Saturday, August 20, 2011

Greetings from Banner Elk!

I am writing this from our room in Banner Elk, NC. We got a Groupon to stay at a resort for 3 nights and are enjoying that now. It's a timeshare, but since we bought the Groupon we were spared the "property preview." It's nice to have a full kitchen to stash our stuff. It has certainly saved us some money on breakfast and lunch.

Yesterday we arrived and walked around Boone for a bit. I was looking for a used book store, but we didn't find any. There is one more we may check out, but I am not going to go out of our way for it. We got dinner at a cute little restaurant in Banner Elk that I recommend called The Monkey and the Frog. It was just nice to enjoy a good meal without having to cut anyone's food.

We got off to a fairly early start today and hit a couple of waterfalls. It was a good hike for us. It was basically 1.6 miles down and 1.6 miles back up. We both agreed that the views were worth the hike. We were pretty sweaty by the time we got back to the car, but that's all part of the experience.

After that we went kayaking on the New River. We were given three options for our tour and we chose the long one. The man who explained it told us it would be 4 - 4 1/2 hours, but we did it in about 3 1/2. I think that we probably paddled faster than many. We would have done it in about 3, but there were a number of shallow areas where we either had to start punting or get out and pull the kayaks. It was fun to negotiate the small rapids to figure out how to miss the rocks. I started making up a story about how my people had been navigating rivers for centuries. Of course, I'm more likely to be from Delhi than I am to be a Cherokee.

It was a great time on the river though. But by the time we finished we were both pretty well spent. We stopped at Chick-fil-A and got a large lemonade to split. Then I checked out an independent Christian bookstore that had used books.  I was very disappointed with the used book selection, but it's always interesting to browse. The store wasn't all bad. Unlike our local Lifeway, you could at least get a copy of Calvin's Institutes there.

We thought about going to see Harry Potter tonight, but it's not showing in Boone anymore. I got us a calzone and some salads and that was our evening. Amanda has just availed herself of the giant whirlpool tub in our room. I was just glad to shower off the day's funk.

Tomorrow should be more waterfalls and then a nice meal in Blowing Rock. Nothing like some good hikes to work up an appetite.