Monday, August 15, 2011

Sunday Funday - Stone Mountain State Park, NC and Shelton Winery

Sundays generally suck but I've really been trying to change my attitude towards them.
Not so much. Sunday adventures give him much needed 'Brad time' to catch up on his DVR and chill.

So, this Sunday I made plans with my friend Kelli to hike North Carolina's Stone Mountain State Park.

I point out NC because it's common for people to get confused with the Stone Mountain Park outside Atlanta.
Two totally different parks.
NC's park is more focused on hiking and rock climbing where GA's is a tourist attraction geared towards families.
 There was a forecast of 80% chance of rain but we decided to chance it and I'm glad we did.  The day turned out beautiful starting with our deer sighting while driving into the park.
 We hiked the 4 and 1/2 mile loop trail starting at the lower parking lot. 
The Ranger told us that it was more difficult starting at that trail head due to dozens and dozens of steps that take you to the top.
We decided we needed the exercise.
Boy did we get it.
 Gorgeous views all the way to the summit.
I'm blessed to live so close to such beautiful places.
Our drive from Charlotte to the park only took an hour and 1/2.
 Stone Mountain State Park is close to Sparta, NC.
West of I-77.
 After reaching the summit your start descending towards a waterfall.
We've been in somewhat of a drought here in the Carolina's so the falls weren't much to see in comparison to other times of the year.
 More steps taking us down to the base of the falls.
 There were a ton of families out enjoying the cool river water.
 Towards the end of the trail we saw why the park is named 'Stone Mountain'.
Generally there are big groups of people out climbing the giant rock but not yesterday.
 This was my second visit to the park but the first time to hike to the summit. 
If you haven't been it's totally worth a day trip.

Afterwards we had planned to visit a family winery right near the park but we were starving and they don't serve food.
We considered picking something up and picnicking on the winery grounds but after driving around and seeing nothing but gas stations we decided to head 5-miles north to Shelton Vineyards Harvest Grille.
 If you've been reading my blog for a while now you might remember that this was one of the stops on my bachelorette party.
Click here to read about it.
 I'm pretty familiar with Shelton's wines so I immediately ordered a bottle of their 2008 Family Reserve Chardonnay.
Butter in a glass.
If you like oak you'll like this wine.
It's one of my FAVORITES!
(Yes, I brought a change of clothes)
We ordered a cheese board.
 Along with the crispy cornbread crab cakes with blackened colossal shrimp on top of white cheddar grits.
I almost ate the entire thing.
 The best way to end a day of hiking!

In Dee's book.
Mountains+Wine=Perfect day
Speaking of wine, on my way into work this morning I noticed two ladies eating breakfast at an outdoor cafe near my office.
One of the ladies was drinking a bloody mary while the other one was drinking a glass of red wine.
Red wine at 8:30 in the morning?
I'm sorry...even I could not do that.
Happy Monday!


I Do Declare said...

I could do a mimosa at 8:30am! Look at you with your serious boots - you're such a real deal hiker!! AND, I love that you brought a change of clothes for wining!

Lyns said...

LOVE IT!!! My idea of a perfect Sunday for sure. Good for you. And so nice you had a bud who was up for it.

Carrie Darney said...

OK, so I'm more of an indoor girl but you TOTALLY make me want to go hike!! You make it sound so fabulous and what a great workout!

You are just too cute...

Annie said...

Sounds like the perfect Sunday!

Unknown said...

What fun, you really inspire me to get to the great outdoors and explore! Love your weekend adventures.

donatelli98 said...

Nice - wine in the morning! I want to come to NC to hike with you!! Looks like lots of fun!

teresa-bug said...

This fall I am planning to hit more NC wineries. Makes for such a fun Sunday!!

Nikki said...

How do you look so cute at a winery after a hike? Looks like the perfect day!

MyInnerCheerleader said...

Looks like a beautiful Sunday! I wish we had natural beauty close and nice weather to have a day like yours.

Anonymous said...

I love Shelton Winery! Looks like a fabulous Sunday :)

starnes family said...

I was wondering if you went into your wineries post-hike all stinky and slimey! Smart girl....I should have known.

Allyson and Dave said...

That food looks so good!! I wish we had places like that to hike around here. It is way to flat and boring.

Ashley said...

hahah. Red wine at 8:30 would have me needing a nap by noon! ANd, I never take naps! haha
I think it sounds like a perfect Sunday.

Kara Edwards said...

This sounds so perfect!! Wish I could have joined you both!