Monday, April 28, 2014

Chimney Rock Adventure

It was as expected.  The room had two lumpy double beds with the best squished pillows. The beds were covered in white quilted bedspreads which were machine embroidered in rose buds and leaves on meandering vines and the pillow covers matched.  I expected lace but only found it over the bathroom windows. The walls were a mauve color with deep burgundy drapes, and everything matched the outside color of the Carter Lodge in Chimney Rock Valley.

I was surprised, Scott said nothing about the decor.

The lodge is serenely located by the river, which I can’t remember the name, that flowed underneath Chimney Rock State Park.  Our room has a balcony with two chairs. I should have left the door open to hear the rush of water to lull Scott and me to sleep.


Maybe the water sounds could have drowned out that lone bird looking for a mate at 5 am each day.  He must have been the alarm clock because the other males began singing at 6 am.  Who could sleep after that?

The Carter Lodge grounds has a grill for public use, corn-hole toss boards, and lots of chairs on the lawn.  No doubt, a Fourth of July celebration would be spectacular.

It’s hard to say how old the lodge is, but if I had to guess from the ceiling tiles and the bathroom light, it must have been built in the 1950s. 

There was no door on the closet, sans the rod for the hangers; however, there is a platform for a small refrigerator.  There wasn’t a coffee maker or microwave and yet the owner asked if we brought a cooler.  Who would have suspected that the town would not be awake in April?  No coffee stands, no gas stations for miles and no drug store.  We were in a time warp.

We did eat at a “casual gourmet” bistro named Medina’s, which was wonderful.  Their brochure stated they were featured in Southern Living magazine, Charlotte Magazine, and National Geographic Traveler Magazine. This is a gem among the granite.  I tried to suck down as much coffee during breakfast as possible, knowing I’d never see another drop until I reached a civilized drive-thru, an hour away.

The whole purpose of visiting Chimney Rock State Park was to take a photography class.  Mission accomplished.  I learned a lot by trial and error and Scott acted as my bag handler and tripod whiz.  He told me, “I read the brochure.” 

He also told me, when he saw Chimney Rock from Medina’s restaurant, “You know I’m afraid of heights. I’m not going up there!”  As fate would have it, the 26-story elevator to the top was in repair and neither of us desired to climb an additional 200 stairs to reach the flagpole, so photos were taken elsewhere.


This was Scott’s first time there and I hadn’t been there since I was a preteen, so it was an adventure that perhaps we will repeat when all the buildings open for tourist season.  I will bring a cooler filled with Cokes, meat for the grill, and my own coffee maker. 

Until then, maybe we will solve the mystery of why the monolith is called Chimney Rock, and not an anatomical feature.  


May all your days be reminders of the past. Email me at aitken.helen@gmail.com
Have a great day.

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