Monday, July 9, 2012

Linville Gorge Wilderness

I had a rare weekend day off this past Saturday, so Jon and I struck out on a mini adventure. Jon moved here a little over a year ago, and of course I haven't even gotten a year under my belt, so there's still so much to explore (and oohhh my goooosh, I am going to miss that like crazy.) Being as it was deathly hot, we decided we needed to find a swimming hole. We wanted a little bit of a hike, so it would be quieter than the more accessible areas. Jon did a little research and landed on a particular place in the Linville Gorge Wilderness, which is described as the Grand Canyon of North Carolina.


Checking Directions

I would be remiss not to mention that the directions that Jon found online to this swimmin' hole pretty much made it all possible. Ok, maybe that's being dramatic, but it helped to have someone else make the wrong turns we would have made, and then blog about it to help future suckers such as ourselves. We saved a lot of time by knowing the ins and outs of the hike.

Spence Ridge, Linville Gorge

We found the swimmin' hole that the aforementioned blogger had written about - TA-DA! - but decided to keep on to find a more private place.


After a little hiking, and then a little backtracking, we arrived at our very own private pool, complete with extremely nibble-y fish.

Swimmin' Hole

I hate to say it, but it is 'beautiful'. I wish I were more eloquent, so I could properly describe it. Seeing all the huge rocks jumbled in the stream, with the forest rising on either side makes you feel like you're a plastic miniature person in someone's model of The Wilderness. I feel like in the Midwest there's a lot of wide open space, and here in the Asheville area, I sometimes feel hemmed in by the hills and the vegetation when I'm out in the woods. Not uncomfortable, but 'snug', let's say. At most of the places I've been, you can either see a dense forest right in front of you, or view the mountains in the distance (as with an overlook). On this particular stream, it seemed like the best of both worlds. I was in the forest, but I could step back far enough to appreciate the scale of everything.

If my description fails, perhaps my mediocre photo will triumph?

Downstream of the Swimmin' Hole

To reiterate, this is an amazing place. Here, have another photo of this river.

Spence Ridge, Linville Gorge

After swimming for a while with the friendly fishes, it was time to dry off and head on out before we got caught in the dark.

Straight Loungin'

Fact: Dustiest Road Ever.

Antique Car

On the drive back to Asheville, we took the Blue Ridge Parkway and stopped here and there to check things out.

Blue Ridge Parkway Sunset

This place is flippin' majestic, darn it.

Blue Ridge Parkway Sunset

Why does it seem to be getting better at better the closer I get to leaving?

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