May 03, 2005
The first stop of the day was the Folk Art Center - a craft shop and art gallery in all range of prices. Beautiful work. We then went to the Craggy Gardens picnic area which was very nice. We took a walk there and saw lots of rhododendron as well as small wild flowers. The mile trail went to a shelter built by the CCC out of chestnut in 1936. Soul refreshing!
After a short drive we saw Glassmine Falls from across the valley. They fall 800 ft. to an abandoned mica mine.
Around lunch time we went up to Mt Mitchell State Park where there is an overlook tower (6684 ft.) It was so foggy that at times we couldn't even see the tower from it's parking lot
. Needless to say, we did not walk up there in the rain and fog. Later in the day we ran across some broken road which had been repaired and graveled. They had a portable traffic light - something I hadn't seen in the big city. Then at 330.9 the road was completely closed and they detoured us onto NC226 past farms of Christmas Trees! We got back on the Parkway at 317 right at Linville Falls where we got a campsite for night. It was Nat'l so all we had was cold water and toilets. Since the rain let up a bit, the first thing we did after setting up camp was to go to the Falls and take a 1.6 mile hike to see the upper view. It was so worth it. Two hikes in 1 day took it's toll and we were both tired but I heated up leftovers with the propane stove and after playing some cards by Coleman light we went to bed early.
Day 2 Blue Ridge Parkway 388 to 316.4