Anna Roo here, we are still on the road so I thought I would update you on the travels we have made so far.
When we last left off I had just shed a tick I found in the Great Smokey Mountains. So we will pick up there.
We stayed in the greatest place in the Smokey Mountains, the Lodge at Buckberry Creek. It was very close to the park and still within Gatlinburg city limits and very Roo friendly. We woke up to the mountains peering in from our balcony and ate breakfast on a dinning terrace with sweeping views of the Smokey Mountains. Mom and Dad loved it and I liked the breakfast sausage.
That morning we went into the Great Smokey Mountains National Park for some adventure. After a quick tour of the Sugarland Visitor center we were off to explore some quiet trails.
Quiet trails are simple and peaceful trails that allow for easy hiking in the park. The trails dotted the Newfound Gap road and were the perfect treat for each of us. We walked along several streams. I enjoyed investigating new trees, mossy rocks, crossing my first river, and tossing stones in the creek. I also walked most of the way by myself. Mom and Dad looked in to several longer trails like Grotto Falls, Abrahams falls, and Charlie’s Bunion, but decided to make today about seeing new things and not driving to trails that are far away. When we come back we will try more trails. This park is so big we could never see all of it!
After enjoying the trails we went in to the city for church at St. Mary’s and lunch, before hitting the nap game hard.
Our lodging also had trails within the property. So after nap time, we headed off to the in-house creek. It was a great trail with a lot of elevation change, that ended at a creek with a little pavilion, hammock, and camp fire. This of course meant it was time to throw more rocks into the creek.
We relished a day with limited driving (8 miles), and Mom and Dad enjoyed the time and space to marvel at the mountains.
The next day started similarly, with breakfast sausage!! Then we drove into the park again this time to see Clingman’s Dome. I mustered up my little leg power and climbed a lot of the way up the winding path and curving tower road. We were so high in the mountains on this smokey mountain day that we were walking through clouds.
This was going to be a day of climbing up and up and up. We made it to the top and took in the view, even with the clouds we were able to see a few ridges.
Then on ward for some more waterfall exploring. There were so many waterfalls in this area that we had a hard time choosing how to use our time wisely.
Our first stop was a delightful waterfall right off the highway near Maggie Valley, Soco Falls. It was framed by fall colored trees and had some good trails and platforms for you to see the top and bottom of the waterfall.
Then we headed to Chimney Rock south of Asheville. We spent some good time here hiking and aweing at the sites. First we took the 1.5 mile round trip to Hickory Nut Falls. We got right up close to the tall but calm falls, I almost felt like I could jump in, but Mom and Dad nixed the idea.
Then we went to the main attraction… Chimney Rock. Now this was my dream come true, because I love to sit on rocks. And let me tell you I sat on many a rock along the way. Normally, there is an elevator that takes you straight up to the top, but it was broken and Mom and Dad were down for the challenge of the steep .5 mile trip to the top.
The hike to the top was well worth the view from the chimney, and there were plenty of rocks to enjoy. This was a great park and a worthwhile stop, wish we could have stayed longer, but my eyelids were getting pretty heavy.
Our final destination for the day was Thomasville, North Carolina. I got to meet my great-grandmother for the first time, and boy was that fun.
The next day started with more biscuits and breakfast sausage before I got the grand tour of Thomasville. Then is was off to the North Carolina Zoo in Ashboro for my very first trip to the zoo.
It was a quaint zoo, that felt like a nice walk with animal exhibits in between. I love me some animals, so seeing them in real life was awesome. They also had a big savannah for a lot of the animals that was fun to see. I especially liked the primates.
We spent the rest of the day enjoying family and meeting my Mimi’s friends. This starts the leg of the adventure when we have more traveling buddies.
The next day we traveled to Raleigh to meet with more of my family. Who knew there were so many Wiggins, and that they were also so wonderful?
We went out for the afternoon to a county park that budded up to Falls Lake. I had my first real big girl playground experience going up and down slides, tottering on a teeter totter and picking up caterpillars. We also hiked down to the lake to skip rocks.
Sadly, I had to leave my kingdom that was the sandbox to get to dinner and meet more family. The food and ambience were great, but the company even better. They didn’t even seem to flinch at the mess I made.
The next leg of the trip will include more sand and my bathing suit. I am starting to squeal just thinking about it. Can you guess where we might be going?
Thanks for coming along with us on our adventure. Roo out.