Lair of the Monster at Craggy Pinnacles Trail

My research on the best hikes of the Blue Ridge Parkway identified the Craggy Pinnacles Trail as a short but rewarding ascent to a peak with a gorgeous panorama of the surrounding mountains. When I hiked the trail, that's not what I encountered upon reaching the top; I was smothered by fog and buffeted by wind. That's the price for the astounding views from atop Mount Mitchell a short while earlier: complete lack of visibility at lower elevations.

But the fog blanketing the woods on the way up to to the peak made them feel like a haunted forest out of a grim fairy tale. You can see here the entrance to the lair from which a spooky monster emerges to feast on unwary travelers. (Genre savviness prevented me from being eaten.)