Once a month, Nina and I set aside a whole day to spend together doing something fun or adventurous (ideally, both). Today we drove to Grandfather Mountain, a privately owned preserve about 80 miles from Asheville. It's a lovely place, with stunning views in every direction.
It's been a while since I bragged about the beauty of western North Carolina by sharing some photos, so let's fix that now. (Right click/open link in new tab to see them full size.)
The aptly named Split Rock:
Immediately adjacent to Split Rock is this one, which they call Sphinx Rock. Yes, the entire thing (estimated to weigh 4000 tons) is resting on the small rock under it.
The Rickety Bridge of Certain Death. Well, that's what it felt like walking across. It's possible that's not its official name.
Grandfather Mountain actually has several peaks on the same base. This is the tallest one, seen from one of the more accessible ones.
Just a few random dramatic views:
Here's a couple of shots rendered in black and white, all Ansel-Adams-like. (People often say his work was nearly as good as mine.)
And finally, here's a cute river otter from one of their animal habitats:
Oh, one more thing: On the road up to the summit, signs identify one short stretch as "Forrest Gump Curve." Turns out that a bit of Forrest's famous run was filmed there. You can see it in this clip, from 3:58 to 4:04--just six seconds long.