First up at only 2/10 mile from the parking lot was Tom Branch Falls and it was my favorite. Of course after we were already underway I realized I should have brought along my tripod but I was too tired to go back so I made do.
|Tom Branch Falls, DSLR hand held|
Just an excuse to come back some other time and do it the justice it deserves! It also had benches that Sharon commented would make lovely lunch spots.
The next section was uphill to Indian Creek Falls. It was steep but not that long and we were rewarded with a kaleidoscope of Swallowtails. Did you know that a group of butterflies was called a kaleidoscope?
They flew back and forth above the falls, improving the view.
From there we backtracked to a side trail to Juney Whank Falls which was a VERY steep climb but also thankfully short. I wasn't the only one who had overdone the hiking lately, Sharon was recuperating from sore quads as well.
|Juney Whank Falls|
After our hike and enjoying our lunch at a picnic area I convinced Sharon to stop in downtown Bryson City and let me have a look around.
I texted Wayne and asked him if he wanted an elf door for the tree in our front yard but he didn't sound enthusiastic so we went inside to see what else the Charles Heath Gallery had to offer.
Besides an artist with a flair for witty banter I found a necklace to bring home to Katrina. I was also tempted by some delightful greeting cards made from local photographs but realized I could make some from my own photographs, right?
Just as eye catching as the trinkets in the shop windows was the signs above the shops.
My favorite was the giant ice cream cone! Sharon was tempted when we went inside Soda Pop's Ice Cream Parlor but decided she would wait to see what else lay ahead.
I was on the hunt for a mocha since I've only had one in the last week and I got a good one at the Cork and Bean Bistro. Sipping my treat enhanced the leisurely stroll down the other side of the street.
|Great decor inside Soda Pop's!|
Sharon got the "Garbage Can" ice cream cone at The Chocolate Shoppe and proclaimed it delicious! Sometimes the name can be deceiving. And the local outdoor store had a map of the park painted on their wall. So cool!
Sharon has great friends who loan her their mountain home to stay at, and on our way back there I spotted a tech friendly garden gnome. He probably knows more about using a cell phone than I do!
The flame azalea and the Catawba rhododendron are both in bloom at the same time in Maggie Valley, something Sharon says she has never seen happen before. They did it just for my visit, don't you think?
And to begin and end our two days together? Gorgeous mountain views from the balcony.