Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Camping Is...

Not for everyone one.  These words were flashing through my mind as I was on the verge of tears thinking about how I would never get Ryan to go camping with me ever again.

Oh and we can't forget DANGER DANGER....for no reason just because shit was going south fast!

Don't worry the weekend turned out great....funny how that happens.

So let me start at the beginning.  All summer long I had been asking Ryan if we could go to the Pisgha Inn to eat dinner before they closed up for the winter.  By asking I mean basically doing a weekly countdown of how many weekends we had left before they closed.  So one week Ryan decided that he was going to surprise me with a trip up there for dinner, sadly I ended up having to work that Saturday but this meant that we had the chance to figure out if we wanted to make this simple date night dinner into a whole weekend of camping fun! I say camping fun others like Ryan may say freezing your butt off in a tent and living like a cave man.  No really Ryan also had a good time. 

So we took off for our fun filled weekend Friday morning in hopes to get a great camp sight and also with the hopes that those few pesky things we forgot to pack really weren't needed.  The drive to Pisgha from here really isn't a bad one and there was a ton of fall colors for me to "ooh" and "aw" at as we drove along.  Once we got up to the top of the mountain I was in full cheery mood.  The ranger told us to go pick out a sight and come back and let him know, at this point we asked if there were any good ones and got the response of they are all great.  Yea I am sure you tell that to everyone, even those cozied up to the bathroom.  So off we went, driving around the loops a few times trying to find the best spot and finally settling on one we thought was premium.  Really you would of thought we were buying a house.

After checking back in with the ranger and getting the all clear to set up camp we started to pitch the tent.  Now this is only the 2nd time I have been tent camping, growing up we were camper people, and well tent camping really is a whole new thing.  The last time Ryan and I went tent camping we were in Gatlinburg and well we were not on the top of a mountain or rustic camping.  So the tent we bought at Sam's worked out just fine, however this time not the case. Putting up the tent was going pretty good, we were joking and laughing about how last time it was pouring down rain and how much nicer it was to put up a tent in the nice sunny weather and then the wind started.  I don't mean like nice little gust of wind, I mean like top of the mountain here comes a flying chipmunk out of that tree wind.  Now just a little hint, 12 people tents bought on sale at Sam's really are not meant for the wind, even more so when you forgot to pack the stakes that help hold it to the ground.  So off to the camp store I went as Ryan held on to the tent (I would of done it but really the wind was that bad) only to get laughed at by the couple running the store.  Turns out they were out of all rope and stakes.  After a short talk with the ranger it turned out we were going to be headed back down the mountain to Brevard.

So when I got back to the camp sight Ryan was all but amused at the turn of events, grumbled about how we should have our own T.V. show with our luck sometimes, and then may or may not of mumbled about this is why they make hotels. This is the point of when I thought that camping was not for us, never would be for us, and that we were just doomed to be those people who never camped but only stayed in fancy hotels. Not that that is all bad, I love hotels, but really I also love camping at least once or twice a year.

After a few minutes of looking at the tent:

We decided to go down to Brevard to try out luck at Walmart.  One tent, a Subway stop, and two hours or so later we were back on top of the mountain pitching a much more realistic tent.  To top it off this tent took less than 10 minutes to set up. 

I think this one makes us look more hard core!

Once the tent was set up, we blew up the air mattress (really I don't "rough" it that hard core), unpacked some things (well as much as we could in our new "hard core" camping tent) and then played some Monopoly on the Kindle before starting dinner.  At this point we were back to loving camping and having a great time.  Come to think of it until I uploaded photos I kind of forgot all about the first half of the day and the whole tent fiasco. 

As we started getting dinner together we figured out we had forgotten the roasting sticks and headed up to the camp store to get one.  The only one that had looked like a cross between a fishing poll and a car antenna, but when it comes to roasting marshmallows you can't be picky.  So with roasting stick in hand we headed back to start a fire.  Now starting a fire this day in age really is not a hard thing to do, unless you are on top of a mountain in a wind tunnel.  Remember how we thought we got a preemie camp spot? Well it turns out that out in the open is really not what you want, you kind of want to be surrounded by trees on all side.  So starting a fire was kind of a pain and I thought Ryan was going to catch his fleece on fire as he used it to cover the logs as he blew on the little flames and tried to get them to grow.  Then once they grew the flames were kind of everywhere and those little embers that blow off were blowing right towards our tent, this kind of freaked us out for a bit until we figured out there was not much we could do short of put the fire out and eat cold stakes.

Dinner: It was GREAT!!

Jumbo Marshmallow.  It was the size of my fist.

And because we were camping and there was no power, Internet, TV, etc we just had to see how big a jumbo marshmallow would get when tossed into the fire.

