Posted by: Beemer Bob | November 2, 2014

xxxHomeless on the Ridge (Oct 25 & 26)


October 25
A chilly start to the morning. We were impressed with frost on the grounds and ice on car windows.
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Little did we know that this was nothing compared to what we would see the following week.
Today we head to a place called Chimney Rock and of course I plot a route that involves the Blue Ridge Parkway. We have done the northern end of Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia, the middle section from Lenoir, NC now we are off to conquer the southern end of the parkway.
Soon after we hit the parkway, we find and visit the North Carolina Arboretum.
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After a nice ride through the mountains, we reach the town of Chimney Rock. Chimney Rock, it seems, is quite the destination place. Very touristy and VERY crowded.

After a battle finding a place to park the goose we had lunch at an overpriced crowded bistro. It’s a good thing that we were on the Goose that was easier to park, else we would still be there. After our disappointing lunch, we head to Chimney Rock State Park to see the famous Chimney Rock.
Chimney Rock is a 315-foot rock formation, a granite monolith, Chimney Rock, accessible by elevator and providing views of the park and surrounding countryside.
Looking up to Chimney Rock
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Goose gets to look off the mountain side while we visit the park.
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One can hike up the stairs or take the elevator. We opted for the elevator. There is a tunnel that leads to the center of the formation to catch the elevator. This is Saint waiting in the tunnel for the elevator.

It was about a 30 minute wait to get on the elevator, but it beat climbing the stairs. Looking up at the “rock”

We ascend the short flight of stairs to the top.

We decide that it is time to take the elevator back down, but this sign was on the door.

No one can give a good estimate as to when the elevator would be fixed and the idea of riding in an elevator that was on the fritz did not seem appealing. So down the stairs we go.

As we decended there were several EMS personal carryng gear up the stairs. It seems that there was someone having problems with their oxygen tank and with the elevator out, they need to get to him. Also, there was some concern about how to get some of the disabled off the mountain so when we got to the bottom there was an assortment of fire trucks and ambulances. They eventually got the elevator fixed well enough to bring folks down two at a time, so the emergency was over.

Meantime we walked. In case you have ever wanted to know, there are 492 steps. We had intended to hike to some of the falls in the area, but after 492 steps, our legs, knees and feet were worn out. I found us a nice back road route back through the mountains to our campsite.
October 26

The campground we are staying at is called “Pride Resort” located in the Maggie Valley area of Waynesville. Interestedly, they are a center for square dancing of all things. People come from all over for a square dancing vacation. I did not know this, but there are square dancing camping clubs that take their RV’s to places like this to have square dancing events. In addition to the traditional club house amenities that you would expect to find, they also have this nice building to host square dancing events. The following pictures are from the internet, but I just wanted to show you the building.
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Today is Sunday and we enjoyed a nice non-denomination worship there at the campground. The resort actually has something they call “Pride Ministries – Inspiration at a higher elevation”. The square dance building is transformed into a very nice worship center.
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This ministry is supported by the resort and has a pastor that not only does the sermons but is available for those needing guidance and support during the week. I found this to be very interesting and we enjoyed the service very much. This was the last service for the year and it seems that most of the folks high tail it out of here by the end of the month. Many of the folks here come every year and many were saying “see you next year” as they left. At the time we did not understand why so many left this early in the year. I mean how cold can it really get here by November anyway? We find the answer to that soon.


After church, we “goose it” to Asheville. Parking in Asheville is scarce, but since we are in the Goose, I am able to find a small spot that I can ease into. The restaurant we had originally planned to dine at had too long of a wait and since it was a nice day, we found an even better place with an outside patio.
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This being a weekend, Asheville was full of folks enjoying a beautiful fall day. Every corner had a street musician playing for tips.
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‘click’ on picture to see video
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After our downtown visit, we go in search of the Asheville Farmer’s Market. Supposed to be a big deal. After a lot of trouble, we find it. I was very underwhelmed. But still a nice day altogether.

More to come …

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