River Country

On our 2nd day at Yurtopia, we began with an awesome breakfast at The River’s End Restaurant.


This gem of a restaurant is located not 2 miles down the hill from Sky Ridge Yurts.  It’s right beside the Nantahala Outdoor Center and is the rafting headquarters in this neck of the woods.


This morning Ron and I sat out on the porch so we could listen to the river.  We had some delicious veggie omelets, grits, biscuits, and coffee.

Our waitress was so nice.  We’ve been here one other time and that time it was for lunch.  Everything about this place is perfect to me.  Absolutely my kind of place.  Click here for a peek at their menu.  I had the Veggie Sherpa last time.  We were all there together celebrating Mother’s 81st birthday and between all of us, I think we sampled about everything on the menu.  Scrumptious!

Here’s Mother and her birthday cake last year.


After a hearty breakfast, we were off to tour downtown Bryson City.



The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad is one of the highlights in Bryson City.  We haven’t ridden yet.  I’m saving that for when Mason is 4 and we can take him.  Mason is crazy about trains and I just know that this is going to be so much fun.

IMG_0753 IMG_0752

Two of my favorite things I saw in and around Bryson City.  I was “this” close to buying that shirt.  So funny!



We were scoping out a place for dinner and Pasqualino’s caught our eye. It is a superb Italian eatery but since we had been there before we picked Cork and Bean on the other side of the street.


We slipped inside and Ron got a cup of coffee while I checked out the menu.


It was settled.  Cork and Bean it was.

The morning slipped away and then it was time to raft.

My niece suggested Rolling Thunder.


What a nice rafting company.  We were there on a Tuesday and things were pretty quiet.  I could tell that this place would be a busy place on the weekends in the middle of the summer.  But for us, at the end of August on a Tuesday proved to be a very low key experience.

We decided to raft with a guide.  We didn’t need to though.  The Nantahala was very calm and so relaxing.


A quick van ride to the drop in spot and then about 2.5 hours on the river and we were all done.


There was only one class 3 rapid and it was right at the end.  Next trip, I think we’ll get a funyak and try a trip on our own.

After rafting we were itching to run and tried to find a place that our raft guide had told us about.  We never could so we ended up back at the NOC and watched some kayakers for a while.



The NOC was hosting the Freestyle World Championships beginning on Labor Day and many of the kayakers were already there practicing.  It was cool walking around and hearing all the different languages being spoken.

Check out the red kayaker in the middle.  That’s what they were all doing.  Just flipping over and over again and again.


Since we couldn’t run, we decided to hike.

The AT is right there by the NOC so we hopped on the trail and hiked straight up a mountain for about a mile.


And then back down.



Ah the AT.  Love that trail!  Those white rectangles leading the way are magical to me!


We had worked up quite the appetite by then so we headed back to the yurts to shower and get ready for dinner.


For our appetizer we chose these delicious spring rolls.


And my entrée’ came with soup.

Spinach and mushroom.



Ron got tuna.


Perfection.  That green stuff was a puree of cucumbers and sweet peas.  Looks disgusting but was actually very tasty.

I chose the mountain trout.


I would take a bite of the trout and be like wow!  Nothing could taste better.  Then I’d take a bite of the rice and swear I’d never tasted rice better than this.  It was just rice but wow!  Seasoned so beautifully.  Then I’d take a bite of the asparagus and couldn’t believe how perfectly it was cooked.

And, it wasn’t because we were so hungry.  We were hungry yesterday at Plant and I didn’t react that way at all.

The dessert menu held many sinful pleasures and I really should have gotten something more interesting but I was craving chocolate.

We went with the double chocolate brownie with ice cream.


I loved Cork and Bean so much.  Our waitress was just as good as the one we had at Plant but in a much better way.  She talked to us.  That’s what I like.

She actually told us all about the Deep Creek day hike that we ended up going on the next day.  She said if we wanted to run, that was the place to go.

After dinner, we walked around Bryson City a little more and made a quick stop at Ron’s favorite micro brewery.





Their growler collection is a bit larger than Ron’s.  Smile

Next up will be our last adventure of our trip.  The Day Hike in the Smokies.


It was my favorite!  Details coming soon.

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