Sunday, July 1, 2012

Camping Trip 2012 - Blue Ridge Mountains

We kicked off the July 4th week with our annual camping trip up in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
We started this tradition last year with some friends and as always, it was a blast!

This year we chose Briar Bottom Group Campground next to the Black Mountain Campground at the base of Mount Mitchell.
When looking for sites a couple of months back I was shocked how booked everything was, but then later realized it was the weekend leading up to the 4th of July.
 This was our first experience with a group campsite and we were pleasantly surprised!
The description said it could fit up to 6-tents and 25 people but there were only 6 of us so we weren't sure how it would be.
Well, I'm here to say it couldn't have been more perfect!
We had our own picnic shelter.
 Our own firepit, a huge space for our tents and a bathroom on site!
That's right..
The building you see behind our tents are the bathrooms and the campground hosts kept them clean as a whistle!
 In Charlotte, the temps soared into the triple digits on Friday and Saturday but in the mountains it was mid-80's during the day and 60's at night.

A lot of people don't realize just how much cooler it is in the higher elevations in our state.
Our campsite was in walking distance to the Toe River.
 So, relaxing to the hear the rushing water at night while laying in the tent.
 As I mentioned, there were 6 of us.
Aaron and Craig.
 Josh and Katie.
 Me and Brad.
 And, Buddy.
This was Buddy's first camping trip ever.
I was a little nervous bringing him because he's use to being on a leash but he did great being able to roam free and he LOVED being able to sleep outdoors in the tent.
The only thing I realized is that he can't hang like he use to when it comes to hiking.
I think he's totally done hiking, even when it comes to short trails.
As usual, us ladies made sure the table was festive.
 The campground was full of mountains rhododendron!
 The food was amazing as usual too.
We had a fish fry the first night and for dessert there were smores.
 We hung out by the campfire each night, enjoyed the night air, company and cocktails(mocktails for me).
We each were in charge of a meal for the weekend.
On Saturday morning it was Craig and Aaron who made breakfast.
Buddy was always around to help cook.
(yes, we cheat and use propane instead of cooking over campfire)
 Then afterwards, we were off to hike to a couple of waterfalls in the area.

Setrock Falls was first on our list.
 Who says you can't continue to be adventurous when you're pregnant?!
I had SOOO many people tell me I was crazy for camping while pregnant.
 Our second waterfall hike was to Roaring Fork Falls.
 Buddy was having a GREAT time but after the two hikes were over we realized he had overdone it.
He was fine, just tired and hot.
 These falls were much bigger and nicer!
 And, there were tons of rhodies in full bloom in this area too.
After our 2-hikes Brad and I decided to head up to the summit of Mount Mitchell.
We could have hiked up there from our campground but it was 5.6 one-way and at this point I think that's a little much to be doing at 4 1/2 months pregnant.
So, we took the Blue Ridge Parkway.
I can't wait to show our child all the places he/she went to while still in my tummy.
 Mount Mitchell was gorgeous.
I had been as far as the restaurant but never to the actual summit before.
If you ever get a chance to visit, make sure you make it all the way to the top.
 Very scenic and the facilities up there are nice.
They even have a campground at the top!
We might have to check that out in the future.
From here we headed back down to camp where Brad started making his jambalaya.
We all showered up and enjoyed another night of good food and good company.
 All in all, a WONDERFUL camping trip.
There's nothing I love more than the mountains during the Summer.
It is truly my 'happy place'.
This morning we all got up and out early and were home around lunch time.
Back to the heat and back to reality.

I hope we can make it to next year's trip but with a 6-month old we might be in a camper instead of a tent.
If you're into this type of recreation, I would suggest Briar Bottom Campground, just be sure to reserve early, especially on holiday weekends!


Leigh Powell Hines said...

I'm so glad you had a wonderful time. The food looked grand. You know I'm not a camping girl at all, but you made it look fun. I love the adventrous side of you.

Megan said...

Sounds like so much fun! I love camping!! If I end up moving to Chs, I will definitely check out the N. Carolina mountains!

donatelli98 said...

The fact that you had bathrooms would make me think about it. That's my issue with camping is the lack of bathrooms. The hiking looks fabulous as do you my friend!

Carolina Charm said...

GREAT pictures. Okay, so where exactly was your campground? I am planning our next camping trip and am looking for a new place (we typically camp at Graveyard Fields, off the parkway). SO FUN!!!

Anonymous said...

Looks like you had such a great time! I love the pictures from the summit! It looks so beautiful. If I were to go camping, I'd love to pick a spot like that!

Sarah O said...

What a fun weekend! You baby is going to be so excited to see all the adventures you took him/her on.

love jenny xoxo said...

Looks like a super nice camping set up! How nice is your own picnic shelter! And I love your wine selection, LOL! Too cute!


Mandi @ Southern Gnome said...

I've been wanting to go camping for a while now. We haven't been able to pin down a weekend yet, but just makes me want to get my behind in gear. We have discussed going to the one on top of Mt Mitchell. Nothing like a cool mountain night in the summer.

starnes family said...

You are such a trooper to camp right now! Looks beautiful.

MCW said...

Camping with a 6 month old sounds like SOOOO much fun ;)

The Lenzers said...

trying to catch up on everything...i've been kind of MIA on blogger lately. You look great and I'm glad you are feeling good. Keep up the hiking and walking and activities as long as you feel up to it. You're cruise looked like a blast. Can't wait to hear what the baby guess is girl

Ashley said...

So fun!! You look so good. Camping with a 6 month old will be fine :)