Another day (or three) in the Mountains

I love that I haven’t updated this since my last trip to the mountains… clearly it’s been a busy (and exciting) summer.  I doubt that this will slow down after the big move this weekend, but we’ll see how I can attempt to fit more regular blogging into the changes.  In the meantime, I just have to blog about yet another fabulous trip to the mountains 🙂

ROAD TRIP UP: 10

The boys had to work on Friday, but Laura, Snook and I decided to take advantage of an extra day and headed up Friday morning.  Crashing for free at a friend’s place, it was the perfect destination for my last weekend before moving.  Laura and Snook rode in one car with Preston, with Dakota, Murph and I rode in the Sooby.

I must admit I haven’t driven anywhere alone recently, and I forgot how much I appreciate time to think, sing and drive.

Friday was the perfect opportunity, along with a nice lunch stop where we picnicked on the grass 🙂  One of the rare trips where I actually would have liked to have driven some more…

After arriving Laura and I headed out to the Watauga with the pups to stretch our legs a bit.  Only about 5 minutes down the road from where we were staying… PERFECT!

DRIVING ON THE BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY: 8

Saturday began with a trip along the Blue Ridge Parkway, one of my favorite places to drive in North Carolina (possibly anywhere).  Yielding views like this makes it pretty amazing… I couldn’t resist stopping and forcing the dogs to take pictures with me 🙂

However, there are downsides to driving on the Parkway as well.

1) if you’re trying to get somewhere quickly, this is not the way to do it.  All the tourists take the speed limit extremely seriously, however in light of point number 2, this might be  good thing.

2) As the driver I’m always distracted by the incredible views, and am thankful when I arrive where I’m going in one piece, still on the road.

DAKOTA’S PREFERRED ROAD TRIP POSITION: 10

Way better than when he lays on top of the crash pad (and spends the entire trip sliding around every time I turn or stop), and ADORABLE.  Didn’t even realize this was what he was doing behind me until we stopped along the parkway and I discovered this…

GRANDMOTHER BOULDERING:9

I’ve heard of this place for a while, but now I actually know where it is and could find it again.  SCORE!

About a 15 minute walk/hike off the Blue Ridge parkway, there’s a large collection of pretty sweet rocks.  Luckily Bill and Jen were headed up this weekend as well, as they came prepared with pages worth of beta.

While my climbing wasn’t as good as I would like (what did I expect after climbing so little this summer?), the other climbers were great, and I probably had as much fun taking pictures and being outside as I did actually climbing.  Plus, now I can head back anytime I want 🙂

MY CLIMBING PHOTOGRAPHY: 9

It just keeps getting better 🙂  Now if I could just get my autofocus to work…

NOT SHOWERING FOR THREE DAYS: 7

After leaving for the mountains I decided to protest showering for the extent of the trip, and it proved to be pretty nice.  Always better when you’re actually camping outside and don’t have access to a shower, it saved time and the trouble of worrying about doing my hair.  Pretty much didn’t touch it the whole trip.  Perhaps next time I’ll take it a step further and finally dread my hair like I’ve always dreamed about… was getting pretty close by the end of the trip anyways.

After a morning of climbing, a visit to a local Art festival, and some lunch from the Ham Shoppe, we headed down to the river for some much needed relaxation and swimming.

PICNICING BY THE WATAUGA: 9!

Only wish we had found a deeper swimming hole…

NORTH CAROLINA SKIES: 10

The skies are beautiful all over the state, but this one might take the cake.

HIKING TO THE TOP OF GRANDFATHER: 7.5

After another fabulous breakfast at the nearby Grandview Diner, Scott and I decided to tackle another trail up Grandfather.  The Profile Trail takes off literally about 5 minutes from where we were staying, which was PERFECT!

About 3.5 miles up we hit a fork… having gone up Calloway Peak last time we were in town, we decided to head towards Attic Window Peak, hoping to find some good views.

Did we ever 🙂

We spent about as much time taking pictures as we did hiking… okay, not really but pretty darn close.  Can you blame us?

We came to one overlook that had a straight cliff going off the side, which led to me freaking out, becoming a bag of nerves, and of course insisting on a photo shoot 🙂

Sadly we forgot to pack any food, and didn’t think about the fact that we wouldn’t return until 3.  Needless to say the hike down involved some hunger, exhaustion and shaky legs.  We finally made it back to the bottom 🙂

-.5: Not actually being sure we’d found the peak and having to turn around once we’d gone far enough.

-1: Extreme hunger

-1: Weakness that came with the extreme hunger on the way down

Sadly we headed home from there, and now it’s time to recover back in the triangle for my last week before shipping out 🙂

More on the move later, and until then, just living for the tens!

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