Our plan was to drive up to the Blue Ridge Parkway by going the scenic route across Highway 64 and 276 through Pisgah National Forest. When looking at Google Earth, both Mark and I saw a couple of waterfalls that we wanted to find, so we thought that would be a good route to try. We got underway around 10 this morning. Today, the dogs got to come along, so they were happy furkids!
The first waterfall is Looking Glass Falls - wow! The falls are 60 feet high and are called Looking Glass because when the rock freezes and the sun glistens on it, it reflects light just like a looking glass. The stream is also called Looking Glass Creek.
Mark and Dortha at the observation deck in front of the falls:
The second "falls" is Slide Rock Recreation Area. This is a popular summer destination in this area because you can actually slide down the rock into an 8 foot deep pool at the bottom. In the picture below, there is a little structure on the right, that is where the lifeguard sits. You can't see in this picture, but on the left side of the rock is a pathway with a handrail leading back to the top of the rock.
From Highway 276 past the waterfalls, it was not much farther to the Blue Ridge Parkway. We headed north on the Parkway, back towards Asheville. We stopped at nearly every pull out to gaze at the amazing color - and this still isn't the peak of the change yet. Here's one view that was especially vivid, but the picture doesn't really capture the intensity:
Mark enjoyed helping control the "kids" while I took pictures:
We stopped for lunch at the Pisgah Inn, where there are windows across 2 sides of the restaurant. The building is perched on the edge of the ridge, with incredible views all around. There was quite a wait to get a table, but we were rewarded for our patience with a window table. We had beautiful vistas to enjoy as we ate lunch. Unfortunately, I didn't get any good pictures of the views through the windows.
After lunch we continued north on the Parkway, and of course, stopped at more pull outs. We took a short walk along a heavily wooded path and enjoyed the colors and the coolness:
What an incredible day. I don't know how these days keep getting any better; I keep saying it doesn't get any better than this - and then it does!