On the third day of our vacation we went grocery shopping, hit up some road side produce stands, hung out with our friends and generally got settled in after our two day drive. The fourth day was completely different. We decided to knock Grandfather Mountain off of our to-do list before the weather got much cooler.
If your not familiar with Grandfather Mountain, it's quite a site to see. This was the third time Eric and I had been and the second for Caleigh unless you count her trip up while I was pregnant with her. When we went to North Carolina two years ago, I was too much of a chicken to take her across the famous Mile High Swinging Bridge. Now that we know Caleigh is a bit of a dare devil we went for it.
The bridge is one mile up and it swings. No joke, it swings. It's loud with all the clanking of people walking across it and it moves a lot. I focused on taking photos. Eric focused on carrying Caleigh and laughing at me and my anxious comments.
Caleigh loved it. She kept her head down most of the time with smiles peeking out here and there. When I asked her what she thought about it later on, she said that it was scary and exciting.
Once you get to the other side you can climb even higher and take a look around. There was more people on this day than I remember the last few times we were there. Probably due to the fall weather. The autumn colors had just started changing when we arrived and it was just breathtaking. Eric kept laughing at me because I just repeated beautiful and pretty all the time and everywhere we went. It really was.
After we were done with the bridge we went on the trail that goes underneath it. You can see the gigantic springs that keep the bridge swinging and in place. The wind speeds get really high up there and having a swinging bridge keeps it intact. We didn't stay on this trail too long before we turned around. We checked out the gift shop and then jumped back in the car to go park at a lower trail access parking lot.
It cost $45 to get into Grandfather Mountain. It is privately owned which is a bonus especially when the government is shutdown and not wanting to get along. You get a pamphlet, and a CD to play in your vehicle as a tour guide on the way up. Forest Gump, among others were filmed on the mountain. They have an animal sanctuary that we didn't go to this visit and a cafe that is surrounded by the forest. For an all day adventure it was truly worth it.
Part II is coming up next where I talk about our trail hiking adventures up on Grandfather Mountain.