Mini NC Adventures: Green Knob Overlook

There is something about moving away that makes you appreciate your hometown a little bit extra. It seems like every time I go home now, I make sure to take a trip on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Sometimes its just to enjoy a little drive time with the windows down, the music blaring, and an absolute masterpiece of mountains surrounding me.

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Sometimes I go to find comfy spots to set up my Eno hammock and read.

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Sometimes I see things from the road and think, “how can I get up there”. This particular blog post is dedicated to that exact feeling that I had while driving on this beautifully crafted piece of infrastructure. If your driving north to south along the Blue Ridge Parkway you will spot a little hut onto of a mountain around mile marker 350 (roughly 5 miles north of Mount Mitchell). I pulled over to the very next overlook and got out and looked around. It took a while to find the trail head as it doesn’t seem to be hiked very often. I had to walk north for like the length of a football field (100 yards roughly) and found a tiny little trailhead on the other side of the road.

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The hike was relatively short, but gained quite a bit of elevation. The whole hike consists of switchbacks so its not too steep, but its high up. Its probably like half a mile or so, but I’m sure you could look this up to figure out for sure. I would give it a 5/10 on the difficulty scale. A fit grandmother could probably hike it, and hiking boots aren’t required, but you will be sweating once you get to the top (especially if it is sunny).

 

The view from the top though is probably like a 9/10. It would have been a 10/10 if the outlook was unlocked, but unfortunately the highest I could go was the stairs. You are right on top of a mountain (probably more accurately a ridge) and you can see awesome view on both sides of the mountain. It was pretty windy, so I didn’t spend too long up there. There is something about being on a rickety staircase with the wind blowing me (and my camera) around that just isn’t very enticing to me. My camera also didn’t particularly like the high winds and the battery died relatively quickly as if saying “get me down from here”.

I would highly recommend this short little hike to anyone though. I want to try to do it again in the summer and see if the outlook is unlocked for people to go up into. I am assuming it was locked for the winter season, but I’m not too sure. Let me know if any of you have ever been on this hike, or have ever seen this overlook. Also, if anyone knows of any other overlooks off of the North Carolina section of the Blue Ridge Parkway, let me know! I want to check them out!

Alright. I think thats about it for this week. Only 21 more days until I leave for Europe! Get ready for some more travel blog posts! I hope you all have an amazing day, and rest of your weekend!

Peace out, enjoy life, and live the adventure.

Mini NC Adventures: Roaring Creek Falls

As of recently, I’ve been really into getting to know the area that I live better. There is so much unexplored terrain in Mitchell and the surrounding counties of North Carolina. I’ve been home quite a lot in the past month (spring break, Easter break, and this past weekend) and therefore, I have been trying to dip my toes into the unexplored lands of the Blue Ridge Mountains. One of my new favorite oasis is Roaring Creek Falls in Yancey County, NC. I went for the first time over Spring Break, then returned during Easter break with my mother. Okay, I’ll show you some pictures and then tell you all about the falls (or all that I know at least).

So, the falls are located in Yancey County, NC not too far from Mount Mitchell (the tallest mountain east of the Mississippi River). There is about a .5 mile walk to the base of the falls that is almost entirely on an old logging road (definitely Grandma-level “hiking”). I’d give it a 2/10 difficulty rating. To get to the top of the falls you will have to do a little climbing (definitely not Grandma-level hiking). I would give it a 7/10 difficulty rating, my dog and my mother both got up and down without too much difficulty. The view from the top and the bottom are both equally beautiful, but I definitely recommend seeing the falls (any falls you visit) from the top as well as the bottom. It changes your perspective of the falls, and just makes the whole experience more rewarding.

I hope you enjoyed this post, and if you live in WNC and haven’t seen these falls yet, I highly recommend that you make the trip to go see them. I encourage you all to try to get to know your city, town, region, a little better and go explore places you’ve never been to. I am sure that you won’t regret it.

I hope you are all having a wonderful day, and enjoying this crazy thing called life.

Peace out, enjoy life, and live the adventure.

 

Write About It Wednesdays: Adventure

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What’s up dreamers!

Recently, I have been in love with the idea of adventure. I’ve always been intrigued by going somewhere I’ve never been, but in the past few months this intrigue has grown to desire. Its most evident on my Pinterest boards where I have pinned hundreds of photos of mountains, road trip ideas, and ideal locations to explore. I mostly do it so that I can feel like I am exploring while I avoid studying (sorry mom, but I eventually get all my work done). Its my late night obsession and looking back on these boards gets me all excited for the future. 

As I shared with you this weekend, my sister and I are traveling in Europe again this summer. I am so excited, but I feel like I cant wait that long to go out and see new things. I’m getting antsy to explore. Honestly, I should have taken advantage of my long winter break to go out and do something. I had planned on going to Nashville to visit an old friend, but that never worked out. Anyway, I want to go out and do something. I have a million ideas for spring break, but I can’t decide on anything. All I know is that I want to do something I have never done.

My first idea is to do a road trip along the whole Blue Ridge Parkway. I would stop at as many outlooks as I possibly could and do some of the hikes along the way. I think it would also be fun to stop in the little towns and explore a bit. I’ve lived in the Blue Ridge Mountains my whole life, and I never get tired of the vast expanse of mountains. Also, I feel like it would be fun to be a tourist in my own neck of the woods. I haven’t really explored much of the parkway because I always forget it is there. This would be my chance to do the whole thing.

