Today we travelled from Easley, SC to Gastonia, NC and, after visiting a couple of waterfalls, we spent the rest of the day walking around the towns of Highlands and Cashiers (both in NC).
Most of the businesses in the town of Highlands were rather trendy and upmarket and being a Sunday in a peak tourist period there were lots of people – and traffic jams – everywhere.
However, and as a result of having to park in a side street, we stumbled across an amazing gallery in – and outside – a little house. The quality and range of locally made goods being sold by the gallery incredible – beautiful bronze statues (many of which were life size), jade carvings, paintings, stained glass lamp shades and all manner of other things.
Cashiers was much smaller and quieter and we had the best coffee we’ve tasted since arriving in the US more than three weeks ago (we even went back there this afternoon just to be sure and it was as good as we had remembered from this morning!).
I had another couple of near encounters with wildlife again today while driving: the first time was this morning when a squirrel that I thought was a bit of rubbish on the road surprised me when it scampered off as I tried to drive around it; and the second time was this afternoon when a young deer decided to jump over a guardrail and cross the road right in front of me (thankfully the driver behind me had been maintaining a good gap between us because he/she used most of it up slowing down in a hurry when I braked heavily to avoid hitting the deer).
(Click on the image above to open an interactive copy of the map)