Monday, August 05, 2013

What an amazing couple of months! We took one of our grandsons to Davidson College in North Carolina for a summer program the first part of June. After we dropped him off, we headed up the Blue Ridge Parkway and drove it all the way to the end of Skyline Drive. It took us all day, because we had to stop at every overlook to take pictures. We hiked some just so we could say we'd hiked the Appalachian Trail. One particular hike nearly did me in. It sounded easy enough. Three quarters of a mile down to the waterfall. Not so far, and they'd labeled it as a moderate hike.

OMG. That first part wasn't too terribly hard, though it was strenuous. The falls were beautiful. But the hike back up? I thought I'd die. We weren't planning on hiking far, so we didn't take any water with us. Big mistake. No walking stick, either. But after lots of stops for me to catch my breath, I made it to the top without needing either paramedics or a body bag. (Wasn't so sure about either of those outcomes halfway through.)

The next day we drove back to where we'd started and went south on the Blue Ridge Parkway for a while. I have a book started that is set on the Blue Ridge, so I needed to do some research on the area.

From there, we headed to Smoky Mountain National Park. We loved the Smokies. So cool and peaceful, even with all the tourists. We drove through Cade's Cove, and we hiked up to Clingman's Dome. Saw bears and deer, wild turkeys, and more motorcycles than we'd ever seen in one location.

The hike up to Clingman's Dome was difficult for someone with COPD and mild heart failure, but I did it. The view was worth it, as was the sense of accomplishment.

From there we headed down to the Indian Village, but got there too late. Something to do on the next trip, I guess.

The next month, we had to go pick up our daughter (and a trailer load of her things) from Boston. We took a scenic route that took us through the Ohio Amish country. Loved it. So peaceful up there. Hubby really enjoyed the lunch at Mrs. Yoder's kitchen, too. Then we drove up through Pennsylvania, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine. We stopped at Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, Ithaca, Lake Placid, and took a ferry across Lake Champlain. I got to swim in a waterfall pool in Ithica, and there was an Amish couple on the ferry, both highlights of the trip for me.

In Maine, we went out to see the Portland Head Light (lighthouse) and drove through Kennebunkport.

All in all, we drove over 7000 miles, visited 20+ states, saw some amazing sights, got some great pictures, had lots of fun, and found places we'd love to live.

Have you taken a major road trip lately? Tell me about it in the comments!