As our time here in the Asheville area comes to a close we’re looking to cross the last few things off our must-do list. By the way, if you’re going to visit an area, it’s a great idea to make a list of things you would like to see and do. It keeps you on track so you don’t miss out on anything.
One of the last things on our list? The Great Smokey Mountains Railroad. We picked up the train in Bryson City which is a small, quaint town full of family owned businesses. Native Americans have been hunting and and living in the vicinity that is now Bryson City for nearly 14,000 years.
You have your choice of carriages on the train – fully enclosed with air conditioning or heat (with meals) or open air where the sides are fully open. We chose the open air seating and thankfully the weather was perfect for it.
I didn’t catch his name, but our guide was eccentric yet charming. He used to hike 30 miles a day in his younger years but he has cut back to 15-20 miles a day. Slacker.
We sat next to this interesting couple. The lady started taking pictures of these stuffed animals. Not just one but two and each had their own bag. I almost let my curiosity get the best of me and frankly I should have just asked but instead I sat and stared with my eyes as big as saucers. Is this a thing? Does anyone know?
The train ride took us to the Nantahala Outdoor Center. The last time I was here was more than 20 years ago when I went with camp mates. You can zip line, mountain bike, go white water rafting or just lounge by the rapids. We saw a few Appalachian Trail through-hikers getting a bite to eat and cleaning up. You could smell them from a mile away. Ewwww.
We only had an hour to eat and roam around so we walked around and people watched. I wish we had time to go white water rafting. Le sigh. That has been added to the list.
The bridge you walk over to get over the rapids is actually part of the Appalachian Trail. Cool. So technicallyyyyy, we have walked part of the AT.
After a bite to eat and some people watching it was time to head back. The scenery was beautiful, the weather was perfect. An all around great day!
Till next time! Xoxo