Over the Rainbow LbNA # 49090
|Placed Date||Jul 22 2009|
Over the Rainbow
Time: 15-20 minutes walking (1/3 mile each way)
Take I-40 East out of Ashville. Take the Montreat exit, Exit 64 and take a left at the light onto Highway 9. Continue north on Highway 9 through Black Mountain. You'll know you've reached your destination when you come to the rock gate that marks the entrance to Montreat. Continue straight through the gate and Highway 9 will turn into Assembly Drive.
Stay on Assembly Drive, passing a baseball diamond, tennis courts, and numerous houses. But LOOKOUT, the road that you seek is on your right, just before the lake. Turn right and cross the bridge. On your left is a small forest-green building, the Montreat Nature Center, where you can get a map of the area's trails if you'd like to continue your hike after finding the letterbox.
After turning and crossing the bridge, continue on the road as it goes up and up and up. Stay on the lookout. Though you'll remain in North Carolina, you will pass Texas, Florida and Arkansas. After road becomes gravel, you must take the first right you come to. The stone of John C. Updike signals that you have gone too far.
Park in the gravel parking lot. Do not go on just any trail! You may not go to the Land of Oz, but what you seek is somewhere over the RAINBOW. Diamonds of orange will send you in the right direction.
Pass by the gate onto the dirt trail littered with rock and surrounded by mountain laurel. Keep walking on the path over chunks of reddish-brown broken bricks (alas, they are not yellow like in the Emerald City).You will pass your first switchback in the trail, marked by the streambed that runs below. Keep following - skipping if you like - and around the next bend, you'll find a moss-covered clearing on your right.
Unfortunately, there is no rest for the weary here. Continue walking until you arrive at the next switchback. Like at the first, there is a streambed above the trail here. Also marking the spot is a diamond of orange, the same color as monarch butterflies.
Immediately past the switchback, on the left side of the trail, is a moss covered rock. Standing on the rock, you will see an old abandoned trail leading up, parallel to the streambed.
Walk approximately 20 paces up this trail, making sure not to slip and brushing aside any tree limbs that attempt to heed your progress. On your left, you will see a large boulder that dwarfs all other rocks in the area. Turn and take a few steps toward the boulder.
At the boulders’ upper edge is a maple tree. At the tree’s foot is a pile of rocks. Under the piles of rocks, in a crevice of the tree, lies the treasure over the rainbow. You may not see bluebirds like Dorothy of Kansas, but you should find a butterfly.
Please reseal the box inside the bags and cover it with rocks when you leave. Look out for a Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Cowardly Lion on the way out.
A clip of Judy Garland singing “Over the Rainbow” in the 1939 Wizard of Oz film can be found here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F0-um0pHTAg