Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Knocking that Carolinas bucket list down.

So, we are really trying to kick it into high gear here with the exploring of the Carolinas! The "bucket list" has been on the fridge for...oh I don't know, only four months now and the only thing we checked off was Bojangles, haha. So we packed up last Saturday and decided to just head out and see some stuff. When we first found out we were moving here everyone was like, "OH YOU HAVE TO GO HIKING!" Which is not something we've ever done. No one hikes in Michigan. (Do we? Maybe in the UP? Definitely not where we're from.) Or in Nebraska, or Illinois, and definitely not in Texas. So this was new for us. We looked up a bunch of trails in the mountains, and had a few in mind, but decided to kind of just head out that way and do what we do best - wing it. 


I was actually kind of crazy and paranoid that we were going to be gone all day and I was going to get starving/end up at a gas station with only chips and candy bars to eat, so I packed an F ton of food to take. Like, could have lived for three days out in the wilderness, haha. We bought this cooler a long time ago, and the only time I ever remember using it was when we bought a mini keg...so times are changing, haha. (Saturday day drinking vs. Saturday healthy activities...?) 


So we left around 9AM (I woke up at 5 to workout first, what what!) and headed out towards Asheville, NC which is about two hours from us. (Or that's what it felt like, I wasn't driving lol.) About an hour into the drive I started researching and trying to decide what trail we should hike, and I'd be like, "this one looks good" and then look at the map and it was like out of our way, or I'd be like, "hmm, where does this start? There's no address? I don't get it." So when we stopped at a rest area John took over and figured it out. (Couldn't live without him, I swear.) There was actually one that I really wanted to do where PART OF HUNGER GAMES WAS FILMED, but it wasn't really long enough. No point in driving all that way to walk one mile. Maybe next time though because I just would die. (I imagine that scene where Peta is hurt and they're under a waterfall and they kiss for the first time, lol.)


We really were heading towards Asheville though because we wanted to hit the Biltmore Mansion, but apparently you can't even see it unless you pay the admission fee. Which is like $50 a person, and I wouldn't do that unless we were going to make a day of it there. I really just wanted to be able to drive up and get a picture of Ted in front and leave, haha. Oh well. But we did decide to make a pit stop there anyways to walk around town and have lunch because, why not? So, Asheville, impressions: very hipster. Like 1,000 breweries, and graffiti everywhere and gangs of people with dreads sitting out on the streets. There was a kid (kid = about 21 year old) next to us at lunch decked out in Patagonia and Birkenstocks...and HAD A MULLET. I couldn't believe it. Is the mullet back?? Poor thing is going to regret that one someday....


I took this picture because I was like, "we are so not dressed cool enough to be here." John said we were dressed very "mid-west," haha. So anyways, we ended up at a...brewery. We always use this app called "bring fido" to find places that are dog friendly, and this place had 5 stars and the food looked good, and we just happened to drive past it and find a parking space. So basically, the stars just aligned. 


This is a pretty great hipster photo if I do say so myself. John got a beer and a burger and I got a chicken/kale salad that was very, very good. (Even though his fries smelled soo, so good...) It had quinoa and cashews and grated ginger, and I ate every last bite and was so stuffed. (Not to mention I already had snacks prior to this in the car, lol. Of course.) 


Then we headed towards the trail John had found, which was apparently some national forest. Pisgah National Forest to be exact. (I have a question....are you allowed to pee in National Forests? Just asking...) I really started freaking out when we got close and were getting into the mountains. I love that shit. But the drive into the park was actually pretty scary. I'm on the other side here, but on the drivers side it was like looking down a cliff, and for some reason the road felt realllly skinny. Maybe not made for trucks, haha.


So when we finally got there, we had no idea where the trail actually started. This is why it was so confusing to me, there's not like a sign that says "start hiking here!" So we just guessed and parked where some other cars were and starting walking down the road...and walking...and walking, and finally we were like, "okay we're definitely just on the road still..." So John stayed with Ted and I walked/ran back to the truck and drove to meet them. Long story short, we parked closer, figured out where the trail was and pretended to know what we were doing, haha.


