Park 3: Mount Mitchell/Pisgah National Forest/Lineville Caverns part 1

fog mountain road

on the road to the mountains

The mountains were calling and I answered. I don’t know what it is about the mountains but I always feel more centered and  peace when I’m there. That feeling goes all the way back to childhood. I grew up surrounded by woods and whenever I’d have a bad day I’d take a walk. Fortunately, my family surrounded our property so I’d end up at my great-grandmother’s house most of the time and visit with her but I would generally just walk around the woods. I used to get lost on purpose just to see if I could find my way back to my house. I miss that. I miss that freedom. It’s hard to do living in a neighborhood. I can go for a walk and there are woods in my development but there are always “No trespassing” signs. Harsh reality right?! That’s why I go to the mountains. I don’t hear any sounds I’m free to walk as fast or as slow as I feel and although I don’t end up at a family home, I’m still home in my heart.

This trip is part of my 52 Park Challenge and it has been my favorite so far. We made plans spur of the moment to rent a cabin for the weekend. My kids had a three-day weekend so once they were out of school we picked them up, loaded the puppy, changed, made everyone use the bathroom (I don’t stop for pee breaks) and headed out on the two and a half hour drive. When we got there it was dark so I couldn’t really see how deep we were into the mountains. The drive up to the property kind of told me just by how far up we were because the driveway was pretty steep. We settled in and went to bed.

In the morning, I looked out the back window and saw we were deep in between two mountains. We had high hills on three sides. It was like the cabin was dropped into a valley. The kids were itching to get outside so we went for a little morning walk. I took a few photos of the stream that ran along the side of the property and then walked down to the pond. I walked around the property and then decided to check out the back yard. The backyard was a steep incline uphill. I wasn’t really prepared to walk up something that steep so I definitely got a leg workout.

Later that day we drove to Linville Caverns. It was a short drive but further up in elevation. When we

linville caverns entrance

got there it was cloudy and a little rainy. They allowed dogs but we had to carry her through the caverns. In Virginia, we have Luray Caverns and I’d been there before so I was somewhat familiar and knowing what to expect. The kids hadn’t done anything like that before and were excited to get to go inside of a mountain. The tour lasted about 30 minutes. There was one other photographer in the group. I was a little annoyed that the tour guide didn’t want photographers hanging in the back. Uh, that’s what we do so we don’t hold up the line in the front, we stand in the back and photograph while you talk. Whatever lady! *eye-roll*I stood in the back anyway and took photos as much as I want. I paid for that damn ticket and I didn’t hold up any line. I’m a tad hard-headed and don’t like being told what I can and can’t do especially when there’s money involved.

The caverns were interesting. The tour guides tell a little history of

things that happened inside as well as a few jokes here and there. Honestly, I did it for the kids I wasn’t really there for the cavern tour. I just wanted the photos. We left after the tour and headed home for lunch. After lunch, we planned to go to Mount Mitchell. In part two of this blog post I will talk about the rest of our trip.

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