Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The mountains of Western NC

We spent a week at a place called Mountain Falls RV resort which is located in Lake Toxaway NC in Transylvania county. It's in the southwestern part of the state very close to the South Carolina border. This is a very beautiful area filled with lakes, mountains and waterfalls. In fact the tourism board calls this the "Land of Waterfalls" and claims that the area has the highest concentration of waterfalls in the US (250 in the county).

We visited about a half dozen of the falls including Whitewater Falls. They claim that it's the highest in the East but that's a fish story... 

Whitewater Falls in NC
We took a great hike called Whiteside mountain. From the top you could see 3 states - Lake Jocassee which is in SC and Brasstown Bald in GA. 

Lake Jocassee from Whiteside mountain
On another day we did several walks to various waterfalls. I had some fun trying to "blur" the water with a long shutter speed. Still need to work on this technique, but making some progress. 

Silver Run Falls
Rainbow Falls

We also visited our friends Pete and Barb who live near Greenville SC. We spend a great couple of days with them enjoying some golf practice (him), a dog rescue event (her) and some Carolina BBQ from Hubba Hubba in Flat Rock.

We left Lake Toxaway on a very curvy road (Route 64) but fortunately it was only about 15 miles before we came off the mountain onto a straighter road. We're headed to Lake Norman in the Charlotte area. 

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Great Smoky Mountains NP

We are staying in the mountains of North Carolina and took a day to visit the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. I camped here with a friend 40 years ago when I was 17! The place hasn't changed too much - it's still beautiful, with ridge after ridge of rolling mountains. 

We drove from the North Carolina entrance to the Tennessee side and took a couple of hikes along the way.

A nice waterfall in the Deep Creek area
This doe was waiting for us at the top of the trail
It's a bit early in the season and many of the trees hadn't leafed out yet, especially at the higher elevations. The Smoky's top out at 6,643 feet, and the drive from Cherokee NC to Gatlinburg TN goes from 2,000 feet up to 6,000 and back down again.  

Fortunately some of the trails had wildflowers in bloom.

We enjoyed our day in the Smoky's. We found the serene beauty of these rolling mountains to be a nice contrast to the jagged peaks we had enjoyed in the West.