The Mountains are Calling…

Recently my husband and I traveled to Asheville, North Carolina.  We did a lot of hiking, camping, and sightseeing along the way 🙂

Our first night, we camped at a little site in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park right next to the Oconaluftee River.  It was so peaceful to hear the sound of the river while we relaxed by our campfire.  While we were there, we also hiked to Clingman’s Dome, which is the highest mountain in the Smokies (6,643 feet).  It was really neat to watch the fog cascade down the mountain.  We weren’t able to get many pictures, but I’m glad we went to the top.

Fog near Clingman’s Dome

We also drove along the Blue Ridge Parkway, which was fantastic.  We found a little trail just off of the parkway where you can hike to an overlook called Craggy Pinnacle (5,817 feet).

Driving along the Blue Ridge Parkway
View from the Craggy Pinnacle overlook.  If I squint, I can see our car parked below!

We also traveled to Blowing Rock, which is North Carolina’s oldest attraction since 1933.  Luckily, we made it just before sunset and got some really spectacular pictures to commemorate our visit.

Blowing Rock (4,000 feet)
Blowing Rock viewfinders

We also got some exercise in by hiking to Chimney Rock, which is a 535-million-year-old monolith.  I wish I knew how many steps we took to make it to the top!

This is only the beginning!
We can see the top!
We made it!!!

We also decided to hike the Hickory Nut Falls Trail after we climbed back down from Chimney Rock.  Even though I desperately wanted my husband to carry me back to the car, it was worth it 🙂

Hickory Nut Falls

We also took a day to visit the iconic Biltmore Estate, owned by George and Edith Vanderbilt. The house itself is a whopping 178,926 square feet, and there is also a gorgeous garden outside to peruse.

Biltmore Estate
Dewy flower outside in the garden
Biltmore Gardens

We had a fantastic time visiting Asheville and its surrounding cities. Everyone we encountered was very friendly and helpful. It is also worth noting how physically active everyone was; the residents seemed to have a genuine love for the outdoors. We would love to go back to explore more of the trails and mountains someday!

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