swept the area with my headlamp. Either the owners of the movement were hiding too well, or they were too small to be seen. Probably birds. But I knew… I could FEEL something watching me. Still facing the mountain behind me, I chuckled and turned off the light. That’s when I saw the eyes.
Probably a hundred feet in the air, twenty feet between the two of them… a pair of dully glowing eyes watched me from the mountain. I’m not saying they were reflective animal eyes, I’m saying the mountain had eyes, and it was watching me. We locked eyes for a moment, my heart racing. I did not run. There was no ominous presense, there was nothing malicious about this entity. So I spoke to him instead.
I told him I meant no harm, and what my intent was. I knew upon seeing this being, that I would not be witnessing any of the said ghost lights. I tried to take a picture, but nothing came through besides darkness. From time to time the eyes would vanish, and I tried to continue with my mission.
I stayed until ten, flashing my lights and honking the horn periodically… but as I suspected – there was nothing. It’s said the lights only appear during the winter. I think the lights are the mountain… and during the spring, his energy is needed to feed all the new life. During the winter… he’s free to play. If I’m around this winter, I will happily try again.
I will keep you updated with any new missions that come along.