I wanted to go to Cherokee, North Carolina and Bud had always wanted to drive the Cherohala Skyway from Tennessee to North Carolina as well as the Blue Ridge Parkway, so Cherokee was a perfect destination for both of us.
Cherokee lies in the Oconaluftee River Valley and the river flows through the center of town.
This stand of bamboo is in Oconaluftee Islands Park.
As is one of the painted bears. There are many of these bears throughout downtown Cherokee. Each one represents an aspect of Cherokee culture.
We're posed next to the Fish Bear.
The Museum of the Cherokee Indian is a must see while in Cherokee.
The 200ft. Mingo Falls (Big Bear Falls in Cherokee language) is another beautiful spot. I was able to do the more than 160 stairs up to the viewing bridge.
Another view of the Oconaluftee River as we left Cherokee to drive the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Bud's must see along the parkway - Linn Cove Viaduct.
So much pretty scenery along the Blue Ridge Parkway. We were there in October and the fall colors were gorgeous.
As I've mentioned before, most of my pictures were taken with my digital camera and I lost them when my computer crashed. Luckily I used my print camera some, but probably lost 85% of the total pictures I took.
Bud was looking at the map and said, "You know, we could easily drive to the ocean for a couple days." He showed me the map and there was Nags Head on the Outer Banks - another place I had dreamed about seeing, but hadn't even considered on this trip.
From moon rise to sunrise. I thought the full moon rising was beautiful. The rising sun the next morning was spectacular!
I couldn't wait to walk on the beach. We saw dolphins, surfers, fishermen and horseback riders.
Day trips included the Wright Brothers National Memorial at Kitty Hawk which was fabulous ("from the first flight to a man on the moon was less than 66 years") and to the Bodie Island Lighthouse. This structure was built in 1872 to replace the one blown up in 1861 by retreating Confederate troops.
I just finished reading a book set in this area - my deciding factor in making this week's Sunday drive about North Carolina.
This is one state I could never tire of visiting - such diverse scenery and history! I love it.