Friday, December 24, 2010

The Sixth Day - Table Rock Mountain and Mount Mitchell

There was still much more to do on the sixth day. I stopped at Altapass Orchard which is a historic apple orchard along the Parkway. They make cider from trees on the property and have local musicians play there. It is a nice place to stop and visit. Unfortunately, it was not the season for cider and they had some faux cider they were selling. It was not particularly good. Still, it is worth checking out and I would like to go back there when they are producing real cider.

Altapass Orchard.

Table Rock Mountain.

Mount Mitchell is the highest point east of the Missisippi. While I was there, the weather started to cloud over and it began raining while I was at the top. The visibility was pretty poor. On good days you supposedly can see Clingman's Dome and Grandfather Mountain, but that was pretty much not going to happen while I was there.

Mount Mitchell also boasts the 'highest restaraunt east of the Mississippi.' Aside from the view, I can't say I recommend it. As expected, it was pricey. I chose the Ham and Cheese sandwich and have to say I was disappointed by three thin slices of ham on a grilled cheese. I'd been expecting some actual ham on the sandwich, but that was not to be.

I also had thought about stopping for the night at the campground there. The campground and sites look very nice, but you have to hike back to them a bit. This wouldn't be too much of a problem, but since the weather was iffy and my tent leaks, I decided to push on. I certainly wouldn't mind staying there again in better weather.

Views of Mount Mitchell and the surrounding area.

The observation tower at the summit.

The road leading to the summit of Mount Mitchell

The view back to the parking lot from the summit.

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