5 In Travel

Our Weekend: Grandfather Mountain Hike

In pursuit of our goal to pack as much fun as possible in before he takes off, A and I took a fantastic weekend getaway to Grandfather Mountain this past weekend!

We wanted to find a place that offered romantic, coupley experience while having the option to spend as much time outside as possible enjoying the fantastic weather.  Grandfather Mountain in Blowing Rock delivered just that.  We stayed at the Chetola Resort at Blowing Rock and absolutely loved it!

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Our condo unit had a patio, gas fireplace, full kitchen and quite possibly the world’s most comfortable bed.  That last one comes in really handy after you’ve hiked 5 miles, let me tell you.

I’d heard lots of good things about Grandfather Mountain, but was also well aware that it was supposed to be one of the most difficult hikes in the state.  Of course, A and I were fairly optimistic about our abilities and set out bright and early Saturday morning with a smile on our faces and a song in our hearts.

We first came to the Mile High Swinging Bridge and wind gusts that I was sure would knock me over. A was the braver of the two of us and crossed the bridge first…and then came back to get me when I became painfully aware of my fear of heights.

But once we got across the other side, I was really happy I had done it.  How else would you get views like this one?!

After a quick bathroom/coffee/souvenir break, we set off on our big hike.  Again, I was feeling pretty confident because the path leading to the swinging bridge hadn’t been too bad at all. I could do this hiking thing!

Then we hit a period of rough going (or you know, all of it) and I started to get a little skeptical. But after a stretch of what amounted to legit rock climbing (there was no hiking anymore, people), we reached the top! And it was glorious! And windy!

I’m sharing this photo to really give you an idea of how windy things were and because everyone deserves a good laugh on a Tuesday. Yes, almost all of our pictures have my super awesome Cindy-Lou-Who hair. But it was so pretty, it all felt worth it! Until A chimed in with some disheartening news.

You see, as I did my best seated Rocky impersonation, A realized we had not actually reached the top, but instead were sitting on a smaller peak (Attic Window Peak) about a mile and a half from the top of Grandfather Mountain. That was a dark moment for us.  We could have turned back, but I was just not ok with coming this far only to not finish. So we set off once again.

Hey guess what guys? This wasn’t the top either! But I desperately needed a break and the scenery was pretty.

After what seemed like days, we finally found our way to Calloway Peak and took in the beauty surrounding us. In between me wolfing down a banana and silently regretting not packing more snacks, we took a lot of photos.

You know what the worst part of hiking is? Making it to the top, taking a big deep breath of accomplishment and then realizing you have to do everything you just did in reverse. That was not one of my finer moments, but A kept me going with the promise of pizza and otters!

Since I’m writing this from my front porch and not the top of the mountain, clearly it worked.  That man gets me.

We spent Sunday morning sleeping in, eating a lazy breakfast by the lake and resting some very tired muscles.

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