When I was in Little Switzerland with the camera club we were told twice that the rhododendrons were blooming on Roan Mountain. I’ve always wanted to see that so Judy and I took off (the long route per my GPS) but we were too early at the end of June.
I told my hubby I wanted to go back mid-July. Well his back has been extra horrible this year and then he got a cold that just wouldn’t go away then I went thru a few days of extreme dizziness for no reason. Then between those things and the rain when we did go on the first day of summer- we were too late and the rhododendron garden was past peak.
Let me back up… the day started with there being no exit 31 to take like my directions said. so right off the bat, we were getting there later than I thought we would. We stopped at the visitors center and I saw this neat gristmill.
We really didn’t know where to go to see the garden, the balds or the peaks. As we were walking along trying to find the rhododendron garden the trail seemed almost enchanted with its rich green moss everywhere and the much cooler temps. Sadly, I didn’t take a photo and it was some of the best scenery we saw.
There were lots of petals still pink – they were just on the ground.
It was past lunchtime so we ate our bars in the car sitting in the parking lot. Not what I had in my head but when you’re hungry- you’re hungry. That’s it food I brought was depleted.
We left the mossy trails and gardens and went to the old Cloudland Hotel site then hiked part of the Appalachian trail before deciding we were not on the right one to go to Roan High Bluff. I think the hotel was at Roan high knob but I’m not sure.
Back in our car we drove down to I think Carvers Gap and parked on the side of the road with a very big drop off, near the Welcome to North Carolina sign.
We walked up the AT to Round bald but we were both still a little zapped from being sick and didn’t try to see Jane’s Bald or Grassy Ridge Bald. I wish I knew if my pics are of NC or TN but I’m directionally challenged and have no clue. I’m guessing since Carvers Gap was to our backs and Jane Bald was in front of us, and since the AT basically follows the state lines that TN was to our left and NC to our right on the way up.
I’m hoping next year, and my third trip will have blooming rhododendron as far as we can see. We left and stopped at a gas station for a bag of chips on our way to find Elk Falls. Elk Falls is pretty darn spectacular for how easy it was to get there. Don’t know whos dog it was but it obeyed and stayed on the rock while it’s owners swam.
We ate at a good BBQ place for an early dinner then went to Elizabethtown to see their covered bridge. Hubby spotted a heron in the river and just turned around to say it wasn’t going to catch anything while we were watching and it nabbed a little fish.
Any day I can take off with the man I love and go see new things is a good day – and now we now there isn’t an exit 31, where to find the gardens and a good place to eat.