The last few days have been pretty relaxing days, Sunday we spent driving through Virginia and most of North Carolina to get to Charlotte. It was a great drive! We didn’t hit much traffic, I-85 was clear of snow on the roads but it was still decorating the grass and trees. Elliot and I don’t like snow very much but since it hadn’t been long enough for the snow to turn that gross gray color it made for a beautiful drive.
Yesterday we ran some errands, picked up some things we needed at the store. It was still around 30 degree’s so we decided that we would just get things done rather than exploring. Later that night we met up with my friend, Lina! I hadn’t seen her in 3 or 4 years, but she’s been living in Charlotte for about a year now so she showed us around a bit. We went to Cabo Fish Taco for dinner and drinks, they’ve been on Diner’s, Drive-Ins and Dives before so I figured it had to be good. It was very inexpensive and they’re located right in NoDa, we had a great time! We checked out a few more bars then headed back home for the night.
Today, (Our 7th day of the trip!) we made the drive out to Crowder’s Mountain State Park. Entrance to the park is free, you just have to make sure you get out of the park by the time they’re closed or they ticket you. It warmed up today but me being, well… me… I was well over-prepared. I’m generally always cold so I wore two pairs of pants, shirt, flannel and my 3 in 1 coat. In my backpack I had 3 water bottles, lunch, extra camera lenses, and of course a hat & scarf. The lunch and water was of course a good idea but I ended up taking my coat off 30 minutes up the trail.
We’ve both been hiking in the past, but it’s been a long time for me. We had a late start today, we didn’t get to the park until around 2 pm and we only had until 6. There were two trails up to King Pinnacle’s summit, one of them is a bit easier than the other but the trail was a 4 hour round trip. We decided to take the strenuous trail because it was only two hours, and holy moley. It was strenuous. Good practice for our future hikes, but seriously. It was icy, it was muddy and it was steep. The beginning of the trail wasn’t hard at all, then it became rocky. Then it became steep, really steep. It got to a point where the snow and ice had melted and it was just muddy, we thought that would make it better. We were wrong! It made it so much harder, thankfully there were trees, stumps and rocks that we could kind of help our way up the mountain with but it wasn’t easy.
We made it to the end of the trail and there were several warnings that it was the end of the trail and to continue at your own risk, but we had heard that there was an amazing view waiting for us and that it was worth it to see it… So, up the rocks we went. I went first, and I looked up after my feet hit the last rock and it was all of a sudden so worth it. It was amazing.
We took a bunch of photos then sat down to have lunch. A bunch of other people came up the mountain while we were there just as exhausted as we were, so that made me feel a bit better that we had such a hard time. We looked at the time and decided to head back down the mountain. It wasn’t as hard of a walk down as it was up, of course, but a lot of it was spent sliding down. It was an exhausting day but equally, if not more, amazing.
I think we’re meeting back up with Lina tonight to grab some drinks, and I’m not sure what the rest of the week holds for us here. We’re definitely heading over to Asheville at some point, but we might need a day or two to rest. We’ll see what happens!