The Granite Dome
Thanks to two camping compadres in Florida, my one stop in North Carolina was Stone Mountain State Park. Long before becoming a park, Stone Mountain was settled by families of English, German, Irish, French, and Scots-Irish descent who built the log homes, farms, churches, and schools that formed the community. The restored Hutchinson homestead and the historic Garden Creek Baptist Church are featured on the park grounds.
This 14,000+ acre landmark is great for camping, hiking, climbing and trout fishing, though be weather-prepared, as I had three days out of 7 that were heavy rain and thunderstorms. However, adding to the enjoyment of the trip is the fact that there is no phone or WiFi service here. You are truly able to be off the grid!
While I did quite a bit of peaceful hiking, and some sheer sitting quietly at the mountaintop, I missed cycling. That said, the terrain here is not rolling hills! The one day I ventured out on two wheels, it was a ride of 23 mph down and 8 mph up. God help me.
I am sorry to say that the North Carolinians can't compete with the southern hospitality of Georgia or South Carolina. Yet, on my last morning, I had a change of plans due to a breakfast invitation I just couldn't refuse. Many thanks to Rebecca (Park staff extraordinaire) for the farm tour and fresh egg breakfast as I was rolling out of town.
People continue to pleasantly surprise me with their generosity.
Worth noting: The Mountains-to-Sea Trail passes through Stone Mountain State Park -- it's a nearly 700-mile trail from Clingmans Dome in the Great Smoky Mountains to Jockey's Ridge in the Outer Banks. There's so much to see and do!
5/13/2017 06:00:13 pm
Beautiful scenery. It looks like that area is living in a different century. I say that because of the look of the cabins. Great mountain views.
5/15/2017 09:58:58 am
5/14/2017 09:45:14 am
Judy: I certainly agree with your southern hospitality assessment. People are getting more and more insane and rude. Nice to hear though that you left with some faith restored with breakfast invite,
5/15/2017 10:02:50 am
Eileen, I'd say the drivers in NC are rude; too fast and too close, but otherwise people weren't rude as much as just unfriendly. Really noticeable to me after the few prior weeks. Rebecca & I enjoyed many fun and interesting conversations though!
5/20/2017 09:46:40 pm
5/22/2017 06:10:04 pm
Ed --- Yes, the hostel experience is one I really enjoy. Went from WVA to one in Ohio, too. That story still to come. Thanks for the KI welcome! My next Maryland visit will HAVE to include the KICK folks! j.
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Cyclist, writer, teacher, avid reader, bike/ped advocate, nomad, pie lover