Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Looking Glass Falls and our Vacation

 We took six days and went down south.  I will feature the Biltmore Estate another time; today I'm featuring the water falls we saw and more mountain pictures.
The falls are called Looking Glass Falls and they are about 35 - 45 minutes from Asheville.    They're a popular spot for 'getting wet'.  There were lots of folks in bathing suits dousing themselves in the falls and the accompanying pool of water.
It had rained the previous day all day and was still raining off and on during the day we headed from Ashville, NC to Gatlinburg, TN, so the falls were rushing.  So was the near-by river.  Beautiful.

When we had continued driving, I saw this spot in the river where folks were wading.  The next picture shows a group walking down to the spot.  We backtracked to the overlook and visitor center with restrooms that had paths leading down. I chose not to walk the 2 miles as my hip was bothering me and I was limping some. This was called The Graveyards.  There was a fire that consumed 200,000 acres and left smoldering trunks that looked like gravestone markers, thus the name.  I couldn't get a sense of that from where we stood.  Also it was a long time ago, so there is now foliage.

This photo shows the deforestation of the forests by disease and pollution.  Lots of folks are working on solutions.
 George Vanderbilt was the first person to appreciate the forests to the point of preserving them.  He brought an expert in from Europe.  This man ended up working under Teddy Roosevelt and established the first national forestry service.  George brought another man from Europe who, with Vanderbilt's resources, established the first forestry school on the estate.  George and his advisers were working with land that had been sterilized by over-cutting, over-planting, and fires.  The first hill they began with was called Lone Pine Tree Hill because there was only one tree - a pine- on it.  Hard to imagine as the estate is now covered with trees as well as a working farm and a winery.
{We took the grounds bus tour at Biltmore where a guide told us about the restoration and reclamation of the forests.  It was quite interesting and I would  recommend that it be taken on a separate day from the home tour.  However, it was pouring at times, so our visibility was limited; still we are glad we took it. That's where I learned the above information.}

Here are more photos taken from overlooks we stopped at on our drive.  It had stopped raining, but was still overcast.

 There were beautiful flowers at this overlook.

 I had a photo taken.  I'm the family photographer, so my pic is rarely taken.  I'm trying to change that.

More on the vacation next time.


  1. So glad you were able to have this respite in such a delightful place.

  2. I hope you had a good time... I felt like I was with you the entire time... Looking Glass is a beautiful waterfall. We have seen it several times. One year we saw it in winter and there was ICE everywhere... So pretty...

    Sorry about your rain... We were in North Carolina (near Blowing Rock) while you were in the Smokies and Asheville... We were at Biltmore on Sunday, the 3rd ---so we missed you by several days. Hope you saw those gorgeous water lilies. The Italian Water Garden is always a favorite of ours this time of year...

    We were also at Craggy Gardens that day --and hiked up to the Craggy Pinnacle... Beautiful day!!!

    Can't wait to hear more from you about the trip...
    PS We have been to the waterfalls in the Graveyard Fields...


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