Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Mid-South Pt.3: Blue Ridge Parkway, Mount Mitchell, And Yarn Of Course

On our first day in North Carolina, I talked everyone into going to Black Mountain. Why? Well, I had to go see Black Mountain Yarn Shop for myself. I'd been following their instagram page for awhile, but never expected to have an opportunity to visit. I left with some souvenirs.

On the way back, we all stopped by the Folk Art Center. Memaw paid me a huge compliment and said I ought to come out on future family trips because all the things I had planned were things she wouldn't have thought to do herself.
See Mid-South Pt.4 for the details on the yarn

The next day we drove along the Blue Ridge Parkway. The five of us climbed up the trail to get a great view of the Blue Ridge Mountains. (you can see the parkway in the background.) The only thing we regretted is that we didn't bring our lunch up with us. No matter, we had our lunch at the picnic tables below.

In the evening we went out for barbecue in Waynesville. I have to say, the best chicken I've ever had was at Haywood Smokehouse. It was so good, I got a meal there the next day.

The next day's adventures took us to Craggy Gardens. The Rhododendron season was at its peak and we hiked up to Craggy Bald to enjoy nature's garden. The whole area was just covered in Rhododendron blooms.

Connor's dad, Connor and I stayed a while longer so I could paint. Connor's brother Mason, who had rejoined the party, and his Mum moved on to do some more hiking. (We pooped Memaw out and she stayed at the cabin that day.)

After Craggy Gardens the three of us walked up to Mount Mitchell. I didn't realize that Connor had never been to the top; it had always been closed when he had been there in the past. I was glad that I painted at Craggy Gardens rather than Mount Mitchell. There were swarms of bugs. We ran down pretty fast after getting this picture.

The next day our adventures in North Carolina had come to an end. We caravanned to Chimney Picnic area and did a nature hike before eating lunch and parting ways. Mason then drove us back to Nashville.

Being a botanist, Mason happens to know of quite a few neat spots. Part way back to Nashville, he showed us Ozone Falls. You could swim in the pool if you wanted. We didn't. The falls are really tall. If you can see in the top right of the photo, there is a man in a hammock.

From there, we had dinner and Mason dropped us off at the airport so we could get our rental car. It was a Sunday and while we picked up the car we learned why plane tickets were so much cheaper on Tuesday. (The day we planned to leave.) It turns out we were in Nashville while the CMA (country Music Awards), Bonnaroo Music Festival, and a hockey final were going on. We decided to stay out of downtown Nashville that evening and instead went to our hotel to pass out.


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