Sunday, May 3, 2015
Seriously in need to detox our bodies from our excessive beer consumption in Asheville, we headed off toward Black Mountain Campground at the foot of Mount Mitchell, the highest peak in North Carolina. As soon as we arrived at our claimed campsite, I immediately pitched our tent and slept for solid 20 hours as James caught up on some reading. I felt like I got hit by a truck, twice. I’m fairly sure I went the entire day without eating a thing due to the burn out I was experiencing.
Monday, May 4, 2015
The next day I woke up still weak but strong enough to join James on a short 3.5 mile afternoon hike around the nearby creek. We searched along the banks of the Toe River for slices of mica and rested our feet in the cold water of the cascades as we took our time. Back at the campsite, we finally tested out the Bio Lite Camp Stove James’ brother, Matt, had gifted us for Christmas. After testing the devise, I really wonder why had we waited so long? I can highly recommend the stove, especially for car camping. It uses sticks and twigs as fuel to boil water in minutes and even has a USB port to charge cell phones or other devices with the generated electricity. We spent our second night at the campground reading books by the campfire and enjoying the stars before the full moon rose, which lite up the entire mountain side.
Tuesday, May 5, 2015
After a hearty breakfast consisting of peanut butter sandwiches, cheddar cheese, and tea we grabbed our day packs and headed off to tackled Mount Mitchell, the highest mountain east of the Mississippi River. James and I noticed, specifically on that hike, our physical improvement as we flew up the mountain. The trail itself turned out much more moderate than we anticipated at first, especially with all the switchbacks creating a reasonable elevation gain of about 3,600 feet over 6 miles. Personally, I was not impressed by the route of the trail as we did not encounter any wildlife or overlooks along the way. Despite the rather boring scenery, we were glad to be back in the woods and feeling the burn in our legs.
The 360 degree panorama view on top of the mountain was incredible. We were able to see several of the peaks, we had tackled in the previous week off in the distance, which filled us with an overwhelming feeling of accomplishment and pride. Since we still felt satisfied from our early meal, we decided to skip lunch and head down the mountain to treat ourselves with an good old Whopper with extra pickles from Burger King once we hit town.
After our special treat and a quick stop at Food Lion to refill our food cabinet (aka the truck of our car) we headed of toward Elkmont Campground in the Smoky Mountains for a good night’s rest and more adventure.
At least that’s what we thought.