I was REALLY tired almost immediately because me and cardio (I consider almost everything cardio...) are not friends. The first part of the hike was almost all up hill. This guy and girl rode past us on bikes and he had FRICKING WEIGHTS ON HIS ANKLES. Then another couple passed us and she was FRICKING PREGNANT. I was like, "awesome..." I was almost hoping John would be like, "let's just go home" because it was pretty hot out too. Luckily this waterfall was towards the beginning because once I saw it I was like, "THIS IS AMAZING. I LOVE HIKING!!!" Ted was a bit of a handful here though. We still had him on the leash at this point because he wanted IN the water, haha. So we took turns holding onto him and then the other climbed/hopped rocks to get closer to the fall. I feel like maybe I just really haven't seen the world because I was freaking out and thought it was the coolest thing ever.


My goal is to take as many selfies in front of cool shit and someday to frame them all together. Unfortunately though my face always looks like this, haha. Or I cut the top of Johns head off...


So after a while we came to this like "fork" aka choose-your-own-path type shit, and yes there was a sign...but WHO KNOWS what kind of nature language that was in, so we just kept right and realized after a while we were not on the walking path anymore, haha. We think it was more of the "biking" path because it was wider and less bumpy/woodsy. (I'm making NO sense.) But we did find it again at the next "fork" so once we got back on that path, it was way cooler. The walking trail was much more intense, like jumping across streams and running downhill. I was so into it. I felt just like Katniss...


And Ted had THE time of his life. I keep thinking back to it now and how he was the HAPPIEST we've ever seen him. It's been a while since he's been able to be off-leash and just go wild, so he was having a blast. He would run way ahead of us and we'd be like, "TED, WAIT." It looked something like this - Ted running, John running after him, and me running after John, haha. But it made me so, so happy. If anything we have to do this again just for him.


Another waterfall that we couldn't get quite so close to. I still Katnissed up and tried to though.


Whenever there was water, Ted would run right in and lay down, haha. He is so weird. He does this in the bathtub at home too..s.o I feel like I taught him this weird behavior. I kept being like, "John he's going to get swept away!!" Because it was like...moving, you know like a river...

(Obviously, being outdoorsy is new for me, lol.)



(^From the drive home.) The hike took us a little over an hour and a half, and we think it was about five miles total. When we got home and looked at the map though (we had NO cell phone service once we got into the mountains, so that was slightly terrifying/awesome) we realized we could have done A LOT more. But that was kind of the perfect hike for us as first timers. When we finished, we finally had our little picnic in the back of the truck and then headed home. (After John ate his in about three seconds and then went, "are you almost done?" over and over until I was done, haha. Very relaxing picnic.)

It was by far the best thing we've done since living here. I feel bad, we've spent so much time just hating it here, that we haven't even tried. It actually makes no sense now that I'm thinking about it, we hate where we live in particular so we sit at home and stay there on the weekends instead of getting out? Lol. So, not doing that anymore. We're going to try to get out every weekend now. I'm thinking maybe this for next weekends adventure? 

Until then...maybe more workout posts? Just kidding...maybe.
xx

28 comments:

  1. That looks like y'all had a ton of fun! I love getting out into the woods and hiking, but only during the day. I'm not trying to be murdered. I hope you get more checked off your list soon!

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    1. HAHAHAHA, I know. When were were kind of "lost" at one point, my mind started going to..."what if we get lost and have to spend the night out here?!?!?" Because we had no cell phone service. And I was worried because I didn't have any food haha. Getting hungry is equally as scary as getting murdered for me lol.

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  2. Hahaha ew mullets are not allowed to be hip or in style or cool or whatever the kids are saying. "On fleek?" Idk but mullets = NO. Ummm KATNISS HIKE?! I want to go!!! We haven't hiked in a couple months now but I felt super outdoorsy and stuff when we went, like we were pros even though we so aren't haha.

