The Great Smokey Mountains ( Part 2 )
The second day of our trip was to be Grandfather Mountain and Linville Canverns.
Let me just give you my backstory on Grandfather Mountain.
The first time I ever went, was when I was a little girl. We had this BIG Ford Sherrod Conversion Van. The ones that are so big, they have a built in seat in the back that has a fold down sleeping bed and bulky built in floor tv.
We are talking a BIG VAN here PEOPLE! A BUS!
So, you could imagine my horror when I realized that we would be going up “hairpin” curves with no guardrails on any sides, allowing you to drop of the edge of the earth if you make a mistake. Did I mention there was a thick fog that accompanied our trip up the mountain?
Fastforward ten years………..
MORE FOG! Now my new husband and I decided to take a trip to the mountains and visit Grandfather Mountain again. I figured, “Heck! I was a kid before! Things always seem like a bigger deal when you are a kid!”
This time was worse. I had this old Honda Prelude that took very wide turns and to beat all was A STICK SHIFT! Ahhhhhhhh!
We literally had to do three point turns going up and down this thing. My new husband and I almost got a divorce right there on that mountain when he found it hysterical to scare me on the way down.
You can probably imagine my apprehensive state when he informed me that he wanted to go up again this time on our trip and take our kids. I kept trying to suggest other things that might be better to do instead. BUT, when he informed me that he would be going up that STINKIN Mountain with or without me, I caved. I decided that big ole thing wasn’t going to lick me!
I just figured I would grit my teeth and somehow get through it.
It really is a beautiful sight. This time, it turns out, wasn’t nearly as bad.
When you enter the gate, they give you (with your admission price) a cd that will narrarate the entire journey up the mountain and give you historical facts about it as well. We decided that we would stop along the way and get out at the pull over areas and walk around a bit.
This really helped me!
The views through the trees are nothing short of amazing.
Look how small the kids look against this huge rock! I couldn’t even get the whole thing in the picture.
Needless to say . . . . . . . . .
This shot was taken at the top of the mountain.
Here is a shot of the “hairpin curves” at the top. They are only at the top. Again, it wasn’t nearly as bad for me this time as it was in the past. However, the hill is so steep that they tell you to gear down on your way down the mountain.
It was 38 degrees at the top. They have a bridge at the top that they call The Mile High Swinging Bridge. The reason you might ask? Yes, it swings. It does this to account for the wind. I’m not talking as much as a playground, but it definitely moves while you are there. Sometimes, it can even sound like a harmonica playing. Thank goodness the wind wasn’t blowing enough that day to let us hear any music!
YUP! That is how high we were when we were standing on the bridge. Forgot to mention that the name of the bridge is also because it is a mile long drop to the ground beneath you.
Across the other side were rocky cliffs you could walk across. I stayed my toosh right there on the landing. My husband, however, lost his mind momentarily and decided to carry each one of our children across. I managed to get a snap shot of him holding Em. For the others, I could hardly breathe, from fright hoping neither of them slipped.
Our next stop was Linville Canverns, which was only a few more minutes down the road. You can go inside the mountain and see what it looks like.
This was really cool. I did this as well when I was a kid, but I could only remember a little.
They even have trout that swim into the caves.
It definitely is not for someone who has the least bit of a problem with claustrophobia.
These were some of the other lovely occupants in the caverns.
It truely was magnificant!
One thing I noticed . . . . . even dried up corn stalks look better with a mountain for a backdrop.
Our trip to the Mountains, regardless of my fear of the heights thing, was really GREAT! It was just like I had imagined it would be.
The best part was being able to look at my kids and see the same excitement in their eyes that I had when I was their age. It kind of made me feel like a kid again being able to experience it all over again with them.
If you can do it, go to the mountains. It will be a wonderful experience for you and the whole family!
pics are great! looks like ya’ll had a great and memorable family trip, maybe a yearly tradition?