Recently, we had the opportunity to spend a month in the mountains of western North Carolina.
We had the opportunity to do many things which I may write about later. This post is about the beautiful waterfalls.
In the Transylvania County/Pisgah National Forest area near Brevard North Carolina, there are over 250 waterfalls.
I’m only going to write about a few of the most popular ones and ones that we visited.
RAINBOW FALLS is on Horsepasture River and is also called High Falls. It got the name Rainbow Falls because of the large amount of mist that rises from the falls and creates rainbows. Once you get to the observation deck, you’ll appreciate that mist! From the parking lot, it’s about 1-1/2 mile walk to the falls, but there are a lot of hills and stairs to climb. If you go, take lots of water. Take your time and if you have them use walking sticks, they help.
Last week we visited the Sierra Nevada craft beer brewery. This week it was the Bold Rock hard cider cidery also in Mills River, North Carolina. Although this is a much smaller operation than the Sierra Nevada brewery it is also a good benefit for the community. There’s an abundance of Apple orchards in the area and many of them were struggling financially until the cider companies, particularly the hard cider companies, came to the area.
There are at least 10 cideries in the Asheville area. Each one is a little different. The one we visited, and I think one of the largest, is the Bold Rock hard cider company.
The beautiful mountains of North Carolina offer hiking, biking, trout fishing, and gorgeous views. Besides all this, the clear mountain streams and the numerous apple orchards, make this area very conducive for the making of craft beer and ciders.
There are somewhere around 40 craft breweries in the Asheville North Carolina area but the largest of the craft breweries is the Sierra Nevada brewery. With arrangements made by my daughter in law, Dave and I, our son and one of our granddaughters got to go on one of their tours.
As I remember from the tour and from the brochure I picked up, Sierra Nevada was started in Chico California in 1979 by Ken Grossman. I believe, from what the tour guide told us, Mr. Grossman finished high school and left before his graduation ceremony for the mountains of Northern California. He opened The Home Brew Shop in Chico California. Years later with innovation and ingenuity, he fashioned equipment from items such as a hot water heater, dairy equipment and a hand-built-10-barrel brewing system he later founded his own brewery. He named it after his favorite hiking grounds and called it the Sierra Nevada Brewery Company.
That was in 1979. By 1984 he’d outgrown his original location. He then purchased a property in Chico Calif to build a new brewery large enough to house a salvaged 100- barrel brewhouse he had shipped from Germany. A couple of years later they added online sales.
In 2012, demand outpaced supply, and the Chico location was at capacity. This time they looked east and in 2012 they opened the new brewery in Mills River North Carolina. Mills River is just a few miles from Asheville, North Carolina.
The Asheville area already had somewhere around 40 small craft breweries. I believe our tour guide said this was the reason Sierra Nevada almost decided not to locate here. They did not want to be the biggest brewery in the area and ruin the other businesses. He said the local craft beer association got together and invited Sierra Nevada to come. Sierra Nevada provides some support to the other breweries by allowing them some access to their lab.
With a 200 barrel production brewhouse and a 20 barrel small batch pilot system, a tour program, tastings, a full-service taproom, and restaurant, the Mills River location opened in 2014. The property is beautiful. As well as the inside amenities, there’s an outdoor activity area with picnic tables and a stage.
Very impressive is the care they took in construction and the amount of reclamation of resources they use. The timber that was cut on the property was used in the construction of the building. Concrete walkways and driveways allow rain to penetrate. The reclaimed water is used for irrigation. CO2 captured from the yeast fermentation is used for carbonation in the drinks. They use solar panels and microturbines for as much energy as possible. Any left-over vegetation from the hops they donate for feed to area farmers.
It’s a rainy day today in Flat Rock, North Carolina. Lakewood RV resort has some nice amenities. The pool, shuffleboard, and the planned activities don’t start until their busy season starts; the end of May. There are several park models owned by people who live here full time. See the link below for a description and pictures of park models). They’ve managed to plan several activities on their own. They’ve scheduled Mexican Train one evening a week and something called nickel bingo that does not involve bingo cards. The lady in the camper next to us who spends her winters here and summers in Pennsylvania was telling us about this. We saw some things posted on the bulletin board but not sure if they were happening now or later in the year. We might check it out. There was also a sign-up sheet for Easter dinner that was already 2 pages long.
Shorts and Flip Flops to Coats and Gloves …. in one day!
We left Savannah yesterday morning. I was wearing shorts as we were “buttoning up” the motorhome. About 6 hours later we arrived in Flat Rock, North Carolina and I began thinking about where we put our heavy coats, sweats, and gloves.
“Buttoning Up the motorhome” means anything that is loose has to be secured along with bringing the slides in and disconnecting the water, sewer and electric. This all takes a little time. “Anything loose” includes pictures on the walls, toothbrushes on the bathroom counter, dishsoap and utensils on the kitchen counters. Look around your house. What do you see that could move around if you shook your house? All that has to be put away. We even have tension backets in our cupboards to keep items in there from shifting so that we don’t have an avalanche when we open the doors once we get parked.
We’re staying at Lakewood R V Resort in Flat Rock which is just a few miles from Hendersonville, North Carolina which is about 30 miles from Asheville, North Carolina. Our son and his family live in Pisgah Forest which is about 1/2 hour from here. This is the closest full-service campground we could find with a monthly rate. Most of the campgrounds nearer them are state or national campgrounds with limited facilities and a 14-day max stay. There are a few others but either they’re too expensive or not open yet.