Thursday, August 28, 2014


We really piled it on the first day. After eating lunch and trying, in vain, to get that run away dachshund to let me pet him, we headed down the road to Linville Caverns and then hiked a bit at Linville Falls. We also stopped at the Moses Cone plantation but that was a bit of a bust, although there was a poodle I made friends with, always a highlight. It seemed everywhere we went people had dogs. That's how I really knew North Carolina was a good fit for little old me, and I really regretted not bringing young Gill along. He would have had a blast.

The caverns were really fun, despite our surly teenage guide Hunter. At one point they pile everyone into a tiny crack in the cave onto a middle grate suspended over the endless abyss. The old ladies who went first were all hollering that they couldn't breathe and get us out of here, so later Jared and I went back in for a second look.

Linville Falls was lovely. It was the biggest waterfall we saw on the trip. On the trail we passed a little girl sitting on a log, maybe 5 years old, crying her eyes out. That portion of the trail was a bit muddy and I think she had decided she just couldn't go on. Her big brother (maybe 9?) came and sat down beside her and gave her a big hug. It was so incredibly sweet. We passed them finishing the trail on our way back to the falls so the hug must have worked. They usually do, don't they?

After leaving the falls we took the long way home, driving the Blue Ridge Parkway for almost 2 hours on our way down to Asheville...

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Tuesday, August 26, 2014


Our trip to North Carolina was good enough to have me sulking for a full week afterwards. Seriously, vacation blues are legit and they blow. The air was clearer, cooler, crisper. The forest had me feeling like Bilbo Baggins, once he climbs to the top of the canopy and finds himself in the bottom of a big leafy green bowl. We hiked to waterfalls, my legs feeling like 50 lb weights (but maybe they are? How much does your average leg weigh?), and across the Biltmore Estate, and through miles of downtown Asheville.

Jared planned the trip, meaning there frankly wasn't a whole lot of planning, but Jared had it right this time. We drove up to Hickory after work, cranking an audiobook. We had booked that hotel the night before and collapsed soon after arrival. The next day was Blowing Rock, overpriced, and Grandfather Mountain, where we were drastically unprepared for the gusting wind and 50 degree weather. We climbed over the swinging bridge which was literally singing in the wind. As we walked across you could feel the wind nudging you forward. We hopped on the rocks all the way to the edge. Wind whipping, doing our best Pocahontas, freezing to death. Then there were adorable bears with weird matted fur.
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Slick tennis shoes~
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Next came Brunswick Stew and pulled pork. The restaurant also sold fried bologna sandwiches and please don't think I wasn't tempted. Also, the family behind us in line had left their dachshund outside and he broke free at least 4 times and wandered into the restaurant to find them.

More tomorrow I think :)

Tuesday, August 19, 2014


Finally got around to putting it together!