Happy Thursday, Everyone!
I’m so excited to share all of my hiking photos with you from Tuesday. This was a huge day for my friend Becca. She took this day off from work months ago and wanted me to join her on the hike. I actually asked her to write a bit about why this hike was so important to her for this post and she agreed. I just think her story is so inspiring and some of you may be able to relate. I’ll be including that at the end.
I left my house at 7:00 AM and dropped Grumples off at my parent’s house so he wouldn’t be by himself all day.On the way up, we stopped for coffee. I ordered two shots of espresso and then added a splash of cream for the ride up.
I’ve been wanting to hit the trails and hikes in Asheville for a very long time but didn’t really want to do it alone. I couldn’t imagine myself standing on a trail, face to face with a bear all alone. ONE: no one would believe me & TWO. I probably wouldn’t live to tell about it (because I’d obviously try to selfie with him).
We hiked the Looking Glass Rock. There is only one trail on this entire rock, which made it much easier because I tend to get lost.
(this photo cred)
I was a bit surprised when we got there. The trees were naked compared to Charlotte’s. It’s crazy what a two-hour difference can do.
If you plan on hiking the trail, just look for the Pisgah National Forest Trail sign. It’s the only way in!
I figured the hike was going to be cold the entire time, but boy was I wrong. I took it off the first five minutes of going uphill.
It was the perfect day to hike. It was around 65 degrees and sunny. The trees blocked all of the wind, which made it so comfortable.The hike is uphill the entire time, but moderately. I don’t think the hike was hard at any point and I’d recommend it to all hiking levels. I’d actually love to run up to the top next time. Hiking is all about pacing yourself, kind of like running.
Some of the carvings in this tree went all the way to the top. I don’t even want to know how they got up that high.
Becca packed enough in her backpack to survive for a week. She also packed enough to fight off ten bears.This trail was beautiful from start to finish. Every turn had a new scene and each path had it’s own beauty to it.
We passed maybe five people the entire trail. It was so secluded and peaceful.
The sun felt so good!
I loved the way that the trees curled. It looked like something out of an illustration book.
This has me excited for the trails I’m going to hike in the West this summer.Before you get to the top (about 2.5 miles up) you come to an open area of rock. It’s the Helipad.
Someone painted a peace sign up there. There was a lot of carving and chalk art.
After you pass the helipad, it gets a little bit steeper, but nothing too bad. I actually think the top of Crowder’s mountain was more challenging than this hike. Maybe I was too distracted by Drake and Lil Wayne playing to notice the challenge. The hike was more relaxing than anything.
You just have to make sure to watch your step, or you’ll be taking a trip…
We finally made it to the top and it was worth every step.It was a gorgeous view of the Blue Ridge Mountains.I don’t think I’ve been in a more quiet place in my entire life. You could stick me in a dark room in an empty house and you’d still here the electricity, the lights, the air, the heat, or the outside world. Up here, you couldn’t hear anything but your own heartbeat. It was unbelievable.A little note from Becca,
“A little over a year ago, I packed all my belongings into my tiny, green car and drove twenty-five hundred miles away from home to Charlotte, NC. When I left my home state, I was a hundred pounds overweight, smoked a pack of cigarettes every day and wrestled with depression. Charlotte was my second chance and I promised myself change. I vowed to love myself again. Loving myself meant making better, more sensible choices with my body. I no longer wanted to pollute it with poison and unhealthy foods. I would never choose such an unhealthy lifestyle for someone that I loved so why did I chosen this for myself? The self-loathing had to go. I wanted so desperately to live.
As soon as I hit the North Carolina border, I trashed my last pack of cigarettes at a rest stop, took a deep breath and told myself that I was worthy of a fulfilling, healthy life. It hasn’t been an easy year, but I pushed myself every single day. I went to the gym after work, sometimes I even went twice a day. Whenever I felt like smoking a cigarette during a stressful day at work, I walked through the parking lot or jogged up and down the stairwell. I replaced my bad eating habits with better ones and most of all I worked on cultivating a new relationship with myself.
I chose to hike on the 365th day of my new life to celebrate and honor myself. It was a hike that marked a year of bravery, faith, and my becoming. It takes courage to change, to choose something better and persevere despite the odds. Honor the work. Celebrate the progress. Keep the faith.” When I was growing up, my mom always used jelly beans to teach my brother and I lessons. After Becca shared her story with me, I thought bringing jelly beans would be a great idea. Childish, but meaningful.
I pulled out the pink jelly beans and the black jelly beans once we got to the top. I told her about how my mom used to say that the black jelly beans were our lungs after smoking and the pink jelly beans were our healthy lungs. Not only did the black jelly beans represent the unhealthy lungs, they represented bad memories. I told her to take each black jelly bean, let it represent a horrible memory and then throw it off the mountain. Once that jelly bean is thrown off the top, it’s in the past and it can’t affect you anymore. The pink jelly beans are for you to keep as a reminder of a new start.
She could have laughed at my jelly bean idea, but she loved it. It definitely brought out all the emotion in her and then when she was done, we started laughing at the fact that chucking jelly beans off of a mountain could make someone cry, but it was powerful.
I only chucked one bad jellybean off…if you know what I mean 😉I haven’t worn my hair in side braids since high school basketball games, but I think I’m going to rock this look more often.
The black jelly beans didn’t stand a chance.I brought one of my favorite juices to have once I got to the top for some extra energy to go with my water. This Suja had apple, celery, cucumber, kale, collard greens, lemon, spinach, chlorella and spirulina.
Trusting you, branch!We stayed up at the top for about an hour just soaking up the sun and I did some stretching.I just let all the negative energy out when I got to the top. Sometimes a day like this can be used as a cleanse of all negativity.Walnuts, Almonds, Cashews & Pecans!We headed back down around 4 pm.
This was the perfect time to come down because the sun was shining through the trees and it was absolutely beautiful.
I kind of felt like I was in a Twilight movie.
I also found that the entire bottom half of the trail was sparkling, literally. It looked like someone had just dumped gallons of sparkles all over.
We would have finished the hike much faster but all of the views were breathtaking and I wanted to take them with me.
There are campsites at the top as well! I’m so happy we didn’t run into any bears.My phone ended up dying, so we used Becca’s to track the trail!After the trail, we headed down the road to the Looking Glass Falls.
We took the mountain route to head down to Asheville for dinner. Every time we would go through the tunnels, I’d think of the movie Alien Abduction…the ones about the NC mountains…:|We had to keep stopping so I could get some good shots of the Blue Ridge mountains.We made it to Asheville at 7:00 pm for dinner.We headed to the Cantina for skinny margaritas and dinner!I had their glazed salmon salad with mango salsa! OH, SO, GOOD!We didn’t want to head back without coffee, so we headed to High Five Coffee shop.I ordered a latte with skim milk and a splash of honey. It was pretty darn good too! We drove around Asheville a bit before we headed back to see the downtown area, but I just can’t wait to go back and explore the city by foot this summer!
Thank you for reading & dealing with my endless amount of photos! I know that takes a lot of scrolling. 🙂
Questions For You!
- Where is your favorite place to hike/have hiked?
- Is positivity important to you?
- What is something you’ve achieved that you are so proud of?