Here in eastern North Carolina, I often get made fun of for reacting to things (such as the beach) like a toddler during her first ride on the teacups at the carnival. You know, she’s so exciting she’s shaking, and she can’t speak? Well, this weekend I drove 5 hours out west with a friend and saw my first, real, live, actual mountain range. Enter: The Blue Ridge Mountains.
We climbed the oldest and tallest geezer called Grandfather Mountain. The hardest, longest hike to the top peaks began with a walk across the Mile-High Swinging Bridge, which was slightly disappointing because it didn’t swing at all! I mean come on, I wanted danger! It was very foggy, windy and cool when we walked across I frolicked across and my friend Rex laughed at me.
Next up was the intense 4-hour hike to the peaks. What I liked most about it besides the views from the top of the peaks was the change in temperatures, and of course the fresh air. At “the bottom” (5282 feet) of the trail, the air was humid and warm inside the trees. At the top (around 5500 feet), it was still warm inside the trees but one step to the edge of the cliff and it was cold and really windy! Being a Northerner, that was refreshing after spending a few months in the humid South.
Before hiking Grandfather Mountain, Rex and I camped out at Linville Falls, a small national park off the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway. It was a tiny hike out to these beauties.
We “failed to see” the NO SWIMMING signs and put on our bathing suits. But alas, it was too cold. What, you say? A Northerner thinking Southern waters are too cold?! I know right, who AM I these days? Nah, but in the end what was stopping me from plunging in was the slimy rock that I would have to make foot contact with. ::shudder:: Anyway, what I liked most about the falls was the other side which totally wants to be a siiiiick waterslide with its 45-foot drop.
So that’s my time spent in the Blue Ridge Mountains. I was really really sad to leave. Can’t wait to visit the Smokies next!