I’m Thirty-Whoo! (32)

Prepare yourself for lots of pictures!

Another Year Older…

I was fortunate to have this entire week off from work for my birthday. It. Was. Glorious! To start out with I came home from work last week with a big box waiting for me on my doorsteps.

20150917_133000         20150917_133043

The fact it was addressed to “Chitter” was a clear indication the package was a birthday present from my dad, and I was fairly certain I knew what was inside…


Sweet! Now I can start experimenting with making my own backpacking meals. I have soooo many recipes I would like to try! So far I have made apples, bananas, strawberries, mangos and peaches. The apples and strawberries have been the best so far.

On my actual birthday, I got to have the pleasure of going mountain biking with a really great woman, Cheryl. We rode at Dupont State Forest in Western North Carolina, including trails neither of us have ridden, some that only one of us had and some trails that are both of our favorites.

20150922_135903 20150922_15055220150922_135938

Weekend Away in the Mountains

To start out the birthday week of awesomeness and my full week vacation, we headed to the mountains. Wilson Creek is a short 2 hour drive from Charlotte and one of our favorite places to explore.  Saturday we grabbed our bikes and went an exploration ride. It was a very rough ride, but it was a beautiful day and I was surrounded by friends, so no complaining there. The next morning was looking a little dreary so we all split up to enjoy our Sunday. Gordon and I wanted to head over to the Linville Gorge. Our friends Lee and Courtney joined us. Gordon had planned on a really great route. Up one peak, down into the gorge, back up to another peak and up the road to the parking lot. So first we went up Hawksbill to see beautiful views of the gorge and of Table Rock.

20150920_124429 (1) 20150920_124618 (1) 20150920_124628 20150920_124635 20150920_125424 20150920_125640 20150920_130514 20150920_130549

We were looking down into the gorge and Lee says, “So, you want to hike down into there?” pointing over to Table Rock, “And hike along there and back up to there?! I think I’m good for the day.”

Not going to lie, after the hike up Hawksbill I was wondering about the original game plan myself and not sure if I was going to be able to make it for the full route. We had no real time frame to return to Charlotte… So Gordon and I decided to at least hike down into the gorge to see the river and eat lunch and Lee and Courtney decided to split off and do their own thing for the day. Our route took us down Hawksbill, along Jonas Ridge and then descend down Devil’s Hole. Yowza! Devil’s Hole was a BRUTAL 1.5 mile descent. We got down to the river, sat on a rock, and enjoyed some pb&j’s and the scenery for a little bit.

20150920_144035 20150920_143949 20150920_143035

After my energy started to return I told Gordon there was no way I could handle going back up Devil’s Hole and maybe we should consider completing the route originally planned. I looked at the map and it looked like we would cross the river, follow a section along the river, cross back over the river and follow a more more mellow ascent back to the road, then finish with following the road a short bit back to the car.

The next section was Linville River Trail, which followed the Linville River and had amazing views of the peak we had just hiked and of Table Rock and also some great views of the river.


.. 20150920_150249 20150920_150359 20150920_150406

Lastly, we crossed the river, ascended Spence Ridge (which was much, much, much more manageable) and up the road to the car.

20150920_155038 20150920_155040

…………………………………  20150920_155232

Pizza that night was well earned.


Gear, has been on my mind a lot, so next time I’ll be talking about what I have, what I want and what I don’t know what I should do about.


Affiliate Disclosure

This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!

To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.

What Do You Think?