Friday, April 12, 2013

Peaks of Otter Lodge reopening.

Well, sometimes we get some good news in the world. One of our favorite National Park lodges in the south is reopening. It closed in the Fall of 2012 when the concessionaire refused to renew its option on the property. The National Park Service put the concession up for bids and there were several takers, one of which will be chosen to reopen the lodge this summer.

Carole and I have always enjoyed our stays at the lodge. It was sad to see it close its doors, and I really do wish that the Park Service would stop leasing these properties to concessionaires and just run them as part of the Park Service with Park employees. That way, we wouldn't have to see the kind of situation that we witnessed with the Peaks of Otter Lodge last year.

The last time we stayed there it was in the winter. The weather that weekend was cold with alternating rain, freezing rain, sleet, name it. I had a great time hiking the mountains and wandering around looking for waterfalls while Carole relaxed at the lodge.

It will be good to get back there again some time.

Rear of the lodge and the edge of the lake.

The view of one of the three "Peaks of Otter". They are Sharp Top, Flat Top, and Harkening Hill. Two of them (Sharp Top and Flat Top are over 4,000 feet in elevation. All are fun to hike and I've done the trio.

The upper reaches of Sharp Top coated in ice and sleet.

Here I was at the nearby Apple Orchard Falls. Well worth the drop into the gorge and the steep climb back to the Blue Ridge Parkway. Just a short distance from the lodge.

Appropriately, we drove through a fierce ice storm on the way home. This was at one of the overlooks and high points along the Blue Ridge Parkway. The Park rangers were closing up the Parkway behind us each time we wen through a gated intersection. It was a good thing we had four-wheel drive.

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