Trip Start Sep 07, 2011
4Trip End Sep 10, 2011
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The sun was shinning when we woke and this time it stayed with us all day!! We had a filling breakfast of French toast and coffee before starting our third day of our Parkway Ride. Today we were heading north with our main focus on Grandfather Mountain. Since the weather was on our side today we stopped back at Craggy Gardens. The view was much different than yesterday!!! We kept our fingers crossed and hoped that Mt. Mitchell would cooperate as well and it did. Both stops had views that didn't seem to end! Now it’s time to head to Grandfather Mountain and the Swinging Bridge.
We entered the gate at Grandfather Mountain and the girl at the gate gave Mike a piece of paper that we both needed to read before she would let us in. Mike read it and told me to some degree what it said
We spent time at the Swinging Bridge taking pictures then getting out of the way of a bus load of fearless school children. We stopped at the animal habitat to see some of the animals that have been saved after injury and grab some lunch. No need to fear the bears but a squirrel on the other hand, well I think he wanted some chips. Riding the switch backs back down was much easier than going up!!
The Lin Cove Viaduct is probably one of the most scenic sites on the Parkway. We stopped at the visitor’s center in hopes of getting a better view
It was getting late and time to head towards Blowing Rock and the Alpen Inn. The Alpen Inn was nice but it was not what we experienced the two nights prior. Both Mike and I were tired after a long day so we decided to keep dinner simple (no restaurant here) and call it an early night. Chick-Fil-A sandwich, small salad and chips. The chips we bought the night before thinking we would snack on them during the opening season football game but did not. They traveled well in Heavy’s saddle bags I might add … very little crushed chips!
Mike’s 2 Cents…………………………………………………….
Once again a great nights sleep with the balcony door open the fresh mountain air is so great at night, however a bit chilly. After another great breakfast of French Toast we headed toward Grandfather Mountain and back toward Fancy Gap. Todays weather is sunny and the visibility seems endless, we went back by a couple spots that we stopped yesterday when we couldn’t see more than a couple hundred yards to find that today you can see for miles. Mt. Mitchell was clear and what a view, what a great day !!!
As Kim stated earlier we arrived at Grandfather mountain and were warned about the high winds and switchbacks, I showed Kim the paper and she said "what does it say?" I replied something about the winds and the switchbacks, Kim said “oh, OK” and off we went. As we got farther up the mountain the road started to get pretty severe until it was full blown 180 degree switchbacks, I was watching Kim in my mirror the whole time and she rode them like a pro. This was really a true test for her these were not just average climbs, her and Nellie passed with flying colors !!! At the top ……….what a view, of course we crossed the “Mile High” swinging bridge and Kim took the opportunity for a photo on the bridge. After we played around on the mountain top we went down to the animal habitat and checked out the displays and had a bite to eat, as Kim mentioned earlier we met a red squirrel that was wanting some lunch as well, it was hilarious !!!!
We really had a great afternoon on Grandfather Mountain but it was time to head to the motel for the night, we stayed at the Alpen Inn, it was nice but nothing like our two previous nights. We had a semi healthy fast food dinner in the room and even though we didn’t have the views and great food that we have enjoyed the past two nights we had a great time ………………Life is good
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