Allegheny Inn in Sparta, NC shortly after making it to the Blue Ridge Parkway. We got all checked in and hung out for a little bit before going out in search of food. The Allegheny Inn was a wonderful motel, located in the heart of the quaint downtown of Sparta, North Carolina and only 15 minutes from the Blue Ridge Parkway, where we would begin our adventure on the next day. Unfortunately, our adventure wouldn't begin without some sort of hiccup.
Upon setting out to find something to eat for supper, none of us had any hankerings for anything really. We ended up going for Mexican at a local Mexican restaurant a few minutes up the road from the motel. The food was decent or at least we thought at the time we were eating it. Apparently over the course of the night, each one of us had some major issues with our bellies, ceptin' Dinah. Let's just say breakfast was a far off thought in our minds and the only thing we could possibly think about consuming was some coffee, which we procured from a local coffee shop on the main drag (Backwoods Bean Coffee Shop). We all had white chocolate mochas which put Starbucks to shame by the way. There's just something about independent coffee shop coffee as compared to giant fast food type coffee shop chains.
We made a few stops at different overlooks taking in the beautiful scenery. We eventually arrived at the Brinegar Cabin and Doughton Park. We spent a good bit of time at both the cabin and the park learning about spinning at the cabin, checking out and deciding that Doughton Park would be a great place to revisit and camp. We also decided this would be a great place to come and do some major hiking as there are plenty hiking trails in the area including sections of the Mountain-To-Sea Trail (which I've decided to add the Blue Ridge section to my long hiking trail bucket list, I might possibly add the whole thing if they ever get it completed. :P).
Once we were done in the Doughton Park area, we decided that if we were going to make it to Boone and have enough time to visit The Blowing Rock, we'd better get a move on. So once out of the Doughton Park area, we cruised our way at 45mph down the Blue Ridge making our way to Boone but not before making another tourist stop at the NorthWest Trading Post where we bought more souvenirs. We got to Boone, NC and were checked in to our wonderful lodgings (The Hidden Valley Motel) with plenty of time to spare. Once the SUV was unpacked we loaded ourselves back into the vehicle and set our sails for Blowing Rock to do some sight seeing. The last time we had made it to The Blowing Rock (I suppose Kiddo was maybe 7 or 8) we were too late to actually see it but spent a little time in the town of Blowing Rock walking around and wondering how anyone could afford to live there?
While none of us tried to prove this as a possibility, we did climb the rock and get our hair tossed about by the wind. We also took our time exploring the rest of the attraction, except for the nature trail, which really isn't all that long, but considering there were stairs and we had Dinah in her stroller for most of the time there, we decided not to walk it. Instead we took a little time admiring the gardens and buying souvenirs in the gift shop.
Stay tuned for Day 2 where we head to Grandfather Mountain and have lunch at the Mt. Mitchell State Park Restaurant before heading home.
Tim and Robin
Here are couple more pics from Day 1.