Mountains Beyond Mountains

Last weekend, David and I took a little timeout from our sadness, quick trip over to the mountains. We stayed in Blowing Rock.  I haven’t been to this part of North Carolina since I was a young kid, and so it was nice to go back and remember what it felt like to be a kid in those places.  Everything seemed familiar, like I had been there before, but I couldn’t specifically recall precise memories associated with those places. When I came back to Chapel Hill and was talking to Sarah about the places, she reminded me of some funny stories that happened there (she was two years older than I was, after all).  Once, when we were in Blowing Rock, we were eating dinner in a restaurant owned by the parents of a guy that my aunt was dating.  Sarah kept repeating over and over again, when asked what she wanted to eat, “All I want is a big plate of corn,” because all day, Sarah had been saying how much she wanted to eat corn on the cob.

There are some places that I actively remember. I actively remember how much I loved Tweetsie Railroad, and how much Melissa would cry when the Indians would run through the train. I am actually dying to go back there if for no other reason to see if they have made their Wild West railroad show a little bit more politically correct and not cast the Native Americans in the role of the bad guys.  I also remember climbing the stairs at Mt. Mitchell and visiting my favorite place in the mountains when I was a kid, Little Switzerland.  Unfortunately, we didn’t have time to visit any of those destinations on this quick weekend trip. However, I was able to recall with sheer terror the Mile High Swinging Bridge at Grandfather Mountain.

We took Knightley with us for the weekend, so it was a real family trip visiting historic tourist stops like “The Blowing Rock” itself…

And of course, it should come as no surprise that bringing Knightley on the trip made life a bit more energetic and a lot more fun.

Poor David, who had also just broken his toe when Knightley tripped him walking down the stairs at our house, was a little exhausted at times from having an enthusiastic dog pull him all around.

We stayed in a nice little cottage at a pet-friendly inn  at the quaint town of Blowing Rock.

The next day, we visited Grandfather Mountain with my terrifying encounter with that swinging bridge.

Knightley and David were not as scared as I was and they led the way over to show me it was safe.

After that, we took some nice hikes, enjoyed the views of the mountain, and ate a nice picnic lunch. Knightley turned out to be quite the little rock climber.

Did I mention that we saw some bears and a cougar?

Note: the bears and the cougars were in enclosed conservation habitats on Grandfather Mountain.

All in all, we had a wonderful quick weekend that helped to get our mind off of other things and to remind us that there is so much beauty in the world that we have yet to experience.

3 thoughts on “Mountains Beyond Mountains

  1. Leslie, these photos are great! My maternal grandparents are from that area – Watauga County/Boone area, and my great-aunt lived there here whole life. I have such great (hazy) memories from trips there in the summer. We loved Tweetsie Railroad!

    I especially love the last photo of you and David. I am thinking of the two of you a lot these past few weeks.

    1. Thanks, Amanda! I thought you had family from Western North Carolina. It is funny that we both have hazy memories from childhood trips there. Maybe sometime we should have a return trip to Tweetsie! What do you think?

      Thanks for your thoughts!

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