The Beauty Around Us

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Posts from the ‘North Carolina’ category

West Virginia and North Carolina Vacation – Day 7 of 9: Back to Maggie Valley

As I wrote in the two previous vacation blog posts, we spent the better part of 10 hours chasing waterfalls on Friday, May 15th.

I shared photographs and videos from Cullasaja Falls, Quarry Falls, Dry Falls and Bridal Veil Falls in the blog post dated June 5th.  In the blog post dated June 7th, I shared photographs and videos from Silver Run Falls, Toxaway Falls, Batson Creek Falls and Looking Glass Falls, as well as a few photographs from a lunch stop in Brevard.

Soon after leaving Looking Glass Falls, it started to rain.  The rain came down hard during some of our driving along U.S. Route 276 and the Blue Ridge Parkway, en route Maggie Valley.  I am happy that we took the car, not the motorcycle, on our waterfall tour!

When the rain ceased, we stopped at a few overlooks on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The views were incredible after the stormy weather!

Graveyard Fields Waterfall

 

From the Blue Ridge Parkway we took U.S. Route 23/74 to Waynesville and U.S. Route 19 to Maggie Valley.

If you have read my previous blog posts about our West Virginia and North Carolina vacation, you will recall that we traveled to Maggie Valley to attend the South East Vulcan Riders and Owners Club (SEVROC) motorcycle rally.  The SEVROC Meet & Greet, held on Friday nights, was at the Maggie Valley Inn & Conference Center’s Rendezvous Tiki Bar from 6:00 until 7:30 pm.  The location was the same as last year’s Meet & Greet.  We missed this year’s Meet & Greet, as we didn’t get back to A Holiday Motel until 6:50 pm. I heard that this year’s meal, the food as well as the service, was an improvement over last year’s meal. The dinner was served family style this year.  Last year the dinner was served buffet style. I am sorry that we missed the Meet & Greet. “Jax”, the rally organizer, said 45 people signed up, and 60 people went to the Meet & Greet. Bob and I would have made the total 62.  I didn’t hear any complaints about not enough food, so plenty of food was provided.

I took several photographs, after everyone returned to A Holiday Motel from the Meet & Greet.

It rained in Maggie Valley for the first time since we arrived. It was very nice to have the use of a large party tent this year.  The main activity inside the party tent was the sale of tickets for the next day’s raffle, which benefits the local D.A.R.E. program.

West Virginia and North Carolina Vacation – Day 7 of 9: More Waterfalls and Lunch

As I wrote in my previous vacation blog post, we spent the better part of 10 hours chasing waterfalls on Friday, May 15th.

We saw seven waterfalls before lunch.  I shared photographs and videos from Cullasaja Falls, Quarry Falls, Dry Falls and Bridal Veil Falls in my previous post.

The last three waterfalls that we saw before lunch were:

  • Silver Run Falls
  • Toxaway Falls
  • Batson Creek Falls

 

Silver Run Falls is located on North Carolina Route 107, approximately 4 miles south of Cashiers.

Silver Run Falls is a 25-foot high waterfall.

 

Located on U.S. Route 64 near Lake Toxaway is the 150-foot Toxaway Falls.  Many travelers drive across the top of Toxaway Falls without realizing it is there!  We crossed the bridge and parked in a pull-off area on the left side. Bob stayed in the car, while I crossed US 64 to see the falls on the south side.

Toxaway Falls

The last waterfall that we saw before lunch was located in Connestee Falls Park, about 6 miles from Brevard along U.S. Route 276.  A very short stroll to the viewing area begins at the right rear of the parking area.  From the viewing area you are actually at the top of Connestee Falls, which I couldn’t see, and are looking over at Batson Creek Falls.

Batson Creek Falls

If you look closely at this photograph, you may see what appears to be steps on the right of the falls, near the middle.  Through an Internet search I determined that these are, in fact, steps.  Residents of the private, gated Connestee Falls residential community can hike a trail that ends in this set of steps. From there, there is a view of Connestee Falls.  The trail is not open to the public.

 

From Connestee Falls Park, we drove into Brevard and found parking near the Transylvania County Courthouse.

Transylvania County Courthouse

Transylvania County Courthouse

We ate lunch (pizza) at Jaime’s Creole Brasserie.

We were seated on an outside verandah.

Our wood-fired pizza had a thin crust and was covered with marina sauce, cheeses, pepperoni and banana peppers. The pizza was very tasty. The host and waitress were very friendly and served us well.

From Brevard we drove a short distance along U.S. Route 276 to Looking Glass Falls, which is located in the Pisgah National Forest.

