Friday, November 25, 2016

Our NC Mountain Adventure

Country Road near Linville Cavern
By Laurie Bower Epps

For my daughter's 20th birthday, I asked what she wanted, and she told me, "Mom, take me on one of your adventures." Unable to resist, I gave her three options and being a geology major, a jaunt to the mountains was somehow, perfect. 

This outing, I chose specifically due to my childhood memories from this region near Marion, NC. Come get lost with my sweet girls and I. The pictures are truly spectacular. Unfortunately, not too far away, wildfires are ravaging the hillsides covered in woodland areas. For now, these areas are fairly safe, but that could change with the worst of the damage a mere 30 miles or so away. Respectfully, I ask that you pray for the residents of Lake Lure, NC and the firefighters trying to contain the blaze.

We started out on our picture perfect autumn day a bit late. Aside from a two destinations, we sorta went where the mood struck us. At about the halfway point, I saw a sign for produce and homemade ice cream, so I pulled off for lunch. We had NC BBQ on paper plates, and then shared the largest banana split I've ever seen of some real old fashioned ice cream. I think they made extra big scoops in honor of her birthday as a herd of bikers rumbled by.

Me with 2 of my sweet daughters
When we arrived at Linville Caverns, I just couldn't resist taking a few pictures before we even used the restroom, or bought tickets. It was just too pretty. Never was there a point where we were bored, or struggling to find an obliging stranger to snap group shots. Right away, I got a family picture, just to make sure it wasn't overlooked. The results are fabulous. My blog entry today might be a bit longer because of it. Please bear with me.

Shopping Guide

On the Birthday Girl~

Latte  Colored Cable Knit Sweater 
& Boyfriend Jeans ~ NY & Co.

Michael Kors Handbag

Handmade Austrailian Opal & Agate Geode Necklace
~ Magma, Rocks, & Creations, Greer, SC

This Monolith is estimated to be 6 million years old


For centuries, people didn't realize the caverns were even inside Humpback Mountain. This is common with cavern systems. Discovered in 1822 some trout were observed coming in and out of the mountain, and explorers were captivated by the beauty inside.

During the Civil War, soldiers from both sides took up hiding inside the caverns. However, most would build a fire due to the chilly, but steady inside temperature of about 51 degrees. By doing this, it would give them away, and they'd usually end up in a deserters camp, or as a prisoner of war if found by the opposing side.

My Little Geologist
In modern times, geologists estimate the age of the caverns to be six million years old. The limestone cavern is still active and growing. Linville Cavern is also home to a myriad of bats (but more so at certain times of year). Visitors are welcome to visit the caverns year round.

To visit Linville Caverns, or to just get more information, go to:

Chloe's Fashion

Fuzzy Vest, Tee, and Knit Pants by KnitWorks
~ JC Penney

Booties by Arizona Brand
~ JC Penney

This particular picture I was overly impressed with because it looks like it was taken by a professional. Definitely one to be framed.


Breathtaking pictures of both of my girls were taken on this trip. When we had our Christmas pictures taken a month later, this outing helped me not overspend on my pictures. Something about them climbing around on the rocks outside made me think of the Wilson-Phillips video, "Hold On."

After spending a good half hour in the gift shop, we captured as many pictures as we can before they closed the parking lot at Linville Caverns. The day wasn't over yet, so we headed to our next destination, Linville Falls.

Once we got deep in the mountains like that, not only did we lose all cell reception, but also my GPS didn't work. Luckily, the locals are nice enough. A quick stop in a convenience store made to look like a general store had an obliging clerk who directed us to the falls. Had we arrived earlier, there's also a Visitor Center. But the trails are easy enough. 

I'd barely gotten out of the car, when I saw this setting just behind the Visitor's Center and realized why I'd come. The fall foliage was just glorious. I had my daughters run ahead so I could capture the scene.

My Fashion

Lace trimmed sweater, jeans, and (underneath) tank
~Lane Bryant

Brown Ballet Flats by Pesaro of Italy
~Rack Room Shoes

Brown Leather Purse, Chaps by Ralph Lauren

The Falls Trail is roughly 1.6 miles long and fairly easy. Even overweight, and with a recovering leg injury and bad back, I negotiated it easily. I can definitely say the climb is worth it. There are also several viewpoints within the trail. This is a NC State Park is open year round. To find out more information, go to:

The different vantage points also give wonderful perspective of different types of rocks, and the river meanders though in a way that I counted at least 5 waterfalls, and 3 types of rocks. 

Ellen stayed on one platform for a long time probably due to being practically surrounded by water, and having so many vantage points to look from. She noticed that on this spot, you can almost see our geologic history unfold before us just by being still.

Chloe even got into the action, and begged me to take a picture of her on the sedimentary rock for her teacher. I confess, I did. I texted her and sent her Chloe's proudest moment of the trip.

From my girls and I, we wish you a Happy Thanksgiving!!! I hope you'll come back again soon. Thanks for stopping by ---

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