Monday, August 4, 2014

The Mile High Suspension Bridge, Oh, My!

Boone is a great North Carolina city for anchoring a visit to the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Blue Ridge Parkway and doing a BUNCH of other cool things, like river rafting, hiking and seeing Appalachian history stuff. The highest peak in the east is in the Boone area---Mount Mitchell, and there are many trails to hike, dozens of spectacular waterfalls to see, and lots more.....
The Blue Ridge Mountains
Grandfather Mountain, being one of the highest peaks in the Blue Ridge chain, (5, 945 ft) captured Sparky's interest when reading about the area, so off we went.  There's an admission fee to Grandfather Mountain,'s a very old tourist attraction. But---we thought it was worth it...18.00 for seniors to get in, and there's a mile high suspension bridge there! Sparky really wanted to see that and walk it....
Unfortunately, the day we went  heavy fog rolled in early in the not much to see, darn it! The bridge was a little disappointing...Sparky was picturing a really LONG suspension bridge...(Uh, Sparky, explains E., the Mile High Bridge is referring to the fact that it's 5,280 feet above sea level, not that it's very long.) Sparky knew that but 228 feet later, she had traversed the bridge and looked for the awesome view which was covered in fog. Phooey!

What was cool about the bridge was that it crossed an 80 foot chasm and on the other side was THE Grandfather Mountain summit. Sparky clambered over some really big boulders to be able to stand on the summit. She would have taken a selfie, but had to pay attention to the slippery rock instead.

At this mountain park, there are eleven trails of varying difficulties, all the way from an easy stroll to some strenuous hiking using ladders and cables. Sparky always regretted leaving Acadia National Park without doing one of those hikes with the ladders, but today we were just quickly scouting out the area for a future visit and enjoying the temperatures. We didn't have the right shoes or hiking poles and who wants to get lost in the fog! Heck, Sparky gets lost on a regular basis in broad daylight! (Glad she said that and not me! says E.)
At Grandfather Mountain, there are also environmental habitats....where you see animals in their real habitats, where enclosures have been built around them, yet they are free to explore, forage and live as close to their natural habitat as possible. Not like zoos, where enclosures are fabricated to replicate an animal's real environment. We didn't explore them today, it was time to move on......

We really enjoyed exploring this small corner of North Carolina. You see log cabin after log cabin after log cabin while exploring the roads and the byways. There was so much more to see and do and we just didn't have the time this time. We think we might head back next summer and spend some more time in the area.

One last night in Boone, and tomorrow we were due to head south, back to Bradenton and back to the summer heat.....But hey, it was 96 in Rapid City the day Sparky wrote this blog, hotter than Sarasota/Bradenton! (We're halfway through the summer, Sparky, hang in there, says E.) We have a trip to Traverse City coming up soon, that will be something to look forward to...Just hope it's not going to be in the 90's the week we are there! See you later......


  1. Boone I always dreamed of setting foot here, with what you wrote and I can imagine the more curious about this land. friv 5

  2. I've never been to Grandfather Mountain in all my trips to North Carolina. Always meant to go to the gospel festival there. So sorry you got fogged out.

  3. Too bad about the fog but at least you went there.