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    1. Lol I felt so bad for him. It looked horrible. I feel old that all this stuff is coming back. Like Tommy Hilfiger logos and Adidas sneakers. I just hope 80's hair for women doesn't ever come back...although I am sure this whole "roots" /ombre thing we're all doing now (or at least I am...lol, I don't think you are..yet) is going to embarrass the hell out of us someday lol.

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  3. YAY! I was waiting for this post! I haven't been to the trail you guys went to, or rather Pisgah in general unless when I was little. Asheville is "far" for a day trip to me. But not really, I am just spoiled to have always lived so close to the beach and mountains. I am so happy you guys loved it. Hiking is like my favorite thing. Also, we just hiked Stone Mountain about a month ago. Probably one of my favorites now. I'll have to tell you which direction because there is a fork at one point and going left is way better than right...andddd there is a water fall there too! Lots of stairs though, but you can do it! You will definitely want the stone mountain loop trail and when it forks at an old chimney go left where the waterfall is almost immediately. That way you do the harder part first so when you reach the summit it'll be easier going down.

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    1. LOl it was far for a day trip, but it's the best way to see things without having to spend the night at a hotel with a dog haha. Okay, I am SO glad you just went there because I was looking at the map and I didn't know what to do. So THANK YOU! I'm going to try to remember this..I definitely want to do the harder part first. So the loop is like 5 miles? I see there's a "walk up trail" too which is like one mile then you turn around? I wonder if that's stairs. I always have to think about Ted too. Although he is like the energizer bunny he can do anything, lol.

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    2. Yeah the total is for the loop. I like the length though. We always rest and eat at the top when we go hiking so its always way easier going down. Our dogs can usually handle a 5 mile hike so Ted definitely will have a blast! We didn't bring them to Stone Mountain (I think we are retiring them from most hiking because of their backs/ age now which is sad). I would guess the walk up part might be going right at the fork to the top and turning around and going back down. About a mile for that seems about right. You definitely will want to do more than that though. It is a really good one though and worth it to do the whole thing I think...very pretty and you really get to see the mountains at the top. You will see why we call our mountains the "blue ridge mountains" if you haven't already seen them in that way. You might want to start out earlier though this time because of the heat ;). This one does have quite a few stairs to the top though for sure. More than others I have done.

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  4. That waterfall looks awesome! We never hiked until we moved here and it's like a whole new world opened up. So I know exactly how you feel! I think you definitely need to do that other hike this weekend, it looks like the one we just did which was AWESOME.

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    1. Yeah that's what it reminded me of when I saw your pictures! And this one is much closer to us, so it only should be like a half a day adventure. Maybe because you're from Texas you never hiked before lol ;) I mean, there is that one big park..what's it called. Big Bend? That's like way far away from Houston though. (Right? I get everything confused.)

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  5. I feel so sheltered because you're totally right... nobody HIKES IN NEBRASKA. I know there are a few places around Omaha to hike but it's just not something that I hear people talk about! It looks like you guys had a lot of fun though! And Ted laying down in the water?! Ehh, haha. I bet that was fun to clean off when you got home!

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    1. Ugh, you don't have a dog do you?? (I don't think so..) Giving Ted a bath makes me not want to ever have children lol. So much work. And yes....Omaha...we didn't do anything outdoors there haha. We did drive up to South Dakota once and do some cool stuff...but nothing ever in Nebraska. Unless the zoo counts! We LOVED that fricking zoo!!!

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  6. Omg, I can only imagine how happy Ted was - it probably really was the best day of his life! And I give you props for letting him off the leash, I still don't trust Brady enough to do that lol. You have to get over to West Michigan near the lake sometime, there are tons of fun hiking trails through the dunes over here!!

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    1. Lol yes! I'm sure if I lived over there I may have grown up more outdoorsy. The most outdoorsy I got was...partying in barns or fields in high school lol. Thats true. Unfortunately. I don't totally trust Ted either...we actually had treats in out pockets so he'd come back to us haha.

