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The two RV Gypsies at Grandfather Mountain
The Mile High Swinging Bridge
May 6, 2010

Former North Carolina Tourism Director Charles J. Parker coined the name " Mile High Swinging Bridge" at the Bridge's dedication in 1952.

- The term "mile high" refers to the structure's elevation above sea level
- The term "swinging" refers to the fact that suspension bridges are free to sway.

Plus photos of Split Rock and the Sphinx Rock
Grandfather Mountain is a mountain and state park near Linville, North Carolina. It is the highest peak on the eastern escarpment of the Blue Ridge Mountains, one of the major chains of the Appalachian Mountains. The Blue Ridge Parkway passes by the south side of the mountain.
roadside billboard for Grandfather Mountain
clipart of a History bookGrandfather Mountain was created about 730 million years ago when two of the earth's plates slammed together, thrusting great sections of the continent into the sky. A 1962 US Geological Survey reported, however, that some of the rock formations on Grandfather are even older than the mountain itself, dating back 1.1 billion years.

The original Cherokee name for the mountain was "Tanawha," meaning "a fabulous hawk or eagle." It was named "Grandfather" by pioneers who recognized the face of an old man in one of the cliffs. Many vantage points reveal different faces, so there is no one official profile of the mountain, but the most popular can be seen from the community of Foscoe, seven miles north of Linville and 10 miles south of Boone on NC 105.

Grandfather Mountain's Elevation is 5,946 feet above sea level.
Access to The Swinging Bridge requires climbing 50 stairs to reach the level of the Swinging Bridge. Those who choose not to climb the stairs can enjoy similar vistas from the parking area. The 228-foot suspension bridge spans an 80-foot chasm at more than one mile in elevation and claims to be America's highest suspension footbridge.
1st view of the swinging bridge
 the swinging bridge
The two RV Gypsies paused for a photo opportunity before beginning their journey to the other side, which is considered the highlight of a trip to Grandfather Mountain. Actually, the bridge is now anchored by cables and does not swing due to the excessively high winds. Karen Duquette had to remove her hat due to the strength of the wind. The wind could be heard howling throughout the area.
Lee Duquette on the swinging bridge
Karen Duquette on the swinging bridge
the swinging bridge
sign on the swinging bridge
Below: A sign in the middle of the bridge
Sign in the middle of the bridge
clipart of a History book The bridge was fabricated in Greensboro, then reassembled on top of the Mountain. Erecting the bridge took 3 weeks, a process slowed by inclement weather created by a hurricane off the North Carolina coast. Cost -$15,000

Rebuilt in 1999 using the original towers. The cables, floor boards and side rails were all replaced using galvanized steel. One of the main advantages of the modern building materials is that they do not have to be painted. Now Grandfather Mountain employees will not have to hang out over the gorge to paint the span. Cost of rebuilding - $300,000.

The breath-taking views of the great peaks of the southern Appalachians from Grandfather Mountain's Linville Peak. From the heights of Grandfather Mountain, the skyline of five surrounding counties can be seen.
a breath-taking view
a breath-taking view
a breath-taking view
people sitting on the edge of the cliff
A bit of the curvy road can be seen in the below photos
a breath-taking view
a breath-taking view
a breath-taking view
a breath-taking view
The two RV Gypsies climbed higher up Grandfather Mountain. They paused at the top of this area for photos.
Karen Duquette on Grandfather Mountain
Lee Duquette on Grandfather Mountain
A view of the next higher level that the two RV Gypsies climbed next. Two other people were already up there but can barely be seen in the photo. They appear as just tiny black specks.
higher up the mountain
As stated earlier, it is extremely windy on Grandfather Mountain, as can be seen by the way Karen Duquette's hair is blowing.
Karen Duquette
Karen Duquette enjoying the view
Karen and her wild hair
Karen Duquette enjoying the view
Lee Duquette photographed a plaque embedded in the mountain where he was standing.
Lee Duquette photographing a plaque
Lee Duquette enjoyed the view while Karen Duquette took photos.
Lee Duquette enjoying the view
Lee Duquette enjoying the view
Lee Duquette enjoying the view
Lee Duquette enjoying the view
Karen Duquette looks like she has straw sticking out the top of her head, and Lee Duquette has a wild man hairdo - thanks to the strong winds.
laughing clipart dude
the two RV Gypsies
the two RV Gypsies
Below: Looking back at the bridge and parking lot from higher up on Grandfather Mountain
Karen, the bridge, and water in the rocks
the truck of the two RV Gypsies way down in the parking lot
A couple of school busses full of kids arrived and crossed the bridge. The two RV Gypsies just sat and enjoyed the scenery until they left. The kids never went further then the bridge area.
looking back at the bridge
school kids on the bridge
Below: A great view of the bridge and the highest part of the mountain
a view of the bridge
The two RV Gypsies ate their lunch in the picnic area on Grandfather Mountain, just down the road from the bridge. It was still quite windy - check out Lee Duquette's hairdo.
picnic time
wild hairdo on Lee
Lee Duquette in the picnic area
Lee Duquette in the picnic area
Karen Duquette relaxing in a grassy field of wildflowers
The toad of the two RV Gypsies at the picnic area on Grandfather Mountain
The toad of the two RV Gypsies
The toad of the two RV Gypsies
The toad of the two RV Gypsies
Below is a closer view of the scenery that is behind the truck in the above photo
great scenery
a flowering tree
a flowering tree
A small part of the curvy road that leads up Grandfather Mountain. Several turns were difficult to make in a long vehicle. The road shown in the photo on the left actually connects to the road shown in the photo on the right.
More of the same curvy road - in the far distance
Towards the bottom of Grandfather Mountain - two famous rocks
sign for The Split Rock
Lee Duquette checks out The Split Rock
Below: Karen Duquette stood by The Split Rock - WOW - that's a big rock - So amazing how it split into two pieces.
Karen Duquette and The Split Rock
The Sphinx Rock
sign for The Sphinx Rock
The Sphinx Rock
The Sphinx Rock
Below: The Sphinx Rock photographed from the back side of it
The Sphinx Rock
The Sphinx Rock

NAVIGATION FORWARD BUTTON IF YOU CAME HERE FROM THE 2019 TRIP TO GRANDFATHER MOUNTAIN (or if you just want to see more of Grandfather Mountain), GO THERE NOW. A link at the bottom of that page will return you back to here, so you can continue on with the 2010 journeys via the links below.

The two RV Gypsies in North Carolina
- May 4-6 2010 -
You may visit any of these 6 web pages in any order you wish.
The page you are on is grayed out and cannot be chosen from here.
Boone, North Carolina
Hawksnest Zipline
The City of Blowing Rock
Blowing Rock Mountain
Grandfather Mountain
Linville Falls
look below

go to the next adventure of the two RV GypsiesAfter you have viewed all 6 sites above, please continue on for more of the two RV Gypsies' adventures in North Carolina - a Segway tour, and lots of waterfalls.