Looking Glass Falls

Looking Glass Falls is 60 feet tall.

In my next vacation blog post I will continue sharing details and photographs from our 7th day of vacation.

West Virginia and North Carolina Vacation – Day 7 of 9: Cullasaja Gorge Waterfalls

We spent the better part of 10 hours chasing waterfalls on Friday, May 15th.  After a delicious breakfast at Joey’s Pancake House in Maggie Valley, we began our tour of waterfalls.  This blog post shares photographs and videos of the first four waterfalls that we saw.

U.S. Route 64 tightly twists and turns its way along the Cullasaja River Gorge, which is part of the Nantahala National Forest.   We stopped at four Cullasaja River Gorge waterfalls:

  • Cullasaja Falls
  • Quarry Falls
  • Dry Falls
  • Bridal Veil Falls

Cullasaja Falls is located along a very dangerous stretch of Hwy 64. The 250′ waterfall is viewable from the road, but there is only a small pull off area.  Make sure that you pull completely off the road!   Tractor trailers use this section of road and they need both lanes to get around these curves. You will have the view of the waterfall in the still image and video seen below from the pull off area.

Cullasaja Falls

Quarry Falls (also known as Upper Cullasaja Falls) is another roadside waterfall.  Quarry Falls is a 20-foot high, multi-tiered waterfall.

Quarry Falls

Looking downstream from Quarry Falls

The 75-foot high Dry Falls earned its name because you can take a trail to walk behind the falls and not get wet (well, not too wet).

Dry Falls

 

Dry Falls

We didn’t walk behind the waterfall on this trip, although we did so last year when we visited this waterfall.

Bob and I at Dry Falls

Bridal Veil Falls is a 45-foot waterfall that has the distinction of being the only waterfall in North Carolina that one can drive a vehicle under.

Bridal Falls

Bridal Falls

We spent a long time at Bridal Falls waiting for the cars in the first photograph to continue on their way!  As a result, after taking the second photograph, I forgot to take a video of the falling water!

In my next vacation blog post, I will share photographs of additional waterfalls that we saw during the day.

West Virginia and North Carolina Vacation – Day 6 of 9

On the morning of Thursday, May 13, we awakened at 6:15 am and were showered and dressed by 7:00 am.

We ate breakfast at Pop’s Grits & Eggs, which is located next door to A Holiday Motel.  At the time,  the restaurant had been opened for only a week. Laura F. and “Bassman” joined us for breakfast. The food and service were great, even though the waitress had called in to say she would be a no show that day.

Ready to Roll

We departed A Holiday Motel at 9:00 am en route Townsend, TN. I drove; Bob rode the motorcycle. Sandy R. accompanied me. Sandy and I were at the end of a line of motorcycles, led by “Skid”. We took U.S. Route 19 to the Blue Ridge Parkway, which we followed to U.S Route 441. Sandy and I got left behind when we made a bathroom stop at the Oconaluftee Visitor Center, located about 16 miles from Newfound Gap. We caught up with everyone at Newfound Gap.

Newfound Gap
on the North Carolina-Tennesee Border

Bob and Mike

Newfound Gap

 

From Newfound Gap we followed Rt. 441 and Rt. 73 to Townsend, TN. We ate lunch at Smokin Joe’s BBQ.

“Skid” and Sandy at Smokin Joe’s BBQ

Jaime and Phillip and their son, Caleb, met us at Smokin Joe’s BBQ.
“Skid” says hello.

Lunch at Smokin Joe’s BBQ

Lunch at Smokin Joe’s BBQ

Lunch at Smokin Joe’s BBQ

Lunch at Smokin Joe’s BBQ

Our lunch group took over a room inside Smokin Joe’s BBQ.

Lunch was very good.  I ordered ½ chicken with hush puppies, coleslaw and macaroni salad. Bob had a meat salad (and some of my chicken).

After lunch, Sandy and I parted ways with the motorcyclists. The motorcyclists left to ride The Tail of the Dragon. Sandy and I returned to Maggie Valley via Pigeon Forge and U.S. Route 441. We stopped at a couple overlooks and at a waterfall on our way back to A Holiday Motel.

Sandy at the Chimney Tops Overlook
Newfound Gap Road (U.S. Route 441-TN)

We made a second stop at Newfound Gap because I wanted to take additional pictures.

Sandy and I on the North Carolina-Tennessee Border

Newfound Gap view

Newfound Gap
Rockefeller Memorial and The Appalachian Trail

Sandy and I at Newfound Gap

 About 20 minutes after leaving Newfound Gap, we saw water rushing down a hill on the side of the road.

