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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!

{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Katie @ Talk Less, Say More March 9, 2013 at 8:39 am

Looks like a great little vacay so far! Definitely leaves me craving a nice relaxing weekend away. I’ll have to make that happen soon.
Katie @ Talk Less, Say More recently posted..Check-in: Winter Bucket List

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2 Karen @ Runner Girl Eats March 9, 2013 at 8:46 am

I am alwaysss the first person up to! I get so much done between the hours of 6a-9a when everyone else is sleeping lol I love casual getaways. Our friends have been talking about renting a north GA cabin for a while and I def think we need to after this post.
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3 Erin @ The Elliptical Chronicles March 9, 2013 at 9:29 am

Well done adding peanut butter to your s’more, lady!

Your trip looks like so much fun – continue to enjoy 🙂
Erin @ The Elliptical Chronicles recently posted..Finally Freakin’ Friday!!

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4 Courtney March 9, 2013 at 9:45 am

Sounds like such a fun vacation! Keep enjoying it 🙂
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5 [email protected] March 9, 2013 at 10:04 am

Sometimes its nice to have NO plans on a trip. I tend to over plan so this sort of vacation looks really relaxing and fun to me!
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6 Maureen March 9, 2013 at 10:09 am

I am ALWAYS the first person awake, so I offer to make breakfast. Might as well, I am up anyway!
Is that guy wearing quilt pants?? LOL
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7 June March 9, 2013 at 10:36 am

Looks like an awesome trip! I’ve hiked some of the Appalachian Trail up in New Hampshire – beautiful! When I was a kid, I used to dream of being a “through hiker” someday, and hiking the whole trail! Now that I’ve read more about it, I think I’ll pass and just hike the pretty stuff! lol! Enjoy that mountain air!
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8 melinda March 9, 2013 at 11:01 am

What a great trip. So many interesting things in this post! I love Banana Grams and the peanut butter s’mores idea…….brilliant! Have you read Bill Bryson’s “Into the Woods” or Cheryl Strayed’s “Wild”? They are really great hiking books. Would you friend share the chicken recipe?

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9 Natalie @ Free Range Human March 9, 2013 at 12:44 pm

Those are two of my favorite books about through hiking. I’m a backpacker, but never really thought about doing one of the long hikes. “Wild” made me start thinking about it and now it’s my dream. Someday!
Natalie @ Free Range Human recently posted..Your Mountain Is Waiting!

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10 Ashley March 9, 2013 at 11:04 am

Bananagrams is the best! The PB s’more is my motivation to push for an early spring camping trip, I need that in my life NOW.
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11 Crystal March 9, 2013 at 11:07 am

There’s a really good book about sisters who hike the Appalachian Trail called Barefoot Sisters. It’s an easy read, but really good. I wanted to hike the trail in it’s entirety for awhile after reading it.

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12 Emily March 9, 2013 at 11:11 am

I love that feeling of falling in love with a get away spot when traveling and not wanting to leave! It happens to me all the time!
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13 Steph @ happy healthy stephie March 9, 2013 at 11:42 am

Looks like fun! My husband loves to hike, but after a few bad falls for me, I’m too scared to go now. I’ve tried, but I end up getting so far behind because I go soooo slow and then everbody has to wait for me!

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14 Jessica March 9, 2013 at 1:23 pm

If you by chance are in blue ridge or elijay, be sure to check out downtown blue ridge. There is a olive oil store. Its like heaven. 20 something organic and infused olive oils and balsamic vinegars. I got expresso balsamic vinegar! Also, mercer’s orchards! tons of peaches, apples, and of course fried apple pies!

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15 Annie @ eatcleaneatreal March 9, 2013 at 1:34 pm

The AT is amazing, although Ive never been on it that far south. So glad you had a great hike!
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16 Claudia March 9, 2013 at 2:03 pm

Oooh, you should try using Nutter Butter wafer cookies (not the crunchy peanut shaped cookie) for S’more’s my brother turned me on to those – delish!

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17 Barry Wright, III March 9, 2013 at 3:40 pm

Sounds like a hiking/camping trip with all the perks! I love word games, Bananagrams included, because they’re simple to learn and very portable!

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18 Courtney W March 9, 2013 at 5:35 pm

It wasn’t healthy at all. 2-4 chicken breasts, 8 oz. package of cream cheese, can of cream of chicken broth, packet of Italian Seasoning Dressing. Mix together in crock pot. High for 4-6 hours or low for 6-8. Serve over rice or pasta. Enjoy 🙂

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19 Beth (@RunTraveler) March 9, 2013 at 6:07 pm

That looks like an absolutely LOVELY hike! (With any luck, I’ll be doing some A.T. hiking soon, myself.) 🙂
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20 Ali March 9, 2013 at 8:00 pm

Too funny! I just finished reading “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed and I have now been seriously considering hiking myself. It would be amazing to go with such a large group though, the way you are doing it. In some ways I think that’s more appealing than a solo trip. In the book, I got freaked out so many times at the thought of being alone (like Cheryl was) for so long, but I suppose that’s what is appealing about the thought of doing the hike too; learning to trust that you can get through it and persevere all on your own etc. – would feel amazing to make it through the whole experience and come out the other end feeling stronger than you ever imagined.

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21 The Many Thoughts of a Reader March 9, 2013 at 8:21 pm

Looks like fun!
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22 Serena March 10, 2013 at 5:26 am

Love the Appalachian trail! Jealous.
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23 Madeline @ Food Fitness and Family March 10, 2013 at 7:14 am

That looks so much fun! My cousin made it halfway down the trail before the snow storms of winter hit this last year. He is planning on heading back out to finish the rest when spring comes. He’s 21 years old and I am just so impressed that he is accomplishing a lifelong dream of his!
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24 Becki @ Fighting for Wellness March 10, 2013 at 1:40 pm

You are SO close to my hometown! Hiking in Appalachia is probably the biggest thing I miss since moving to Boston almost 8 years ago. Hope you’re having a blast!
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25 Rebecca King March 10, 2013 at 1:47 pm

I’ll never see the AT in my lifetime. However, out here in the west where I am we have lots of hiking available. One of my most favorite things to do.
Your pictures are wonderful!!!
Rebecca King recently posted..Incorporating The Paleo Diet Into Your Lifestyle

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26 Melissa March 10, 2013 at 6:37 pm

I’m late to comment, but I can’t believe I’ve never thought to do a s’more with peanut butter!

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27 Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed March 10, 2013 at 10:20 pm

I love hiking on trails! Looks like a great time 😀
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28 amyt March 11, 2013 at 11:55 am

ahh people that do the Appalachian Trail, and the Florida Trail take that stuff serious. (I work for State Parks) We get people that stop there here all the time that are doing the Florida Trail – it’s very neat….they have so much gear, but all packed away. Some have been doing it days, weeks…months. Some are finishing here in FL after doing the Appalachian Trail. Pretty hard core.

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29 Sonia the Mexigarian March 11, 2013 at 6:37 pm

LOL I used to play Nintendo quite a bit. Smash Bros and Mario Kart were games I would kick butt in. I loved playing with Peach and Link (in SB) and even beat some boys in tournament rounds.

The trail looks like it’d be a fun hike. I’m itching to hit the ones around here. Must uncover my hiking boots and drag the husband out of his cave.
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