Monday, November 1, 2010

Bat Caves, Rivers and Apples


With just a few warm days left before the cold sets in I took a drive south into Hickory Nut Gorge, only ten minutes from my house. The road drops several thousand feet along the Broad River, landing in a a tiny unincorporated town called Bat Cave. The town is named after Bat Cave Mountain which in turn was named after the cave in the mountains inhabited by bats.


Bat Cave does have a post office but not much else - a couple of produce stands, gift shops and churches. My favorite place is the Bat Cave Apple House which is only open in fall when apples are the main harvest in this area. It is a ramshackle building hardly holding itself up filled to the brim with apples, cabbages and handmade jellies, jams, honey and some odd souvenirs.


The Apple House sits on the bank of the Broad River and the owners take full advantage of this fact, offering tables to rent by the hour with the rates posted on hand made signs on the trees flanking the picnic area.




This area floods in extreme rains and a chilling sign warns you of that. An old rickety bridge crosses the river behind the Apple House but the gate is locked. Years ago the owners offered tours of the bat cave on the mountain across the river. I found out that they share ownership with the Nature Conservancy now and the Conservancy does offer summer hikes to the cave but leave the bats undisturbed inside, focusing instead on the unique plants found here. I will have to take them up on that next summer!





The Conservancy brochure describes the hike -

After hiking a mile up a steep trail through a mature hardwood forest, you will be rewarded with Bat Cave’s natural air conditioning: a cool moist draft that constantly pours out of vents on the side of the large cave. Bat Cave is the largest known granite fissure cave in North America. The main chamber is a dark cathedral more than 300 feet long and approximately 85 feet high. Fissure caves are formed by rock splits, boulder movements, and other motions of the earth, while most other caves are formed by water dissolving and abrading rock.



I took a walk down stream to get a better view of the river.  We have had some heavy rains and you could see the water swirling over the enormous boulders into shallow pools. I scrambled down the bank and got out on the rocks for a better view.









an you see a cave on the other side?

Come back for my next post and I will detail the rest of my visit to Bat Cave!  I am playing Ruby Tuesday, Rednesday, Watery Wednesday and Outdoor Wednesday this week so please stop by my hosts.

To celebrate reaching 150 wonderful followers, I will be giving away a basket of local goodies - a murder mystery book written and autographed by friend and local author Sallie Bissell (see sidebar), home made local jams, goat milk soap, Christmas ornaments and various other hand made items from the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina. In your post comment, let me know you want to be part of the drawing and also tell me what you like most about my blog.  Your suggestions are so helpful.  Thanks for visiting and for following! I will draw the winner on November 15. Due to cost of postage I must limit the drawing to US and Canadian residents. Please view the items in my Give-away page.

31 comments:

Donnie said...

Wow Cheri, when Don & I get back to Hendersonville we're going to have to refer to your blog and sightsee around our own neck of the woods. I've been to Bat Cave but mainly passing through to Lake Lure. Take care. I already joined your giveaway.

Kea said...

What a fabulous spot for a hike! I think you're very lucky to live in the region -- it really is paradise.

The name, Bat Cave, is great. Named long before "Batman and Robin," but of course that's what comes to mind -- the bat cave! :-)

Old Kitty said...

Bat Cave!! What a brilliant name!! Awww the Apple House is WONDERFUL!! A place dedicated to selling apples has got to be celebrated! Wow!! And what savvy owners too to rent out picnic areas!! It's worth it though for the views and scenery!!

Visiting the caves must be amazing!! I hope you do go next time cos the caves just sounds stunning!!!

Thanks for sharing these fab pics!!! GOOD LUCK with your giveaway!! 150 followers is brilliant!! Take care
x

Genie said...

I am embarrassed to admit I never visited Bat Cave all the 18 years I was in Asheville. This post was wonderful, Cheri, and so informative. Your photos are great as always. Hope all is well in Black Mountain.

Cafe au lait said...

Wonderful shots. Thanks for sharing.

I played too. Mine is here..

Odie Langley said...

I am so jealous that you live so close to areas like this to explore. I can't put into words how much I love this kind of area and how terrible it feels to be 5 hours way. I do appreciate so much you sharing with us because it gives me great joy reading about these places so thank you.
Odie

Sweepy said...

Woof! I came to visit somefurry named Sweet Pea aka Sweepy too but I got lost in the bat cave! And I read you give treats but can't reach my island. And now I'll go nag keeper into making apple pie cause your post made me hungry!

SouthernSass said...

You are so lucky to live in the beautiful NC mountains! Those apples sure look tasty... :)

Auntie E said...

Great photo walk, Hubby would love those apples. I need to get to the market today and purchase some.
My ruby Tuesday link for you

Dimple said...

Thanks for visiting my place, I'm glad you did! I think Bat Cave would be an interesting sight to see, but I expect I will have to make do with your posts! Lovely river, too.

Inger-M said...

You have very beautiful pictures. The apples look so tempting, you just want to bit into one!
Thanks for commenting on my blog :-)

eileeninmd said...

When I heard Bat Cave, I think of Batman and Robin. I loved your photos, looks like a beautiful place.

♥-Icy BC-♥ said...

You do have such a wonderful place to enjoy the last few days of autumn. Your photos are gorgeous.

Sally Annie Magundy said...

I adore this post, thank you so much for the tour! What a lovely place to visit.

Happy Rednesday,
Sally

Gardening in a Sandbox said...

What a lovely walk. Very picturesque.

EG Wow said...

Autumn sure is pretty in your mountains!

Tricia said...

What an incredibly beautiful place! Wonderful images!

Light and Voices said...

Agreed, your post this week is very picturesque.
Joyce M

Vintagesouthernlife said...

Wonderful tour! I have seen the signs for Bat Cave when we go to Lake Lure and often wondered about the name. I plan to set aside some time the next time I'm up that way to explore. Thanks for sharing, Annette

J Bar said...

Wonderful shots.
Sydney - City and Suburbs

jeannette said...

Ah, so refreshing! And strange I've been craving apples all week long:)

Jorgelina said...

Wonderful images!

craftyles said...

WHat a beautiful place and wonderful pictures. Love all the pretty trees in their fall colors!

~~Carol~~ said...

Thanks for taking me along to Bat Cave! What a fun name for a town, and I think I would enjoy seeing the cave, although I am pretty scared of bats. I have a fear that one will get tangled up in my hair and bite me!
Happy REDnesday!
Carol

HollyC said...

Wow! Thanks for sharing these beautiful pics with us! I would love to visit this area! The stream is wonderful! My son has been wanting to visit a place like this! Happy Outdoor Wednesday.
~Holly

Linda said...

What a wonderful area! Someday I need to get down to your neck of the woods...it's lovely! I love all the apples in the baskets...that would be a great framed photo! Thanks for sharing!

Rebecca said...

I love places like this. Beautiful.

Angela said...

Beautiful. I just loved the close up pic of the rocks with the water..I would love that enlarged and hung up in my hallway..I adore pictures like that. Thanks so much for sharing.

Noe Noe Girl...A Queen of all Trades. said...

Awesome pictures! I love the mountains. And apples!
<><

kayellen said...

Beautiful stream and mountains...the sign $ 1.oo for a picnic table is priceless!
I have a had a few bats dive at me before so I would not join you on the cave your! lol
Happy Rednesday..Nice to meet you:)

Kay Ellen

SueLovesCherries said...

Great photos! Did you see Batman? Hee, hee!

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