Above: Overlook near Whiteside Mountain between Highlands and Cashiers, North Carolina

The lovely Blue Ridge Mountains extend from southern Pennsylvania to northern Georgia and contain the highest peak east of the Mississippi, 6,684-foot Mount Mitchell, which rises from the Pisgah National Forest, 20 miles north of Asheville,North Carolina. Part of the larger Appalachian range, they owe their poetic name to isoprene, a volatile organic compound released by certain species of trees, which is responsible for their characteristic bluish haze.

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Above: Overlook near Whiteside Mountain between Highlands and Cashiers, North Carolina

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