Sunday, April 8, 2012

Weekend Pics from North Carolina

Last weekend was spectacular, thanks for asking!

My family rented a cabin just outside of Lake Lure, NC. My mother had actually gotten the idea of going there from me after I talked about the area while writing my two articles about the area (the one on Chimney Rock that I just reposted and one on the two haunted hotels there). Lake Lure and Chimney Rock are almost adjoining. Judging from the signs, they are really only feet apart. Both hamlets spread out on either side of U.S. Route 64 as it winds (and I do mean it's a very winding road) through the Hickory Nut Gorge. Both Lake Lure and Chimney Rock sit under the sentinel of the actual Chimney Rock.

Chimney Rock extends, thumb-like, from Chimney Mountain.
Taken from just off of US 64. Photo 2012, by Lewis Powell IV,
all rights reserved.
Hickory Nut Falls appears above the trees.
Photo 2012, by Lewis Powell IV, all rights
reserved.
Chimney Rock rises on the left and Hickory Nut Falls appears
on the right. This is the view from "downtown" Chimney Rock.
Photo 2012, by Lewis Powell IV, all rights reserved.

Chimney Rock (the rock) juts out from Chimney Mountain and has served as a landmark for centuries. It was here in early years of the nineteenth century that some locals witnessed a host of being ascending into the air from this rock. Just west of Chimney Rock, Hickory Nut Falls descends towards the Rocky Broad River which runs along the floor of the gorge. Chimney Rock Park (which encompasses the falls) was owned by a single family for most of the 20th century and was just recently acquired by the state of North Carolina as a state park in 2007. At the moment, there is still construction going on to rehabilitate the access to the rock itself, so it was closed. But we did get to the parking lot below it and had some spectacular views of the gorge from that point. In addition, the trail to Hickory Nut Falls was open and we hiked to see it. It's amazing!

Chimney Rock from the visitors' center parking
lot, the closest I could get, unfortunately. Photo
2012, by Lewis Powell IV, all rights reserved.
The view of the Hickory Nut Gorge and Lake Lure from the base
of Chimney Rock with the intrepid Southern Spirit Guide. Photo
2012, by Lewis Powell IV, all rights reserved.
Hickory Nut Falls from the base of the falls.
Photo 2012, by Lewis Powell IV, all rights reserved.

I was excited to see the Lake Lure Inn as well! When Dr. Lucius Morse dreamed of a lakeside mountain resort in the early days of the 20th century, he envisioned something that was European in style. The Inn's architecture is vaguely European and the whole scene of the Inn and the mountains and the lake creates a view that is definitely European in feel. I had to remind myself that I was in North Carolina and not somewhere in the Alps. The area is just absolutely lovely. I'm excited to return very soon!

The 1927 Lake Lure Inn. Photo 2012, by Lewis Powell IV,
all rights reserved.


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