Friday, November 12, 2010

Camping Trip - Day & Night #3

I had a great nights sleep the 2nd night... THANK YOU HEADPHONES! It's kind of sad that I didn't/couldn't take advantage of the "good" night sounds, i.e.: crickets, owls, etc., but hey... I was actually able to sleep without going completely crazy, so I'll take it! ;)

After quickly (still cold!) dressing and making some much needed coffee, we prepared for our final day at Grandfather Campground. I surprised Rich by telling him I wanted to try to start a fire on my own. This somewhat surprised him because, in addition to being a scarety cat of wild animals, I am deathly afraid of fire. I have been since I was a kid. I won't start a gas stove. I won't light a propane grill. I won't even flip a burger on a charcoal grill. Yup. I'm a BIG wuss. But, this was my time to "man up", so that's exactly what I did! I had gathered a pile of dry twigs and I was ready to go! After arranging the firewood the way my ex-boy scout hubby suggested, I had it lit! It even stayed lit! Yay! I had to pat myself on the back for this one!

After eating a quick breakfast and warming up near the campfire, we were ready to set out for our day. All we had left to do in the area was check out Linville Falls & Gorge, which was about 20 minutes away from the campground (20 miles south of Banner Elk). It was a beautiful drive through the mountain countryside that was LOADED with Frasier fir Christmas trees. I had never seen so many Christmas trees in my life! Curious to know where your fir tree comes from? More than likely from Boone, Banner Elk, or Spruce Pine! No kidding! I have a few pictures depicting the enormity of trees in the slideshow of my Day #1 post. Check it out!

If you haven't heard of or been to Linville Falls & Gorge you should definitely think of visiting! We both thought it was amazing. The waterfall isn't the biggest or most grand that I've seen, but when you couple it with the actual gorge and the surrounding landscape, it's stunning. The gorge is referred to as the "Grand Canyon of the East", and after seeing it in person we could see why. We were pretty worn out from our hike at Grandfather Mountain the day before, so we weren't looking for the hard or strenuous trails. The easy/moderate ones were just fine by us! Plus, Harley had just about had it with physical exertion! She's such a priss. We arrived around noon and set out for the trails that would take us to see several views of the lower and upper falls and the gorge itself. I'd say the whole trail, including the walk back, was about 2.5 miles of uphill, downhill, rocks, tree roots, etc. Not too bad. There were alot of stairs to get to the overlooks of certain areas, but again, not too bad. We took a ton of pics! I took this picture of Rich at 'Erwin's View', an area on the trail, and I feel it deserves a special post in addition to the slideshow simply because I LOVE THE PICTURE! You?

'Erwin's View' - Linville Falls & Gorge, NC
I'm a sucker for waterfalls so this place was especially rewarding for me. Very beautiful. Very serene. Next time we visit, we'll try the harder trail that runs alongside the river and gorge to see even better views! After about 2.5 hours we were ready to call it quits. We were ALL tired, Harley & Murphy included!

We got back to the campsite and did the usual... made dinner, cleaned up, and got ready for our last night of camping. I was alot more relaxed than I had been on night #1 & #2! The way I saw it was, if something did come after us, we could take it. Right? I mean, how bad could it possibly be?! Don't answer that! ;)

I did notice towards the end of the night that Harley was shivering alot. Poor thing. We really should have bought her a doggie sweater or coat. Pits don't have a second coat like labs do, and their hair is short. She spent the majority of the night curled up right beside me on a towel. I went into the tent and grabbed our fleece blanket that we had with us on the trails and then wrapped her up in it. She didn't even try to shake it off. She was quite happy I was helping her! She stopped shivering immediately. Thank goodness! It didn't feel that cold to us, but I guess she was more susceptible to the cold? Word to the wise... If it's under 40 degrees outside, put a coat or sweater on your furry child! Pits especially! I know I will next time.

We made smores and hot chocolate again and relaxed the night away. We talked for hours and just stared at the entrancing fire. The night slipped right on by us and before we knew it, it was almost midnight. We hadn't stayed up this late since we had arrived! We had to get an early start packing up the next morning so we prepared to call it a night.

Once again Murphy and Harley knew exactly where to go in the tent. Once Harley had laid down I covered her up with a blanket to keep her warm. Headphones went IN, lantern ON, and in the sleeping bag we went. I was starting to get used to this! But, I was really looking forward to getting home to my warm, cozy, SAFE home! I think Harley was too. Murphy? He was in his element. Big time. I don't think he wanted to leave. ;)

T69, I think I'll see you again. Maybe not for awhile, but soon.

One more day... stay tuned!


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