The last leg of the long climb to the top

The old man at the top (Photo by Susan Lipes)

It might be called an act of lunacy for a 63-year-old man with a history of back problems, bad knees, a questionable hip, cobbled together ankles and some non-OEM parts to climb more than 400 step steps to the top of Chimney Rock in North Carolina but I’ve never claimed even a passing acquaintance with sanity.

Besides, sanity is over-rated in an insane world.

So along with some friends from the Roanoke Valley Chapter of The Harley Owners Group (HOG), I made the trek up to the top of the rock last Saturday.

None of us were spring chickens but I was easily the oldest member of the crew that rode our Harleys from Roanoke to Spartanburg last Thursday for the South Caroling State H.O.G. Rally and then ventured up to Chimney Rock for the hike to the top.

Did my bones and back ache afterwards?  Damn right they did. Was it worth it? Oh, yeah. Even though I grew up in the Blue Ridge Mountains, this was my first visit to Chimney Rock. The view from the top was fantastic and everyone along the crowded trail laughed and joked about the idiocy of our actions.

Afterwards, we compared aches over lunch in the village of Chimney Rock — population 175 — a town even smaller than Floyd but a prosperous community because of tourism to the park that rises overhead and nearby Lake Lure.

The view of Lake Lure from the top of Chimney Rock

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