Pity the poor flat-landers and city dwellers who couldn't escape the concrete jungles to attend this year's AT Founder's Bridge Festival at the Nantahala Outdoor Center (NOC), a hop, skip and a jump from Bryson City, NC.
NOC is more fun than a barrel full of wet monkeys in Spandex carrying colorful paddles or giant backpacks.
The Founder's Bridge of the Nantahala isn't merely near the Appalachian Trail ... it IS the Appalachian Trail. (Yes, once you cross the bridge you can claim you've hiked the AT, but your conscience will bother you. Trust me. I know.)
For those who are looking for something a bit less strenuous than "hiking the AT," this is the place. Shaded picnic tables and benches line the river where you can watch crazy people crash kayaks into/around rocks, flip over, laugh and do it again.
There's a riverside restaurant, a super-duper outfitter's store and kayak rentals. If you've lost your mind completely, you can pay them to squeeze you into your very own (rented) Spandex outfit (helmet included) and hire them to attempt to drown you and your family in what is otherwise known as "rafting."
If you're too smart to fall such dangerous activities, you might prefer to ride your motorcycle on area roads, such as Route 28, Wayah Road or the Tail of the Dragon. (Yes, you might break your neck there too, but you'll stay dry.)
Enjoy the pictures ... and see what you missed ... at the 2012 AT Founder's Bridge Festival at NOC!
Meanwhile, back at the AT Festival ....
If you didn't attend the 2013 Founder's Bridge AT Festival at North Carolina's Nantahala Outdoor Center, you might enjoy these pictures.
Dahlonega, GA, has the first Appalachian Trail festival annually. The Trails End Festival in Millinocket, Maine, honors the thru-hikers who never gave up.
Do you remember attending any of these 2013 Appalachian Trail events? Many of made lifelong friends at them.