Tuesday morning was so clear, bright, and beautiful we decided that it must be the day to go up Chimney Rock.
After breakfast in town we entered the state park and drove the winding road up to the top. Only about 8 cars had preceded us and we were able to park immediately in front of the gift shop.
The penny stamping machine caught my eye and we both had to make a souvenir of our visit. A couple of pictures at that altitude and we were ready to brave the long dark tunnel to elevators. Naw, it wasn’t dark at all with the lighting that displayed the texture of the solid rock walls
We were able to get on the next elevator and swooshed to the top exiting in another gift shop and snack bar. Well, nearly the top. A stairway of 44 steps remains to arrive at the Chimney portion of the mountain. An outside eating area provided the first unimpeded view of the valley, Lake Lure, and mountain ridges in the distance.
Up the 44 steps and although the top of the chimney is a pretty good size, it feels strange to be standing on a small rocky portion of the mountain. After a few pictures we went back down the steps and looked for postcards. You know how hard postcards are to find anymore? Instead of 50 different views to choose from, only a dozen were available, and it was the same everywhere we went. While sis was shopping I had a chance to write postcards to family and a friend or two while sitting at a table at the snack bar.
After coming down from Chimney Rock, we drove towards Brevard to drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway and see family. One of our cousins was hosting a family dinner that night so we could see her whole family-husband, sons, siblings and their children. She made some casseroles and soup and was even able to go with us on our drive up Mt. Pisgah. It was a fun afternoon, chatting and visiting while driving to see just one more overlook filled with leafy trees and mountains. Ahhh.
Sis got us back to cousin’s home just in time to start meeting all the cousins and little cousins as they arrived for dinner. What a lovely evening, visiting and getting to know again this NC part of the family. Of course we exchanged emails and Facebook ID’s to keep in touch. The kids were intrigued with some of the games and activities sis has on her iPhone.
The drive back to Chimney Rock at night was a bit more challenging than we supposed. It is sooo easy to take a wrong turn at night. After getting on the correct road, the iPhone neglected to advise us the road was closed for a bridge repair so we were a bit surprised and apprehensive about the detour. Once back on the intended road…there was another detour. It tickled my silly bone but since Sis was driving I wasn’t sure if she would find it as humorous as I did. But a giggle escaped and we had a good laugh about it.
Before too much longer we were back in the comfortable beds at the Carter Lodge and listening to the sounds of the river.