We decided to spend our first day in the mountains driving the Parkway and doing some hiking. So we woke fairly early Saturday morning, packed the cooler with water and snacks, and then we (and the girls) headed to the Parkway. Fortunately, the Blue Ridge Parkway remained open despite the government shutdown. Unfortunately, the road to the hike that we planned was blocked; however, as you'll see below, we followed suit with the others, parked our truck in some grass, and walked up the road that led to the "closed" hiking trail. Take that government shutdown!
After our hike and drive through the Parkway we ventured to one of our favorite little orchards in western NC, Barber Orchards. We loaded up on fresh apples, apple butter, peach preserves, homemade salsa, the most amazing apple cider, and some fresh apple turnovers. Oh, and homemade apple cider doughnuts. We went all out since we probably won't be back until next fall.
You'll see below we were blessed with a beautiful day to drive the Parkway and be outside. Despite the fact that I spent two years surrounded by these gorgeous mountains, and no matter how many times we come back to visit, the site of rolling mountains and changing leaves will never cease to amaze me. I grew up closer to the NC coast, but something about these mountains is overwhelmingly comforting and feels like home.
One of many overlook stops throughout the Parkway.
Getting started on the hike and looking back at the parking lot (some people were brave enough to drive past the block - we're not at their level of rebellion).
Maeby feeling accomplished after our hike and taking in the rewarding, panoramic views at the top of the mountain.
Maeby was so exhausted from the hike she couldn't even stand up to drink her water.
Mini Fall Vacation: Part 1 - The Cabin