I gave my heart to the mountains the minute I stood beside this river with its spray in my face and watched it thunder into foam, smooth to green glass over sunken rocks, shatter to foam again. I was fascinated by how it sped by and yet was always there; its roar shook both the earth and me. — Wallace Stegner
Although I have visited North Carolina for years and know well my mother’s love for the mountains, my lasting memory of our extended visit there this winter was of the rivers. We arrived in the middle of record rains in western NC and every day we could see the accumulation of the mountain streams flowing down into the French Broad River. One day, the kayakers slid by in the rapids, too fast for me to get a camera out to try to capture the action- people and kayaks are one in the rapids. Every day we measured the results of the rain the day before by checking the cut that the current was taking from the bank below our bridge.
We had so much rain that you could hear the river all day long, above the normal sounds of the day. Today I miss the sounds of the river as much as the view of the mountains out of every window. I can say now that I truly do love the mountains, but it is the river that brought me there.