Saturday, July 19, 2014

Hot Springs BlueGrass Festival and Max Patch

On Saturday, June 14th, we drove for around an hour to Hot Springs, North Carolina.  Hot Springs is a very small town, but on this particular day was the annual Bluff Mountain Festival.  This festival featured traditional bluegrass music, ballads, clogging and square dance, local crafts, lots of food, and more.  We arrived right at lunch time so we grabbed some chicken fingers, chili, and fries; and had a picnic on the lawn near the stage.  Once we were finished with our food, we went closer to the stage so the kids could watch the dancing.  Liam loved the music.  He started playing his water bottle like a guitar.  He also loved the dancing.   The dancers would perform every other song.  While the dancers were not performing, a couple of people would dance on the dance floor…Liam being one.  He was paying attention to the dancing because he wanted to be sure to have a partner while he danced.  After chasing around one girl who did not want to be his partner, he found one little girl who obliged.  Amelie enjoyed watching, but found her niche at the kid's art table.  She made a bead bracelet and both kids had their hands painted.  After walking around looking at the local art tents, we drove a little farther up the mountain to Max Patch.

Our picnic spot.

Max Patch Mountain is a 4600-ft mountain that is a part of the Appalachian Trail.    In the 1800s it was cleared and used as a pasture.  Because of this, the views all around are absolutely amazing!  The climb was steep, but not too difficult.  Once we were at the summit, we ran around and played in the long grass.  Bobby, Amelie, and Liam would hide and then pop out to scare each other.  We enjoyed talking with another family, AT hikers, and a couple dog owners while we were at the top.  This was a different hiking experience from the other hikes we have done near Asheville in that it wasn't in a forest.  It was SO beautiful looking at all of the mountains in all directions.
Hiking up.
It started to get pretty steep near the top.

Playing in the long grass.

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