Rough Ridge on the Blue Ridge Parkway

It had been over six months since I had been to Rough Ridge, one of my favorite places on the Blue Ridge Parkway. I decided to go to Boone recently to hangout with college friends and visit the Parkway. 

When I got to Boone, it was a cloudy day. In the afternoon it started to rain, and I considered cancelling my plans to go to Rough Ridge with my friend Jonathan. However, the rain subsided and I decided to go anyways. I was so glad I went!

When we got up to higher elevation on the Parkway near Grandfather Mountain and Rough Ridge, the clouds cleared and revealed the familiar beautiful view that I had missed. 

We climbed up to the first of three stops at Rough Ridge and the clouds were actually level with and below us along the ridge. It was pretty cool.

After about 10 minutes there, we hiked up another ten minutes to the next level. There is a ledge there that if you go to the edge of it you are basically out above an abyss and it makes for a pretty cool photo. It usually has an incredible view of the mountains behind it, but this time the clouds came up to cover the view.

After that, we went up another 10 minutes or so to the top, which also has an amazing panoramic view. You can click on the image for a wider view.


The Winston Salem Cycling Classic

The 2018 Winston-Salem Cycling Classic took place on Memorial Day Weekend, from Saturday, May 26th to Monday the 28th. It is one of the country’s best professional cycling events and features hundreds of top racers! I decided to go on Monday afternoon to photograph the Men’s Road Race. 

It was a cloudy day and when I arrived at Bailey Park where the finish line was, it was sprinkling rain. Thankfully it did not turn into much more and the rain quickly ceased!

It took the racers about 10-15 minutes to do one lap, but they had plenty of entertainment. There were several food trucks and concessions, as well as live music. The concert was part of the Gears and Guitars Festival which accompanied the races. When I was there a band called The Luxuriant Sedans were performing. They were going hard!


Southwest Panoramas

On my recent trip to Arizona and New Mexico, I saw many amazing landscapes. The beauty of it could often not fit in a single image, so I took a lot of panoramas! See my best Southwestern panoramas below! The first one is from the Rio Grande Gorge near Taos, New Mexico during golden hour. You can click on the photos for a larger view.

The following is a panorama from Sedona, Arizona, what is known as Red Rock Country. See more of my photos from that day in my previous blog post!

Below are three black-and-white panoramas from the hallowed Grand Canyon! It was quite an amazing place. I was hoping for blue skies, but the overcast day gave me some great clouds for B&W photos!

The final panorama I have to show is from a beautiful Sedona, Arizona sunset. I went to one of the best places where people go to watch the sunset, and it was glorious!


Devil’s Rock Trail, Sedona, Arizona

During my family’s vacation to New Mexico and Arizona, we spent a few days in Sedona, Arizona, known for being in “red rock country.” One morning we went on a long, hot hike to the Devil’s Rock. We went along a trail for about a mile until we got onto their dirt road.

It was a very hot day in the desert and every minute seemed to get warmer. The trail ended when it reached the dirt road. Most people were walking but there were some SUVs, trucks, and UTVs driving on the rocks.

When we got to the second trailhead, cars and bikes were blocked and we began a steep ascent. It was intense, but the views were worth it.

At the top of the trail there was a rock bridge over a long drop down called Devil’s Bridge. My sister wanted to go on it so she got in line. I wasn’t trying to die that day so I stayed to take her photo on the other side.


Tent Rocks National Monument

I’m on vacation with my family in New Mexico! It’s my first time being out West and I’m really enjoying it. Today I went to Tent Rocks National Monument, a really cool place with unique rock formation and canyons.

The trail had some really tight canyons that we could barely fit through.

Then we went up a 600-feet incline. It was really intense!

But the view from the top was worth it! It was amazing to see mountains, valleys, and canyons so different than the amazing mountains and valleys of North Carolina and West Virginia.

Copyright © Fouad Abou-Rizk 2018. All Rights Reserved.
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