Monday, September 2, 2013

Mountains, and Ziplines, and Bears! Oh My!

Last Friday morning Mr. R&R and I packed up the car and set out for western North Carolina and a much anticipated and much needed vacation.

We traveled through Chicago....

And Indianapolis...

And we ended our first day in Louisville, Kentucky where we were lucky enough to have dinner with April!
The food was good and the company was great.  I love getting to meet people I've "known" online for what seems like forever!

On Saturday morning we were back on the road and we made our way through the rest of Kentucky, Tennessee, and finally into North Carolina.
Bluegrass and Blue Skies
We stayed in the same amazing house we rented last year and I'm happy to report that it was just as spectacular the second time around.

Over the course of the week we...

Grilled some yummy food
Pepperjack Cheeseburger w/ Green Chili Cheese Fries
Were visited by a black bear
We are now 100% convinced that what we saw last year was, indeed, a bear.

Went horseback riding through the Nantahala National Forest
Mr. R&R and his new friend Apache

Beautiful views
Played with a kitten and petted a 30 year old pony

Went zip lining through the clouds - including one line that was 1/2 mile long and involved flying through the air at 45mph! It was just Mr. R&R and I and our 2 guides, Alex and Will, so we were able to take our time and really enjoy the experience.

Gave our inner adrenaline junkies another fix whitewater rafting on the Nantahala River...with a guide who had us cracking up the whole time.

Watched some river kayakers preparing for the ICF Canoe Freestyle World Championships
And checked out some of the less threatening local wildlife

Walked a little bit of the Appalachian Trail (southbound)

Drove out to Fontana Dam - enjoying beautiful views along the way

And since it runs directly over Fontana Dam, we walked a little more of the Appalachian Trail (northbound)

There was also tubing on Deep Creek ( pictures this year) and a fair amount of hanging in the cabin's hot tub and sitting on the covered porch - alternating between reading (I knocked out 4 books over the course of this trip) and staring out at the trees and the mountains.
Of course, like all good things, our trip had to come to an end, but not before one last adrenaline rush on our way out of town.  We left North Carolina via US-129 - the home of the famous Tail of the Dragon.  This stretch of highway between Deals Gap North Carolina and the Tennessee border features 318 curves in 11 miles - and is a favorite of many bikers (my dad and brother included). 

That was definitely one of the craziest stretches of road I've ever seen - and I was just a passenger!  At the same time, I found myself wishing that there was a way it could be closed to vehicle traffic on occasion, because it looked like it would be a great place to ride a road bike!
Mr. R&R giving the photographer a "thumbs up"'s that curvy!
All in all it was one of the most fun and relaxing weeks I've had in a long time and the best part of all was getting to share all of it with this guy.


April said...

Looks like you had a great time! It was great to meet you and Mr. R&R in person!

Mary said...

We enjoyed meeting you too!

Anonymous said...

*waves* I'm desperately trying to catch up. I love picture blogs :)

Mary said...

Don't tell #Badboy about the Tail of the Dragon...or you may never get him back!