North Carolina Smokey Mountains - What to see?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by CRyan, Jul 22, 2004.

  1. CRyan

    CRyan Screenwriter

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    Thought I would throw this out here. I know it is a beautiful area, and I will be there for 6 days and have no idea what all I will do.

    I will be just west of Bryson City.

    I am certainly white water rafting at NOC Nantahala.

    Any hiking trails I should not miss or anything else in particular? I have searched the web for the area but nothing has really hit me and there is way to much info.

    Any ideas on what not to miss?


    Thanks for any ideas,

    C. Ryan
     
  2. Greg_R

    Greg_R Screenwriter

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    Everyone should go see the Vanderbilt mansion at least once (near Ashville). The Appalachian trail is very pretty through that area as well. Since you are from TN I will leave out the other 'somewhat near' options (Mammoth cave, Chattanooga, various civil war battlefields, etc.).

    The Nantahala is fun but I prefer the Ocoee or Nolichucky options. If this trip is with kids, stick with the Nantahala. Your options may be limited due to summer water levels...
     
  3. Kevin Hewell

    Kevin Hewell Cinematographer

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    You might want to check out Cherokee, NC. Pretty touristy but you can gamble there.

    The Biltmore House is spectacular but the tickets are a tad expensive. The last time I was there they were $25 a piece and that was a few years ago. If you go be sure to check out the winery.
     
  4. Henry Gale

    Henry Gale Producer

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    Yes, but it costs real money to preserve the largest private home in the country, and they're doing a great job.
    When I visited the Biltmore I took the regular tour, then the "rooftop" tour, and finally the "behind the scenes" tour. Worth every penny to me.
    Grove Park Inn Resort is also worth a visit. It's architecture is unique, with the historic Main Inn constructed of native granite boulders quarried from nearby mountainsides. The Inn is on the National Register of Historic Places and houses the world's largest collection Arts and Crafts antiques.
    I wanted to move to the Ashville area I loved it so much. It's a wonderful spot on the planet, enjoy.
     
  5. CalvinCarr

    CalvinCarr Supporting Actor

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    I did too at one time. I spent a lot of time in Arden right outside of Ashville for work. It is beautiful but a little too cold in the winter for me now. That is actually where I proposed to my wife at. I planned a nice weekend while the leaves were turning in the fall. I packed a pic nic and drove up the trail. We stopped at an overlook and took out a bottle of wine we bought at Biltmore.( which is really good). After a couple of glasses I was 10 fet tall and bullet proof then I proposed.

    Like posted above the rafting may not be that great. Spring is the time to do that. When you get to your hotel they have a lot of brochures on things to see. Ashville actually has a web site. Google them and you will find plenty.
     
  6. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    If you are looking for a great autumn white water rafting trip, check out the Upper Gauley River in West Virginia after Labor Day. They release water from the Summerville Dam four days a week (Thursday - Monday) through October. It's a great ride with six Class 5 rapids. We've done this trip many times, and it's always a wonderful time.
     
  7. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    Something funny I read in another forum about river classes:

    Class I: Easy. Fast moving water with riffles and small waves. Swimming is pleasant, shore easily reached. A nice break from paddling. Almost all gear and equipment is recovered. Boat is just slightly scratched.

    Class II: Novice. Straightforward rapids with wide, clear channels which are evident without scouting. Swimming to eddies requires moderate effort. Climbing out of river may involve slippery rocks and shrub induced lacerations. Paddles travel great distance downstream requiring lengthy walk. Something unimportant is missing. Boat hits submerged rock leaving visible dent on frame or new gash in plastic.

    Class III: Intermediate. Rapids with moderate, irregular waves which may be difficult to avoid. Water is swallowed. Legs are ground repeatedly against sharp, pointy rocks. Several eddies are missed while swimming. Difficult decision to stay with boat results in moment of terror when swimmers realize they are downstream of boat. Paddle is recirculated in small hole way upstream. All personal possessions are removed from boat and floated in different directions. Paddling partners run along river bank shouting helpful instructions. Boat is munched against large boulder hard enough to leave series of deep gouges. Sunglasses fall off.

    Class IV: Advanced. Water is generally lots colder that Class III. Intense, powerful but predictable rapids requiring precise swimming in turbulent water. Swimming may require "must" moves above dangerous hazards. "Must" moves are downgraded to "strongly recommended" after they are missed. Sensation of disbelief experienced while about to swim large drops. Frantic swimming towards shore is alternated with frantic swimming away from shore to avoid strainers. Rocks are clung to with death grip. Paddle is completely forgotten. One shoe is removed. Hydraulic pressure permanently removes waterproof box with all the really important stuff. Paddle partners running along stream look genuinely concerned while lofting throw ropes 20 feet behind swimmer. Paddle partners stare slack-jawed and point in amazement at boat which is finally pinned by major feature. Climbing up river bank involves inverted tree. One of those spring loaded pins that attaches watch to wristband is missing. Contact lenses are moved to rear of eyeballs.

    Class V: Expert. The water in this rapid is usually under 42 degrees f. Most gear is destroyed on rocks within minutes if not seconds. If the boat survives, it is in need of about three days of repair. There is no swimming, only frantic movements to keep from becoming one with the rocks and to get a breath from time to time. Terror and panic sets in as you realize your paddle partners don't have a chance in hell of reaching you. You come to a true understanding of the terms maytagging and pinballing. That hole that looked like nothing when scouted, has a hydraulic that holds you under the water until your lungs are close to bursting. You come out only to realize you still have 75% of the rapid left to swim. Swim to the eddy? What #%^&# eddy!? This rapid usually lasts a mile or more. Hydraulic pressure within the first few seconds, removes everything that can come off your body. This includes gloves, shoes, neoprene socks, sunglasses, hats, and clothing. The rocks take care of your fingers, toes, and ears. That $900 dry suit, well it might hold up to the rocks. Your paddle is trash. If there is a strainer, well, just hope it is old and rotten so it breaks. Paddle Partners on shore are frantically trying to run and keep up with you. Their horror is reflected in their faces as they stare at how you are being tossed around! They are hoping to remember how to do CPR. Climbing out of this happens after the rapid is over. You will probably need the help of a backboard, cervical collar and Z-rig. Even though you have broken bones, lacerations, puncture wounds, missing digits & ears, and a concussion, you won't feel much because you will have severe hypothermia. Enjoy your time in the hospital, with the time you take recovering you won't get another vacation for 3 years.

    Class VI: World Class. Not recommended for swimming.

    [​IMG]

    Jay
     
  8. Scott Merryfield

    Scott Merryfield Executive Producer

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    Jay,

    That description of a Class V sounds pretty close to the Gauley the year we ran the river the day after Hurricane Fran swept through the area. That was one wild ride!
     

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