This is after sunset from a grassy bald in Southern Appalachia. If you have not been to a grassy bald in Southern Appalachia you must be part of a dwindling minority, because they are usually crawling with people. My guess is they are destined for a permit system to control the number of visitors much like how things are done at a lot of sites out west. Also, if you have not been to one, you might be wondering, “What is a ‘grassy bald’?” And part of the answer is it’s a mountain pinnacle with a dome shape (a bald) that has a lot of grass on it. But the other part is: they tend to be uniquely great places to take in amazing views. Today, the Forest Service conducts controlled burns from time-to-time to keep the forests from encroaching, and to keep these balds grassy. Apparently the archaeological record indicates that some of the more prominent grassy balds here have been kept in a “grassy” state for far longer than the Forest Service has been around. My guess is that’s probably because we did not just recently discover these were great spots to go have a picnic with your nearest and dearest while you take in these amazing sights. Much like the locations of the overlooks on the Blue Ridge Parkway, these places were well known before the National Parks and National Forest Services got involved/existed. In any event, I am glad they are currently under some protection and maintained somewhat, and I hope the Leave No Trace principles become a part of every schools’ curriculum before we ruin them.