This week was much more active than last week! For one, the rain stopped Monday night, yay! Second, my younger sister flew into town for the week and every day we had something planned. By the end of the week we were all exhausted!
Who wouldn’t love to see the inside of a mountain? That’s exactly what we did on Tuesday. We hopped in the car and got comfy for the two hour drive to tour the Linville Caverns at Humpback Mountain. There, you go on a thirty-five minute tour and learn the history of the caverns and see the inside of a mountain. Even though we saw one sleeping bat, it wasn’t scary as they have pathways and lights throughout the caverns.
At one point during the tour, the guide told us to place our hand in front of our face and then turned off the lights. It was so dark we couldn’t see our hand anymore! He told a story of two teens that went to the caverns and their lanterns went out. They made their way out by listening to the small river that flows within the caverns. After standing there in the dark, I am more impressed how those two teens got out! Afterwards, we went on a small 1.6 mile hike at Grandfather Mountain State Park to check out Linville Falls. The falls stand at ninety feet tall and are on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Keeping up with the busy week, on Wednesday we were back in the car and headed off early to check out the Biltmore Estates, America’s largest house. Off the Blue Ridge Parkway, this estates was completed in 1895 and has 250 rooms. We toured the inside of the house, seeing three floors. Displays of vintage accessories, art, and furniture furnished the house and made us feel like guests of the Vanderbilts. Christmas was in full swing as there were garland, lights, and more than forty Christmas trees in the house! My favorite room was the library. It’s two stories and contains 13,000 books, which is half of the Vanderbilts’ book collection. Sorry, no pictures are allowed on the inside of the house.
Next we toured the gardens and conservatory, which is home to orchids, ferns, and palms. We hopped back in the car for the five-mile drive to the Antler Hill Village, where there are shops, restaurants, a hotel, a farm, and the winery. The winery building was really cool as it is in the old milk barn. We walked along the darkened and cooled pathway with stone walls to reach the wine tasting area. We were there about four hours and we still didn’t have enough time to explore the miles of walking trails, go horseback riding, or relax on a carriage ride. If you go, my advice is do your research so you know what you want to do. There is so much on the property that it cannot all be done within a day!
We kept with the busy momentum on Thursday and explored Hanging Rock State Park. It is one of the nicest state parks we have ever been to! Miles of hiking trails lead to summit peaks, overlooks, and falls. We decided to hike multiple shorter trails to see four different waterfalls. The hiking was the type of hiking I do not like—going down first then up—but I have to admit that it was totally worth it! All the waterfalls were beautiful and I had a lot of fun taking pictures and playing around with my camera. Its days like that one that makes me love what we are doing. Exploring a new area that we normally would never go to, slowly hiking and taking in the cool scenery, and taking pictures. Top that with Brad making dinner that night and it cannot get better then that!
My sister was leaving on Friday so our time was limited. We went to Guilford Courthouse National Military Park in Greensboro. We learned that it was where “the largest, most hotly-contested battle of the Revolutionary War’s Southern Campaign” occurred. The Americans lost the battle against the British. We walked along the battlefield and saw many memorials along the way. It is said that this is where Americans lost the battle but won the war.
Sleeping in on Saturday, we declared it a rest day—the first nice and sunny weekend day that we didn’t hike or do anything. We took it easy at the campground and ended up meeting two separate full-time RV couples. It was so nice to meet others that are in the same boat as us, as it really is a community of its own. We exchanged blogs, tips, and experiences and it appears we will be seeing them again at other campgrounds. Caitlin and Tom are a fun young couple that just started their RV journey and are in the process of starting their own drone aerial photography and videography business. Check out their blog at mortonsonthemove.com. Julie and Marc from rvlove.comcom opened up their home to us, making us feel relaxed, welcome, and right at home. They are a genuine, nice couple that have been on the road almost two years and have tons of tips. We have to keep in mind that one of the advantages of being a Thousand Trail member is we see a lot of the same campers and are able to develop friendships.
We are off to South Carolina for the remainder of the month, starting with one week in Columbia. It’s a quick short week at the campground and so far we have planned to visit Columbia, go to Congaree National Park, and check out a flea market near the campground. Since I have never gone to one, we thought we would check it out. Silly, I know, but that’s what this trip is all about!