After getting ready, we went down to breakfast. There were people EVERYWHERE. I guess that's how you can tell if it's a good breakfast- if it looks like an IHOP on a Saturday morning. Once we finished breakfast, we headed out to Grandfather Mountain State Park. We took the Blue Ridge Parkway to get there.
The first stop on the parkway promised directions. So, we stopped at the Moses Cone Flattop Mannor. It was a beautiful old mansion filled with amazing crafts from local artisans. I bought some presents/souvenirs. And we took pictures of some of the beautiful paths which were built originally for carriages. The house gave tours as well, but we missed them because it wasn't the right time. So, we moved on after getting directions.
The first place we stopped was the half-moon overlook. We were really high up (elevation 5946 feet) and we were only 1/2 way up! We took some beautiful pictures here and then got back in the car and headed to the Sphinx and Split rocks. They were awesome (did you know they're actually older than the mountain - being an ancient river-rock? Neither did I.)
James "Bobo" Fay from Finding Bigfoot's Kentucky episode. We had a snack here, because it was already after 1pm.
Next stop was the top. YIKES. It was drizzly and really windy. The wind howled under the swinging bridge. And if this is the new and improved un-swinging bridge, then I'm glad I never saw the rickety piece of crap that it used to be. Holy Crap! This think DID swing. And, as if it's not bad enough that I'm freezing do death and hanging on for dear life, watching every step as I got closer and closer to the other side, they just HAD to put on the place with the greatest distance from the ground exactly HOW far you'd fall if you decided that you couldn't make it to the other side. Over a mile. I however, (both ways) didn't read exactly how far down that was (it was more than a mile) because I was pushing people out of my way (practically) so that I could get inside shelter where it was safe and warmer. Needless to say, it was not my favorite area.
|Don't be fooled...these are terrified faces!|
So, after that we strolled down the mountain and went to Linville (the other side of the mountain) using Rt. 221. There was a General Store Betsy wanted to go to. It wasn't all that interesting, so we left; turned around, and went up the mountain again. Lol.
And that's when the fun began. (Betsy's driving) Betsy: "This Route 221 should go back to Blowing Rock. It says it's only 19 miles. What do you think? Should we bypass the Blue Ridge Parkway?" This was a huge mistake. Yes, it was 19 miles of curvy, narrow, not as well paved, road that took us probably 45 minutes to get to Blowing Rock. By the time that she arrived in Blowing Rock's downtown area, her knuckles were devoid of blood as she pried them off the steering wheel. (gosh, I wish I had a picture of that!)
|Leilani's Tea (after 3 minutes)|
|Betsy's Tea (after 3 min)|
|My tea (after 3 min)|
I've been told that Betsy only won 1 game of UNO tonight against Leilani. They think they might have played 4 total (nervous breakdown averted). So, my card sharp is getting better. And we got some postcards to post in the morning's mail. Hopefully they'll make it home before we do. But that's doubtful. And I'm really not sure what Leilani wrote on those cards, so if you get one - please be understanding.
More tomorrow, when we visit Linville Falls (and hopefully not fall) and Little Switzerland. Also, check out the rest of my pictures on Flickr.