Onward through the Fog

~I See Fire – Ed Sheeran~

Since The Dane and I live so close to the North Carolina line, we often take excursions into the mountains.  It’s really a lot of fun in the roadster as “it corners curves like it’s on rails (Pretty Woman).”

I’m not into cars enough to know exactly what it is, but this car hugs a curve like nothing I’ve ever driven before, though mostly I don’t drive the roadster.  I leave that up to The Dane, as he is the one that understands all the downshifting and such required for mountain driving. 

When we set off on this trip, our goal was to drive some of the Blue Ridge Parkway.  The views are absolutely breathtaking.  I was a bit worried that we might have missed the most colorful part of the season, but as you can see, there was still plenty of colorful fall foliage.

The day was very overcast and I knew from checking the weather report that it was supposed to be warm, but a bit rainy.  I didn’t fret too much because overcast days are perfect for photography.  Aside from the Lodge where we were spending the night, we didn’t have any other specific plans.  Picking the place, Big Lynn Lodge, had been a bit random and something that we finally got around to settling on only the night before we took off, so we didn’t really know what to expect.  Reviews were good and the price was right at $100 including 2 dinner meals and 2 breakfast meals.  A part of me didn’t really believe it would be all included, but I was game to see what we’d gotten ourselves into.

We spent a good portion of the morning and afternoon rambling, just stopping anywhere that took our fancy and seemed like a good place to take some pictures.  We didn’t get to our turnoff for the lodge until late afternoon and it was raining pretty steady by then. 

It wasn’t until my ears popped that it started to dawn on me that we were heading up a big mountain.  And the fog was getting thicker and thicker. 

Not sure exactly how far we were from the Lodge, I pulled up directions on the GPS.  When I saw the view of what the road looked like ahead of us, I sincerely wanted to chicken out and turn around. 

The Dane noted my initial panic and is well aware that I do not do well at all on “extreme” curvy mountain roads.  Keep in mind that I’m not talking about just winding curves, I’m talking about major switchbacks.  It was clear from what I could see from the GPS that we were going to have to be super careful as it wouldn’t take much to go right over the side.

In some ways, I suppose it was better that I couldn’t really see more than a few feet in front of me or I might have sincerely been driven (literally) out of my mind.  Feeling those extreme curves underneath my butt (and mere inches I might add) was terrifying.  I had a brief moment where I thought, this is something like riding the scream machine blindfolded.

About a mile from our destination, The Dane (obviously enjoying the ride), decided to stop and let the top down.  As he did so, I happened to look up.  High (and I mean high) above us, there was a house about three stories high that appeared to be hovering over the edge.  For a few moments, I would’ve sworn I saw a figure up there with a cape.  The Dane convinced me that it was just my imagination.

Luckily, it wasn’t long before we turned into the Lodge which distracted me from thinking about Count Dracula.

With the thick fog rolling all around, it was difficult to see much.  The lodge seemed like a pretty simple place and nothing altogether too special.  While The Dane checked us in, I walked over to the sign on the wall as it was about the only thing that I could make out clearly.  

The name for the place finally made sense.  Big Lynn for the Linden Tree that once stood there.  Glancing around, I found the two “sprouts” that weren’t sprouts anymore, but definitely not in the league of the Big Lynn.  I posed the camera to get a quick snap of them and at just that moment, my phone died.  I said a small prayer of thanks for the GPS making it all the way to the lodge.

Shortly, The Dane came out with a map to our room.  “It’s very cozy in there,” he said with a huge grin.  It was then that I noticed the two chocolate chip cookies he was holding along with a key to the room.  I nodded.  Nothing like fresh-baked cookies to give a place an inviting appeal.

We hopped back in the car and followed the printed map to our parking space.  From there, it was a short walk to our room.  From what I could tell, there were single cabin-like units and then ours which strung four cabin-sized rooms together.

As we entered the room, I noted the hardwood paneling.  It was a sturdy room with a very rustic appeal. 

The Dane told me that we had a few hours before the dinner bell.  That gave us time to look around the grounds (as much as we could see with so much fog) and to tour the lodge. 

The Dane was right, it did have a warmth about it and the lady at the counter was very kind to us.  She seemed to understand The Dane’s sweet-tooth and brought out a couple more fresh-baked cookies for him.  I spied the coffee pot and filled up a cup and took a few minutes to look over their library which connected to a sitting room with a piano and plenty of cozy seating.  Across the way was a large dining room which had a mess hall type feel to it with tables butting up against each other which we would later find encouraged conversation with your neighbors.

After looking around, The Dane and I headed back to our room for a few hours of reading.  When the dinner bell rang, he looked at me and arched his eyebrow in a see-I-told-you-so sort of way.

As we made our way back up to the lodge, I remarked to The Dane that I was pretty sure we might be one of a handful of guests.  As we got closer and could see a little more, we were both amazed to see about 40 or 50 people lined up to go in. 

We joined them and ended up in easy conversation with those around us, mainly talking about the weather.  One gentleman at the end of our row of tables told us that he’d been to the Big Lynn many times and that since we lived nearby, we should definitely make the trek back as the views were the best he’d ever seen.  “You can see for about fifty miles.  No joke.  It’s spectacular.”  Listening to his stories about the Big Lynn, it was obvious that he’d spent many great moments here.

Dinner arrived before us – a salad, followed by Turkey and gravy, mashed potatoes and gravy, corn and endamame along with a loaf of fresh-baked bread.  This course was followed by a desert of homemade apple pie and a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  One young lady next to us was a vegetarian and she was given  a dish of vegetarian lasagna which she said was superb. 

I looked around during dinner and noticed that almost everyone was engrossed in conversation with heartily laughter.  To top it off, our sweet little waitress was probably one of the nicest people I’ve met in a long time (and I meet a lot of really nice people).  She was just a gem.

The couple next to us told us that they chose the lodge because they’d brought their dog along and The Big Lynn was one of the few places around that accommodated pets.  I talked to the wife for a moment when the conversation turned back to the weather.  Her eyes brightened as she said, “It’s wonderful how you can just see for inches.”  The Dane and I chuckled about that on our walk back to the room because it was for sure that she hit the nail on the head.

Pleasantly full, not only from the wonderful dinner, but probably from getting to know the other people staying in the cabins around us, The Dane and I marveled at the uniqueness of this experience.  One we both agreed was worth telling others to experience at least once in their lifetimes.

Next post, I’ll tell you more about our trip at The Big Lynn and the surrounding area.

Until then, hope you are all off to a great start to the week.

~PJ

Shirt – Cato (similar here and here); Leggings – Walmart; Shoes – Blowfish; Jewelry – Cato; Hat – Forever 21 (similar); Scarf – Walmart

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