North Carolina Mountains - Beautiful Vistas & Great Retreats!

Discussion in 'Travel Stories' started by giradman, Jul 26, 2013.

  1. scifan57

    scifan57
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    There sure are a lot of waterfalls in a small area. Unfortunately there’s nothing like this anywhere near where I live.
     
  2. giradman

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    Well, about to post on our day trip to Cashiers for lunch and to see a couple of more waterfalls - will show a map of 'Waterfalls in the Asheville' area, which are numerous - we've probably been to a couple of dozen over the decades, and whole books are written on the topic. Dave :)
     
  3. giradman

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    Cashiers - Lunch & More Waterfalls - Part 1

    Yesterday, we drove to Cashiers, just 10 miles, BUT on HW 64, a two-lane mountain road, so a good 20 minutes ride. We ate lunch at the wonderful Farmers Market near the HW 64 - HW 107 intersection - Susan had a beef brisket sandwich (meat cooked for 12+ hrs) and I a chicken salad sandwich that was probably the best ever for me (fresh wheat bread, ripe tasty tomatoes, and big chunks of chicken) - recommended!

    After lunch, our first waterfall was just south of Cashiers - called Silver Run Falls - brief description below from the link - several pics our mine and others from the web - there were just three swimmers in the pool during our visit, near the trees in one of my photos. Dave :)

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  4. giradman

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    Cashiers - Whitewater Falls - Part 2

    From Silver Run Falls, we drove south crossing into South Carolina, then headed back into North Carolina toward Whitewater Falls (see map); on our way, there was a spectacular scenic overlook of the South Carolina Mountains and Lake Jocassee, a man-made lake created by the Jocassee Dam (see first quote - from link & pic of dam) - some of the film Deliverance was made in the area and flooded by the rising lake.

    We shortly reached the Upper Whitewater Falls Visitor's Area - an easy 1/2 mile paved trail to view the upper portion of the falls; then 150+ wooden steps (recently rebuilt after a forest fire) to the lower observation platform where the entire falls can be seen (first five pics below are mine w/ several from the web) - Whitewater Falls is the HIGHEST waterfall east of the Rocky Mountains, dropping over 800 ft with all levels included - see second quote (from link). Of all of my years viewing waterfalls in this area, Whitewater Falls are the most awe inspiring for me - a MUST if visiting the Carolinas. Dave :)

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  5. giradman

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    Chimney Rock & Lake Lure

    Today, we returned home - we had a 'fast food' lunch in Black Mountain just east of Asheville on I-40 - a major accident had been announced probably near the continental descent, so I was worried about a LONG delay - a suggestion to Susan was to head down HW 9S to the Chimney Rock-Lake Lure area (see first two maps below), which we have visited numerous times in the past. Chimney Rock is is a 500+ million year-old granite monolith that offers fabulous panoramic scenes of the surrounding area, including the Broad River and parts of Lake Lure (see first two quotes below).

    Chimney Rock is unique in having a 20+ floor height elevator, first opened in 1949 (check the links) - more detailed description in the last two quotes below - we've been up that elevator several times previously - about 10 years ago the State of North Carolina acquired the property which is now a State Park, however, the elevator has been a problem, as described below - has been 'out of service' for about 2 years and a 'brilliant' solution is needed - thus we did not enter the park, which offers MUCH - Chimney Rock can still be reached if one desires to climb, not a solution for us oldsters - the pics below show some 'web' views from the ROCK - also, during our boat ride on Lake Lure (upcoming posts), I captured a few nice images of Chimney Rock and a decent zoomed view showing a lot of people who made the climb today - we'll return once the elevator is operational. Dave :)

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  6. giradman

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    Lake Lure - Introduction & Some Stories From the Boat Ride

    We parked at the marina for a pontoon narrated boat tour (about 50 mins and our fourth one) of Lake Lure, just a beautiful man-made mountain lake with gorgeous vistas and lakefront properties that range from old & modest to multi-million dollar estates. We've stayed in the Lake Lure area several times, including the renamed Rumbling Bald Resort - their restaurant offers views that reminded me of a visit to Lake Como, Italy in the early 1970s; below some history of the lake and town founded by Dr. Lucius Morse and others in the 1920s (see first two quotes).

    The town of Buffalo, North Carolina lies at the bottom of Lake Lure (likely named after Buffalo Mountain - see pic below); of course, much was flooded by the rising lake waters, including an old 1917 Reo truck, which after 45 years under water, the owner's son recovered the truck - after a restoration, the car was moved to a nearby museum (see link and pic). Just one of the fascinating tales heard during the tour.

    A number of movies were filmed in the area, including parts of the Last of the Mohicans (Chimney Rock area, Biltmore House, et al); but regarding Lake Lure, scenes from the film Dirty Dancing (Patrick Swayze & Jennifer Grey) were done on locale in Firefly Cove, which was a boy's camp previously - many of the buildings from that movie no longer exist but the beauty of the cove and the background mountains remain to enjoy.

    A final story (but certainly not the last told on the boat) concerns a small island which attracted numerous snakes (many venomous) during the filling of the lake - this was prime real estate and the snakes had to go! The solution suggested by a hog farmer was to put a bunch of pigs on the island - after a year or so the pigs were much BIGGER and the snakes were gone - take a look at the short video HERE (brief ad before).

    The images pretty much parallel these stories - another post to follow. Dave :)
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  7. giradman

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    Lake Lure - Lakefront Properties & Mountain Vistas

    In addition to the many interesting stories told by our boat captain & narrator, the magnificent lakefront properties and mountain vistas are often breathtaking - maybe why we've taken this boat ride four times! :rolleyes:

    Lake Lure was fully filled by 1927 and the first house built on the lakefront in 1929 (see pic below), then the Depression hit and development delayed for decades. According to our guide, there are over a 1000 house properties on the lakefront (and some commercial establishments, such as Larkin's Restaurant, marinas, and the resort mentioned previously), but only 25% are occupied year-around; thus, many (and I suspect the larger & more expensive ones) are second (and probably third+) houses. There is one trailer which is 'grandfathered' and many smaller and more modest houses; BUT, the larger homes are those that impress the most.

    The pics below are all of mine own (cropped, resized, and some w/ photo editing) - the initial ones are some of the more modest homes and then become more impressive; the eastern shore along the central portion of the cross-shaped lake is lined w/ expensive estates and face the 'million dollar view' of the mountain-scapes (see the overlapping mountain images). On our way home, we stopped at Larkin's restaurant for drinks and a last look of a limb of the lake - I had a local draft beer (Highland Gaelic Ale, made in Asheville) - the temperature was in the low 90s! We were 10+ degrees cooler in Highlands, already missed! Dave :)

    P.S. some property prices HERE for those interested.
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  8. suenc

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    Great scenery, great food, great hotel. Clumsy hiker (me)
     
  9. suenc

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    Scenic boat cruise on the lake What could be better on a sunny summer day?
     
  10. suenc

    suenc
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    I looked at it from the top, didn’t dare to climb down all the stairs to see it from below. Nervous hiker. :)
     

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