My final day in North Carolina! No!!!
Looking back at these photos makes me miss the mountains SO MUCH MORE. Ugh. Florida is so hot and humid. Oh and did I mention that yesterday it POURED all evening? Ridiculous.
Back to the mountains…
Thursday was our last day in North Carolina and we certainly took advantage of the day. While at dinner the night before, we mentioned that we wanted to do one last big hike before leaving. Our host Tom graciously offered to take us on one of his favorite trails. Panthertown.
My dad had golf at 1:00pm so we planned to meet at 8:30am the next morning. Still exhausted from so much hiking and distraught over a 7am wakeup call, I was a little grumpy to say the least. That is until we hit the trail.
The air was cool and I was freezing at first. But as we started walking, my spirits lifted and my body warmed with each step. Suddenly everything was so beautiful that I couldn’t help but smile.
We got the difficult uphill rock climbing section out of the way first which was a clever strategy. I personally love those straight up climbs. You pull yourself up by the branches, scramble over rocks, and leap up the mountain with momentum. It’s so fun. Plus you are rewarded with an amazing view at the top.
Did I mention snacks? My favorite part of long hikes is probably stopping at the peak and chowing down on some trail mix.
At the top we traversed a lush trail that skimmed the peak of the mountain. We saw some wildlife that included a wild turkey, little frogs, and big toads.
Do you see him?
How about now?
Finally we made our way down the mountain and stopped at some beautiful sections along the stream. My sister forced me to walk across the slippery rocks which totally freaked me out. I am not the most graceful person and have slipped many a times. This time I stayed dry although I would have gladly taken a dip in the cool waters.
We covered about 5.5 miles in a a little under 3 hours. Pretty impressive. What a perfect hike to end our trip. We will definitely return to Panthertown.
At 1pm our parents went out to golf so Morgan and I hit the town. Highlands that is. We had some serious shopping to do. I scored some cute earrings and lots of chocolate. Morgan got some cool socks and Birkenstocks. Then decided to wear them together. Not even joking. She has some killer style.
After a successful trip that included some delicious ice cream at Sweet Treats, we joined our parents for some BBQ. We visited our favorite casual BBQ restaurant by Cashiers and chowed down. You can’t go wrong with pulled pork and fries.
The cherry on top of the evening was a beautiful sunset.
Can’t even stand it.
We had an amazing vacation. I couldn’t have asked for a better prelude to moving to Shanghai. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to spend time with my family in the mountains.
I hope to have many more wonderful times with my family in the future. I am sure we will appreciate it so much more when I am gone.