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Old Songs, Natural Highs, and my New Favorite Hiking Trail



Linda says our Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is a little complicated. Yes, but just a little which makes it interesting.

The prompt is: “song.” First, we find a picture–the closest one to us. Then we write about the “lyrics of the first song that comes to mind when we look at the picture.”    and as always, “Have fun!”

When I read the prompt, I was laying in bed after having driven the six hours from the mountains, though I think the trip took about seven hours because I stopped a lot to stretch the crinkles out of my old bones. The closest picture was a print I bought from Amanda Clark who is my favorite contemporary artist. She paints lots of earthy, whimsical, trees, bunnies, foxes, angels. The print I have made me think of the song, Blue Moon. But I just put that song in a post so I looked to my right and saw the painting I did in high school from a photo in National Geographic.

Rocky Mountain mist

I’m pretty sure the photo was taken of the rocky mountains. Though it might be somewhere like the Alps. I added the fairy mist coming over the ridge a few years ago.  In high school I had a dream of going to the Rocky Mountains, so naturally, I thought of John Denver’s “Rocky Mountain High” whenever I look at this painting.

I was kinda obsessed with this song when I was in high school and the whole ecology movement. I thought I was going to be born again when I went to the rocky mountains. I’ve never  been though. I’m not sure if I will ever go, though I hope to go to the Pacific Northwest if this virus ever makes interstate travel safe.

Still, I have a little house in the North Carolina Mountains and a little house near the Carolina Coast. The last song I heard coming back home to the coast on around 6pm on my oldies station was “O-o-h Child.”  This song came out in 1970 and has been a big part of my life, especially during hard times, ever since.  I would sing this song to myself when I was lonely and didn’t know if I’d ever find love again. I sang it to myself when my job was driving me crazy and during my darkest years when I wondered if life was worth living.  I sang it to my daughter during her difficult teenage years.

And you know what? It worked! Things did get easier. Hard times still came and went, and maybe they always will. But today, after many years, things are much better and easier than they were 20 years ago.  Dreams have come true. Maybe not exactly like I thought, but I have a man who loves me and supports me in so many ways. I’m retired, and I get to paint and write and putter in the yard.

I’ve never been to the Rocky Mountains, but on Wednesday I went on the most wonderful hike in the Appalachian Mountains. I got a Blue Ridge Mountain High for sure. There’s a river not far from our mountain house that I am falling in love with. I’ve just got to share some photos with you!

large brown fungus on tree
Name that fungus!

I love this river!

Just enough challenge to make it interesting.


… and worth the effort!

Ferns growing on a rock
Raccoon Tracks?
Blooming Rhododendron

PS: I impulsively clicked to go to the new block editor while working on this so who knows how it will turn out. It’s like learning WP all over again! :/

I need to learn how to make one of those collages.

For more Streams of Consciousness and guidelines, visit Linda Hill at:

Author: JoAnna

An open minded, tree-hugging Jesus follower, former counselor, and life-long lover of animals, I'm returning to my creative roots and have published my first book: Trust the Timing, A Memoir of Finding Love Again as well as the short version: From Loneliness to Love.

33 thoughts on “Old Songs, Natural Highs, and my New Favorite Hiking Trail

  1. What a wonderfully inspiring post. I enjoyed the pictures and the song titles. My brain is at a standstill now but you did ignite my desire to write today and reminded me why I shoud stop putting off retiring. I don’t paint but I do love to travel, take pictures and write. Thank you for the Saturday morning pick-me -up.

    • You are very welcome! Knowing my post gave you a pick-me-up, gives one right back to me! For me, retirement was a scary step, a leap of faith, and a great decision. I had reduced my hours to 30 in the last few years to keep my benefits, but oh the freedom of letting go! Maybe you could write about the possibility of retirement on your blog. I wish you the best!

  2. You have done so well with this post – the links between the first picture, the music choices, and your beautiful photographs are seamless

  3. Loved your post, JoAnna ❤ Your Appalachian Mountain getaway is as beautiful as any other mountain range. I can appreciate your dream of going to the Rocky Mountains. There's a dream-like quality to the region that draws the human spirit. The closest I've gotten to the mountain range was a trip to the Grand Canyon in Arizona–my sons' sixty-year-old birthday gift, a dream since I was three years old. I'm not familiar with your second song choice, but I know the power of a song to carry us through our darkest days.

  4. The woods look wonderful and cool by the water.

  5. Wow beautiful photographs, and they definitely have a John Denver Rocky Mpintain High feel to them.

  6. Beautiful, JoAnna. Thank you. ❤

  7. Thanks for the beautiful and fun respite JoAnna. I love the lushness of Smoky Mountain area. I don’t know where you live, but this reminds me of that area. I almost moved to Ashville. I hope you get to at least visit the Rockies and experience your own Rocky Mountain High. I sure loved my time there.

  8. Beautiful pictures! My friend Herb has hiked over half of the Appalachian Trail and has produced some beautiful pics, as well. I’ve hiked a small bit with him a time or two, but this old body can only handle about 5 miles before it collapses! Thanks for adding beauty to my Sunday morn!

    • That is so cool that you hiked any of the AT! I haven’t been on it. Maybe some day, though five miles is enough for me, too these days. I’m glad you enjoyed the pictures! Happy Sunday!

      • And Happy Sunday to you, too! I hope you do get to hike some of the AT! Some of it is brutally uphill and rocky, but there are some easier parts. I love hiking in the Smoky Mountains … my old hangout at one time … but can’t do mountains so much anymore! 👵

  9. Wow, this is gorgeous. I bet that rickety walkway by the river was interesting. Love that Appalachian Mountain High!

    • Thanks! The walkway is sturdier than it looks. The challenge for me is that it gets a little narrow and I have a fear of heights, even though it’s only gets to about 10 to 15 feet above the river. I’m getting more confident every time I go there. I was going to call it a Smokey Mountain High, but the smokies are a little further south. Thanks for visiting and following along!

  10. JoAnna, thank you for posting the lovely mountain scenery! I lived for twenty-five years in the mountains of Virginia near Shenandoah National Park and in the Shenandoah Valley. I have lived in Florida for the last twenty-five years, but I will always have a soft spot for the mountains, especially waterfalls! When I was younger, I spent many weekends hiking on waterfall trails. Your lovely photos brought back memories! All the best! Cheryl

    • Thank you, Cheryl. I’m glad to have brought back some good memories. I love waterfalls, too. I bet you’ve made some good memories in Florida, too.

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