Sunday, July 10, 2011

Camping at Julian Price Lake Park - Blue Ridge Parkway

Best Weekend EVER!
Most of my loyal readers know how much I love the mountains but what a lot of people don't know is that Brad isn't as crazy about them and/or hiking as I am.
He thinks it's boring.
Well, guess what?
I think there might have been a change of heart this weekend!!

We planned our 1st annual Courson/Stephens camping trip months ago.
I think it must be the MUCH cooler weather in the mountains that attracts so many people and families because it was crowded!

I chose a campground along the Blue Ridge Parkway for our adventure.
 A campground that I have looked at for years in hopes to camp there one day.
The largest one on the BRP.
 It's right by the lake and is home to one of the best hiking trails on the Parkway.
More on that later in this post.
 We got to the campground around 5pm Friday night.
We got everything set up right before a rain storm rolled in.
It didn't last too long.
This is typical weather for the mountains.
Rain in the afternoon or evening.
 It was evident once we got up there that it is PEAK season for the mountain rhodedenrums!
Generally it's June but clearly around this elevation it's July! They were everywhere!!

 I booked two campsites right next to each other.
When I booked them a couple of months ago, they were 2 of only 4 sites left and the only 2 together.
Come to find out --the campground is half reservations and half first come first serve.
 It could not have worked out better.
We used our picnic table for meals and Katie and Josh's table/area for our hangout area since it had a fire pit.
 After setting things up we enjoyed some wine and cheese.
We might be camping but we still enjoy the good stuff!
 This was Brad and I's very first camping experience together.
I was cautiously optimistic, and like I mentioned at the top -- it was a success!
I didn't hear Brad complain once.
In fact, we all had an amazing time and plan to make it an annual trip!
 Josh and Katie planned Friday night's meal which was a good ole' Southern fish fry.
 I had to make sure we had a proper table setting with a centerpiece.
We might be camping but there's just something about having a proper table.
 The fish were delish!
Josh had some cajun seasoning in this batter.
We don't eat much fried food so this was a treat!
 After dinner we sat around the fire pit, enjoyed a few cocktails and chatted it up.
Good times!
 The next morning we woke up and were treated to a yummy breakfast compliments of Brad.
He didn't want me taking his picture so that's not documented but for the record it was fantastic!

After our hearty breakfast we set out to hike the Boone Fork Trail that started in our campground.
I did this trail around 5-years ago and it is by far one of my favorites!
 Brad was skeptical at first.
He kept asking me if 'the juice was going to be worth the squeeze?'
The trail starts in a meadow.
 But shortly after you start making your way down into a riverbed with a ton of rhodies.
 This was Katie's first hike ever!
I am so proud of here because this isn't a beginner trail by any means!
 Very scenic!
 This is when I knew that I might have sold Brad on the mountains.
He LOVED the hike!
He said it was challenging and scenic.
His favorite part was being right by the water for most of it.
 There's one ladder on this trail.
When I did this hike way back when, Buddy was with me and just ran down the ladder like it was no big deal.
 After our hike we headed into the quaint town of Blowing Rock to get a few things for dinner and shop around.
It's only 5-miles from the Parkway.
Our first stop was artist Bob Timberlake's gallery.
You might recall that Brad and I bought one of his pieces for our first anniversary.
 Lovely but not nearly as big as his gallery in Lexington, NC.
 Our next stop was a wine store to get a bottle or two for dinner.
 And maybe a tasting.
Yes, I look terrible in most of these pictures but I was not about to put makeup on while camping.
 While in town I bought Brad a Blowing Rock t-shirt since he only packed two short sleeve shirts.
I did good.
He actually liked it which is pretty rare for Brad.
He is one picky guy. I let him do his own shopping. I learned the hard way.
 We got another rain shower before dinner but then the sun came back out.
 And we started dinner.
Brad and I were on point for Saturday's meal.
Grilled corn was on the menu.
 Along with shake and bake pork chops.
 I enjoyed my dinner with a nice glass of wine using my new woozie that I purchased while in town.
Have you seen these before?
 We sat by the firepit again after dinner.
 And enjoyed smores!
 Tasty indeed!!
A great weekend with great friends.
We're already talking about our 2nd annual trip next summer and there is even talk about doing a camping trip this Fall.
I'm thinking the Smokies and instead of a hike a whitewater rafting excursion.
How was your weekend?


starnes family said...


Love that you bring your own cheese and wine paraphenelia while camping, but won't put on makeup.

Love you, Dee!!!!!!

Alexandra Bee Blog said...

Wine and flowers with dinner? I like your camping style!! Looks like so much fun!

GeorgiaDixieDoll said...

um yeah, i must admit i had to laugh at all the "accessories" i'd love to see you rough it - ha!

The Jones Family said...

How fun! Love the wine and flowers too... awesome!

Unknown said...

What a perfect camping trip! I'm inspired to plan something for us later this summer. We'll have to stay in a cabin as we don't have any of the gear. Thanks for sharing, I'm excited to figure out a special trip for us, now!

DSS said...

I am NOT a camper, but I must admit....your "camping" scenario looks quite lovely :)

donatelli98 said...

Looks like a lot of fun - the food looks delish!!

I Do Declare said...

A woozie - I will have to get one of those. It looks like y'all had a great time,and of coure, I love your "proper table"!

teresa-bug said...

Sounds like a fabulous weekend...perfect combination of camping and niceties. {were there potties?}

MCW said...

I don't know if I am a good camper or not, but with you cooking I could make do!!!

SASS said...

I want to come camping with y'all! How fun! I did my very first hike last week :) It was awesome! Yay for Bradster's change of heart!