RLT: Marion NC Easter Getaway

RLT: Marion NC Easter Getaway

1-5 Apr 2021

We decided to take advantage of nice weather and a long weekend to do a family trip. I got new tires on just in time, and with rain right through our departure time, mounting Pilot 5s was a good choice :-). Always ‘one more thing to do’ plus weather delays, so we did head out just a little later than planned – but, all good. Turn the clocks off, vacation starts now!

Packed and ready to go!

As we rolled into Charlotte Courthouse there was a certain ‘look’ that seeped into our consciousness. It’s one of those places that just has a particular, oh what’s the word, ambiance perhaps, to it. Going past the county government buildings it really hit, and we had to turn around and go back. Glad we did!

There is so much history in these parts. Not the old old history of Europe to be sure, but certainly a heavy dose of the thoughts and actions that shaped who we are as a people. I hope we have not forgotten truths learned from those bygone struggles.

Cannon photo-op πŸ™‚
You know you are in the country when…
A clear message for our times

Cool morning’s ride and some exploring make a traveler hungry! We are always on the hunt for ‘authentic’ places to eat. Sometimes you find one, some times you don’t. In this case we did pretty good :-). Welcome to the Cruis-In Cafe! Nice name, classic small town diner look and feel, and, food was pretty good too.

Lunch stop: Cruis-In Diner
Perfect roadside diner

After lunch we rode for a few hours, then, when we got to the halfway point we called it for a combination of factors. It was still a bit chilly, we left late to avoid rain keeping us on the road after the sun set – downright cold, and we were a bit tired – so we skipped the custom route and headed straight in. It didn’t change the distance much, if any, but cut several hours of travel time. All good, stay flexible and adjust as needed.

I ran to ‘town’ to grab sandwiches for dinner and manged a shot of this gorgeous sunset. We ate, got a hot shower, and a wonderful bedtime snack ;-). Have to be ready for tomorrow!

Home for the weekend
Lovely close of the day
Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate, grahams, and coffee perfect snack?

The next morning broke crystal clear and beautiful! We did some relaxing, spent plenty of time talking, playing games, exploring the woods, meadows, and creeks around the house. Recharge and reconnect.

Next generation
Beauty all around: ‘merely’ have to look
Nothing beats the taste of food cooked over lump charcoal!

Day two included some exploring beyond the local spaces. Along the way we came across a gold mine, for real, and who would have imagined modern small scale production machines. Well, now we know. The tunnel was memorable for it’s size and the fact that it carried a stream in addition to traffic! How cool is that?

I’m not one for ‘cute sayings’ but perhaps it’s worth making an exception for this one. Begs the question: am I living a rich life?

A gold mine!
Who would have imagined?
A tunnel for cars and water
Worth being mindful of
Bonfire with s’mores, ahhhh, perfect close for the day

Day three has a theme – waterfalls! Criteria was close and three year old attainable. I think we did pretty well! We bagged two. The first was classic, large drop, and pretty.

Not quite sure about this???
Early sighting
Wonderful display

Along the way to the next we saw…. icicles! How is this even possible? Not much longer, but so neat to see. Then there were the overlooks. The Blue-ridge Parkway is on our ‘list’… perhaps soon.

Last winter holdout
Stunning views
Not ‘big’ mountains, but certainly gorgeous

The obvious feature hiking to the second waterfall was exposed roots. i find them to be fascinating, and always try to take pictures – like most things they never look as good as seen by your minds eye in person. This waterfall was even prettier but in a different way. As you can see it was more drawn out with smaller drops and cutes.

Pretty challenging!
Even hard for the big kids!
Zen view….
So captivating
Gravity + Water = Inexorable

The drive back on NC Route 80 was memorable, what a fabulous strip of asphalt! It truly doesn’t get better than this.

Oh oh oh, look at that!
No better roads, anywhere

Well, all too soon it’s time to head for home… Bags packed, bike loaded and warmed up, its time to say good bye. We have wanted to come back to this area to spend more time riding for a long time now, this trip has just confirmed that desire. It really is such a very nice place.

Packed and ready…
… loaded and greeting the sun

A few key stops along the way. One of the take-aways for this trip is that it really is a bit beyond one day’s worth. Both days, down and back, were longer than any other we have done. So two new ‘records’. We did it, it was enjoyable, but…. not enough time to stop and take in things along the way. Even so, we still managed to keep the highest priority stops ;-).

Taste was just as good πŸ˜‰
Purely an accidental ‘find’!
Home once more…

Finishing this leg brings the journey to an end. As always, please enjoy additional pictures and descriptions on the interactive map below. Look around and explore, perhaps you’ll find your next adventure. And… add thoughts and comments below too. Love to hear what you think or what your plans are.