Chimney Rock was our spur-of-the-moment destination today. The mountain is famous for its fantastic views of Lake Lure, 2500 feet from the ground. Mostly, the hikes skirt around and up the mountain so once we started our journey around the mountain, we tended to run into the same ‘pack’ of people coming or going from one hike to the next. We all got where we needed to get, but in lots of different ways and different time schedules: — the woman in the tight summer dress and inappropriate golden heeled sandals had to walk backwards down the steep path in order to reach the bottom, her companion gripping her arms to steady her. One man tried one hike, then decided it would be best to wait in the parking lot and have a smoke. A family marched their 3 kids up the 400 steps with promises of ice cream once the gift shop was reached. A little blonde-headed, be-tighted munchkin who could not walk another step 100 stairs ago zipped by us on the way to her ice cream treat. We dutifully went to every outcrop, every waterfall and peered and pointed and ooh’d and ahh’d. Sweaty, hot, done. Back in the van!
It’s Friday night and our campsite just outside of Asheville is full up with weekend partiers, wanderers, and urban escapees. The conversation-piece van introduced us to our neighbors, Paul and Shannon from Raleigh. Later, our CA plate introduced us to another camping neighbor. His truck parked in the slot, his bicycle covered from the weather. He was a burly, athletic man who turned out to have grown up in Livermore, CA. He was getting ready to bike up part of Mt. Mitchell, the highest point east of the Mississippi. But first, he announced, he was going to a Zumba class.
Heading towards Memphis today!