Thursday, December 1, 2011

november 2011: mile high

november 2011
total mileage: 13.44
time spent walking: 4hrs 1min
other exercise: two leisure strolls after thanksgiving dinners; one strenuous hike.
days off: 25
avg temp: not recorded
trip of the month: grandfather mountain, nc

for (part of) my birthday present from josh, we were supposed to go on a trip this fall. technically we were supposed to go on said trip back in february, then march, then april, and then it was postponed til september/october in which it became my "birthday present". now it's december and our passports are not getting any action for 2011. sigh. i have, however, made josh sign an affadavit that we will take a 2-3 week (hah yeah right) vacation next year.

i did approve the downgrading of the "vacation" from somewhere tropical to somewhere within driving distance because of my skin and it's whole situation. it's just easier to stay closer to home / haul your pharmacy with you in a trailer.

so, at the recommendation of fellow life/home decor/crafty blogger katie of bower power blog (who doesn't know me but i may have stalked her for over a year) i planned a little weekend in the mountains of north carolina. specifically, driving on the blue ridge parkway and going hiking at grandfather mountain.

after a lunch at tupelo honey cafe in asheville, we hopped on the brp to "enjoy the leaves".

dead scenery
whomp whomp
(the fail noise again, becoming a recurring theme here)

we made it about 13 miles down the brp before coming to a road closed sign. whoomp whooooomp.

haw creek valley overlook

we turned around and took the road more frequently traveled to banner elk a little "ski" town with sugar mountain and beech mountain nearby. i had reserved a night at the little main street inn, a quaint b&b offering single or double suites with jacuzzi tubs and full kitchens (great value at only $89/night!)*.

little main street inn
(photo from their website)

we arrived after 4pm but it was a little too early for dinner, so we tried checking out some of the local shops. apparently in the winter they all close at 4pm. we settled for a beer and wine shop - i guess that's the only thing to do on a friday night - and then went to dinner at sorrentos bistro (carb-loading for all that exercise i do).

the next morning we hit up breakfast at the sugar mountain cafe and then went to grandfather mountain**. here we crossed the swinging bridge, one mile above sea level, and stood on the edge of the mountain. this whole ordeal was big for me as i am a big scaredy cat of heights. i faced some of those fears, but not all of them.

swinging bridge - mile high

west view from the swinging bridge

the swinging bridge

after checking out the bridge, we started up grandfather trail. i'll let the pictures do the talking. it was intense. i ran into a rock wall and chickened out just feet from the summit.

grandfather trail trailhead

running into the rock

icy rock

climbing out of a crevice

macrae peak
view from almost-the-summit of macrae peak

ladders to macrae peak
what the ladders to the top look like from 1.5 miles away
(with some camera zoom)

in summary, grandfather mountain is a worthwhile adventure.

roughly 1.5 miles in 1hr 18mins

*little main street did not compensate me in any way for the pr blurb. in fact they don't even know i blog unless maybe they googled me.
**grandfather mountain did not compensate me either***. in fact it costs $15 per adult to enter the 'park'. you can however hike in for free from a few different trailheads but i hear those are pretty intense hikes.
***while i'm clarifying/disclaiming, no business mentioned in this blog post compensated me. this trip was fully funded by our own personal bank account.


  1. I'm a scaredy cat when it comes to heights too. Those ladders look a little freaky but the view looks like it is worth it!

  2. It's just beautiful up there, great pics.

    I might actually write a blog about meeting bingo, but since I am kind of unreliable on blog posts these days, you can set up your own meeting bingo card here:
    and choose words that apply to your industry! ;-)

  3. That hike looks awesome! Love the views and the bridge. I don't think I've ever seen a trail with ladders before but what a great idea.

  4. I love the Blue Ridge Parkway / Asheville area. We used to go there for weekend trips all the time but it has been a while now. Hate that the leaves were mostly gone when you were there though. Whomp, whomp exactly... I am not much for heights either so totally with you on that swinging bridge contraption!

  5. Tupelo Honey is AMAZING. I love Asheville and am jealous of your little vacay. :)

  6. I did that hike. Gorgeous! yay for a little vacation. This one trumps any trip to a tropical place, at least for me.

  7. How gorgeous!!!!!!!! Love all the pics, it definitely looks like it was intense. I don't know if I would be brave enough to scale those ladders though.

