Mom wanted to take me on a hike beneath the Linn Cove Viaduct. This is a section of the Parkway that is built at the side of Grandfather Mountain, but is not cut into the mountain. She says that it is a "marvel of engineering" (whatever that means). It was the last section of the Parkway to ever be completed. This is what it looks like driving over it:
Mom had read in a book that there was a short trail beneath the viaduct that could be accessed from the Linn Cove Visitor's Center. She had never been there before, but thought it would be fun to see. The Visitor's Center was closed, but we could see it from the Parkway. So Mom pulled over and parked the car at the side of the Parkway, and we started to hike down to the Visitor's Center. I had never hopped this far as a Tripawd before, so Mom was a little worried, but I thought I could do it. The hike was all downhill so I got hopping pretty fast. There was also some ice and snow on the trail but (being from Michigan) I was an expert at hopping on the ice and snow. We made it down below the Viaduct in no time at all:
This was so cool! I was having a great time:
Mom was so proud that I had made it all the way down there without stopping. She said that I could take as much time as I wanted hopping back up to the Parkway:
I had to stop to rest a time or two, but still had a lot of fun:
It was a little hard to hop on the snow and ice going uphill, but I did it all without slipping:
I had to stop to take another breather in the Visitor's Center parking lot, then we finished the hike back to the car:
Alex gave me a big bowl of ice cubes in the car. They tasted great after that long workout!
Next, we went to Grandfather Mountain. It was now open! Mom drove us all the way to the top, but we stopped to take this picture on our way up:
Mom's plan was to take some pictures in the parking lot of the Mile High Swinging Bridge above us and then leave it at that. The only way to get to the bridge was by going up about 4 flights of stairs. Mom didn't think I could do it, plus it was very windy, so she was worried about me. The bridge was way up there, but I wanted to try....
Mom agreed that I could try to go up there. She got out the harness that she had bought way back when I first became a Tripawd. I have always done so great on 3 legs that I never needed the harness. She even had to cut the tag off in the car! She tried to put it on me, but it wouldn't fit. She had bought the biggest size, and it might have fit if she had spent a lot of time adjusting it. But she figured that I wouldn't be able to make it up the stairs, so didn't want to spend a bunch of time trying to make it fit. I saw a lot of people going up there, so I wanted to try too. So Mom walked me up there on my leash. I went straight up the stairs like I had been doing it all my life. Once again people were surprised and amazed, stopping to point at ME, the AMAZING 3-legged dog that can hop up 4 flights of stairs:
I was dog tired after climbing those stairs, and it was really, really windy, so Mom decided that we would not cross the swinging bridge. There were a lot of people around, and some were trying to make the bridge move while other people were on it. Mom didn't want me to lose my footing and fall, either from the bridge moving, or from the wind. So I just looked at it for a few minutes:
Mom and Alex were talking about ways to get me down the stairs in case I had a hard time hopping down. I couldn't believe they were thinking that I might not be able to do it. Can you believe that? Geesh! That just made me MORE determined to prove that I COULD. I was very determined, and I hopped right down, even with the wind blowing very hard. All the way down Mom and Alex kept telling me what an amazing girl I was, and all the people walking up the stairs were stepping aside making way for me and cheering me on too. It was a great feeling to be able to show them that Tripawds can do ANYTHING on 3 legs! Isn't this a beautiful view? I felt like I was on top of the world!
On the way down the mountain we saw the Forrest Gump curve, so Alex got out and asked Mom to take a picture of him running up the curve. Mom thought about running up the curve with me, but there were a lot of cars on the road, so she decided it wasn't a good idea. That's ok, I didn't know who Forrest Gump was anyway!
We stopped at this giant rock that had split in two to take more pictures:
What an awesome day! I did a bunch of things that I never had a chance to do in boring old Michigan!
That night we spent some more time at Aunt Margaret's. I was still trying to get Lizzy to notice me. I think that Lizzy was scared of my hopping. I guess it probably would be scary to have a giant 120-lb. Tripawd hopping toward you if you were only a few pounds! I tried to sit and see if she would come up and sniff me, but that didn't work either. Oh well, maybe someday!