our second cool adventure in the linville gorge wilderness took us to the chimneys trail. i *think* it’s part of the mountain to sea trail in north carolina, but now i might be mixing that up. we chose it, because it offers pretty great views on both sides, as you’re hiking along a ridge, with giant rock formations jutting out and about, that we traveled around and over and through.
i really don’t have an epic narration for this hike, so i’ll just post a zillion beautiful pictures with some captions.
the first part of the trail is actually in the woods, with no views at all. then, suddenly, we were at the top, and this was our first vista view, so we obviously stopped for a photoshoot.
we are always fans of squeezing through rock formations, with a lovely view in the background…
my view was mostly hazel’s butt. and derek’s view was mostly hazel and my butt. :). the big kids were way up ahead, and for that reason, they are not in very many actions shots.
it was pretty hot, even though we tried to arrive early to beat the heat. so, we took a lot of water breaks. it was only then that i could get good family photos. good-ish.
did i tell you the views of the gorge were pretty great? i’ll spare you the millions of pics i took, because i know they all sort of look the same in digital form, but here’s a few…
obviously, we took a few family photos, along with the scenery.
eventually, we found ourselves past the part of the trails containing the “chimneys”, so we found a little spot to sit and have some snacks.
on the way back out, we stopped for a few wild blackberries. and then derek found a little side trail that took us out to some other views. but not without cost. the descent was steep (which meant we would have a steep climb back out) and the trail was overgrown, which meant grumpy kids occasionally getting poked and snagged by thorns.
but it was 100% worth it. the views from this spot beat everything else. i’m not sure the kids (especially hazel) would agree, but maybe someday she can appreciate it. we let ruby off the leash, wandered around, took all the obligatory photos, and generally had a lovely time.
on the way out, we noticed a weird plant, and derek and anna have an app on their phone that identifies wildlife, and we learned it was witchhazel, which obviously required a photo with our hazel, who is not a witch. (she’s not pointing directly at it. it’s that little cluster of spiky balls to the left of the leave that is above her pointy finger.)
and then we were on our way back out. by now it was pretty hot. even ruby was struggling, having to pause to take several breaks. again, my view was mostly hazel’s backside…
but thanks to ruby’s struggles, we occasionally caught up to the rest of the gang. and i got pics of their backsides.
it was a really great hike, and anna and i decided that we would like to revisit and stay at one of the hike in campsites we spotted along the way. until i actually planned it one day a few weeks later and she informed me that, actually, she did not want to go.