  8. LOVE all the little *'s at the bottom of the screen.

    So grandfather mountain is on my list of little weekend/day trips that I'd like to do. It's a little bit of a drive down from Richmond VA so we'd probably do something like you and we'd perhaps stop off in Asheville for the night or lunch or somethin'. Good to know that you enjoyed it, I am going to move this closer to the top of my list.

  9. It's been a few years, but I loved the place. The pics bring back some good memories. I would love to train there - Imagine the hill repeats :-)

  10. we are really bad about putting off our vacations too. It's just WRONG! Once again, we talking about a late Jan. trip...... we shall see

    Glad you guys we able to get away.

  11. That looks gorgeous. I love B&Bs. They just make you feel like you are at home.

    Gorgeous hike too. Wow that is intense looking.

  12. That area is beautiful! I may have to drag Beer Geek and the boys down there!

  13. Wow, that is amazing. I was at the brp in August of this year, but didn't get in the whole leaf peeping thing. I still have yet to visit Grandfather Mountain. isn't there a marathon there or something I read about recently in a blog? An afidavit? lol. Sounds like USCIS talk. Ahhhhhh. Thanks for sharing your lovely stats for November and the pictures. Oh yeah, a B&B in the mountains during off season (cold) can be fairly cheap. Love it! Take care.

  14. Heights! EEK!

    Looks like a fun trip! Beautiful pictures! November was a, um, slow month for me too.

  15. YOu did much better than I would have. I would have quit waaaaaaay before you did. Looks like a nice trip.

  16. *glad we cleared up that whole "google me" issue...time to change your name?
    **grandfather mountain looks like it's worth the expense. such a nice, safe bridge
    ***if you've been working all of these sick hours at work, unless you're pro bono, shouldn't you help feed our anemic economy?

  17. WOW! What a lovely trip. Bridge SCAREY. Ladder I could do. Glad you finally had your vacation. : )

  18. Just so you know, your spare room is always available here in WI for a vacation!! We're within driving range.....just saying!
    There's so much so see in this state and I promise I won't make you climb the steps of Holy Hill....;)

  19. Wow, what a beautiful experience Lindsay! G R E A T pictures, landscape so beauty.

    You like COOL adventures. I love them.

    See you! Enjoy

  20. I get nervous of heights too, unless I am fully strapped in - like a roller coaster. I don't think I could do that! My stomach turned just looking at the ladders. :SHUDDER:

    Where's the red & green?!?!?!

  21. Great pics! Looks like a great hike! (and a tough one!) That ladders look pretty intense, I don't doubt at all the warnings on that sign!

    Good luck to Clemson in the game tomorrow!

  22. Looks like a lovely trip! And you can't beat $89/night.

    I'm cracking up at that drawing you did during your meeting (last post). I just draw some totally not creative loops when I'm stuck at a meeting.

  23. Wow! That looks like a great trip! I am glad that you had a great time! The pictures are beautiful!

  24. That little B&B is adorable. Im not much of a fan of swinging bridges either. The views are amazing though.

    Just a a FYI.. I would be totally jealous if you were compensated to go to such a nice place and blog about it and for the record Id like to be invited if you ever are!! :)

  25. Congrats on Clemson winning the ACC and now going to the Orange Bowl! Honestly I thought that Virginia Tech was going to win, with how Clemson was playing recently. Seems like they proved all the people wrong out there. I went to the Orange Bowl last year for Stanford-Virginia Tech, it was a ton of fun. Are you going to go to the game?

  26. 1.5 miles in 1hr 18mins? That's the worst pace for any trail run, ever! j/k! That looks like a challenging, but fun hike. Hopefully you'll get that tropical vacation that you've been putting off in 2012!

  27. That is awesome that you went to the ACC title game! That must have been a ton of fun!

    I'm a tax accountant for work. Pretty much all I spend my money on is sports, traveling and running, haha Though for the Olympics next year my friend is living in London, so I get to stay there for cheap. Otherwise no way I could afford it!

  28. these pics were awesome! love it!


  29. Looks like great fun and some quality time. We have chain ladders in some mountains where I often run and hike. They can be very scary if you are not comfortable with heights.

  30. Looks like a fabulous hike and some great photos. I have never been to the Asheville area but I now see the need to go! Awesome!