Friday, October 4, 2013

Crowder's Mountain: First October Trip

     Yesterday Corey surprised me with a day trip to Crowder's Mountain, which was such a fun experience! Apparently most of our friends and residents of Charlotte have been, due to the fact that it is only about a 40 minute drive outside of the city. I'll be honest, it is no Blowing Rock or Boone but definitely a mountain with tons of scenic views and strenuous hiking trails.

   So the day of, we got ready, loaded up Portia (my Jack Russell), and headed to the Mountain. We first stopped to get a quick bite at a Wendy's on the way (which I regreted post the 8+ miles of hiking). We found a great spot to eat our (fatty) burgers on a campsite beside "Fern Trail," which was very calm without a single person in site. Portia wanted to attack every squirrel she layed eyes on but I kept giving her a fry or two to keep her by our side. Once we finished eating, we headed to the first trail we thought would not be to intense that was around the lake area at the base of the mountain.

     This trail was probably my favorite. Even though it was not the big Overlook, it had so much character with birds chirping and trees turning hues of orange and yellow. The water was so peaceful and calm which had me completely relaxed the entire time. This trail also had little hills and was mostly flat which of course made it effortless to walk through.

    Once this trail ended we thoughy it was time to tackle the big hike up "Pinnacle Point" which led to the Overlook up Crowder Trail. Now this trail started out not too bad, however was much longer than I anticipated. The path was steep but had few big rocks around. You really had to watch your step hiking up this trail, but it was such a beautiful site throughout. Looking up you would see these gorgeous trees hovering over you with sun beams making their way through the leaves.

     Portia surprisingly did fantastic on this whole trail through Pinnacle Point. It was about a 5 1/2 mile hike up to Crowder's Trail (and just abut killed my thighs midway through) but Corey kept me really motivated and even told me how shocked he was that I was an outdoors girl after all (Haha..He also knows compliments are always uplifting). We would take a few breaks to take some photos and get hydrated. I carried a small Wendy's cup that we would refill periodically to give Portia water (she really was a trouper!!).

      Once we got close to Crowder's trail, and the Overlook, their was probably a steep hill with maybe 50 + steps directly upward that we had to tackle. At this point I was getting pretty tired (and a tad cranky) but knew the whole point was to see the spectacular view at the top.  So now the true hike began. We got halfway up the steps and took a water break and then climbed up the rest. Once we made it to the top we saw the incredible..and I mean incredible Overlook.

      This view was breathtaking. You can actually see Charlotte if you look way way out in the distance. Corey and I sat together with Portia and just took it all in. The sounds the smell the was all so amazing. I had forgotten the sweat and practically tears of the hike up after seeing this. After awhile we decided to make our way back down the mountain. This part of the trip I was not to fond of because of the huge rocks we had to climb up and steep downhill trails. We ended up carrying Portia through some of the rocky trails because of how unsteady the rocks were (luckily she only weighs about 18 Ibs. so it was not too bad). On our way down more of the leaves we apparent with their Fall colors coming in and I was in heaven.

     Once we had finally made it down the mountain we were out of water and very thirsty and had about a 2 mile trail to the visitor center. This trail actually felt good because it was very shady and completely flat (kind of like a cool down at a workout class haha).

      When we got to the visitor center we filled up the water bottle had a snack and headed home. I will say we learned a few things on this trip. We only brought one big water jug which was definitely not enough water for the amount of hiking we did. We decided next time we would bring a small backpack with a few waters and even some nuts and crackers to keep us feeling energetic! We also did not realize how few people were there so we thought bringing a blanket and a book to sit at the top of the mountain would be very relaxing.

     All in all it was a fantastic start to this month. October weather is our favorite and we plan on taking complete advantage of it while we can!