I was told that when you go to Montreat you have to take a very stereotypical picture from inside of the car looking at the entrance…. so here ya go! Montreat is this really cool community just outside of Asheville. Montreat is best known for the Montreat Conference Center and Montreat College as well as its association with the presbyterian church. Well, we weren’t there for any of that — we were there for the hiking! We decided that we would hike Graybeard. See map below.
Graybeard Trail in Blue
If you decide to do this trail bring lots of water and know that you are going to be hiking for 7.5 miles… uphill — both ways 🙂 Hiking Poles are probably a good idea as well. It’s really an amazing trail. Parts of Montreat are said to be classified as Rainforest. I believe it; when you first enter the trail you can feel the cool humidity and it smells damp in a refreshing way — odd, I know. Along the trail, you follow a creek almost the whole way up to the top and you could see rock sculptures and places to sit and picnic. The water tasted AMAZING. Here are some pics from the trip.
Along the Trail
Everyone knows Asheville as a laid back Mountain Community full of hippies and art, right? But have you thought of it as a community of high graffiti art? Now, I’m no one in particular to be discussing the evolution of what is high and low art, although I have taken several classes on it. I will say though, I know good art from bad art. I like art that has emotion, intellect, skill, and creativity. I like art that is thought provoking and brings a little something new to the table. I also love it when you see something you didn’t quite expect or predict. I found that in Asheville, its walls have been tagged by some amazing artists.
W. Walnut St. near the Mellow Mushroom
Downtown Asheville : next to the coolest art gallery
Detail. A little something unexpected.
The Little Prince
Located in Traveler's Rest, SC on the street in "Downtown"
Photographs provided by NR and AC.
Midnight Hole, NC
Midnight Hole, North Carolina has to be one of my favorite places in the whole wide world. Its pretty amazing. To get to Midnight Hole you have to go through the Smokies (well, it’s in the Smokies) and its an amazing drive full of mountains and little radio reception. You’ll almost miss the exit so watch out. As a side note, I believe the AT passes through this site. Cool, huh?
Its about a 2 mile hike to get to Midnight Hole and when you get there you’ll think, “wow this is kinda cool” but then you’ll get in the water… its the clearest, coldest, sweetest water I have ever been in contact with—EVER.
We decided that when we went we wouldn’t fully submerge our bodies until we actually jumped off the big rock. Well a. that’s difficult (I’m 5′-2″), b. due to being vertically challenged, climbing onto the rock even with the help of a rope was quite difficult and took some serious contemplation and jumping c. it was still freakin’ awesome.
It was really exciting. It’s not too high up… maybe 15 feet. Maybe less, maybe more. And we just went for it. We ran off the top and just jumped in… The water was sooo cold, it knocked the breath out of me. And you could potentially go down a good 15 feet or more in the water. It felt like you just jumped into a pool of ice water. I came up gasping for air because I was so surprised by the waters temperature. We had just hiked the 2 miles to get there, it was the middle of summer with temperatures easily in the 90s (although on the trail it was probably low 80s), and we had a good sweat going… and then, the next thing I know I have goose bumps and I’m shaking I’m so cold. It was so amazing. If you have the opportunity you have to go. Some of the more brave kids were doing flips into the water… I’ll save that for another day 🙂
Pics are compliments of NR and AC
PLTW (spread the message)