As I have mentioned in previous posts, my current job on the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad is spectacular. The people are great, the train is very cool, the waters of the river clear as can be and the scenery is absolutely stunning.
The railroad takes a westbound excursion to the Nantahala Outdoor Center (AKA the NOC) where passengers get to experience the sights of Fontana Lake and the Nantahala River among other things. As the train melodically moves down the track at its leisurely pace, one can see rafters and other outdoor people enjoying the natural beauty that is Western North Carolina.
The NOC has over one million visitors a year. Activities they can choose from include: whitewater rafting, paddling school, an outdoor leadership institute, fishing, hiking, biking, climbing, great food and zip lining. The center also hosts festivals and other events during the year.
Personally, I am not the outdoorsy type, but I have found myself considering a whitewater rafting trip and/or a zip line adventure. Oddly enough, the last time I through caution to the wind was a trip to the Outer Banks in North Carolina. On that vacation, I parasailed and did a few other things that the “old Lois” would never have done. It only makes sense that I create a few more adventures during my time in North Carolina.
North Carolina was never a place I would have intentionally chosen to visit, let alone stay for a time. Yet, I have fallen in love with its natural beauty and elegance. The people are friendly and welcoming. It is a lovely place and I am glad I get to chill here for a while. I am thankful for all the adventures I have had so far and look forward to more.