NC Trip Day Seven – The Last Day

Today was our last full day here in North Carolina. For our final adventure, we went to Grandfather Mountain. As we entered the park, we were warned that there might be some rain. Fortunately though, we didn’t encounter any rain. However, we did get a few dark clouds and just a bit of wind.

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First thing was first, we crossed the mile-high swinging bridge and climbed to the top of the mountain. With the high winds, crossing the bridge was a little more nerve wracking than usual what with the howling through the metal bits of the structure. Once we were up on top, we had 360 degree views of the area. It was absolutely stunning.

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After being properly chilled between the dropping temperature, the raising humidity, and the sustaining wind, we headed down to the museum and the animal habitat.

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Down at the habitat, we spent most of our time with the bears, because they were the ones that had the most personality, and of course they were very cute. We hung around long enough to hear about one of the first bears they had in the habitat, named Mildred. They say she didn’t know that she was a bear, and when they released her, she came back and just hung around.

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We moved on from the bears after a large crowd formed, and looked at the rest of the animals they had there. We didn’t, however, get to see the cougars, because they were in the process of renovating their habitat.

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After going through the museum, we decided it was time for lunch, so we ate the lunch that we had brought in a little picnic area, and then headed back towards Little Switzerland to have some ice cream.

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Before ice cream, though, we stopped at one overlook that I absolutely needed to see before we left: the Chestoa View. It’s an overlook viewing the Linville Gorge, and it is absolutely staggering. The photos any person takes, no matter the skill, no matter the equipment, will never do it justice. However, every time I’ve stopped there I’ve tried. Every photographer will try, and I wasn’t the only one this time, even. I’m so happy to have seen it again.

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Once we returned back to the cabin, it all came to realization that this was our last day, and tomorrow will primarily be packing the car up and heading out. It’s unfortunate, but the real world needs us.

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I hope my daily documentation of our trip has been insightful or entertaining or inspiring or some other positive adjective. I’m hoping that this practice in writing will lock in the habit of doing something like this every day. I’ve always loved writing, and I’ve missed it, and I thank you for reading whatever kind¬†writing you can call this.

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NC Trip Day Six

Today we ventured into civilization. Well, as much as you can really call it that. Downtown Asheville still maintains a small town feel while also having the look of a big city, except still not a big city. It’s hard to describe, really.

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We started our day parking over at the chamber of commerce. Pro tip, if you’re okay with a short walk, the chamber is the best place to park for free. Then we headed to the Mellow Mushroom for some lunch.

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Mellow Mushroom is more of a franchise that is all over, there’s even one in Orlando, but it really fits in with the aesthetic of Asheville perfectly. So, there we got ourselves some pizza, which was delicious! I definitely recommend it if you’re ever near one and craving a slice. It’s even good as leftovers.

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After filling up on food, we then walked street to street, popping in various shops, galleries, and book stores. Of course, we didn’t buy anything, but it was fun to look.

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Looking through the galleries reminded me why I do what I do, and why I continue to try to be the best at it. It also reminded me that I should probably start selling prints of my photos. I love creating and I’ll keep doing it for the rest of my life.

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Tomorrow will be our last full day in North Carolina, so we are going to savor it as much as possible. What will we do? That’s still up for debate, but we’ll probably, begrudgingly, start the packing process.

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NC Trip – Day Three

Today, we made our way to the Biltmore Estate. They seemed pretty strict about photos and video, but fortunately, I was able to loophole my way into taking all the photos I wanted.

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After touring the mansion and the gardens, we went for dinner at a local BBQ place, which was alright, definitely no Southern Pig & Cattle. I always feel like I’m taking a risk when I’m trying a new food place.

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After we ate, it started pouring down rain. Since it was too much like home, we decided to head back to the cabin and take it easy for the rest of the day.

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NC Trip – Day Two

Today was a little more rough on our bodies than yesterday. First, not only did we take the walk up to the top of Mount Mitchell, but we also did the three mile hike to Mount Craig and back.

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By the time we reached Craig, we were definitely tired. Somehow, there was a man who was actually running the trail. Crazy! He was nice enough to take a photo of Sarah and I, and I took one of him in return. He said that he’s lived here for three years and had not ever been on the trail before.

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On our way back, another lone hiker asked if she could join us on the way back. We all talked about various things, especially mushrooms. Apparently, there’s a type of mushroom that actually lactates, crazy! Unfortunately, she couldn’t find an example on the trail to show us, but it definitely made for good conversation and helped make the hike back go by faster.

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By the time we got to the trailhead, we were starving, and got in the car and drove to the little restaurant in the park. There, we both went simple and had burgers, and watched as the clouds rolled over the mountains.

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NC Trip Day One

We’ve been planning this trip for years, now. I literally mean years. Sarah and I started dating five years ago, and we eventually wanted to go to North Carolina for our honeymoon. Well, this year, as we celebrate our 3rd anniversary, we’ve finally made it our little cabin in the woods.

After our 9 hour drive, we made it, and immediately slept in until about noon today. Once we got moving about we laced up our hiking boots and headed for Roaring Fork Falls.

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It was a nice little hike that we both enjoyed, and definitely got us ready for the rest of the adventures that are ahead of us for the next few days. From a photo gear standpoint, I’m glad I brought the Fujifilm X-T2 along. With its compact and light weight body and incredible image quality, it’s the best camera I’ve ever had on a hike.