It's been a long week so we decided to get away for the weekend. Okay, so it's been a normal work week but that's enough for us! Last year we accidentally stumbled upon the Pisgah State Park and had a great time running through the woods and climbing on the rocks. Now we have a tent and a backyard to dry it off in, so we decided to pack the car with just the essentials and head out; overnight this time!
Before we left, we picked a cute little brewery as a pit stop on the way to the mountain called Fonta Flora at Whipporwill Farm. The pictures on Google looked great. It was in the middle of a field with a barn and everything! We typed the address into Dummy (my car's GPS) and we were off.
Two hours and some minutes later we were there! Well... kinda. We were at the address listed on Google, we saw the farm and possibly the barn (there were a lot in the area) but there were no cars, people or lights on anywhere. After driving around the farmlands for a bit, we gave up the search and headed off to downtown Morganton to visit Catawba brewing which is a popular brand we know and like from Charlotte.
The brewery itself was really nice. It was nestled right on the main road, there was plenty of easy to get to parking (which is a huge bonus in my opinion), and it was puppy friendly. It was all well and good, until we stepped inside...
Not that the place wasn't nice. They had a huge stage, dimmed lights, and a free pool table so overall, it was a nice setup. There was one issue though... As you can see, there is no divider between the brewery and the sitting area. Fermentation is a big part of brewing, and it has a distinct smell. Catawba also is very proud of their open container fermentation process. It might be good for the beer, but not so much for the people trying to enjoy themselves in the same room... Catawba, your beer is good, your brewery is good, but you need dividers. Or at least a lot of Febreeze...
Anyways, we finally made it to the mountain and headed to the gorge to test Luna's off-road abilities. The river was really high from all the rain they had been having. The spot we stopped at last year was completely underwater. There were no rocks to be climbed on! Just a bunch of rapids and fast moving water. Still as beautiful as we remembered though.
This time, we ventured further into the park and made a few stops along the river before continuing through the forest just to see what was back there. Nothing, nothing was back there except lots of sketchy looking campsites full of trailers that looked like they had been there for way too long.
Once the sun started to dim, it was time to setup camp. We weren't allowed to camp in the gorge area but there was free camping down the road in the off-road park area of the forest. There was no phone service. Perfect.
The tent went up without any problems and I actually got the closet to stand up this time! Yes, our tent has a closet. Afterwards, I immediately found my spot for the rest of the night.
Since we had no cell service, we listened to the same four songs on repeat all night. Luckily we had no neighbors to annoy. We didn't bring any supplies to make a campfire so once it got dark, it got real dark; perfect for long exposure photography! That's where you set the camera to keep the shutter open for a long time and you can draw in the darkness using light. We might have had a little too much fun with it...
Fun fact: the red color in the heart is actually my flashlight shining through my hand. You might think it's our mad photography skills that we could get all the faces and shapes to show properly but I promise you, it was completely luck.
The next morning we woke up, had some breakfast and packed up the campsite. But what is breakfast without coffee!? Lenoir, NC was the closest little town and they had a coffee place called the Blue Moose Coffee Lodge. It was a tiny, drive-up log cabin that sold all kinds of coffee. We drove the 20 minutes down the windy mountain roads, got our coffee, and drove right back up to spend the day on the river. The coffee was good but it's hard to beat the river views.
We headed back to our favorite spot from the day before and set up for the afternoon. I plopped my chair down right in some shallow water, stuck my feet in and kicked back. Luna discovered that her rock climbing abilities weren't as spectacular as she had hoped. She got a cold, wet surprise after misjudging a jump from a rock and also discovered that slanted rocks don't offer much traction. I'm sure she didn't enjoy it much but the look on her face as she helplessly, and slowly, slid down the rock face into the shallow water was hilarious to me.
After a lovely day getting some sun on the river, we decided to head back home. Still got there in time to catch the NASCAR race.
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He likes pizza.