The place where I live, about 2,000 feet above sea level atop a modest group of the Appalachian mountains known as the Blue Ridge, is one of the oldest places on Earth and the highest point in western North Carolina.
A few miles north at Mt. Mitchell the elevation is 6,684 ft.-- the highest point west of the Mississippi.
Nearby are the Great Smoky Mountains, a part of the Appalachians' Blue Ridge chain, best known as the home of Great Smoky Mountains National Park—the most visited National Park with over 9-million visitors a year.
The Great Smoky Mountains are also designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and are part of an international biosphere reserve with an estimated 187,000 acres of old growth forest, the largest stand east of the Mississippi.
The Appalachians are remarkable for a number of reasons, not the least of which is they are thought to be the oldest mountain range on the planet formed 480 million years ago when North America and Africa were connected. For that reason the Appalachians and Morocco's Anti-Atlas mountains are said to be related.
Geologists claim when younger the Appalachians probably looked like the southern hemisphere's Andes do today. Over millennia the Appalachians have simply been ground down by time making for their more rounded, tree-covered appearance of today. They are still dramatic mountains, but create a gentler landscape when compared to the ragged, craggy, sharp rock-faced heights of the Andes, Alps, or Rockies.
Still, it's an impressive landscape to behold on those days, in those moments, when one's eye catches the freshly sighted, often unexpected, and frequently breathtaking vista--that the far-reaching landscape, hill over hill, mountain to mountain, and beyond. Everyday living in these mountains is a joyous wonder.