Friday, July 17, 2015

Hot Springs

A cute town named for its natural hot springs and the first town you’ll actually walk through on the Appalachian Trail if you start your trek in Georgia.  We went up for the day, hiked around, then grabbed a hot soak in the mineral tubs, had lunch and explored town.  All in all a good day off.  :)  You can rent the tubs by the hour, they are washed and refilled after each use (the benefits of having hot mineral spring water right at your finger tips) and have views of the Broad River while soaking.  You can find just about anything you’ll need for your hike at the stores in town, and the folks are very welcoming and helpful.  We can imagine the fall and winter season would also be a beautiful time to visit.

view from Lover’s Leap

Blue Ridge to Love Valley

The following photos are views from the Blue Ridge Parkway which stretches 469 miles between the Great Smoky Mountains and Shenandoah National Parks.  Mount Mitchell is along the drive and sits as the highest peak in North Carolina and east of the Mississippi.  It was a little fogged in due to weather that day, but it cooled things down enough to give a respite from the heat.  Mountain weather is something we can appreciate.

view from the top of Mt. Mitchell

While taking an afternoon to explore the Blue Ridge Parkway we decided to take a detour to a little town I had read about.  It was founded by a man who wanted to live the cowboy life with his family.  Horse and wagons are the only mode of transport allowed on the main street, and hitching posts border the shops, general store and various drinking establishments.  They also boast over 1,000 miles of trails around the town for folks to ride on...really what more could you want?!  Well, unfortunately when we visited there were ‘for sale’ signs on many of the buildings, and only a few were open for business.  Naturally, bellying up to the bar for a beer was in order.  From the locals there, we found out most of the town was now for sale.  Don’t know what the future holds for Love Valley, but sure do love the idea of it.