I climbed the rough trail to the bald, or open area, of Max Patch. If you've heard of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail (A.T.) then maybe you've been there. Deep in the Pisgah National Forest, it's a pretty easy climb to the bald - and there you'll find a spectacular 360 degree view of the Great Smoky Mountains, the Black Mountains and the flatland of eastern Tennessee.
Indeed, it feels like you're touching the sky; the clouds; even the air. I watched storms move across the valleys and hollows, constantly wondering if they were about to turn our way and cause a rapid descent. On any given day, there might be a number of other hikers there, but the atmosphere is respectful and peaceful. It's lovely to just lay on your back in the grass and watch the world move.