My first intentional stop was Linville Caverns.
This little creek flows around the caverns entrance, and probably is the source of the plentiful water in the caverns.
The heavy rains from the Tropical Storm Nicole had raised the water level in the caverns, the tour had to walk on stepping stones.
Here are pics of a couple of formations.
A personal comment: I've been in many limestone caverns. Mammoth Caverns is one I'll probably not make it to. My most impressive before this trip was Postojna Cave in Slovenia. It is about 15 miles of caverns. However, on this trip I went through Luray Caverns in Maryland. You have a free walk through the cave, you are not part of a tour. So you can take your time and explore, studying individual formations in detail. Luray was for me the unbeatable cave experince.
Something that has been on my list for some while is Mt Mitchell, the highest peak in the United States east of the Mississippi River.
To get there I had to drive back up to the Blue Ridge Parkway, it was a short, steep climb.
Having ample time, I decided to stop at all of the overlooks and see what could be seen.
It is pretty obvious where the name Blue Ridge comes from!
The Blue Ridge Parkway is closed up ahead due to a landslide a couple of years ago, but perhaps I can get to Mt Mitchell.
But alas, there are low clouds, and getting up to Mt Mitchell would give me zero view as can be seen here. The mountain is completely closed in.
I finally got to the turnoff up to the peak, which is where the Parkway is closed. I presume due the foggy and very curvy roadway conditions, the peak roadway is also closed.
Now for the twenty-two mile drive back down the mountain and on to Asheville.
I found a nice coffee shop and got some personal computer work done.
I found my overnight place, this time in a Lowe's lot, as the local Walmart doesn't allow overnighters.
I awoke at 5:30 to 30º and it is snowing lightly. Time to get into a 24 hour breakfast restaurant to warm up.
Later, I will go to the gym and then church.
I wanted to visit the Vanderbilt's Biltmore mansion after church, but I couldn't convince myself to pay the $134 unguided tour or the $346 guided tour prices.
Therefore, I headed for South Carolina.navigation: home up previous next
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