Having taken this year off from working, we have lived as though it is our job to have adventures. I am coming to believe that it is my job to have adventures, and I have been considering ways to build a business around this pursuit. An adventure company is in the works. More on that later! For now, we take day trips to neat places as often as we can, getting to know the area. One day we set course for Chimney Rock, a well-known state park with an epic viewpoint atop a solid granite outcropping. There is an elevator to get to the viewpoint, but it was not in service, so we had to take the stairs. Five hundred of them, we were told.
At first we walked on trails, but soon it was scaffolding staircases and decks running along steep faces as we ascended. We had to take several breaks. The views were most scenic.
Once at the top, we lay on the rock near the rail looking out over Lake Lure, enjoying the cool breeze, gazing far beyond. This is truly a beautiful land.
We took a different route down, getting to pass through the subway, a low tunnel through the cliff. We enjoyed all new views on the way down, and it was a lot easier going with gravity, rather than against it!
Upon reaching the base, we ate some snacks and had some cider to refresh us for the next hike. Just a little ways around the mountain was Hickory Nut Falls, with a short and easy hike on a well kept up trail. We walked to the base of the falls and looked up at the impressive four hundred foot drop. I went and stood in the spray a bit, trying my best to only shower my upper body and keep my shorts somewhat dry. The water was cold and clean. It tumbled much further down the mountainside as a steep creek of small waterfalls. I couldn’t follow it down very far before it became too steep and slippery.
The girls weren’t as excited about seeing the waterfall as they were about swimming in the lake, do soon it was back to the car and down to Lake Lure. We found that there was only one public beach, but they were closed. Apparently only open on the weekends at this time of year. We went to a park near a marina to have our packed dinner, and we were immediately surrounded by ducks who were ever so personable. Their boldness was well rewarded too, for we shared some of our tomatoes, cucumbers, and apples with them.
“There’s got to be somewhere we can get into the lake,” Laura said. A sign near the boat launch forbade swimming, carrying the authority of a sign that somebody put up. It wasn’t a great spot for swimming anyway. For a while it looked like we would only get to look at the inviting lake, but then fate smiled upon us in the most unexpected way…