It’s Labor Day weekend! And guess what?! We don’t have any plans at all! No dinner plans, meetings or events we promised to attend. We are FREE!! So what do we do with this free time? We decided to take a chance with no hotel or campsite reservations and head to North Carolina to take one of our all time favorite drives on the Blue Ridge Parkway and do a little hiking along the way.
This is my report on day 1 on the Blue Ridge Parkway. We started on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Maggie Valley, NC. I have never taken the Maggie Valley exit or been to Maggie Valley. I’ve always been intrigued as we would drive by on our way to the Carolinas because of the famous Ghost Town in the Sky commercial I saw so many times as a kid growing up. For anyone who grew up in East Tennessee you might remember it by the silly girl dancing in the commercial. No? Ok, maybe it was just me. Maggie Valley is kind of like a smaller version of Gatlinburg. A small shopping strip, rustic restaurants, cabins and campground by the river and an amusement park. We chose to keep driving through to get to the parkway. I was just surprised at the size of Maggie Valley.
We drive 5 to 10 miles on the parkway stopping frequently to admire the view from the observations lots along the way until we find a trail that we want to hike along. The trail we chose was a portion of the Mountain to Sea trail. We hiked maybe a mile and a half on that trail with the kids until we decided the kids we tired and we should turn around and go back. We try another trail that is just across the street and only make it about half a mile on that trail. It was a beautiful trail and I’m honestly not even sure the name of the trail or where it went. The kids were just exhausted at this point so we decide we’ve hiked enough.
That was until we came across the Devil’s Courthouse. This place just look WAY too cool not to hike up to and was only a half mile hike up. The view from this place was magnificent (until the clouds quickly rolled in). There were markers up there telling you which mountains you were looking at. My insane husband went over the wall to go out to the cliff edge. He had quite a moment sitting out on that cliff as the clouds rolled by.
By this time, the clouds were pretty thick and the views were next to nothing so we decide to head down to Asheville to look for a hotel room. Let me tell you, going to Asheville with the hopes on finding a hotel room on Labor Day weekend was a BIG mistake. We called around to at least 15 hotels and got nothing. I had big dreams of staying downtown and walking from our hotel to show the kids the city and the people. NOPE. We found a room at the Econolodge by the airport, ate a Fudruckers and called it a night. The room wasn’t great and the continental breakfast was just cereal and muffins. But our awesome day made up for the crappy overpriced hotel room.
Now Day 2 was amazing!! I will be writing about it and sharing soon!