I think we’ve been under a flood watch/thunderstorm watch every day for the last 2 weeks. This has given me the opportunity for two main things:
First: Potty Training Tiny Bear. I’ve always heard girls are easier to train. Lies. Talk about adventure. I’m ready to move on, thank you!
Second: I get to tell you all about another state park adventure we’ve already had!
Scene: Summer Vacation, May 2013.
We were actually looking for a place to eat in the town of Lake Lure. But being as it is so small, we blinked and missed it. Next town? Chimney Rock.
I won’t pretend that I didn’t know it was there. I actually visited the area 6 months prior for a friend reunion of sorts…..I just hadn’t really intended for us to visit the state park area.
I figured we’d visit the tiny town, grab some lunch and get some moccasins. I got a whole lot more than I bargained for.
We backed out of our lunch parking spot, and turned straight into the gates of the Chimney Rock State Park.
The Chimney is wonderfully equipped with an elevator so that anyone is welcome to make it to the top. But I don’t like elevators, and the kids really needed to burn some energy.
We took the stairs. That’s 700+ steps up, up up…..
The kids loved standing on the actual “chimney.” The edges had guard rails, but I only wanted to be up there long enough to get everyone’s picture with the American flag. For some reason, Tiny Bear wanted to venture way too close to the edges of the chimney. This led me to imagine every horrifying scene one can have about the edge of a mountain and two curious children who know NO fear.
I quickly herded us HIGHER up the rocks (all steps, by the way) where strangely, I felt safer. Here we found the Opera Box. Absolutely my favorite part of the trip. The rocks had formed a natural boundary where I didn’t have to worry about ANYONE falling off and into Eternity. AND I could take pictures of the flag in peace.
The highest portion of the park is called Exclamation Point. Daddy Bear was carrying Tiny Bear on his shoulders, and we were going all the way up. Once you’ve made it so far, it seems silly to turn back no matter how tired you are.
We made it to the top. It was rather uneventful up there. I guess the kids had seen enough trees and rocks at that point and exhaustion had started to sink in.
A nice elevator man took us back down to the cave where the kids made excellent use of their echoes. I didn’t mind it much because we were just a few of the handful of people left in the park that afternoon. Even the souvenir shop was closed.
We didn’t leave right away, though. We lingered a bit; pressed some pennies and then sat in some rocking chairs over-looking the lake. Maybe it was because we were tired.
Or maybe we just weren’t quite ready to let go of this time we had. Together. We weren’t ready to drive away and watch the present become the past.
It’s an empowering memory for me, and I hope for the kids, as well. Because we didn’t give up when the trail got rough and the temperatures started to rise.
We kept moving on up. Together. And I hope it will always be this way.