Tuesday, May 27, 2014

A Date A Month: Take A Hike!

My Valentine's Day gift for the Man of the House this year was a A Year of Date Nights.  One date a month for the next twelve months.  This is our date of the month...

The May theme for our Date A Month was: Take A Hike!

And yes, you guessed it - the Man of the House and I spend a day hiking nearby in the Blue Ridge Mountains.  One Sunday, we packed up the backpacks with plenty of water, fruit, sandwiches, the cameras, and a blanket and headed off down the Blue Ridge parkway.

First stop: Frying Pan Mountain, near Mt Pisgah.  Frying Pan is topped with an observation tower built by the Forest Service in 1941.  That was our goal.  You can't get into the top of the lookout tower, but you can climb the stairs and check out the amazing views from 6 stories up.

Now, if you know me - you know I am terrified of heights, so this was sure to be a challenge for me.  And  it was.  The hike up the service road to the tower was a bit steeper than I had anticipated.  But I stuck with it all the way to the top. (there may have been a stop or two to suck on my inhaler)  At the tower, I was excited to give this a go.

Until I got about halfway up the first flight.  YIKES!!  My legs were shaking worse than the stairs by the time I hit the first landing.  I forced myself to crawl - yes, literally crawl on hands and knees - up another flight of stairs to the second landing where I sat and snapped a few photos before crawling back down the way I came.  (I'm not proud of it, but believe me - it's impressive I managed to make it that far without passing out)  The man of the house made it up as far as you are able to go.  He's much MUCH braver than I am!

Next up was a hike on a portion of the Art Loeb trail to Black Balsam Knob.  And just... WOW!

The hike wasn't too bad.  A few steep rocky areas, but nothing I couldn't pretty easily manage.  And once you get to Sam's Knob and you are out on the stretch of balds - one ridge top after another, it is just amazing!

Around here, you expect the mountains to be covered in forest, but these are more like rocky meadows.  And the views are just gorgeous!  Almost 360 degrees in some areas.

This is where we spread out our blanket and shared our mountain top picnic. It was much windier here, and we could hear rumbles of thunder somewhere off in the distance.  But even with the clouds and the occasional rain drop, it was just wonderful!

After snapping about a bagillion pictures, we hiked back down to the car and proceeded south on the Parkway.  Just stopping at any over look that captured our fancy.  We finally hopped off the parkway in Balsam Gap and drove back down I-40 to Asheville where we stopped for a Barnes & Noble fix and shared a pizza at Brixx's before heading home.

Another lovely, and successful date!  Next month - Shakespeare in the Park!

More "Date of the Month":
April:  Hometown Tourists

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  1. We live in the Blue Ridge Mountains in the northwestern corner of NC, so your hiking date sounds like something we've done many times. Enjoyed the post and the pics! Visiting from W2W

  2. I use to live near the Blue Ridge mountains, I miss it! I tried to do the year's worth of dates for my husband a while back but then our year went crazy. I really need to get better at date nights!!

  3. Beautiful pics! Sounds like another great date!!

  4. I love the Blue Ridge Mountains. Beautiful!! What a fun time with your hubby.


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