In and around ‘The Queen’

Trip Start Oct 24, 2012
Trip End Dec 17, 2013

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Flag of United States  , North Carolina
Tuesday, November 20, 2012

This isn't our first visit to the Queen city of Charlotte ( but it’s nice to be back) so if you want more info, or want to see what we got up to last time, take a look at our earlier entry

This time we are still finding lots of things to explore, one such expedition though exhausting, was truly worth the effort. We drove about 30 miles west to Crowders Mountain State Park, it was quite late in the day so had to opt for one of the shorter trails (Thank goodness we did, don’t think I could have kept the pace up for a whole day) we took the Backside pass no comments please!  – short but steep, not least the 336 steps at the summit!

 Backside Trail: blazed in orange hexagons - A strenuous, .9 mile (one-way) trail that starts at the Linwood Access Area and ends at the summit of Crowders Mountain. Just before reaching the summit, hikers will climb up 336 wooden steps.

 The views were awesome and actually if you took it steady the climb wasn’t that bad – don’t think I fancy going up the sheer cliff though, we’re told it’s popular with climbers and there were a few there. However my legs were too 'jellified’ to lean out and take a shot of them from the top where we were at 1625 ft. The sign said it all…

A less energetic day was spent at the Mint Museum, actually there are two parts to this we visited the Uptown building housing Arts & Crafts and the section housed in the old Mint Building. So what did we see.


This one was primarily for Malc him being a ‘woodworker’ Against the Grain no pun intended – well maybe there is :)

I suppose some of these exhibits went against my grain as they weren’t constructed "properly" but that’s what it was all about and I must admit there were some wonderful pieces that I may have a go at re-creating maybe in my own modified way. There is the chest of drawers that looks like a pile of cord wood (those UK followers, a cord is actually a measurement of logs in a pile). How about these for the cottage then Nat?

Then there is the dual purpose chair, a rocker one end then turn it upside down and it’s a standard dining chair (or is that the right way up – what is right?) maybe it’s just art – I know, what is art??

Some of the exhibit is just art without practical use, however much of the pieces on display were of some use or other, even if I thought that final use may just be as fuel…

I was equally inspired, amazed, impressed and occasionally disappointed by the quality of work on display but in the end felt there were many items worth adding to my folio of “one day I’ll have a go at making that”. On the way out of the museum there is a restaurant and a couple of the “log” chairs and tables there were equally worth the merit of being an exhibit or on my list. Oh, by the way a couple of these pictures may be “illegal” as I was told off for taking pictures of items not in the carpeted area – never mind eh ;-)

The entrance fee allows you to visit both locations, so we also went to the Mint Randolph which was more my style – pun intended!

The quality of the artefacts and the way they are displayed was very impressive. 

Although I was primarily interested in the fashion/ bead-work, the art of the Ancient Americas was fascinating. I’ve never really been a student of this particular topic, but the intricacies of the designs and the skill in their production was remarkable. (Bear did you know Cusco was thought the ‘belly button’ of the world? I guess you probably do – as you’re a knowledgeable kind of chap)

The bead-work display was small, featuring gowns from 1937 to 2012, but nonetheless interesting. Some pieces were, well in my opinion, quite frankly awful – Armani it might be but hung like this it looks shapeless and drab. Others were more elegant.

Some harked back to an earlier age…

Also housed in this building is a very fine collection of local pottery, this too was fascinating as it emphasizes the wealth and variety of talent that abounds here.

We also went to watch the Thanksgiving Day Parade in Charlotte, we took the light railway up to town and were delighted with the friendly service...the driver greeted everyone at each station with a 'Happy Thanksgiving'. We got on at the first station where it was really qiuet, by the time we got to Charlotte 30 mins later it was standing room only! People were already lining the streets when we got there, they had come prepared though, with chairs and blankets. We found it was quite chilly in the shade, but we stuck it out and were rewarded with a great parade. Thanks to all who took part.

As a foot note, we would just like to share these, though they are probably more entertaining to those readers in the UK :)

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