My second idea is to go on a short backpacking trip on the Appalachian trail. One of my friends is planning on hiking the North Carolina section of the Appalachian trial this summer, so I was thinking about going with her. She could have a week long trial run, and I could join along. Now, I haven’t actually spoken to her about this yet… (Kaela if you’re reading, are you interested?) so I should probably get on that. After my camping trip this summer, I’ve had the itch to get back on the trails. Plus, I got an Eno hammock for Christmas, and I am dying to use it.

My third idea was to do a road trip out west. This is the most exciting, yet most unlikely of my three favorite plans. Partly because I would want someone to go with me, and I don’t exactly know who that person would be, and partly because I don’t know if I will have enough time to do a lot of exploring out there. I also don’t know if I have the expenses to do that as I really need to save my money for Europe this summer. Ideally, I would want to drive out to Glacier National Park and do some exploring there. There is this lake, Pebble Shore Lake to be more precise, that I really want to visit. This probably wont happen, at least not this year, but I want to go. 

Anyway, I thought I would just write all of this down so I will remember. But its a goal of mine to have more “firsts” in 2016… more adventures. Comment down below which, if any, of my ideas sound most interesting to you. And I encourage you to do something for the first time this week. Whether it be large or small.

Peace out, enjoy life, and live the adventure!

World Travels || San Francisco 2015: Day 1

Well, its been a while again… My life has gone a bit off the wall lately as AP tests approach and filling Etsy orders has taken every last minute of free time that I have had. All of my teachers have started to review before the AP tests in just three weeks, which means that I am doing a heck of a lot of studying. I am really beginning to wonder how I am able to fit all this information in my brain.

Last week, I got a little break from my crazy life and went to California with my mom for spring break. Coming back makes me really appreciate my small town, but also makes me that much more excited to really start exploring the world. The California life definitely is different than my seemingly relaxed life in North Carolina, but I still loved every minute in the Golden State. Plus, I got to visit and really bond with my cousins that live in San Francisco. I thought I would share some pictures with you and make like a journal of my trip, even if it is just to remind me of everything.

So, the first day we got to San Francisco (well, we actually stayed in Sausalito) my mother and I roamed the streets of Sausalito and acted like classic tourists. We went into all of the little shops and had a lot of fun telling each other what we would buy if we had endless amounts of money (wouldn’t that be nice). After having lunch at a local burger joint with my aunt and cousins, we hopped in the car and drove around the area, running errands (silly me, I forgot my memory card and so I had to buy one) and dropping my cousins off at gymnastics and karate. I also got a quick tour of the area too, which was fun. Before we knew it, it was time for dinner and we went to my aunt and uncles beautiful house for dinner.

Since I forgot my memory card, I didn’t take any pictures that first day, so I’ll just leave you some with the hidden stairs of Sausalito.

Write about it Wednesday | | Being True to Yourself

Buenos dias Dream Chasers!

Sorry that it has been a while, yet again. I am home for Spring Break this week and boy oh boy does it feel good! Getting away from the snow and ice and making my way into the sunny mountains of North Carolina. I even got a sunburn from sitting on the porch reading a book for maybe a little too long without sunscreen on. I’m sure I’ll have loads more to tell you about my spring break when it is over, so I’ll do a weekly recap in roughly two weeks to let you know how my spring break went.

With that said, I guess I’ll start with my Write About it Wednesday (does that sound like a good name for these little motivational/rant type posts?) Today I wanted to talk about being true to yourself. It is a common struggle that almost all human beings go through in their lifetime. I praise the people who are always true to themselves because it is truly a hard task! It’s tough when you get your heart and feelings invested in people and situations to just “let go” of things when they’re not going right. It’s sometimes easy to stick with the feelings and situations that are “familiar” (even if they are super uncomfortable) rather than avail yourself to the great unknown. But one of the most liberating things you will ever do is to come to realize what things are NOT working for you and decide to get them off your path. That’s a tough lesson, but it’s a lesson that could mean the difference between feeling alive and feeling sick, stifled, and stressed out!

Not being true to yourself can be caused by many different things. For example, being put in a different environment that you aren’t used to, problems at home, a new girlfriend/boyfriend perhaps, maybe you want to become a better person and somewhere along the way you loose sight of your goal. Everyone has different reasons and barely anyone notices when they aren’t true to themselves, but the people around them do. Its like you turn around and suddenly you don’t recognize that person anymore. Not being true to yourself can be one of the most obnoxious things, but watching your friends not be true to themselves is truly heartbreaking. No matter what you say to them, you can’t snap them out of that phase. Everyone goes through it and being a good friend is about the best thing you can do if you find one of you friends drifting astray from who they truly are. No matter how much it hurts, you have to stick by their side. However, don’t put yourself in an unhealthy friendship. That doesn’t do anyone any good. Don’t resent them if they push you away. It is going to hurt, but if friends can push you out of their lives, were they even friends at all?

Alrighty then, I’m going to end it there. Long story short, stay true to yourself. Staying true to yourself when you are put in uncomfortable or unfamiliar situations shows the true character that you are. If you find you friends straying away from their character, don’t try to push them back into the person they were, that can only happen from them. Just be a good friend and try to understand what they are going through and why. Being an understanding friend is one of the best things you can be to someone.

Tootelie-dip! Have a wonderful rest of the week and I will talk to you again soon!

P.S. If you live in or around Mitchell County, North Carolina, I encourage you to go see Grease at Mitchell High School this Thursday, Friday, or Saturday at 7 or Sunday at 2!!! Tickets sell an hour before the show begins! It will be fantastic!