A visit to the Blue Ridge Mountains

After qualifying at the Midwest Collegiate Disc Golf Tournament in Winfield in March, ESU’s disc golf teams are headed to nationals! Read more about the experience and see pictures.

The College Disc Golf Nationals were April 5-8 near Marion, NC at the North Cove Leisure Club.. The ESU team flew from Kansas City (getting to the airport is a story within itself πŸ˜†) and after checking flights and rental car options, Scott and I decided to drive.

It’s a 16 hour drive. 😱 I argued my case to fly, but after my last two flights were either cancelled or delayed, plus the high price (it would cost us $1000 MORE to fly), the final decision was driving.

It wasn’t terrible.

Poor Ali spent the week at the kennel, as she would have been too much to handle on this trip.

We traveled through five states to reach North Carolina (Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee). On the way there, we spent the night in Springfield, MO.

To pass the time. we listened to Prince Harry’s book Spare (that alone was 8 hours). We caught up on the news of former President Trump being indicted. We learned he faces 34 felony charges of falsifying business records. He pleaded not guilty.

I’ve never been to North Carolina. We were in the Blue Ridge Mountains area and and they did not disappoint. This was taken during one of the rainy days, so you can’t really see how pretty the mountains were.

I wish we had more time to explore as there seemed to be a lot of cool hiking trails, waterfalls and other places to see.

We stayed in a little studio Airbnb in downtown Marion, about a 25 minute drive to the course. There was a small kitchen and Wi-Fi. so we were set.

We bought a few groceries, but mostly ate takeout in the evenings. We tried several local restaurants and Starbucks was a 4 minute drive. #Winning

The team stayed in a large Airbnb about 5 minutes from the course in the mountains. The worst thing about the area was the lack of cell service on the course and in the mountains #FirstWorldProblems

The tournament attracted more than 700 players from 80 schools. We didn’t realize we needed spectator passes (our child forgot to tell us this). Luckily we were able to purchase them at the gate for $50.

We met several parents of the team, and had lunch with them at a historic family-run restaurant 10 minutes from the course in the mountains.

I couldn’t find a website for the restaurant, but I did find this review. Famous Louise’s Rock House Restaurant straddles three counties in North Carolina: Burke, Avery and McDowell counties. It was built in 1936 and has been a tavern, dance hall, gas station and restaurant.

We had trout (which was freshly caught near the restaurant) and a BLT. There was also fried mushrooms, okra, mounds of fries, and homemade pie.

On the way home we took a northern route that wound through the Blue Ridge Mountains. We stayed in Cookeville, TN. We finished up Spare and listened to the first several episodes of the Dr. Death podcast, the crazy story of a surgeon who killed people.

We stopped at Big Brutus in West Mineral, KS. It was closed by the time we got there, but we snagged a pic from outside the gate.

We made it home late Sunday night. I had just enough time to unpack, do laundry and repack for a work trip on Tuesday morning.

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