Day 6 & 7 Sat & Sun
Saturday we drove, and drove, and drove. But I picked up a flyer at a tourist spot while using the bathrooms. It said, ďVisit the Bristol Caverns!Ē. It was on the way and we decided to go and make it that dayís point of interest. It made sense as we had just visited the Luray Caverns and I wanted a comparison. Well Bristol Caves was incredible. It had every formation that the Luray Caves had (200 million years old!) except it was smaller, but it was just as wonderful.
But then we drove and BTW gasoline was $2.57 in Virginia. Itís the price to beat no matter where you are, $2.70 seems average otherwise. We drove to Tennessee and camped out at a KOA cabin that was so cute!
The next morning we woke and went to The Lost Sea. This is a cavern I wanted to see. I made Fred drive at least 100 miles out of the way to see it. It was OK but not great. Itís a young cave with very few geological formations. It may be as young as 2000 years and filled with water until only a few 100 years ago.
Itís main claim to fame is a boat ride on a two football sized underwater lake stocked with trout. If I hadnít seen the previous two caverns I would have been thrilled. Itís so claustrophobic, so exposed to cave-ins so unusual, itís wonderful but I saw 200 million year old formations and this just wasnít the same.
What *was* wonderful was driving to route 129 in Tennessee. Itís a road called the dragon and itís one of the most challenging places to ride a motorcycle. It has 318 curves in 11 miles. It made me sea sick in Fredís jeep but a motorcycle would be the balls! I made a movie of part of it and it was incredible. It is so in demand as a bike trip (Challenge) that it has itís own bike resort at the bottom called Dealís Gap. I loved it!
What was also incredible was the Cherohala Skyway. It starts in TN and ends in NC so we went to the apex at about 5400 feet and turned back as we needed to get to Franklin NC. What was incredible was not only the scenery but the trails. We walked one to a ďbaldĒ a place that settlers would graze cattle as they made their way across the mountains. Balds are places where trees donít grow and are filled with grasses. It was a wonderful hike filled with blueberry bushes.
As if that wasnít enough we got lost and ended up going to Franklin via the Nantahala National Forest. We not only passed a lake but climbed another 4000 plus mountain.
Note: At 5400 feet I mentioned to Fred that we might join the mile high club but there where too many witnesses so since we are still at about 2500 feet in Franklin Fred seems convinced that we can still join if we do it twice. I think I love the way engineers think! Remember to follow us at THIS LINK as we head towards Cape Hatteras.