Travel Bug: Linville Gorge

Over Labor Day weekend, Brian, Chambers, and I drove over to Linville Gorge (a.k.a. the Grand Canyon of North Carolina – don’t you just love that?!) to meet up with our friends, Matt and Lacey, who had (eek!) spent the night there.

I love hiking, but am terrified of camping.  Is that rational?  I love being out wandering aimlessly (well, not totally aimlessly) around in the semi-wilderness, taking in nature and basking in sunlight.  But the idea of setting up a tent, making a fire, pretending a hole in the dirt is the same as a toilet, sleeping on the ground (with my dog, no doubt, trying to get into my sleeping bag) sounds less than fun to me.  Matt and Lacey did start to change my mind, though, with promises of S’Mores and waking up to this:

{from Lacey’s picture collection}

Regardless of whether your a camper or not, you should definitely make the trip to Linville Gorge, if you’re ever nearby.  It took us under two hours to get there and we live just north of Charlotte, NC.  We packed a lunch and got there early, which was smart because it was way more crowded when we finally left around 2:30pm.  When we arrived, Matt and Lacey walked us out to their amazing campsite (the above picture was taken from just outside their tent!).

Matt has hiked this area several times since he is a native of nearby Hickory, NC and was a great tour guide.  He pointed out all sorts of mountain tops and lakes that gave us a better appreciation of our hike and the area around us.  In the two pictures below, you can see “The Chimneys”:

And I’m pretty sure this is Hawksbill Peak (Matt? Am I right?):

Then we decided to grab our lunches and hike to the top of Table Rock, which is flat-ish on the top (like the name implies), but is basically just straight uphill on the way to the top!  Tough, but fun, hike.  And talk about amazing views…

If you look closely, you can see Brian and I siting on the the closer rocks, looking out at the splendor.  And this shot gives a good idea of the gorge (on the right).

Just breath-taking… and wonderful to know that it is so close!  Sometimes I think I can’t get away and then you find out about places like this that you can drive to and once you’re there, you are in a whole new world.

{all photos by me, except where noted}


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