We've been here in North Carolina going on seven months now (wow that sounds like a long time...) and we have yet to explore the blue ridge mountains despite the thousands of people that have told us how beautiful they are. Well last weekend Rose and I decided to check them out. Of course we didn't want the popular camping areas with all the people around. We wanted the secluded spots where people rarely ventured. They're more fun anyways.
It was 4th of July weekend so we were worried we wouldn't find anywhere that didn't have masses of people. We decided to make it an adventure and just go wherever the road led us. We had a basic plan to head to a town called Granite Falls, NC. It is the hometown of Eric Church, one of our favorite singers so we thought we'd check it out. Once we got to the cute little town we found a brewery and, if you have ever read our stories before, meant we had to make a stop! It was a really cool place. Set back from the road, it was rather hard to find. I passed it twice before realizing where it was hiding.
No one was there! We arrived around lunch time on a Saturday and thought the place would be packed but it wasn't at all. In the entry way we were greeted with dozens of signed pictures of famous people that had visited. Usually a good sign. Chewbacca had even eaten there!
The place was adorable. It had cute country knickknacks all over the walls and the tap on the bar was made of copper piping! The decor really made the place memorable despite the fact that from the outside you would have thought it was a dinky little diner that needs to clean the windows.
Always a bonus, the beer was pretty good too! I ordered the "large" nachos, as the waitress called them... I could have eaten about two more orders. They were still good though. They were served with thick, sandwich slices of roast beef on them. Interesting for nachos but good nonetheless!
Then, on full bellies, the adventure really began. We didn't have a plan where to go after that. We knew we wanted to head to the mountains and maybe a body of water. We even brought our tent just in case we loved the place and wanted to stay over. We drove down back road upon back road. The GPS had no clue where we were. Rose may have been getting a bit frustrated with being lost but I think she came around to embrace the adventure. We finally found a place, via google search, that said it was an off-road adventure park. Sounded like fun to me so off we went!
When we pulled though the entrance it was a long, windy gravel road up through the woods. You know, the kind Stephen King writes about...
There were little campsites sporadically located on the sides of the road. Not many were taken which I thought was surprising given the holiday weekend. Since we had been driving for a while we pulled in to one of the empty spots to explore... and to go to the bathroom...
We saw a small creek on the side of the trail as we pulled in. Maybe good for some pictures. We wandered through the woods for a bit and found it! There were some really nice blossoms all around it. Luckily we didn't fall in. Almost, but that doesn't count.
We debated setting up camp here since it was so peaceful but the neighbor "camper" had a big camper and was running his noisy AC. Not very camp-like if you ask me... So we decided to check out another area of the forest. It wasn't getting dark yet so why not.
It was a good thing we did! We went back on the main road for a bit and found another entrance to the forest. I think it was called Pisgah National Forest... Not really sure. We kinda found it by accident.
This part was paved. The entrance had a bunch of small cabins and a pretty big creek. It also had lots of people so we kept going. The road went up a hill and, looking down, you could see the creek. It looked incredible. We had to get down there. We saw a small parking spot on the side of the road next to some stairs so we pulled over and unloaded. It was incredible...
If there was a spot to camp, it was here! Unsure if we were allowed to play in the water, we did anyways! It started off with just sticking our toes in but that's not where it ended up...
I only got wet up to my thighs but Rose wasn't so fortunate... She hit a slippery and was almost not allowed back in the car... Just kidding. But she didn't win the dry award for the day.
The creek was beautiful. After our little swim we lounged on the rocks for a while. It was so peaceful. Just the sounds of the birds, bugs and the water. We debated setting up camp here to see what the morning would look like over the creek but my phone had been sending out thunderstorm warnings all day and we have nowhere to dry out a tent in our apartment so we decided to head back to town, grab some dinner and head home.
He likes pizza.