After our incredible Beanstalk Journey Zipline adventure Wednesday morning, we continued higher up into the NC mountains.
We stopped for a few minutes at the Brown Mountain overlook on NC 181:
Brown Mountain Lights...but it's always been one of my favorite NC ghost stories!
Next stop: Linville Caverns. I hadn't been in at least 25 years...and it was exactly the same. :-) "Linville Caverns have been open for tours since the late 1930s and remain the only show caverns in North Carolina. The caverns were discovered in 1822 by local fishermen and since that time have been of interest to locals and travelers alike. Half hour guided tours escort visitors through the caverns with information about cavern history, resident creatures, and the formations... Formed in a deposit of Shady Dolomite at the base of Humpback Mountain, Linville Caverns offer an environment for the public to explore the subterranean world of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Visitors hear the lore surrounding the caverns, including the tale of the Civil War deserters who used the caverns as a hideout, as well as the geology of the stalactites, stalagmites, and other formations found on the tour route."
For lunch, we couldn't pass up Famous Louise's...esp. since 3 of the 4 of us (read: not Will ;-)) have the middle name Louise! :-D (It's our family girl name thing. My mom couldn't break it; neither could I. :-P)
Cafe 230 back in south Georgia...which also reminded me of my Grandmommy's. ♥
Next stop: Grandfather Mountain. I had only been up there once before as a small child. [My dad thought it was ridiculous to pay to drive to the top of a mountain ;-) and we were all such scaredy cats re: heights, what was the point back then? :-D] It was stunning!!! The views were breathtaking...and I'm so proud of my children for really appreciating them!!! (So much more than my brother & I would have at that age! :-P) We stopped at the animal habitat and then drove up to the Mile High Swinging Bridge at the top. I was waaay too scared to cross it as a child, but they replaced the old rickety wooden bridge with a metal one about 15 years ago, so I marched right across like a champ, (perhaps also emboldened by my morning ziplining? ;-)) There was a storm to one side of the mountain, which provided the most glorious thunder rolls, and yet, we never got hit with the rain. Annelise had no fear: she walked right out to the edges...which made my stomach plummet. The kids & I hiked down the Bridge Trail, which goes under the Swinging Bridge and winds over huge boulders for half a mile down to a parking area, where my mom met us. We climbed Sphinx and Split Rocks on our way down, as well...
Next up: Tweetsie Railroad 2014