Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Dorothy, I don't think we're in Wisconsin anymore...
William had to make a business trip down to the Carolinas last week and I was able to join him for the weekend. We went to the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden near Charlotte and then over to Great Smoky National Park where we took an 8 mile hike up to Charlie's Bunion.
Everything was wonderful! It was warm. We have had a cool spring here in Wisconsin and getting out of the plane and feeling the sun upon you was a lovely thing.
It is extremely lush. Green everywhere. The trees towered above you and everything was flowering. The azaleas up in the mountains were blooming. There were large patches of wildflowers along the road that included Flanders poppies and cosmos. I don't know if they were truly wild or had been planted at some point but they were lovely. This was at the botanical garden, but the ones on the roadside were similar.
The Botanical Garden was lovely. There were all sorts of plants growing outside that William remembers tending in the greenhouses in Chico. Including the passion flower.
And then they had an orchid conservatory which was full of orchids and other tropical plants that cannot handle the cold of South Carolina - bananas, begonias.
We had great food while we were there. Lots of fun restaurants both in Charlotte and Asheville.
Then we got to hike a part of the Appalachian Trail. The trail starts in Georgia and goes all the way to Maine. You can see how much further you had to go from where we were at the North Carolina/Tennessee border.
We chose to hike only 4 miles in to a place called Charlie's Bunion which was a rock outcropping overlooking the layers upon layers of rolling valleys that are part of the Smoky Mountains. It was quite stunning.
We had a great weekend and when we talked to Coleen in New Mexico it sounded like she was having lots of fun visiting her grandparents. We did wish that we could share it all with her. She would have especially loved the different kinds of rocks in the mountains and the fiddler that was dancing a jig in downtown Asheville. Well, I guess that gives us an excuse to return...