Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Weekend Report

As I wrote in my last post, I spent the weekend at Snowbird Mountain Lodge in North Carolina. It was so nice to get away, especially because there are no TVs or cell phone service at the lodge and the laptop was left at home. That means getting away from all the bad news and economic mess and all. Wonderful. It also was nice and quiet and peaceful. Lots of time was spent in the lobby/library in front of the fire, reading a book, and looking at the great view of the mountains. In the afternoon, there was an unless carafe of Starbucks coffee and fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies. A little piece of heaven that is! Meals are included with the room price and just to make everyone hungry, here is what I had for dinner one night:
Carrot and thyme soup
Hazelnut and blue cheese stuffed dates wrapped in bacon served on baby lettuce with blood orange vinaigrette
Beef rib eye served with a sour cherry reduction sauce, savory blue cheese and kale bread pudding and sauteed asparagus
Mixed berry cobbler with vanilla bean ice cream
And a sample breakfast:
Blueberry scones
Seasonal fruit salad
Homemade sausage
Lemon & ricotta pancakes with whipped blood orange cream cheese

Are you hungry yet? I am--let's go back!
After all that food, some hiking was required. We went to the Joyce Kilmer Forest, which is a mature hardwood forest that remarkably was never timbered.
Here is the dedication plaque

Here is a view of the trail

Here is how big the trees are!

It was so quiet in the forest, I actually heard a bird's wings as it was flying by (I think it was a cedar waxwing). The views in the forest were wonderful because the leaves aren't out yet and you can see for long distances.

Don't forget to look up.

The next hike was to the top of Huckleberry Knob. This was a hike from about 5,000 feet in elevation to over 5,500 feet, which is really high for the Great Smokey Mountains. The top of this mountain is "bald" and was used historically for grazing cattle. The U.S. Forest Service keeps it mowed to show its past use.

The Smokey Mountains always have a blue haze over them, hence the name, however in more recent years, a lot of the haze is smog. Not good.
Well now I am back to harsh reality but a little more rested and a little more relaxed and really grateful that there are National Parks and National Forests to escape to. Oh yeah and for lodges that serve coffee and cookies in the afternoon.


Catherine said...

What an incredible weekend it sounds like you had! The pictures are wonderful, thank you for sharing them1
That menu? Oh, my -- sounds like absolute bliss!

Carol said...

Looks and sounds like a piece of heaven to me. Glad you had a great weekend.