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  7. hahahaha ted laying down in the water is adorable. i am not a hiker or someone who does outdoorsy things. the thing i am most blown away by is that you got a crazy healthy meal at that brewery. dang girl mad props to you.

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    1. HAHA. It does get hard to eat with John because he just goes for what he wants lol. That's okay though. I've never been this disciplined (I stole that word from you from your post from yesterday, it completely describes what I'm trying to do too!) before, but the longer I do it, the easier it becomes.

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  8. North Carolina looks beautiful! Your dog is such a cutie! :) Also, I gotta admit that IS a good hipster photo ;)

    xo Raina
    www.themamaqueen.com

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    1. I KNOW! Totally should have instagramed that when I had the chance.

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  9. North Carolina looks beautiful! Your dog is such a cutie! :) Also, I gotta admit that IS a good hipster photo ;)

    xo Raina
    www.themamaqueen.com

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  10. My hiking game is abysmal, so kudos to you for doing something new & just exploring. Looks like a peaceful place, especially with no cell phone service. :]

    // ▲ itsCarmen.com ▲

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  11. Great photos! Love these places!
    Xoxo,
    Love from www.trangscorner.com {a lifestyle, fashion, beauty, and food blog}

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    1. Thanks! I am pretttty proud of the photos actually, lol.

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  12. LOVED this recap!! you are making me want to go back up there! asheville is very hipster, but i like it. i hope the mullet never comes back, or the RAT TAIL! remember those? oh my!!

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    1. Oh GOD yes. That's even worse. And I DID see someone with something similar recently. It was like an older man with almost no hair on the top of his head, but he had a few little braids towards the bottom with beads on the ends. I'm not sure that was hipster though...lol.

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  13. That is so cool!! I miss hiking cool places (when I lived in Utah, it's like hiking central) I'm glad you guys were able to find a cool hike and not die!! haha Also who pays $50 just to see a mansion?! Is it like a famous mansion, i've just never heard of it so maybe it's really really awesome and I'm just out of the loop. But $50!!! I wish you would have somehow gotten a picture of the mullet haha some of the stuff I see these days, I get so confused! But maybe stuff I do confuses people?!?! I dunno, but that's pretty funny. Stone Mt looks so pretty, too! Can you camp there?! Because you totally should! I bet it would be so fun. AZ isn't the BEST for hiking pretty green spots, mostly desert spots but this is making me want to get out more and hike!

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    1. Lol yes apparently it's famous. Like the largest privately owned home in the country built in the 1880's. It looks really cool, but I just don't know if it looks THAT cool. Like if you gave me a $50 bill, I'd probably go buy a tshirt instead haha.

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  14. Ahhh I am so jealous of all your Carolina adventures!! By the way, that food pic, so hipster. ;) I am living vicariously through you, for real!!!

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    1. LOL and I am living vicariously through YOU with all your homeowner adventures. That might never be us, but I love to watch it!! xo

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  15. I just typed a 20 minute response (okay, 10 minutes, but it was LONG) to your current blog and hit "sign out" instead of "publish" and lost the WHOLE THING! So just know that I tried to comment and now I'm too pissed to write it again.

    But I live RIGHT by Stone Mountain. (Also, by "right by," I mean 15-20 minutes away.) I used to post pictures on my blog of it all the time cause I had a season pass. It's totally not worth the drive, honestly. It's like, a 20 minute walk up the big rock. But if you haven't spent time in Atlanta, there are some cool places to check out in Atlanta. And also, if you guys DO go to Stone Mountain, you should totally let me know because I live super close! I LOVE hiking and miss it! When I travel nursed in Massachusetts, I did SO much hiking! I've done a fair amount in GA, but I used to go like, once a week to check out a new trail up there. It's been awhile since I've done one here! I liked Asheville a lot when I went, but it is totally hipster. Total side note, I just noticed that Stone Mountain you linked to is NOT the one near Atlanta! And I had no idea there are TWO Stone Mountains! But they literally look the same, haha. Big huge mounds of rock. There's a waterfall at that one though and that looks better than ours! So ignore that whole part about Atlanta, haha.

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