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I left Black Balsam parking lot at 9:00am and returned at 7:00pm the same day, hiking up to Cold Mountain, a 16 mile hike.  These are some of the incredible scenes I saw along the way.  Taking a 45lb pack with me, this is about the limit of a fun hike for me at age 60.  I am very lucky to be so healthy.  Isn't the blue ridge beautiful?