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.
There were beautiful mountain streams, many waterfalls, and a few lakes. It was beautiful every where we looked.
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.
They were very playful, probably from the cool weather.
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.
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.
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.
The fall foliage is just starting to turn, but in some areas it’s getting pretty nice.
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.
You could tell there had been a fire there a few years ago.
There was a nice little trail down to a pretty waterfall.
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.