Larry Wright of Maggie Valley is a brilliant photographer who in this image captures the serene beauty of mountain snow west of Asheville. One of my favorite mountain roads is Highway 221 between Ashe and Alleghany counties is a wiggly, winding, wintry delight that will take you over the ancient New River. The rolling farmland is enchanting. Christmas trees growing up along the ridge. Meandering streams. Cattle. Carcasses of old cars. Weathered barns. Old fertilizer signs. It reminds me of some of my father's watercolors. A simpler time and place. Take your camera. You will appreciate the contrasts of color and textures. If you're headed toward Ashe County stop by the check out the frescoes at Glendale Springs and in West Jefferson where you will also find North Carolina's only cheese factory. If you're headed toward Sparta check out Farmer's Hardware store on the main drag.