The whole point of the weekend was to escape the heat wave.
Well, that and to recharge the batteries. I've been on a couple of Civil War jaunts this year, already having spent a three-day weekend in Chattanooga, followed by a three-day weekend in Gettysburg about a month later.
But while I was busy honing my knowledge index, Kim was busy working hard at the office. I think the time she has taken off this year can be counted in hours, not days. She needed some down time.
So we escaped to Blowing Rock. This is kind of an annual thing for us. We usually go late in the summer, when it's usually hottest, to take advantage of the higher elevation of the mountains to give us the illusion that we are cooler there than if we were still in Lexington.
We do some shopping, some fine dining, and perusing the crafts at Art in the Park. We usually reserve a room at the Boxwood Lodge, which is near the bottom of the hill on Main Street. We park the car when we arrive on Friday (after first reconnoitering the shops in Boone), and don't get in it again until we leave on Sunday. You can walk everywhere. It's a good time and we generally feel refreshed after those 72 hours.
But this trip was a little different. We couldn't quite escape the heat. Not this year.
When we approached Blowing Rock on Friday, we came by way of Lenoir. It was 91 degrees at noon that day. After driving up the mountain, the temperature had dropped to 83, but the humidity kept the heat index (or feel-like temperature) in the mid-90s. Ahh, yes. The mountains.
Blowing Rock is always changing, and usually, there are one or two new businesses that pop up and catch our attention each year. Development is nonstop.
The thing I noticed this year is that they changed the grade of the hills, and for some reason that's beyond me, they made them a little steeper. Sunset Drive is nearly impossible to walk now. I bet it's a 45 degree incline. Maybe even 60. And combined with the heat index, I found myself taking slower steps up the hill to get from our motel to Art in the Park.
I started thinking how nice it would be to get in the car and...
No. Not gonna do it. I didn't want to lose my parking space, because motel spaces are at a premium.
I'm guessing we climbed the hill – either from the Main Street slope or the Sunset Drive challenge – at least five times on Saturday alone.
But the weekend flew by fast. We left the heat index in Blowing Rock on Sunday and hardly even had to re-acclimate ourselves to the 93 degree heat of home.
But we had recharged the batteries. Isn't that why you go to the mountains in the summer?