Mt. Mitchell for the family

MtMichell with family

Not every hike is a 10 mile all-day hike. My son, daughter-in-law and two granddaughters are visiting us for a few days.

Lenny corralled our son, Neil, to help clear our piece of the Appalachian Trail. I took Yi-Ting and the two girls to Mt. Mitchell. We drove on the Blue Ridge Parkway, stopping regularly to look at the views.

We stopped at Craggy Garden Visitor Center so Hannah could stamp her National Park Passport. You would think that the Blue Ridge Parkway would have one stamp for the whole BRP unit, but it seems that all the visitor centers have their own. Great Smoky Mountains National Park also has different stamps at the various visitor centers. That makes for more stamps – at this rate Hannah is going to run out of room in the Southeastern section of her book.

We were lucky that we had an outstanding day. We drove to Mt. Mitchell State Park and walked up to the Mt. Mitchell tower. The little one could have walked up but it might have taken all day. So we pushed her in the stroller. I showed them the Mountains-to-Sea Trail sign and white circles.

Both Yi-Ting and Hannah were impressed by the fact that Mt. Mitchell was the highest point east of the Mississippi. And after visiting Jefferson National Expansion Memorial right on the banks of the Mississippi River, Hannah knows where the Mississippi is.

MtMichell tower - emptyThe tower is about two years. It was built partly to make it easier for people to walk up the short ramp up to the tower.

Still people in flip-flops and sandals complained about the “hike”. And one man made a snide remark about my ability to walk fast while pushing a stroller.

The whole site is extremely child-friendly – if you can get the adults to walk up to the tower. Isa, the younger grandchild, ran around in circles at the tower, stopping once in a while to look through the fencing. Hannah used her new compass to check the directions with the compass directions on the floor of the tower.

Even the museum seemed to be childproof. The younger one pushed all the buttons, turned all the cranks and yelled at the bear in the display case without anyone or anything being worst for the wear. Nowadays, you call it child-friendly but I call it childproof.

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