Check out what I checked out this weekend!

It LITERALLY hit me late Friday afternoon: "I have a three-day weekend!"  It was production director Stan who said something about going to the mountains for the long weekend when I said to myself, "wait; I could do that, too!"  So I found a cool place for me and my better half to stay, near Cashiers, NC, booked it and off we were, early Saturday morning for some fun in the mountains!

We got up there in time Saturday afternoon to check in at the Brook Trout Inn, before we enjoyed about 90 minutes of snow tubing at a nearby ski lodge.  Then we grabbed a bite of dinner and settled in for sleep knowing we'd be doing a lot of hiking Sunday.  And BOY, did we!

We chose to hit up Gorges State Park for a 3-mile hike to check out three stunning waterfalls.  Along the way, we finally came upon the Horse Pasture River that we would wind up following to our destinations.

THE waterfall to see on this journey is actually the first one you get to on the hike.  Rainbow Falls, about 1.5 miles from the Grassy Ridge trailhead parking lot inside Gorges State Park. 

The next was Turtleback Falls, about a quarter mile further from Rainbow Falls.

Here are a bunch of photos I took of that hike.

After meandering back to our car, we opted to head off to do one last little (or so we thought) hike.  Earlier at the inn we were staying, I heard a couple talking about checking out the Devil's Courthouse - a peak about 22 miles away.  That doesn't sound far, but in the area we were in, with every road only two lanes wide and winding between and beside and up and down mountains, it was every bit of a 45-50 minute drive.  Oh, also, once we got about a mile away, we saw gates locked blocking the last mile of the journey on the Blue Ridge Parkway.  Ugh.

Well ,we walked the mile to the parking lot, took a few pictures, then made the 20-minute hike up 250 feet to the top of the Devil's Courthouse.  KINDA worth it.  See for yourself.

OMG! We climbed the equivalent of 85 floors and walked more than seven miles!

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