It's that really black thing that doesn't show up to good in this photo.  Please try this if you get a chance, this thing just kept growing and growing and growing. It was kind of like a monster, the marshmallow monster.

Then it was time for a scary movie, The Caller
The Caller Poster
This movie was ok, not great, not bad, I kind of like the idea behind it but sadly my laptop died maybe 5 minutes before it was over.  I still don't know how it ends but oddly I won't talk to any crazy old lady's on the phone.
Saturday we slept in, got up, cooked breakfast, took showers, and headed off to see what we could do. We started out by just aimlessly wondering up and down the Blue Ridge parkway stopping here and there to get out and take in the views.






Looking Glass Rock


On the way down the mountain we deiced to stop at the Cradle Of Forestry to kill some time before heading into town for lunch and then on to Stingy Jacks Pumpkin patch.




After an hour or so we finished our trip into town to grab some barbecue and then make our way to Stingy Jacks....which had we not gotten coupons to get in free at the Cradle Of Forestry I would of been really upset with just how "stingy" Jack really is, but it was free so it was all good.
For starters we got to ride a trolley.

Then we got to go through a hay maze.

Then on a hay ride where we saw


Then we got to watch this guy carve bears out of logs:

Then we went through a corn/burlap maze

Then we got to listen to the story of Stingy Jack but well we couldn't hear him because he wouldn't use a mike for some strange reason.  We also got to drink hot apple cider, or well an apple cider slushy if your Ryan, listen to a local band, and people watch.  People watching is always fun, even more so when you are trying to guess if the people are in consume for Halloween or just dress like a Hobbit everyday.
Once it got dark we headed for the Twilight Trail where we heard there were over 3,000 light pumpkins.  This was halfway true but either way it was kind of cool.







After Stingy's we headed back up to the campground for the night where we roasted hot dogs, bacon, and marshmallows. 
Smoked bacon:

Sunday we got up, cooked breakfast, took down the tent, made a fire and just chilled.  We may or may not of also cooked some s'mores over this morning fire.
The jumbo marshmallows were so big they wouldn't melt the chocolate so Ryan came up with this:

It worked out pretty well.
A little before 11 we headed for the Inn to get some lunch.  Lunch doesn't start till 11:30 so we gave them our name, got our beeper, and headed out to take in the view. About 12:15 we noticed that people who came in after us were being seated (we were only number 26 or something and there were more than 26 tables), but we waited a little longer till things slowed down because we didn't want to get in the way.  Once we went up and asked they got kind of snippy and said they sat "Cook party of 2" and we showed her our beeper and were like "no you didn't" (but not the cool kind of "no you didn't" where there is a finger snap and head jerk).  She then looked around and shoved us towards a table of 5, in the corner, of the room with the parking lot view. 

Now really the food here is not that great or bad, the view is what people come for.  We politely said that we thought it was a waste for them to seat 2 people at a table of 5 and that we really would like to eat in the room with the view (where our table should of been) and got told that they were sorry we had to wait and the table of 5 would be fine for us.  We both just kind of looked at each other with "really" looks and sat down.  Once we were seated we noticed a table for 2 had 3 people sitting around it and tried again to say that a bigger party could use our table, again we were shot down.  We were both kind of looking for something special and a nice intimate meal at a table for 2, that really is not much to ask for, and we were not upset, we were not being rude, and we even offered to wait a little longer for a smaller table, so we really didn't understand what the problem was.  I now wonder if we should of said something (however I don't know how we could of been any more direct) instead of just getting up and politely leaving.  I was upset when I left, I had been looking forward to this all summer, this was something that meant a lot to me because last time Ryan and I were there we were there with my grandparents. 
View from the Inn:



Conversation with Ryan about this tree:
Me: I wonder what kind of berry tree that is. 
Ryan: Hum maybe it's a....
Me: If you said its a berry tree I might have to pinch you
Ryan: I wasn't going to say that, I was going to say it's a RED berry tree.
I really hate to say this but he had a point.
We then decided to take in a few more sights before heading home.
Sliding Rock:


Looking Glass Falls:


We then made our way down to Hendersonville to grab a beer and some lunch at the Black Rose before heading home. And because I love the goats and bears in Hendersonville I had to at least one photo to share them with you.

Also because I know they never turn out too great I save all the "do it yourself" photos I took of Ryan and I over the weekend for the end!




So maybe camping can be for us!  We are already working on a camping trip for Spring, and well I might of told Ryan if we could go 3 whole years without any camping mishaps maybe we could try back packing.  Now that I think about it back packing could be fun....if we could just get good at campground camping first.

Yes so only maybe a month later and I blogged about camping! There are still so many thoughts jumping around in my head about this trip and I want to get out so next time we go camping I can look back and be like...oh really now do we need a laptop? Oh yes maybe we should pack that....

Anyone got any camping tips?

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