City to Trails

A city girl's journey to the trails of North Carolina


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Hike 4: John’s Rock

Best. Hike. Ever. Well, at least so far. This was an amazing adventure. A perfect combination of hard work and reward. John’s Rock is located in Brevard, NC and you can access the trailhead in the parking lot of the Fish Hatchery.

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The picture above is one of about 5 different “bridges” we had to cross along the way. It was interesting to watch little Ruthie make her way across each bridge. She tends to get very excited, and because she is a hound dog, she has the need to smell EVERYTHING. I thought for sure she would catch the scent of something and take off into the water. Such a goof ball.

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This trail is pretty intense. Certainly the most difficult trail I’ve been on thus far. The loop is about 5 miles and climbs about 1000 feet in elevation for half of the hike. You need to be aware of whats under your feet. Tree roots and rocks are a constant battle on the trail. Having said that, the reward is spectacular.

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Once you reach the top of John’s Rock, the end of the trail peeks through some trees to give you just a tiny glimpse of the scenery in front of you. After you step out on to the rock the view is breath-taking, and a bit frightening.

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The rock is very steep and can be slick. As usual, being my paranoid self, I stayed very close to the trees until a made it a little further from the edge. Directly across the way you can see Looking Glass Rock (which will be my next hike). You can also see the road and the hatchery. It was such a beautiful sight to behold. We took a short break to snack and take in the views.

The hike back down was just as difficult as the hike up. Since the trail is steep on the way up, it is just as steep in the way down. Sometimes I think going down is more difficult. You have to maintain a slower pace because if you gain too much speed and momentum odds are you will just tumble down the mountain.

I would suggest this hike to everyone. It was so much fun and I will certainly go back, mostly because I want to explore the area a little more.

 


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Hike 1: Craggy Gardens

I should mention that I created this blog almost 2 years ago. Like I said in my last post I stopped planning anything outdoorsy because I freaked myself out with too much research, which essentially made this blog useless. However, I have now accomplished 4 hikes and it is now time for me to document those adventures.

Sometime in October I managed to convince my amazing better-half, Daphne,  to take me on a hike. Due to my tendency to do overwhelming research I  asked my  better-half if she would pick a place to go hike. I didn’t want anything to tough because it was my first time, a hiking virgin so to speak. Daphne decided on Craggy Gardens.

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On the car ride, look at that goofy face! I’m talking about the dog, of course. Let me introduce you to Ruthie. She will be involved in most, if not all of these hikes 😀

I don’t want to sound too negative,but I was slightly disappointed. I expected rough terrain and a days worth of excercise. I got easy-peasy. Don’t get me wrong, the views were spectacular, but I wanted to feel like the views were my reward for all my hard work. For me it was just too easy and a bit of a let down.

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I’m not saying this is a hike unworthy of your time. It’s definitely something you should do if you have young children or if you just want to take an easy stroll. However, if you want challenging, this is not the hike for you. Even as a completely novice hiker I walk all the time and everywhere because I don’t have a car, so this was just another trip around the neighborhood for me.

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All in all it was a very successful hike. While it left me slightly unimpressed, it also made me hungry for more. More of a challenge. More gorgeous views. More time in the woods. That was just the push I needed.


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The Plan

About a year ago I started to plan a camping trip, and not your standard car camping. I wanted to load up a pack (something I still don’t have) and camp “off the grid” for a few days. Then, I started my research. Big mistake. It scared the crap out of me! Everything I was reading reminded me of an episode of Man vs. Wild and I am far from Bear Grylls. My planning came to a complete halt. There was absolutely no way I could hack it in the woods for 3 days.

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Now, my plan has completely changed. I still want to try backpacking, but its all about baby steps.  I work for one of the major outdoor retailers in town. I am surrounded by people who have done these sorts of things hundreds of times. Many of my friends spend their off time relaxing and taking in the beautiful nature that surrounds us. Boy, am I lucky! I know that I won’t be hiking and camping alone for a long time. Actually, that will probably never happen because I am too paranoid, but I finally have people who will let me tag along and annoy them with my unrelenting questions of hows, whys and what ifs.

Challenge/plan number one- convince someone to take me on a hike.

Challenge/plan number two-keep an open mind.