This post is long overdue. Our trip took place towards the end of July, but my procrastination knows no bounds. So, I present you a synopsis of this year’s Sister Trip.
Apparently, the great Sister Trip of 2015 initiated a tradition among my siblings and I. It would seem for the foreseeable future, we will be venturing out on an annual travel celebration of all things sisterly. This year found us once again piled into my CRV, three women and two dogs. With a only a week to kill, we opted for a northward trajectory.
We three left Atlanta in the early afternoon on a hot Saturday in July, our first stop Asheville, North Carolina. Michelle had found a nice dog-friendly campsite at Asheville KOA West where we spent the first two nights of our trip.
Our dogs were true to form in how they adapted to the adventure. Taco reverted to his “mountain man” persona and Courage…lets just say she was less apt to explore her new surroundings. She is a huge fan of all things ‘tent.’
The following day, we explored around the Blue Ridge Parkway. Our primary stop was Graveyard Fields, a flat mountain valley in the Blue Ridge Mountains. It was a busy destination, crowded with tourists and hikers alike.
The majority of the crowds stuck close to the river and waterfall, leaving us plenty of empty trail to wander.
The day was cut short though, as a large afternoon storm rolled through the valley.
As we headed back to our campsite, we passed many unofficial stops providing access to rivers in the Pisgah National Forest. We did take advantage of on such stop. The river was beautiful and clear, but the water was ice cold.
Monday found us continuing north in search of Linville Falls. Along the way, we passed through the beautiful town of Chimney Rock, home to Chimney Rock State Park. It’s the site of many natural geological formations, the most famous being…well…Chimney Rock. This granite monolith affords stellar views of the surrounding mountains to anyone willing to face a strenuous hike. Yes, there are stairs. That doesn’t make it easier.
Like for real. Stairs on stairs on stairs.
The good news is that there is a gift shop at the very top. Inside you’ll find a small ice cream shop. It’s not anything world changing but it makes for the perfect refueling stop following all those staircases.
And then we had to head down the mountain. At first, our descent seemed easy. A break for the calf muscles right? Sure, but now pressure falls on your shins. Needless to say, when we finally made it back to the car, my legs were shaking.