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!
Me, Rose, Luna, and John all piled into the truck and headed off to the mountains for the weekend. Before we got to the campground, we just had to make a few important stops. The most important, of course, was to make a visit to Pisgah Brewing to check out the venue and maybe, just maybe, try out some beer. But first, we had to earn it!
Catawba falls is a popular hiking destination for people in the area and is made up of several cascading waterfalls so we decided to check it out, take some pictures, and earn our beers. The parking lot was packed but we got to use the handy trailer parking zone that was luckily wide open. Off we went into the woods.
The falls were bigger than I thought they'd be. By the size of the creek the entire way up the trail I thought it would be just a little trickle. It had to be at least 100 feet tall! Once we got to the top we quickly found where all the people in the parking lot were... The top of the trail was packed! It was hard to even move around.
But despite all the people, we still managed to get some great pictures. Lunabear even made the trek up!
After we got all hot and sweaty from hiking, it was the best time of the day: beer time! Pisgah Brewing was just up the road and had plenty of parking, even with the trailer. I think we arrived just as it opened so nobody was there, but after the busy falls we weren't going to complain.
Anyone who likes IPAs, Greybeard IPA from Pisgah Brewing is still one of my favorite beers of all time.
It was finally time to head up to the campsite. We towed the trailer up the windy mountain roads to Curtis Creek Campground. We didn't have any water or electricity hookup so this was the first real test for our new generator. The campground was small but nice. It was very secluded waaaay back in the woods; just how we like it. There was a little creek, which I assume was Curtis Creek?, that ran by the edge of the campground.
We set up camp, cooked up some hot dogs (which make up 3/4 of the camping food pyramid) and called it a night. Tomorrow we were going to climb the tallest mountain on the East Coast.
In the morning, we took a camping shower (that's a dip in the creek) and got ready for the trek up the mountain. To get to the road that leads up to the summit of the mountain, you have to drive on the famous Blue Ridge Parkway. Rose and I drove the entire parkway from start to finish a few years ago so we were very familiar with how beautiful the views are. I brought my guitar so we could get some cool pictures at some of the overlooks.
The climb to the top of Mount Mitchell was easier than the drive up Mount Washington and much easier than the drive up Mauna Kea. You can drive right up to the summit at 6,683 feet. It is officially the highest point east of the Mississippi. There's a short walk to an observation platform at the very peak of the mountain. The air is a little thinner that high up so even the little hike to the platform had us huffing and puffing. Couldn't have been all those hot dogs the night before right...?
From the top of the mountain you can see 85 miles in all directions. Watching the clouds roll over the peaks was one of the coolest things to witness.
On the way back down someone, won't name names..., misjudged the amount of gas we had left in the tank and we had to make a late night run to the nearest gas station. We made it but I... I mean, the person... cut it a little close for comfort, especially since we had to pull the trailer back down the mountain the next morning. At least now we had enough gas to get us home in one shot the next day and could pick up a bag of precious coffee that we forgot to bring from home. We finished out our last night in the Blue Ridge Mountains sitting around the campfire, the way it was meant to be.
He likes pizza.