Friday, September 28, 2012

White Squirrels and Carl Sandburg

Candler, NC (temp 80, low 50)

We’ve had several very busy days, and have done a lot of exploring and hiking.
We’ve checked out some campgrounds in our travels and found a few that will be nice for future visits, one of which was a Thousand Trails park.

We like to check out campgrounds when we’re visiting an area because we can’t fit our rig into just any campgrounds anymore.  We love our big rig, but there were definitely advantages when we had our 32 foot motor home.

I think I am going to put together another blog just for campgrounds.  It won’t be anything fancy, but just as a guide for us when we’re trying to remember what a place looks like.  We always think we can remember these places, but we’re learning the older we get, the less we’re remembering.

We drove to Lenoir, North Carolina. There were some beautiful parts of the Blue Ridge that we wanted to explore a little more and that’s where the Thousand Trails campground was located.  We also discovered a little restaurant that had eastern North Carolina style barbeque, so we blew our vegan diet and ate lunch there.  It was very good, almost as good as what I grew up on High Point, NC.

You can see what they had to do to build the Blue Ridge Parkway. It looks like they were worried about rock slides in this area.

mountain road
There were beautiful mountain streams, many waterfalls, and a few lakes.  It was beautiful every where we looked.

price lake, nc

We had a very long day, but did manage to make it home before dark.  One time of driving home at dark was enough for us.

We had heard North Carolina has a population of white squirrels, so our mission was to find them. They live in the city of Brevard.  It’s a beautiful little town (as are most of them here).
We were successful in finding some cute white squirrels.  They are not albino.

white squirrel, Brevard NC

They were very playful, probably from the cool weather.

white squirrel, Brevard NC

Another stop that day was to the Pisgah Center for Wildlife Education.  They raised trout for restocking and management programs. They offered fly fishing classes and had some nice hiking trails.  This bear was a fake one that they used as a decoy to catch illegal hunters.

Fish hatchery mt pisgah national forest

It was a very nice little free place and we found a real nice campground nearby.  (more on that when I get some time)

Here is Al feeding some of the trout. 

Fish hatchery mt pisgah national forest

We got back on the Blue Ridge Parkway and found some more amazing views.  The Blue Ridge runs over 400 miles, so there are plenty of different places to explore.

Blue Ridge Parkway overlook

The fall foliage is just starting to turn, but in some areas it’s getting pretty nice.

Looking Glass Rock Blue Ridge Parkway

Looking Glass Rock Blue Ridge Parkway

We drove down to a place on the Parkway, called Graveyard Fields.  It’s supposed to be the first area where the foliage starts to change.

Near Graveyard Fields on Blue Ridge

Near Graveyard Fields on Blue Ridge

You could tell there had been a fire there a few years ago.

There was a nice little trail down to a pretty waterfall.

Near Graveyard Fields on Blue Ridge

waterfalls  Near Graveyard Fields on Blue Ridge

You could continue the hike and find the second part of the waterfall.  As usual, we were running out of daylight and didn’t have the time.

Wednesday found us at the home of the poet  Carl Sandburg.
This lake was visible from the porch on his home up on the hill.


He lived there 22 years and did about 1/3 of his writings there.

It’s a 240 acre working farm.  His wife raised champion milk goats and some of their descendants are still on the farm.

The parking lot is on the bottom of the hill.  You have to walk way up the hill to the office and house.  We paid $3.00 each with Al’s Senior pass, and got a nice guided tour of the house.
When Carl died his wife sold the property to the state as it was.  She just packed her personal things and left the rest.  She wanted it preserved for the people to enjoy.

The entire house was filled with books and magazines, and the personal property of the family.


His office where he usually wrote all night long.


I enjoyed looking at the old kitchen.


The next picture is the view from the front porch.

Notice the fish pond?   It turns out there were a some of my favorite friends residing there.


The tour guide pointed them out to us and said she had been trying to get a picture of them, but never could quite get them.



After we toured the house, visited the goats and made friends with a few of the barn cats, and then we decided to take a hike up the mountain.

It started off easy enough, going through the orchard.


Soon, we were hiking straight up a big old mountain.   It was a good trail, but it really kicked our butts.


We finally make it to Big Glassy Overlook.



We are not used to hiking in mountain, we are not used to the elevation, and we are out of shape.  Yep, it about kicked our butts!  We put on nearly 4 miles by the time we left the Sandburg place.

We extended our stay again…  We’re now planning on leaving next Thursday.     It’s hard to leave this beautiful state.


  1. Oh, this reminds me of our trip there last fall. (John backing down the drive and almost over the wall!)

    IF you are going towards Asheville, you might want to try 12 Bones Barbeque...ohhhh my, the best I have ever had.

    So far, have not slipped on the plant based eating plan yet, I know my day will come....

  2. I loved the kitchen pic. We used to have kitchen chairs just like those when I was growing up. Four miles of any kind of hiking would definitely kick my butt, especially if there is any uphill involved. The colors are really starting to get beautiful.

  3. Great picture of the white squirrel. You guys are really getting into shape with your diet and your exercise. Way to go! I'm looking forward to your campground post. I just knew you'd love the Ashville area. So glad you are seeing so much and having such a good time. Are you SURE it's cool enough in Florida to go back? :-))

  4. I always wondered where the Budweiser frogs retired to... ;c)

  5. Replies
    1. Loooove the action photo of the jumping squirrel. Could be an award winner. Just sayin'.

  6. I have never seen the white squirrels in NC. Great photo. We will look for them the next time we are in the state.

    We were on the Blue Ridge Parkway in the middle of Oct. WOW...the colors are dynamite!

  7. Loved the fall colors, and the jumping squirrel!

  8. I grew up in Wisconsin and always loved the fall color. I haven't seen much for years. Everything stays pretty green here, although the maples do turn yellow and drop their leaves. There are also some streets with trees that turn, but it is not the same.

    Someday we will get East for the Autumn.


  9. Excellent post- loved the fall foliage, squirrels and especially the frogs!

  10. Nice shots of the white squirrels. We've been to Brevard several times in the past few years and have yet to see one. Nice little town and surrounding area.
    Was it Davidson River CG near the Pisgah Center? We haven't stayed there yet but I think that it would be a nice place if you don't mind not having FHU.

  11. Yes, the campground we found was the Davidson River Cg. They have a loop with electricity. I think it's the Sycamore loop. It was full. I'm guessing you have to bide your time at a no hook up site then more to the electric site when it becomes available. They have lots of work campers though..and that might be a wonderful place to work camp because they have sewer hook ups too.

  12. Thank you so much for sharing your travels with us. What beautiful places you are getting to see. I feel like I've been on a mini vacation every time I check your blog!!


Please feel free to leave comments. We love to read them! To contact me directly you can send e-mail to