Waterfall along U.S. Route 411-NC

Sandy and I returned to A Holiday Motel around 3:50 pm.  Bob returned to the motel about 1 1/2 hours later. He enjoyed riding The Tail of the Dragon but said he would not have enjoyed it as much 2-up.  Bob said that I would not have liked it.

Bob “goin’ mad on the Dragon”
(Bob purchased this high-resolution digital image from killboy.com.)

We ate dinner at Guayabitos Mexican Restaurant with Candy and Karl R. This restaurant is located within walking distance of A Holiday Motel. Bob and I each ordered a taco salad with beef tips. The taco salads were delicious, and the service was good.  We were sorry to hear that Karl has not been feeling well.  He spent the day at the hospital…diagnosis: pneumonia in the lower part, I believe, of his lung.

We spent the evening of our 6th day of vacation, as we do so at every VROC rally … at the “kaw pasture”, sitting around a roaring campfire, listening to music and talking with our friends.

West Virginia and North Carolina Vacation – Day 5 of 9

On Wednesday, May 13, we went to Bryson City with “Skid” and Sandy and “Lucky Al” for breakfast. “Skid”, “Lucky Al” and Bob traveled by motorcycle, with “Skid” in the lead. Sandy rode with me in the car.  There were three other motorcyclists who left A Holiday Motel with us.  I thought they were going to Bryson City as well, but they turned off at Country Vittles located within walking distance from our motel.

Byson City, NC is located a little less than 30 miles west from A Holiday Motel in Maggie Valley, NC.  It was a nice drive to Bryson City. It was the first time that Bob and I had ridden to Bryson City. Shortly before reaching Bryson City, we stopped at Two Rivers Lodge, where another rider was supposed to join us for breakfast.  “Skid” knocked on one of the hotel doors.  A man stuck his head out and said that his alarm had not gone off and that he would catch up to us later (but he never did). By the way, Two Rivers Lodge looked like a very nice hotel.  It is located alongside a river.  What I saw from the parking lot looked quiet and peaceful.

In Bryson City we ate breakfast at the Everett Street Diner. We ordered the special–2 eggs, bacon, potatoes and toast for $4.25. The food, service and company were excellent.

After breakfast, I turned my car around and waited while “Skid”, “Lucky Al” and Bob got on their motorcycles and backed out of their parking spaces.   I was watching the backing up through my rear view mirror.  I saw “Skid’s” motorcycle fall over, as he was backing out! “Lucky Al” and Bob hurried over to help, but “Skid” had the motorcycle upright before they reached him. All this happened within a few seconds.  When I found my voice, I told Sandy, who had been looking straight ahead, that “Skid’s” bike had gone down.  She was out of the car faster than lightning!  Thankfully, neither “Skid” nor the motorcycle were hurt. We returned to Maggie Valley without incident.

Jim “Skid” Robinson also writes a blog about his and Sandy’s travels.  Please visit “Skid’s” blog post about our ride to Bryson City.  In “Skid’s” blog post (the first six paragraphs) you will find more details about our ride, along with photographs.  At the end of his blog post is a map showing our route.

Soon after returning to A Holiday Motel from Bryson City, Bob and I went for a ride on the Blue Ridge Parkway to its highest elevation.

En route the Richland Balsam Overlook,
we stopped at the Woodfin Cascades Overlook (Elevation 4535 ft.).

 

Richland Balsam Overlook (Elev 6053 ft)


We departed the Blue Ridge Parkway via North Carolina Route 215, along which we saw a couple waterfalls.

Waterfall #1

North Carolina Route 215

Waterfall #2

We took U.S. Route 276 into Waynesville and ate lunch at the Sagebrush Steakhouse. Bob ordered fish and chips. I ordered chicken tenders and French fries. We ordered dessert too. Bob had a peach cobbler with ice cream. I had an apple cobbler with ice cream. Our lunch was good. The service was a BIG improvement from the previous night!

We returned to A Holiday Motel after lunch and spent rest of the afternoon and evening hanging out with our VROC friends.

We went to bed at 10:00 pm. As happened the night before, I was lulled to sleep by the talk and laughter of our friends.

West Virginia and North Carolina Vacation – Day 4 of 9

On the morning of Tuesday, May 12th, Bob awakened about 4:30 am and read the newspaper. I slept for another 45 minutes or so. We had showered, dressed and eaten breakfast by 6:30 am.

