Down the Gorge

From Chimney View, looking down the Linville Gorge. The gorge turns right behind that rocky outcrop and really gets deep beyond there as the mountains rise even higher. The evergreen tree in the center is a white pine, and the ones on the left are Carolina Hemlocks. These rare, alpine-adapted hemlocks are endemic to the Southern Appalachians and are threatened with extinction from tiny insect. The trees here are heavily infested, but only recently, so there is not much outward evidence of it yet.