Monday, July 28, 2008
Cool time in Boone, NC
We went camping this past weekend to Boone, NC. Why? Well, the day-time temperatures ranged in the low 70's and the night-time temps hovered around 60. Need I say more? The KOA was very clean and had a lot of activites: swimming pool, mini-golf (Scooter creamed everyone), ping pong table (the Baseball baron has decided he likes it), a well-equipped playground, lots of places to ride bikes, chickens and even a few very well-fed goats. Throw in a lot of kids to play with and what a great weekend!
We spent some time in Blowing Rock as well. We ate lunch at Sonny's Grill, which was apparently the inspiration for the Main Street Grille in the Mitford Series books by Jan Karon. I haven't read the books, but they really know how to make a great burger! Small hole in the wall joint - eight counter stools and three small tables. Needless to say, when our crowd squeezed in, they didn't have a lot of room left for other customers. Quaint little town - reminded us of Cashiers, NC.
Part of the reason for the trip was to scope out the ski slopes in western North Carolina. We went by Sugar, Beech, Appalachian and drove by Hawksnest. I think we're going to give them a try this winter. Some of the places were over-built (think Maggie Valley), but the views and breezes were awesome. The elevation was surprising to us - at times we were actually higher than when at Snowshoe, WV.
Of course, no visit to Boone is complete without paying homage to the local place of worship, ahem, I mean the football field. We went by Appalachian State University and strolled onto the football field. They were holding a cheerleading camp, which in a couple of years will pique the Baron's interest much more than it did last week! He was more fascinated by how "springy" the field felt, and we were interested in the huge expansion project ongoing. They are going to nearly double the size of their stadium, and tickets are at a premium because of their Cinderella win over Michigan in Ann Arbor last year.
I enjoyed the rows and rows of black-eyed Susans on campus. Their school colors are yellow and black, so the flowers were perfect! The kids all got App State gear to wear as well.
While in downtown Boone, we visited the stores on the main drag, which is King Street. A typical college town, the stores are a mixture of antiques, junk, hippie, upscale and artistic. We decided to eat at a hole in the wall place called Black Cat. The bookworm dug in her heels and refused to enter the place - she said she was scared!! Well, it turned out to be very clean (although the decor was decidely funky) and the food was .... WOW! We could have easily split two or three meals, and the food was so good that we felt obligated to stuff ourselves.
The day we set aside to visit the Grandfather mountain and Linville Falls area was the day it rained and was foggy. We still enjoyed traveling the winding roads, marveling at the need to connect one very small dot with another by building a road which hugs the mountain, switching back and forth as you gain altitude. We saw several large boulders, one of which is pictured above. My dear husband decided it looked just like a grouper. Whatever.
Back home again, but definitely a place we'll want to visit again. Penny didn't like the goats, or they didn't like her, depending upon your point of view. The nights were enjoyable, gathered around the fire with popcorn and hot chocolate. Just don't forget your blanket, because you'll need it!!