This beautiful photograph from Friends of Crowders Mountain speaks of the marvelous contrasts in the Tar Heel sky this time of year. Crowders Mountain near Gastonia is a registered North Carolina natural heritage area. Many people forget about the wonderful parks we have in the state system from Mount Mitchell to Jockey's Ridge. You can get away to some pristine and scenic areas here in the state without burning too much of that expensive gas. Speaking of Crowders Mountain, while you're in the area west of Charlotte check out Kings Mountain and learn how the Overmountain Men defeated The British in a crucial battle of the Revolutionary War.