May Travels - Part II

The sound of rushing water

The clean moist mountain air

Wildlife and new adventures

This year we ventured to Sliding Rock - we took the longer way on the Parkway (about 2 hours) to explore and experience this part of the Carolina mountains. Along the way we saw the beauty of various shades of green, trickling and rushing streams and falls and bursting pinks and whites of the Mountain Laurel. There were many pull offs along the way (although we didn't excited to get to our destination) which we slowed down to view - beautiful ridge lines and valleys, rocky cliffs and thick forest. The kids were thrilled each time we drove through a tunnel..."Dad, honk so we can hear the echo!" 'Grammar' consistently repeated, "another tunnel comin'".

Once at Sliding Rock, we had our car picnic and quickly exited to see what this 'rock' held. A few tested the water...crispy COLD and were a little resistant to venture any further...however, we did not travel 2 hours to NOT go down that 60 foot rock slide. :-) Mark went first and then took Alyssa down with him the next few times. I reaffirmed several times to "hold her tight"! The next brave one was Austin, although there was a long time of examination. Logan paced up and down the slide walk area, ventured out onto the rock slide then back in again, each time working up courage to go down. Alas, he went out away from the railing, sat down and that's all it took - no turning, fun, fun all the way down. Zach was our last adventurer - overcoming the frigid water and THOROUGHLY mapping out where he would depart from as to avoid several bumps along the way. :-) 'Grammar' asked MANY times to go, but mom erred on the side of caution - declining his many requests. He settled for knee deep areas which eased my mind. :-) Before leaving the park, we saw a 4 foot rattlesnake that had been captured by the rangers to relocate somewhere less people populated.

Our journey out of the park allowed us to see a wonder of God's handiwork...Looking Glass Falls. "From your lofty abode you water the mountains; the earth is satisfied with the fruit of your work." Psalm 104: 13 To see the work of the Lord - that he made the mountains rise and the valleys sink down...added to our ability to enjoy this beautiful sight.

We also enjoyed a few days of rest and refreshment - playing board games, reading, taking in the scenery and aromas - around the house and in the community we stayed in. There was time for swimming in the lake and visiting the community's waterfalls, and trails. The boys worked with Mark on the property a few times, remarking surveyor stakes, cleaning out the stream and made paths to allow easier (and safer) walking. A few discoveries made along the way - crayfish, salamanders and lots of insects! One afternoon when Mark took the older kids to the falls, they stopped for a fun picture. There is this rock overhang and they thought they'd be silly 'holding up the rock'. Cute...

Another jaunts we took included a visit to the Western North Carolina Nature Center. The day we visited they had special guest speakers that did a presentation on shearing Alpacas - in the camel family. The kids all had an opportunity to feel the fur, take home a sample and see the various items that are made from Alpaca fur. We saw the native wildlife and plants. It was an afternoon of educational fun...


Emily Elizabeth said...

Alyssa's face is priceless in the slide picture, I love it.
Looks like y'all had a wonderful trip!

Laura said...

I would concur with Miss E.E.~
if you zoom in you can see their white knuckles too! This will be a prized photo all the days of their lives, wouldn't you say?
I love the WNC Nature Center in early spring.
Maybe we could meet there someday for an out of state field trip!

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