10 Oct 2012 – Hot Springs to Cherokee
Sun: after seeing the grandchildren enjoying their swim was met by Glenda/Hi Hills and Franklin at Sugar Mt and drove around Grandfather Mt. The mist and fog were good excuses to just stroll up and down Beacon Heights 🙂
Decided against hiking and headed on to Blowing Rock where G&F’s daughter Jessica Leigh and son-in-law Kenneth have a trendy boutique, Monkee’s. This buzzing village has the best door-sign!! Nice lunch at the Village Cafe***
Linn Cove Viaduct, construction began 1979 and completed in 1987 built with 153 concrete segments to avoid destroying the scenic Grandfather Mt.
Checked into Hot Springs cabin (including 1hr soak US100 S$123 ‘/, 3). Franklin drove like a F1 driver to and from the car park at Max Patch, walked up the slopes in time for a beautiful sunset. 2005, we hiked here in total darkness. Mother Nature was on our side to show her beauty for 15mins today. Rushed back to Hot Springs in time to soak into the natural mineral hot springs and slept soundly in the cabin by the river.
Mon: had the chance to revisit the 3 White Blazes thru’ Hot Springs to smell the roses which were again rushed thru’ in 2005!
Headed SW app 73mi/118km, 1+hr drive to the Microtel Inn & Suites (US$70 S$86) in ᏣᎳᎩ/Cherokee, a tourist-oriented area located at the entrance to Great Smoky Mountains National Park and at the southern end of the Blue Ridge Parkway. 20mins at the Harrah’s Casino (opened 1995) and $10 down was enough with these modern high-tech slot-machines. Miss the old-fashioned machines when one can hear the coins even for the minimum win…
Met up with MoFo and 2 other hikers at the trail-head after their 2 days and 1 night in tents on the Mountains-to Sea Trail. Nice to meet Guinness and Cruiser. Mexican food for dinner with the exchanging of hiking experiences and info. MoFo has a new tent weighing 9 ozs which is calling out my name 🙂 🙂
Tue: after dropping the hikers off bright and early, we continued to Mingo Falls with 167×2 steps to climb and down to a 120ft waterfall. From Cherokee/NC to Columbia/SC app 200mi /322kms, 3+hrs drive.
ᏩᏙ/thank you to G&F for their gracious hospitality and wonderful company, for one of the most memorable and enjoyable weekends. Appreciations for the driving, arranging of accommodations and for showing their beautiful NC state. Drive safe home back to NC.
When a man moves away from nature his heart become hard – American Indian proverb