SHOW AND TELL: the mountains of NC

to view a larger version of any of the pics, just click

The mountains of North Carolina have many hidden treasures. Almost 13 years ago, Vic and I took our last pre-kids vacation there. We had such an incredible time despite freezing our asses off. Don’t scoff, that November, the temps in Boone, NC were colder than the temps in Anchorage, Alaska. We went up to the top of Grandfather Mountain and I looked longingly at the swinging bridge.

Unfortunately, the bridge was far to icy and it was far to windy for me to think about attempting to waddle across it. The next day, we drove over to Linville Caverns to explore the caves. My camera at the time sucked at taking pics in dark settings but I did get this beautiful shot on the way over…
The caves were very cool but I wasn’t ready to head back to our hotel yet so I bugged Vic until he agreed to take me on the hike to see Linville Falls. Why did I have to bug him you ask? Well, the description of the site and the trails said “the trails range in difficulty from moderate to strenuous” and I didn’t want to do the wimpy one. Hell, I was only 6 months pregnant, why shouldn’t I go on a 3+ mile round trip hike (and, of course, the first mile and a half is pretty steep). We took this pic before we set out on the hike…

and we got this pic of me when we reached the falls (the pic of Vic is here just because I really like it)…

It wasn’t that much warmer when we reached the falls. I was just so hot from having hiked all that way. I don’t think that was one of my more brilliant decisions but Vic wisely kept his mouth shut and didn’t say “I told you so.” The final day of our vacation, we went panning for gemstones at Gem Mountain. They have a sluice for panning in and you buy a bucket of dirt and stones. They guarantee each bucket will have at least one decent size gemstone in it but we found out that persistence pays off. We got a 5 gallon bucket and spent about 2 hours painstakingly searching it. They gave you a chart to compare your stones too but I got too frustrated by that and was just keeping out any stone that appeared to have a shine or an interesting color to it. Man, oh man, did we get lucky. I have a gallon ziploc bag that is halfway full of gemstones including one sapphire, a few small emeralds, a ruby, a bunch of amethysts, citrine, and topaz. I had one of the amethysts we found cut and set in a ring. Other than my wedding and engagement ring, it’s the one piece of bling I wear with any regularity…

I really want to go back and take the kids there sometime soon. I know they would have a wonderful time.

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To see what everyone else in class is bringing to SHOW AND TELL, take a trip to visit the Miss Mel, Goddess of the Infertility Blogosphere.

23 Responses to SHOW AND TELL: the mountains of NC
  1. areyoukiddingme
    August 12, 2009 | 10:12 pm

    I love the frozen waterfall!

  2. Sunny
    August 12, 2009 | 10:22 pm

    Beautiful pictures! And I love the ring. Amethyst is my birthstone. 🙂

  3. Suzy
    August 12, 2009 | 10:28 pm

    Boone is one of our favorite places! We’ve been there many times. It’s lovely isn’t it?!?

  4. The Steadfast Warrior
    August 13, 2009 | 12:34 am

    What a great adventure and story! That is a gorgeous ring. I wish I could go and snag some sapphires (my birth stone).

  5. nancy
    August 13, 2009 | 1:40 am

    that is so. damned. awesome.

  6. Karen, author of "My Funny Dad, Harry"
    August 13, 2009 | 6:37 am

    I think mountains are beautiful, don’t have any here in Parma so always like seeing pictures of them.

  7. Nina
    August 13, 2009 | 6:44 am

    Oooh, I’m sooo going there! I love jewelry, and I’m not gonna miss an opportunity to get big stones for a fraction of the cost! How fun! I don’t know about November, though. I’m not much into cold. I’m definitely dragging the hubby there, though.

  8. Once A Mother
    August 13, 2009 | 7:25 am

    beautiful ring! thanks for sharing these pics with us and letting us all get away for a bit 🙂 its been nonstop drab and rainy here all summer so i really appreciated the mental vacation to such a beautiful place

  9. loribeth
    August 13, 2009 | 8:46 am

    You were brave to be hiking that trail — in the winter — at six months pg!! But that ring is absolutely gorgeous!!

  10. battynurse
    August 13, 2009 | 10:05 am

    Sounds like a great trip. I love that ring too.

  11. Lollipop Goldstein
    August 13, 2009 | 10:40 am

    That is a fantastic trip with great keepsakes to boot.

  12. Photogrl
    August 13, 2009 | 11:25 am

    What a great trip!

    And the ring, gorgeous!

  13. Aunt Becky
    August 13, 2009 | 11:38 am

    Dude. That sounds fun.

  14. Carrie27
    August 13, 2009 | 12:07 pm

    That’s some definite bling, and how cool that you were able to find it.

    Oh, and like your hair cut from then, too. I don’t know if I could ever go that short, but it looks cute.

  15. Parenthood For Me
    August 13, 2009 | 4:51 pm

    My birthstone is amethyst. The ring is very nice.

  16. A Mom in Jacksonville, FL
    August 13, 2009 | 7:21 pm

    What lovely pics! I had the pleasure of visiting Boone, Grandfather Mountain, and Elk Grove, NC last summer. SOOOOO beautiful. LOVED it there!

  17. becomingwhole
    August 13, 2009 | 8:16 pm

    Great photos, great story, great husband who didn’t tell you you were cracked for wanting to go on the hike… 😉

    Love the ring, too.

  18. MrsSpock
    August 13, 2009 | 9:02 pm

    Bling, bling!

    That rock looks to be Elizabeth Taylor sized proportions!

  19. Mrs. Gamgee
    August 14, 2009 | 12:55 am

    Beautiful pictures! I miss being in the mountains. And your ring is stunning!

  20. Fiddle1
    August 14, 2009 | 11:48 am

    Vic looks like he could give really great bear hugs, and our husbands both like handle-bar moustaches. Trips to the mountains are our favorite thing to do too..and I prefer the App Mountains to the bigger ones out west.

  21. Jen
    August 14, 2009 | 12:16 pm

    I love the pictures! beautiful ring

  22. Barb
    August 14, 2009 | 9:40 pm

    Wow, that’s gorgeous!! And I LOVE the photos of you and Vic.. SUPER cute.

  23. Bionic Baby Mama
    August 26, 2009 | 10:14 am

    OH! I so miss panning through bags of dirt! I grew up in NC and had no idea until very recently that panning isn’t part of everyone’s State Fair. (I’m sure tossing the caber is, though, right?)

    I’m trying to get Sugar Mama down to the NC mountains, and I think it may be her love of shiny rocks that finally does it.

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