DISCLAIMER: I will most likely ramble in this blog due to it being the most AMAZING trip of my life. I wish I could share every single detail with you but I will try to contain myself!
The countdown has come to an end for my 50 before 30. I had started a bucket list back in 2012 when I went to college that contained the item "hit all 50 states before turning 30." I won't lie, back then I chuckled to myself thinking it would be neat if I could, but it wasn't until I met Cameron and he too shared a passion for travel and new places, that I started taking it seriously.
If you don't know the origin of the Camera Couple, we started this blog back in May of 2016 to highlight the cross country road trip we were going to take. We had only known each other a year and truthfully didn't know what to expect. But as our time together grew, so did our love for finding new places, new states, photography, and each other. Pretty soon our whole life revolved around traveling and in 2022 Cameron accomplished 50 states and I had hit 49. That left only one, with exactly one year to do it. It was cold. It was gray. It was magnificent Alaska.
I don't even know when my birthday is anymore (much less how old I actually am), but Rose does! And this year she decided to surprise me with a "Banner" birthday trip! That pun will make sense in a moment...
I had no idea where we were going, and she kept the destination a surprise for months — which is a first for us. We hopped in the car, she put the address into the GPS while I looked away, and off we went into the unknown!
Out of the flat and finally into the mountains — or so we thought... Colorado was one of the main destinations of our out West trip. Neither of us had been there before, so it was a new state all around. Of course, that also meant we didn't know what to expect, either. We were set to visit six different campgrounds scattered all over the state, so we were going to get a taste of everything. It was just going to take a little while to get to the stereotypical view of Colorado...
A free week with nothing to do? Okay, it wasn't free (we worked the whole time), but who needs a reason to run off on a camping trip!? Certainly not us! This time, the Camera Couple is off to Georgia for another whirlwind adventure.
It might have been only 2,306ft, but we were determined to get to the tippy top of Stone Mountain.
After enjoying the coast, it was time for us to head back to more familiar terrain. Lakes and mountains
Way back, Rose and I bought tickets to see Old Crow Medicine Show at Pisgah Brewing Company. We had never been there, or even to the area, so we decided to head out a few months early and do a scouting expedition. Other interesting sights in the area include the Blue Ridge Parkway, Catawba Falls, and Mount Mitchell: the highest peak on the east coast. What a perfect opportunity to get in some precious mountain time!
Well... the mountain is king at least. Kings Mountain State Park - Blacksburg, SC
I had always heard about how beautiful Cherokee, NC was from my coworkers. Driving through the Great Smokey Mountains it wasn't hard to believe. What we didn't realize that if we had heard it was beautiful, so had everyone else.
We had a free weekend. Finally! Obviously we had to make the best of it. On our wall we have a map of all the states that we have traveled to together and there was a nice little hole right in the middle of our coast states! We had been to every state on all sides of Tennessee but never stepped foot in the state together. I had been with my family previously (Memphis is my favorite) but Rose had never been at all. Well we live in North Carolina now so we don't have any excuse not to go!
He likes pizza.