We Torgs used a day off from school (thank you for your service, Veterans!) to drive east and hike at Grandfather Mountain near Boone and Blowing Rock, North Carolina.
Upon our arrival, we were told the top of the mountain, where the swinging bridge and most of the trails are located, was closed due to high winds. Warning to anyone who is interested in going: it’s $20 per adult and $9 for kids to be admitted to the park. Also of note: you can park on the Blue Ridge Parkway and hike in if you’re up for it. That’s what I’ll do as soon as our kids can handle the hike. We were admitted for half price since the top of the mountain was closed.
After about an hour inside the park, the top was opened. Here are some pictures and video from our visit:
Do you even know the names of the trees in your backyard?
I came across that question in an article written by Jennifer Frick-Ruppert, a biologist and professor of environmental studies at Brevard College. Her question grabbed my attention and caused me to think about the 147 miles of water I’d passed through with my family on our recent French Broad River rafting trip. I knew I couldn’t name all of the trees in my backyard and certainly not many of the organisms big or small that live in the French Broad River. I got in touch with Jennifer and she said she was willing to tell me about organisms that live in the water and their importance to the region of Western North Carolina. I learned a lot talking to Jennifer. Hope you enjoy our conversation!
I talk biodiversity and the French Broad River with Professor Jennifer Frick-Ruppert of Brevard College
Two of Professor Jennifer Frick-Ruppert’s books have been published with more on the way:
Mountain Nature: A Seasonal Natural History of the Southern Appalachians
Waterways: Sailing the Southeastern Coast
Click here to learn more about Professor Frick-Ruppert’s books on her Amazon page.
You can also listen to the podcast by searching for “Torg Stories” on the podcast app of your iPhone. We’d appreciate it if you’d subscribe and review on iTunes.
Be sure to check out the video at the bottom of this post.
Since at the moment we four Torgs have plans to raft the entire length of the 149 miles of the French Broad River in sections, we decided to check things out by driving along the river from Asheville, North Carolina where we live to Newport, Tennessee.
lunch by the French Broad River
This would normally be about a seventy mile drive from our house, but we lengthened it by criss crossing the French Broad as much as we could.
Section 9 River Map from River Keeper’s Guide by Chris Gibbs and Hartwell Carson
I wanted to get a glimpse of what is called Section 9, the wildest part of the river. We stopped at as many access sites as we could to shoot some video and so we would have a general idea of what to expect when we make it this far north. We also talked with lots of people, a few of whom you’ll see in our video below.
The plan is to make the film about the community that surrounds the French Broad, and the social and political issues that surround it. What you’re watching know is just an update on our progress. Thanks for checking it out!