North Carolina Mountains - Beautiful Vistas & Great Retreats!

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

  1. giradman

    giradman
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    Chimney Rock State Park

    After our boat ride, we drove to the other end of the lake for lunch at Larkin's On The Lake, a favorite spot for Susan and me, BUT the parking lot was full and overflowing - sad for our son & DIL - they would have enjoyed. So, onto Chimney Rock - the elevator was NOW working! We had a quick 'hot dog' lunch at the top - the quote below is from earlier in the thread - the pics are again a mix of previous ones and my new ones, ending w/ our son, Stephen looking out at Lake Lure - a wonderful spot for a view and lots of pics! Dave :)

    Chimney Rock & Lake Lure

    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 :)

    P.S. CLICK on the images to enlarge!
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    #161 giradman, Aug 28, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2018
  2. suenc

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    Sonic father and son. Intrepid Segway pilots
     
    #162 suenc, Aug 28, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2018
  3. giradman

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    Cherokee - Indian Reservation, Harrah's Casino Resort, Museum, Qualla Arts, & Oconaluftee!

    On Sunday, our son & DIL had an early morning flight back to Indianapolis - we decided to stay another night and did a day trip to Cherokee, North Carolina; about an hour's drive on the routes shown in the first map below, but we took the Blue Ridge Parkway, which terminates in Cherokee at milepost 469 (length in miles of the parkway) or nearly an 80 mile drive from Asheville - I've made the entire trip before - this time we went about 60 miles and exited. For me, this is one of the most spectacular parts of the parkway w/ multiple tunnels, the highest points on the road (tops is just over 6000 ft), and vistas w/ rolling mountains - see some of my first pics below.

    Cherokee is located w/i the Qualla Boundary, described in the first quote. The Cherokee Nation was one of a half dozen or so Native American 'civilizations' in the Southeastern United States - their original territory covered 8 current states, and is now just over 80 sq. miles around the North Carolina town (see additional maps). Despite being 'allies' under Andrew Jackson's leadership at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend in now central Alabama in 1814, during his Presidential administration, the Indian Removal Act was passed in 1830, which led to the infamous 'Trail of Tears' - see second quote below.

    After reaching Cherokee, our first stop (and a new experience having never visited before) was Harrah's Cherokee Casino Resort - first, the place is HUGE w/ over a 1000 units in their tall hotel - plenty of restaurant options inside the casino, so we had a light lunch. Hundreds of slot machines available, and also 'live' dealers/operators at the tables (e.g. roulette, black jack, dice, etc.). We played the slots for an half hour and left $25 ahead! Dave :)

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  4. suenc

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    Our casino winnings more than offset our trip to Biltmore! :):):)
     
  5. giradman

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    LOL! :D Did not even cover a dinner tip! :rolleyes: Dave
     
  6. giradman

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    Museum of the Cherokee Indian & Qualla Arts and Crafts

    After lunch and our gambling adventure, we headed to the Museum of the Cherokee Indian first, followed by a visit to the Qualla Arts & Crafts Store - both places are just across a street (see aerial map). The museum is a MUST visit - well done w/ excellent exhibits, including much on Sequoyah, who invented a syllabary for the Cherokee language (see quote); plus, a great gift shop. Qualla Arts is highly recommended - baskets, masks, pipes, and many other items for purchase, plus a gallery of arts & craft works on exhibit. Dave :)

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  7. giradman

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    Oconaluftee Indian Village

    Another MUST stop is the Oconaluftee Indian Village - description below first quote; we had done the tour multiple times in the past, so did not go on this visit to Cherokee, but again highly recommended. The Cherokee people were sedentary, living in villages - cultivation of corn, beans & squash along w/ hunting and fishing supplied their dietary needs, and furs/hides served many other needs. They lived in 'houses' and had a complex culture - more below in the second quote. Dave :)

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  8. scifan57

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    I like how you can still discover new things about sites you've already visited many times.
     
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  9. giradman

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    Hi Scifan.. - thanks again for your interest in my travelogues! :) There are always some 'new' attractions (e.g. the Chihuly exhibit & visiting Harrah's Casino for the first time) to see and enjoy, but returning to the North Carolina (and the VA & TN) mountains and driving on the Blue Ridge Parkway is a joy to be repeated on a regular basis - the same in going to the Carolina shore and its historic towns - Susan grew up in New Jersey and they always had a place on the Jersey shore, so for her going to the 'water' is almost a physical need - in a few weeks, we'll be doing a short visit to Florida, so will yet again be near water - of course, the other travel attraction for us is the food, especially from the sea. Dave
     
  10. giradman

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    Seven Devils - Deerwood Retreat - Near Banner Elk & Grandfather Mountain

    Off on a 4-night mountain vacation to escape the 90º+F heat in our home town (we're just 700+ ft above sea level) - choose a mountain cabin (3-bedrooms) called Deerwood Retreat on a mountain in the town of Seven Devils (between Boone and Banner Elk - see maps - just a 2-hr drive) - a Virtual Tour of the cabin convinced us this was worth a try!

    Now we usually go to Blowing Rock this time of year but wanted a change and a higher elevation. From the description link, we are about 4700 ft above sea level w/ fantastic views of Grandfather Mountain (see pics below w/ several from the inside great room and kitchen - virtual tour link source). NOW, the good part - we left Winston-Salem in 93ºF heat, upon arrival at our mountain getaway, the temperature was 72ºF - boy, what a relief! Not sure that we'll do much but relax and enjoy the views, plus there is a hot tub on the lower deck. More to come - Dave :)
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