Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Best... till Last

I am now home just fired up the Keurig and had a nice cup of coffee, but I wanted to finish blogging about my much needed and ever so appreciative of getting the chance to do this road trip!! 
I left off at the natural Bridge I did that on Saturday...and Sunday was a driving day to get me back south via I-81 S to I-26 E through Kingsport, TN then into NC near Brevard/Hendersonville. The leaf color was still awesome!


 I planned to attend  the Tour'de Falls in Dupont State Forest in NC.  The whole thing is put on by the Friends of the Forest a very aggressive Volunteer group and they do 2 of these tours a year.  The history of the Dupont forest is connected to the chemical industry as the name implies...you can Google it up for more info I will hit the highlights!! OH---- these falls locations have been used in movies such as Last of the Mohicans, as well as Hunger Games!


The tour included a ride on small gravel roads in a school bus  with lots of other like minded folks I enjoyed the company of for the day.  



The forest is so packed with trails and WATERFALLS!! There's 6 on the property along with 2 lakes and lots of creeks, rivers, and TREES!


The first stop on our tour was the Triple falls! Its  huge each drop is about 30 ft..and it was gushing with water..


the upper levels....


some people for scale...


next on the tour was High Falls! and its just that...100ft! 


Tons of water!!  Notice the people in the lower right


I did make some videos I will upload when I get a chance...one cool thing about high falls is
It tumbles over the edge after passing under the covered bridge that we rumbled over in our little bus..


The 3rd on our tour was Bridal Veil...it has the veil ...


and then a long slide down!!


I slept that night at the Black Forest Family Campground..an awesome place to camp clean, roomy, fully loaded and pretty with a real friendly family owning and operating it they even have a pancake breakfast on their huge front porch on Sunday mornings..


Then Monday Casey and I hiked to the Hooker Falls it was not a long hike, maybe only 0.6 mi ...it was really a nice falls small but lots of water and quite wide!!





Lastly Casey slept in the cool shade in the van while I hiked the 2.8 mi to Grassy Creek Falls, kinda of disappointed in this as it should have been called a slide, but I did enjoy the hike and it was very pretty!!


Then I drove home!!! OMG I had a blast and could keep going forever!!


...and life goes on. 


PEACE
Eleanor Roosevelt: You must do the thing you think you can not.

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Natural Bridge-7th Of the Wonders!

Since time is a factor I turned South on Friday after traveling only a 1/3 of the 106 mile Skyline Drive in Shenandoah NP. On the way back down I drove I-81 It sort of Parallels the Parkway except its straight and you can drive 70mph I needed to make up some mileage...but I did stop at one attraction.  I've been here before with my Mom many years ago..now its all touristy and crowded but I stopped because back when we visited in the late 70's I didn't get any decent photos of it...I think I had one of those 126 drop in film cameras at that time--
Its billed as one of the 7 wonders, funny how there must be 1,000's of 7 wonders?

but in the ticket and gift shop area I found two of these! 


The penny Collector machine! I turned 2 this time--

The Natural Bridge is a wonder for sure,,,215 ft high 100 ft wide!


it was a cavern with an underground river-- years of erosion collapsed the cavern walls and the bridge remains.  It was purchased by Thomas Jefferson from King George III and he planned to make a tourist attraction of it! 


Later he sold it to the a WOLTZ family and if you look closely you can see Woltz family names carved in the rock 1883...you can also see G.W. for this landmark was surveyed by none other than George Washington himself!!


This is his initials carved in the rock face. 


along with the bridge there is a replica of a Mohican Village, it was the Mohicans who first settled the Bridge area..artifacts have been found on this site.  This hut is covered with bark!



some pelts they had around...and Casey went for the butt sniff..ugh.


There is a small but scenic waterfall upstream from the bridge...


We enjoyed it although I think its pricey @ $18...there is a discount if your AARP, AAA etc...$2.20 and there is a free shuttle ride if you want to avoid the 138 steps back up.. Almost everyone along the walk had been introduced to Casey so when we asked if we could ride the shuttle back up the driver asked the other riders if we could ride... they all said, "YES come on in Casey"...no one knew my name  I was just the lady who was with Casey! ....lol.




T.B.C.

PEACE
Eleanor Roosevelt: You must do the thing you think you can not.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Mile Post 1.0

...and still northward we go our intended Destination Shenandoah National Park and Skyline Drive! The Blue Ridge Parkway terminates and the S-NP begins..the only difference is an entry fee!! 

Meanwhile before we reach mile post 1.0, we stop at Humpback Rocks..we didnt do the hike to the rock formations....you just can't do it all ya know!  But I got a photo from long distance of some of the rocks up there...



But we (Casey and I) toured the Old  Farm Village across the road--






Then entered the park! the Ranger stamped my passport!! And I think Ill have to swing east to get my Blue Ridge Parkway stamp--- ALL week I kept forgetting to get it stamped!! I may encounter the Parkway again before I'm headed back to SC.  As I type this I'm near Bristol TN!  













taken from the Skyline Drive.  Thats 2 things off my bucket list! Photographing Mabry Mill in fall foliage and making it to Shenandoah Valley!

T.B.C.

PEACE


Eleanor Roosevelt: You must do the thing you think you can not.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

America ---Alive and Well III

Continuing our trek up the Blue Ridge Parkway, on Thursday we stopped at Peaks of Otter campground on the parkway.  There are LOTS of camp spots, I took one close to the comfort station, and soon I was surrounded by 5th wheels, generators, and pit fires---Hello! Quiet time couldn't come soon enough for me! One issue I have with the East there are NO Public Lands!! Scarcely a trace in all of SC there are like areas where you could boondock! Of course I knew I would be staying in the NPS campgrounds...anyway Met a nice lady from CO...who was a single traveler and a member of a Yahoo group called Women With A-Frames and More...she has a Casita tho...and her dog..No photos I was busy trying to get ready for dark  thirty, because Casey and I hiked around the lake upon our arrival, so it was nearing dark when we returned. 


the campground is in the wooded area at the foot of this sharply pointed hill called Sharp Top. Across the lake there is a lodge each room has a lake view...and  there's a nice restaurant too.  It was booked of course a bike tour was in process lotsss of cyclists.  

This is the view from the restaurant..


This is the lodge seen from the other side of the lake...


The trail encircles the lake and along the way is this lovely old cabin  called Polly Woods Ordinary...


Close up...


Polly had a great homestead spot...this heron was fishing in the shallows..


Next morning we headed to the restaurant for breakfast, and I just caught a bit of the sunrise..


Peaks of Otter is at Mile Post 86 give or take, we continued north and came to the James River! Another great spot to hike...



Some nice views along the river walk...


then we followed the Otter Creek trail a loop to Otter lake and back, but Casey refused to fjord the stream here so we turned back...


I tried to point out the stepping stones but he wasn't buying that line!! Floss and Annie would have no problem with going across this but in Casey's defense the water would be over his back! I couldnt carry him and my camera and use my walking stick so....we didnt cross no worries...


there was a view of the lake a little farther down the parkway and some geese were enjoying it


T.B.C.

PEACE
Eleanor Roosevelt: You must do the thing you think you can not.