I grew up going to the beach for the 4th of July. If you had asked me when I was a kid if I wanted to go to the mountains to celebrate our country’s birth, I would have balked. But, traditions change and this is the second year we have watched fireworks pop up over the rows and rows of mountains from my Godparent’s home in Echota, located in the NC high country, which includes Boone, Banner Elk (see my post on Artisanal for dinner!) and Blowing Rock.
That’s Grandfather Mountain in the distance. Several mountains come together to form what looks like the profile of an old man’s face. It is one of the area’s biggest attractions.
It is also home of the mile high swinging bridge! My grandparents brought me here when I was little and I wouldn’t stick one toe on that bridge back then. This go round, I was determined to join the “mile high club” and brave the shaky walk across.
And…here we go!
I did it and the breathtaking views were worth it!
Idiot? Show-off? Person jumping to his death? You decide.
On the way out we visited the wildlife habitat where you can see bears, otters and cougars in their natural settings.
Later that day, we went for a hike. I don’t think anyone would describe me as outdoorsy, so whenever someone asks if I want to go for a hike, I pretend I’m Carrie in that episode of “Sex and the City” where she reconnects with her old boyfriend (David Duchovny) and while they are having a picnic lunch on the grounds of his mental institution, he reminds her that “hiking…is walking.” I may have an unhealthy addiction to that show (still).
But, hiking IS just walking.
We stopped at this gorgeous spot with a waterfall, ate some trail mix and then instagrammed photos so all our friends would know where we were and what we are doing. Cause, you really can’t just be in the moment anymore. If you didn’t Tweet it, it didn’t happen, right?
My moment of Zen.
We found these little robin’s eggs nestled in the brush.
The next day we hiked Linville Falls. It’s a little more touristy, but with views like this…
And this…It’s worth it to deal with the crowds of people.
On the way back, we stopped in what has become my favorite little antique store, English Antique Imports. This phone booth sits on the side of the building, but I love that it looks like it’s just in the middle of the countryside. If you love antiques, there are tons of shops in the area.
I came home with this Lustreware pitcher. Isn’t it cute? Check out Katy Elliott’s blog for tips on collecting this pottery.
I will always love going to the beach for the 4th, but I think I’ve become a mountain convert too. It’s about 20 degrees cooler than the middle part of the state, less crowded and about as peaceful as you can get. When you work in Hollywood, peace isn’t something that comes your way very often. This was a much needed change of pace! There are some really great places including Chetola for a full resort experience, the historic Mast Farm Inn, or a romantic b&b like the Lovill House.