Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Devil's Courthouse

My husband and I just returned from a fantastic trip to Asheville, NC. We spent an entire day driving the Blue Ridge Parkway up to Craggy Gardens and beyond. We came across Devil's Courthouse late in the day.

Something that always strikes me when we visit large parks is the names given to natural features.I wasn't surprised to see the name of this peak because I would bet during a storm it looks an awful lot like judgment day. In fact, being in the mountains struck a bit of healthy fear into my soul. I can imagine living up there on a fair day. But I could actually see the mountains affecting and/or causing weather. Looking out over the entire range as far as the eye can see, it seemed so desolate and lonely. Beautiful, yes. But also very haunting. Storm clouds rolled in and disappeared just as quickly. 

The Blue Ridge Parkway site offers this explanation of the name:
Devil's Courthouse may have received its name because of the sinister aspect of the rock formation, or because, as legend holds, the devil held court in the cave that lies beneath the rock. In Cherokee lore, this cave is the private dancing chamber and dwelling place of the slant-eyed giant, Judaculla.
I could indeed imagine a monster of some sort living up here. Even in the sunshine, it's not a place to mess around.

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