Fall Hike on Roan Mountain
Check out our amazing hike up Roan Mountain
Carver’s Gap – Grassy Ridge Bald is considered one of the five most photogenic hikes on the Appalachian Trail. I believe that! We love this hike and we go as often as we can.
We hike this trail alone a lot and drink in the tranquility of it. We also have taken several guided hikes and have learned so much about the vegetation and the land. We also love to have them point out other mountains like Cold Mountain. I read the book Cold Mountain in college and found it especially cool to have it standing so tall before me.
Our most recent hike was finally achieved after several delays. The first time we scheduled it a giant flood overtook Roan Mountain. It was sad and scary and we were glad we hadn’t left earlier and been trapped up there. We waited a week and the morning of our hike, more rain. And cold. It was sooo cold. So this last time we determined no matter how bundled we had to get we were going.
Sunday morning arrived and miraculously it felt like the most lovely of Summer days. It was ridiculously perfect weather for a Fall day and we were so excited. We rushed home from church, changed in a hurry and headed for Carver’s Gap. The drive takes just over an hour from our house and all along the way we admired the leaves ablaze on the trees and the bright blue of the sky.
At last, we arrived and we hurried to the Roan Mountain trail, both of us anticipating the peace and restoration that can only be found deep in the forest, high in the mountains, or along the shores of the ocean. We needed it. In only two days we would be taking the trip to Cincinnati to go meet T’s new surgeon at the Shriner’s hospital. I was so grateful we were blessed with such an amazing day.
We climbed and climbed stopping over and over to admire the 360 views of the mountains surrounding us. Along the way we passed several families, their children running and jumping through the high grass. There were groups of friends with puppies and full grown dogs, enjoying the view. And there were couples hiking hand in hand. All of us called to this beautiful mountain, untouched by human hands, breathtaking before us.
T loves it best when we go off the trail so we spent a lot of time exploring the groves of evergreens that are scattered along the ridges of Roan Mountain. We climbed through the barren limbs of rhododendron bushes that had been fully alive and full of blooms on our last visit.
We sat on the rocks, a comfortable silence, and the wind the only things between us. And then we climbed some more. We reminisced about other hikes, about other beautiful places we had visited, about Thanksgiving and Christmas being so close and our favorite parts of those seasons.
We talked about last year and how we had chosen to do our first hike (a tradition where we hike every year on January first) up Roan Mountain and how terribly cold it had been. All of the trails had been covered in ice but the air was so brisk and fresh. We came down off the mountain that day pink-cheeked and fully restored, ready for the new year. And now here we stood at the tail end of the same year. So many amazing moments had been delivered in that time and we so we started talking about all the year ahead may have in store for us.
As a Mom, I feel like time spent in the mountains is some of our best time. Because T is homeschooled we spend almost all of our time together and it is all precious but there is without a doubt something special about the time we spend away from technology, away from the sounds and the rush of daily life, that cannot compare to the hikes we take.
I am so grateful that T loves to hike as much as I do. That he is always up for an adventure. I love how he prefers to hike barefoot and I can still hardly keep up with him when something has caught his eye and called him to it. I am so grateful.
We encourage all of our families who take the time to read our blog (thank you) to get out there and create these moments with your families. They are priceless.
To learn more about this hike, check out this post from hikewnc.info.
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