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Family Album, Fall Trip 2012, Part 2

Our second day started off at Historic Johnson Farm which is an education center owned by Henderson County Public Schools. It is a quiet and idyll homestead with a small trail and livestock. We were the only ones there and Nola enjoyed having free reign to explore. After that, we took a scenic drive through the North Mills River Recreation Area. It is such a pretty area, with lots of farmland nestled in between mountains. We then ended the afternoon in Flat Rock, NC at the Carl Sandburg Home. We had no idea there were so many hiking trails there, or we would have devoted the whole day to exploring. But we packed in as much as we could. We hiked a good bit and then spent the rest of the time with the goats! Nola had a blast and the scenery was beautiful. We then had dinner at the Hubba Hubba Smokehouse. The food was delicious and the atmosphere was perfect, complete with a farmer’s market in the parking lot and a big, outdoor stone fireplace…Flat Rock, NC is a very charming place, by the way.

We had read in a pamphlet about the weekly Silvermont Thursday Night Mountain Music Jam Session at the Silvermont Mansion in Brevard NC, AKA Silvermont Senior Center. So we decided to go and see what it was all about. I think everyone in attendance was a local, besides us and another couple who was staying at a local campground. It was cool to experience their culture…not to mention we are bluegrass fans and Nola is one in the making.

For our final day in the mountains, we attempted to hike some trails in Pisgah National Forest. But besides a quick stop at Sliding Rock, all the other trail pull-outs had zero parking…evidently everyone had the same idea as us. So, we decided to head towards the Blue Ridge Parkway to hike Graveyard Fields Trail. We attempted this once when Nola was about 15 months old. But the weather turned sour on us and we headed back before we finished. So, this time, we were determined to finish and see the “last” waterfall on the trail. The first half of the trail was great, but then many areas became almost impassable and the trailheads were not very well marked. The worst part was we couldn’t even get a decent glimpse of the waterfall at the end. I have to say, we were all glad when we made it back to the parking lot on this one. We were muddy and tired but we wanted to spend the last evening in downtown Hendersonville NC. We ate at a local pub and then went “Bearfootin’ in Hendersonville” which is the annual public art display featuring the crazy popular bear statues. Nola loved this! We picked up the map at the visitor’s center, gave her a crayon, and off she went on a scavenger hunt. Of course, she had to ride the coin-operated horse in front of A Piece of the Pie. She had an absolute blast…who needs Disney World, ha!

The morning we left, we swung by the Apple Valley Model Railroad Club located in the Hendersonville NC train depot at the corner of 7th Ave. and Maple Street. We were all fascinated by the models and probably could have spent a good hour or two watching the different trains and ooahing and ahhing over all the intricate, tiny details. But we kept to the schedule….we left in time to have lunch with good friends in Charlotte and to take a scenic drive through the Uwharrie National Forest. Donna and I love seeing parts of North Carolina we have never seen before. We made it to Raleigh before dark, spent the night, and then ended our Fall vacation at the North Carolina State Fair!

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