Mountains have moods. Ignore this anthropocentric faux fact at your own peril. I’ve made the mistake of ignoring the mood of the mountains a few times backpacking, too light and ill-equipped while peak-bagging, and found myself in dangerous and uncomfortable situations. And I’ve done it biking a few times as well.
Today Richland Balsam enticed me to play on her steep slopes with sunny skies, moderate temperature and the solitude of a closed and gated Parkway. Just above 5,000 feet, the mood turned gloomy as a half frozen rain began pelting me. Turning back, I found the weather had closed in from behind as well. Sneaky mountain.