Hurricane Irma Evacuation Trip Part 3 0f 3
It’s hard to decide if Part 2 is better than Part 3 or if Part 3 is better than Part 2. But, does it really matter? NO! The day after our Carrier Park adventure we decided to explore Chimney Rock State Park in Rutherford County, NC. This was anther pet friendly option and to get a chance to do a little hiking on a cool day is aways a no brainer. Just to clarify this is not the same Chimney Rock that was in the Oregon Trail game that we played in computer class when we were kids. By we I mean those of us in our 30s. That Chimney Rock is in Nebraska no where near North Carolina.
As we took our 30 – 40 minute drive to Chimney Rock State Park we began passing many many apple orchards. We had no idea that North Carolina was such a hot spot for apples. More on that later. As we drove I took some time to research what we were actually going to be seeing at this state park. Here are some fun facts about Chimney Rock…
- Chimney Rock is a 315 million year old monolith standing 315 feet tall.
- Chimney Rock sits on 1000 acres of state park land
- From it’s summit at an elevation of 2280 feet you can see for over 75 miles of panoramic views including lakes, rivers, cliffs and forests.
- If you want to get to the top of Chimney Rock be ready to climb an exact 499 stairs on your way up.
Upon arriving you go through the park ranger gate and there they give you a map and directions on where to park. There was a large field for parking and if you didn’t want to hike your way up the mountain before getting to the 499 stairs you could hop on a bus that would take you to any area where you decide if that view is just fine for you or if you want to brave the stairs. We of course braved the stairs.
If there is one thing that The Girls like it’s to go on new adventures. They love, walking, running, chasing things, swimming (for Marley only if she can still touch), and they love hiking through the mountains. They got a chance to experience this when were living in Colorado and in my head I think they day dream about it everyday. So needless to say they were having the time of their lives hiking that mountain. We hiked to the base of the stairs that lead you up to the top and looking up at Chimney Rock itself was just as pretty as the view from it.
After getting to the top we realized why people do this
Look at those layers and layers of mountains.
After taking in all that the view had to offer we made our way back down the 499 stairs and waited for the bus to pick us up and take us back to our car. We wondered if we should walk down or take the bus since The Girls had never been on a school bus before but we thought well there’s to time like the present. This is a blurry picture but you get the point. After getting back to the car we decided to explore a little bit more of the area. I wanted to check out Lake Lure because if you don’t already know, Lake Lure is the lake that was shown in the original Dirty Dancing movie with Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey. That famous scene where they are practicing the lift in the water was filmed right here.
After grabbing some ice cream and driving around Lake Lure we began to head back toward our hotel. The is where I get back to the apple orchards that I mentioned earlier in the post. We decided to stop at the one we thought looked the coolest. It is called Grandad’s Apples N’ Stuff. I didn’t expect it, but they allowed dogs in their orchard. So committing to buying 1/2 a peck of apples we headed to the rows and rows of beautiful apples tree to pick our favorites. I don’t know if you have ever picked apples but I thought it was a blast and The Girls just loved the smell of all the apples that had fallen off the tree and were ripening on the ground. We walked up and down each row of apple trees and saw varieties we had never even heard of like Shizukas and Mutsus and of course they had the very popular Granny Smiths and Golden Delicious too. I really didn’t want to leave. Who would have thought that an apple orchard was something I never knew I could fall in love with. Oh and to top if off they also had a few pumpkin patches there too.
Wow what an awesome day we had. It was truly amazing. After the orchard that I never wanted to leave, we headed back to the hotel to get cleaned up, feed The Girls and go grab dinner ourselves. The next day was going to be our last day here before we headed back to South Florida. The next day was a super rainy one so we slept in some, and starting getting packed up to leave the awesome very much needed forced vacation. We left Florida with the thought that our house could be destroyed by Hurricane Irma but since there was nothing we could do about that we held our chins high and made a point of enjoying our time away and boy did we.
P.S. Saw this on the way back to the hotel. I never knew Batman was a Baptist did you?