Ever since I was a little kid I have always been curious and fascinated by mountains. Just the mere sizes of mountains, along with their overall beauty, have made me always drawn to them. When I found out that I was going to Grandfather Mountain in North Carolina, I was ecstatic. I had studied the mountain previously at school and I already knew that during this winter season it would be snowing, making it the first time that I would be able to see snow in real life. Additionally, there was a one-mile high bridge at the peak of the mountain that would be perfect for sightseeing.
The trip to North Carolina started in Palm Coast, Florida. We set off from there and brought along a friend that was also eager to see Grandfather Mountain. I was amazed at how much the landscape changed around us the further we went north. It is quite the difference going from always-sunny Florida to a currently chilly North Carolina. It rarely ever gets cold in Florida, and even when it does, you never really notice a change in the landscape. Immediately when we got to North Carolina I noticed that most of the trees had either lost their leaves, or the leaves had changed colors. The temperature was in the low 40s and I now knew why my parents felt that we had to pack extra clothes, since I had never really witnessed this type of cold. It felt kind of refreshing actually as I have lived in the 80+ degree Florida weather my whole life, and even though I like it, a little change every once in a while never hurt anybody.
We arrived in Charlotte, North Carolina after a few hours of driving, and decided to rest at our hotel and get a fresh start in the morning. We all woke up fairly early, very eager to make the drive to the mountain. Once we started the ascent to the top, I started to notice that more and more snow started to appear the higher we got up. We were all very excited, so at one point we went to the side and parked the car so we could have a snowball fight. That was most definitely one of the most exciting moments of the trip. The smooth texture and crystal white color was everything that I had expected snow to be.
After that was finished we got back in the car and drove to the Nature Museum of Grandfather Mountain. I was astonished at how much history this little mountain had, and how many different types of minerals were mined there. A bunch of the nature exhibits also made me appreciate the wide range of wildlife found here, and made me keep an eye out for certain species that I wanted to see. After that, we drove up to what we had all been anticipating, the Mile High Swinging Bridge. Immediately I was taken away by the sheer scope of the view and how amazing the bridge looked. It was almost hard to believe that I was actually one mile above sea level. I was a bit hesitant at first, but I eventually started the walk on the bridge and had the greatest experience of the entire trip. It was truly an experience I will never forget, and I hope to one day revisit the mountain as an adult.
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