Candler, NC (high 78, low 48)
We were tired yesterday from our very long day at the Biltmore Estate. The plan was to take it kind of easy, and we didn’t get an early start.
We had no real plan, but eventually decided to head to Linville Falls. We had heard a lot about this 3 tier waterfall and decided to see if we could find them. It’s one of the most popular waterfalls in the area.
We got to the parking area at Linville Falls and then started a “short” hike to the falls.
Of course hiking in the North Carolina mountains is never easy. You’re either going up or down constantly….nothing like hiking in Florida.
We got to the over look and found a beautiful double waterfall with water gushing around a sharp curve in the rocks.
I wish I was a better photographer so that I could capture the water rushing around the sharp rocky curve.
It turned out that rushing water was heading towards another water fall that we would see a little later.
We hung around this area awhile, and took some pictures.
Then back up to the next vantage point. Of course it was up the mountain.
The next few pictures are of the first waterfall way in the background. The waterfall in the bottom of the picture is coming from where the water curved around through the rocks.
The waterfalls were much more spectacular than I captured on my pictures. The photo doesn’t show how very high up we were here.
If you look carefully in the picture above , you will see some people way down below above the bottom waterfall. That was where we were standing in the first pictures I posted. The picture below is those people, so you can see how far away we were from them (and high up)
There was one other vantage point, but it even further way up the mountain. We ended up hiking 1.7 miles and it was mostly straight up or down.
After we left the Falls, we decided to get onto the Blue Ridge Parkway and look some areas we had been wanting to see.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Blue Ridge Parkway, it’s a National Scenic Byway, that runs 469 miles from Virginia through the Great Smokey Mountains of North Carolina. It is not a road to make good time on. It’s probably not a Paul Dahl road.
It’s a scenic road with lots of scenic overlooks and hiking trails. It’s mountainous, and very curvy. It’s billed as an easy drive….but not for Floridians like us who are not used to mountains. It’s a lovely drive, but you definitely have to pay close attention and you can’t just relax and enjoy the scenery. We like to travel on it a little at a time. Motorhomes are allowed and supposedly they fit through the many tunnels. We would never take our motor home on it.
One place we were looking for it the Linn Cove viaduct. It’s probably the most photographed area on the parkway.
This is a picture I borrowed off the internet.
This was not what we saw yesterday. The fall colors are not quite this pretty…yet. This viaduct was the last part of the parkway to be built and is an amazing piece of engineering, considering this bridge was built on the side of the mountain.
We got out and walked underneath it. It was amazing that it didn’t fall right down the mountain.
Later, when I read the sign that it was put together with “epoxy and massive steel tendons,” I wondered if I really wanted to walk underneath it.
Unfortunately, it was getting a little late, we were over 5000 feet up and we didn’t want to be on a mountain when it was getting dark. I think we’ll probably have to make another trip to this area before we leave. There was a lot to see and many hiking trails.
The next picture of Al shows Grandfather mountain in the background. Can you make out the shape of the face of an old man (the mountain…not the one in the orange shirt) ?
The next thing was to figure how to get off the Blue Ridge as quickly as possible and find the interstate to get us home before dark.
We came across this beautiful mountain lake. We would have loved to taken the time to see it better, but you can see the sun was getting a little low.
By the time we got off the Parkway, we were 77 miles from home, and it was getting darker by the minute. By the time we got home, it was dark, and we were pooped.
We’re not sure what we’ll do today. We might need a rest day, but I doubt that will happen. We have to wait and see how much energy we have.