We talked about heading out for Maggie Valley, NC the day before. We had seen all we planned to see in the New River Gorge area by mid morning. Because of the strong possibility that we would hit rain if we departed West Virginia on Monday, we stayed put for a day. It was a good call! I read Jim “Skid” Robinson’s blog post about his and Sandy’s trip yesterday from Grove City, PA to Maggie Valley (They arrived in Maggie Valley a little after 6:00 pm.). “Skid” and Sandy drove through torrential downpours, thunder and lightning. “Skid” wrote he was happy to be trailering the motorcycle.

There was threat of rain, along our route, but only in the early morning hours. We departed the Comfort Inn Oak Hill (West Virginia) at 7:30 am, en route Maggie Valley, NC. We arrived at A Holiday Motel in Maggie Valley around 1:15 pm. We didn’t see any rain during our trip!

Welcome SEVROC 10th Year in Maggie Valley

A Holiday Motel is headquarters for this year’s Southeast Vulcan Riders and Owners Club (SEVROC) motorcycle rally, which begins officially on Thursday and lasts through Sunday. Our reservation was for 4 nights, Wednesday through Sunday. Rob and Gabi, motel proprietors, were able to accommodate us a day early. We did the same thing last year. We reserved a room for 3 nights and arrived a day early. We have the same room as last year, room 5, next door to the motel office.

We weren’t the first rally attendees to arrive at A Holiday Motel.  Several VROC friends arrived ahead of us.

Across the street from our motel is a country wedding chapel that I didn’t notice the previous two times we have attended SEVROC. I walked across the street and took a few pictures of the chapel and the waterfall behind it.

Miss Carolines Country Wedding Chapel

Miss Carolines Country Wedding Chapel is a nice setup for a wedding!

We ate dinner at Sagebrush Steakhouse in Waynesville. Besides the two of us, fifteen others ate dinner with us.

Dinner with friends (some of the 17 of us who ate together) at Sagebrush of Waynesville.

Bob and I chose to order from the 2 for $28 meal selections, which included several full-meal entree selections with an appetizer to start. For an appetizer we ordered Blossom Petals, crisp onion petals served with a tangy dipping sauce. Bob’s main entree was an 8 oz NY Strip Steak with Sauteed Mushrooms and Broccoli. My main entree was Tenderloin Tips with sauteed peppers and onions and a Side House Salad and a Loaded Sweet Potato topped with Cinnamon Sugar, Butter and Toasted Marshmallows. Service was very slow. Our meals arrived hot, whereas some other peoples’ meals arrived cold. No one sent back their meals, as no one wanted to wait any longer to eat.

Upon returning back to A Holiday Motel, we stood around talking about a variety of subjects with our friends for a while. Bob and I went to bed at 10:30 pm.

North Carolina Vacation – SEVROC 2014

Our North Carolina vacation was planned around the South East Vulcan Riders and Owners Club (SEVROC) motorcycle rally in Maggie Valley, North Carolina.  The motorcycle rally was a 4-day event (May 15-18).  The first SEVROC Rally took place in May 2006 at the Applecover Inn in Maggie Valley.  Since May 2006, VROC members have been returning to Maggie Valley the same time every year.  Bob and I  attended one other SEVROC rally.  We attended the rally in May 2008.   Through May 2013 the Applecover Inn served as rally central, with innkeepers Derrick and Amy Cole catering to the club needs.  SEVROC 2014 had a change of venue due to Derrick and Amy not being at the Applecover Inn any longer.   Rally central for SEVROC 2014 was at A Holiday Motel, with owners Gabi and Rob Edwards catering to the club needs.  My past North Carolina vacation blog posts have provided details about each day’s rally happenings; however, I didn’t share many photographs from the rally in those posts.  SEVROC rally photographs, some of which are repeats from past posts, are in this blog post!

A Holiday Motel
SEVROC 2014 rally headquarters

An enjoyable part of the SEVROC rally is to meet new people and to get reacquainted with friends whom you have met at other rallies.  In between rallies we stay in touch with our friends via the VROC web forum and Facebook.

It is common to congregate in the parking lot, when meeting new people and getting reacquainted with old friends.

Hanging out at A Holiday Motel

The rocking chairs in front of your room provided a good location, too, for meeting new people and getting reacquainted with old friends (or to soak up the sun!).

We enjoyed a campfire each night of the rally.

Live entertainment was provided on both Friday and Saturday nights.

Friday night’s entertainment

Saturday night’s entertainment

There was dancing in the parking lot on Saturday night.

Here are a few more photographs, placed in a heart collage, that I took during the SEVROC rally.

I love my VROC friends and look forward to the next time we meet in person.

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