Sunday, July 08, 2007

2007 North Carolina Mountains Vacation Recap

Sleeping in a field at Palmetto Bible Camp

Here is a brief recap of our vacation. Wednesday we got up early and headed for our churches bible camp, Palmetto Bible Camp, to participate in a hike to High Falls. It was a nice hike of about 3 miles (all of which were uphill). We enjoyed hanging out with the teenagers. We stayed the day at camp and then experienced the fireworks display over the lake. Wednesday night we slept in a field at camp under the stars. 

Our cottage in Andrews, NC - we stayed in the smaller section in the left of the picture.

Thursday after breakfast we headed for Andrews, NC where we scoped out a possible biking route (which we ended up not doing), followed by lunch at a local joint (there were like 3 places to choose from) and then checked into Fernwood Cottage. The cottage was owned by former inn keepers from Brittain and the rental was immaculate.

A mile high on the Cherohala Skyway - about 9 miles into our trip.

Friday morning we were up at 5:30 in order to head up to the Cherohala Skyway where we biked a total of 18 miles. The first 9 miles were ALL UP HILL. This was my first real experience road biking and the never ending hill was a bit of a shock. Once I got used to it, it wasn't too bad. The ride down was AWESOME. We both hit speeds of 36 mph on our first section down. Then Daniel left me and exceeded 40 mph on his bike - I was somewhat more cautious. It took us about 30 minutes to bike down 9 miles while it had taken us 2 hours to get to the top! We averaged 7 mph on the way up and 25 mph on the way down. The grade of most of the road was 9%. There were a few cars and motorcyclists out on our way up. On the way down there were more vehicles on the road but not too many passed us.

Tsali Trailhead

After we came off of the Skyway, we headed for Tsali Recreation Area where we changed the tires on our bikes from road to mountain bike tires and proceeded to bike another 12 miles on the Left Loop. Tsali is supposed to be one of the Top 10 mountain biking areas in the country. To tell the truth is was ok - not what we expected. It was good for beginners - not very technical.

View from the Tsali Trail
After all of the biking we were both exhausted, we stopped at the Nantahala Outdoor Center (NOC) on our way home for dinner on the river and to check out info for kayaking. We then went home and dropped into bed.

Nantahala Outdoor Center

Saturday we got up around 9 and headed back to NOC to rent a kayak. We were shuttled 8 miles down river and then kayaked back to the rental place. The Nantahala River was a lot of fun - lots of class II and III rapids. Thankfully they gave us wet suits because the water was 52 degrees F. I ended up soaked for most of the trip.

Paddling the Nantahala River in a inflated ducky kayak.
After our 2 hours of kayaking we were pretty exhausted. We had considered doing a hike but were pretty worn out and decided to go back to the cottage to rest instead. We enjoyed relaxing the rest of the day.

We slept in this morning and took our time getting home. Overall we had a lot of fun.

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