Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Who Says I'm Not "Outdoorsy"?

Day 2 on the Blue Ridge! Things are basically still where they were yesterday (very, “Oh god, what have I done?!”), but I’m becoming slightly more resigned to my fate. AND for all of you nonbelievers out there → I hiked today. Yes! Hiked! And in a dress and flip-flops no less. Is that not hardcore wilderness? My parents and I went to the highest peak in North Carolina today: Grandfather Mountain. Apparently they use this mountain to predict the weather and temperature for the surrounding area, which includes Tennessee (Roan Mountain to be exact, which I have visited and would not wish upon many people). On this mountain we saw Split Rock, which is, as I’m sure you can guess, a giant rock split in half. Titillating! Further up the mountain was a Nature Museum and Animal Preserve and at the preserve they had bears and cougars and deer and OTTERS!!!!! Three HUGE otters that could not sit still and they kept sliding in and out of the water, running around their rocky home and falling down in a big cuddle pile. It. Was. Spectacular. My father literally had to pull me away and I was really really tempted to reach in and grab one...I’m sure he would have fit in my purse! (My one complaint though: too many children. Dear god. I literally almost ran into one because we both refused to move for one another. Who’s bigger, little girl??)

Then we got all the way up to the top of Grandfather Mountain where there is a mile-high swinging bridge. The bridge takes you to another side of the mountain where you then get to hike to the second highest peak (about 5,300 ft). My dad and I decided to go up it, but, not gonna lie, when I saw just what we were hiking up I was skeptical. Not for me, but for my dad: 67 yr old man with two knee-braces. Before I knew, though, he was off and climbing the steep, sleek, and craggy rocks! We were really quite the pair compared to the rest of the people in their shorts and hiking boots! Him with his knee-braces and refusing to let go of his camera, thus giving him only one free hand, and me in my dress and flip-flops, dressed more for a nice brunch than a hike. We did it though! I spent most of the time behind Dad going, “Oh god, are you sure you want to keep – oh, oh okay. You got it. Oh god,” but we did it! This island girl is going to take these mountains by storm. Mwahaha.

We also found one of the best art shops I have ever seen. I wanted to buy EVERYTHING in there!! All the crafts are made by Appalachian artists and they were absolutely beautiful. We later learned the ancient art of stick playing when a construction worker holding a “Stop” sign at us got very very bored. Luckily, since we were in the middle of the Blue Ridge, there was a stick beside him that was apparently providing massive entertainment. Oh I can’t wait to learn this skill, too! I felt like I was looking at the next four months of my future.

Scotland is also pretty big up here. Maybe this is a well-known fact, but it was news to me (yes, I realize there is an area called the “Highlands” in North Carolina, but I didn’t know they were trying to parallel the Scottish Highlands...I thought they just liked the name). There is a Scottish Highlander Festival going on this weekend, there are Tartan Restaurants, AND (are you ready for this?) we found a coo farm. A COO farm! For those of you that don’t know, a “coo” is also known as a “heilan coo”, which is also known as a Highland cow; one of those orange-reddish ones with the big horns and long shaggy hair that covers their eyes? Coo!!! I was aghast. I am planning on going back there during one of my days off. What else will I have to do, but go and play with coos??

And to end with, I will admit to starting to understand all the hype in the “beauty department.” This place is quite gorgeous and there are flowers here I have never seen outside of a grocery store or florist shop. We found the viaduct that most people see when they Google pictures of the Blue Ridge (the road the goes around the outside of the mountain making it almost like a bridge) and I never expected a road to be so pretty – just a road! It was surprisingly elegant, if that makes any sense at all. So...maybe things are looking up? Ha! We’ll see what happens when I’m finally forced to sleep in my new house...


  1. GA, you are going to end up like/loving this place in spite of yourself!

  2. How many PARK RANGERS would ever have their outdoorsiness questioned????

  3. Holy Cats! My family (except for my sister and me) were just at Grandfather Mountain, playing at the festival (well, just my brother was playing, my parents were chaperones). I heard great stories about the celtic group playing their violins on that suspension bridge. So weird to think you were in the same place.