Saturday, March 9, 2013

Hiking the Appalachian Trail

by Meghann on March 9, 2013

It’s official, we’re all pretty much obsessed with Northern Georgia. Can we stay up here forever, please? mmmkay

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I love vacation getaways with easy going people who really have no big plans besides enjoying the day. In the grand tradition of every group getaway I’ve been on since college, I was the first one up in the house yesterday morning and loved it. I LOVE getting up before everyone else, opening my computer, and quietly getting some work done before the rest of the house gets moving. I was up at 7:00 (no alarm, it just happened) and spent a quiet hour getting lost in emails and blogs.

Once everyone else was moving, I started breakfast. Mary started a spreadsheet the week before we left where each couple could sign up for a meal to make while we were away. Derek and I picked breakfast and decided to make my dad’s famous biscuits and gravy. We even made sure to bring the cast iron skillet to get the gravy just right.

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With the biscuits and gravy, we also made a fruit salad and scrambled eggs to round the meal out. It was a great hearty meal to start the day with.

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Then it was time to hike! Felipe was dressed and ready to go!

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The cabin came with a little pamphlet of nearby trails, so we just picked one that didn’t look terribly far away. Unfortunately, once we turned on a dirt road, we weren’t 100% positive we were going the right way. We kept looking for a trail head with a big sign letting us know to stop, but that never happened. We saw a random crossing and just decided to pull over. That’s when we noticed a smaller sign directing us to the trail we had been looking for all along.

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Ha! Not exactly official, but we trusted it!

The short trail to the falls was actually part of a much longer trail: the Appalachian Trail.

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Hiking season recently started in the area, and the trail was packed with hikers who looked like they were in it for the long haul. I kept wanting to stop and talk to everyone of them, asking them their stories like how long they’ve been on the trail, where they’re heading, and what inspired them to hike it. I’ve done a three day overnight hike on the Appalachian Trail once when I was in college with my family and it was quite an experience. I give major props to anyone who can go longer than that.   

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It really was a gorgeous day to hike. The weather was pretty cool in the shade, but once you started moving, it warmed up. I loved the fresh mountain air and cool breeze. Sooooo much better than hot and humid Florida.

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Look, the graffiti was right!

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We found the falls!

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And since that hike took us all of 15 minutes, we decided to keep going.

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We hiked for another 30 minutes and turned around right around the 45 minute mark.

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I had one of Mary’s pumpkin muffins at the top. It was the perfect mid-hike power snack.

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We were all more than ready for lunch after our leisurely hike. There was plenty of leftover taco stuff that we pulled out and devoured.

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I also opened one of my Cigar City Good Gourds I’d been hoarding since October. Seriously the pest pumpkin beer ever.

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For dessert, I did a little experimenting by adding peanut butter to my s’more.

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OMG. Try this. Now. It brings a whole other level of amazingness to the s’more. A-MA-ZING.

The rest of the afternoon was spent napping, playing pool, and telling really bad jokes. You know, the usual. Courtney was in charge of dinner and made a delicious salad and creamy crock pot chicken.

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Sooo good. The creamy chicken was 100% comfort food. We all loved it.

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And what’s a mountain vacation without a little Mario Kart tournament action?

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Check out how serious the boys are.

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p.s. totally stepped in and kicked some booty with Peach. I won two rounds. That’s what’s up.

I also discovered a new favorite game: Bananagrams.

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I’m pretty obsessed with all types of word games, so when Stephanie pulled this one out I knew it would be instant love. I was undefeated the first 4 rounds, then Jess moved in an kicked some booty herself. I need to remember this game for my next family gathering. My siblings and I are pretty competitive when it comes to word games. I know they’ll love it as much as I do.

Alright, time to soak up more of this beautiful mountain air! Have a great Saturday!

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