Thursday, October 24, 2013

Grandfather Mountain - 2013

In my last post about our mountain trip, I mentioned that we went to Grandfather Mountain. It was our first full day in the mountains and it was a Thursday so we assumed (correctly) that it wouldn't be that busy. But still, we asked Grant what he felt like doing that day. "Go see the bears!" So that was that.

At the entrance to Grandfather Mountain they give you a CD to listen to on your way up the mountain about landmarks and little stories and what-not. Grant was fascinated. I have no idea why but he loved listening to it. He even asked to listen to it on our ride home a few days later. Anyway, we listened to that throughout our day and learned some stuff in between our stops.

Our first stop was Sphinx & Split rock on the way up. We stopped there for pictures last year too, the views from Grandfather Mountain are amazing! 

Grant saw us taking pictures of the view and immediately asked for his camera. I'm glad I thought to bring it with us. Initially I didn't think he cared much for his little camera. I was wrong.

Tiny tourist.
And he obligingly posed for some pictures too :)

Holding up the rock "like the Hulk"
After that we headed to their museum and animal habitats (with Grant repeatedly asking when we'd see the bears). We had lunch there, too, on their deck so we could see all the birds.
Family picture before lunch :)
On to the animals!

I think the eagle might have been my favorite.

The bears were very active that day!

The otters...not so much.

The cougars weren't feeling friendly either.

Pretty views from the bear habitat.
Side story from seeing the bears: We got there just in time to see them doing an "enrichment activity" with them and there was an employee available to answer questions. Grant was absolutely enthralled by the bears and I was having fun watching him (sitting on husbands shoulders for the best view possible). I was half listening to the question and answers. Then was a lull in the questions and it got quiet. This was when one bear chose to take a very long pee and I knew where this was going. Grant says "Uh oh! Oh no! He peed! He peed on the floor! He made a mess!" Which was very amusing to those in attendance...then we made our exit.

Onward up the mountain! 

At the very top of Grandfather Mountain is the "mile high swinging bridge". It's one mile above sea level so not too imposing but if you're scared of heights I can see how it might be a little off-putting. Grant loves bridges but we weren't sure if he'd want to cross this one or not. 

So we get out of the car, point out the bridge to Grant who immediately exclaims "IT'S THE BRIDGE!!" I think Husband was hoping to stay behind with him...Husband not being a fan of heights or anything that swings when you walk on it. No such luck.

Grant couldn't wait to go across. He wasn't a daredevil about it or anything but he definitely wasn't scared either. We got to other side just in time for him to say "I gotta go pee...", we snapped one picture, then beat feet back down to their gift shop area (thankfully not far from the bridge) that had a bathroom.

It was such a fun day. Grant was so excited about everything he saw that day, it was great to watch. Maybe we'll go back next year too :)

P.S. Part of Forrest Gump was shot at Grandfather Mountain. I think it was a part when he was running across the country. Fun, huh?

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