On our first evening there, we had dinner at the Hob Knob Farm Cafe. It's a farm-to-table restaurant in downtown Boone. After our meal we stopped for some groceries and wine and headed to our cabin in the mountains. After a long stretch of winding, steep roads, we arrived at our weekend home. It was a perfect little cabin with a gas fireplace and rustic decor.
It was so nice to be able to sleep in, even though the latest I slept was 8:30. I guess my body just can't sleep that late anymore. We got up on Saturday, made a big pot of coffee, ate breakfast and lounged around for a while. Then we headed down the Blue Ridge Parkway to Grandfather Mountain.
The drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway was gorgeous. Even in December, the drive has many incredibly beautiful views. The landscapes there are like something out of a fairy tale. There are tons of horses and cows and Christmas tree farms.
We arrived at Grandfather Mountain only to discover that all of the hiking trails were closed due to "snow and ice." The frustrating thing about this was that there wasn't much snow or ice. I guess they were being very, very cautious. Oh, well.
We just went a few miles down the road to the Tanawha trail. We hiked for 5.5 miles round trip to the Linn Cove Viaduct. The entire Tanawha trail is 13.5 miles long. It was a strenuous and technical hike, with many large rock staircases and large obstacles. It was exactly the kind of hike we love most and the views were incredible.
We could not have asked for better weather. Bright, blue cloudless sky, warm sun, hiking without coats in December in the mountains. We did hit some very light patches of snow, but certainly nothing worth closing a trail over. (Ahem.)
Jason had a hard time with his hiking boots and was very, very glad when were back at the car.
Saturday night, we had a great dinner at Vidalia in Boone. Then we headed back to our cabin again to "sleep in" until 8 am. Another big breakfast, and we said goodbye to the cabin. Before heading back to Cary, we wanted to sneak in one more hike. We decided to try Elk Knob State Park.
It was clear as we were parking the car that there would be a lot more snow on this hike. We started out with our coats on, but quickly tied the around our waists. This was a phenomenal hike. It was 1.9 miles to the summit (just under 4 miles round trip). We were hiking on a well established path through quiet, snowy woods. It was a moderate hike, much easier than Tanawha, but the views were spectacular. I would recommend this hike to anyone going to Boone.
On the way back down the mountain, we stopped to write each of the kids' names in the snow. They were delighted when we showed them these photos back home.
We've been married 8 years now. We moved 2000 miles. We bought a house. Jason has completed 4 Ironmans (with ridiculously good times) and countless marathons, including Boston. We had 3 beautiful kids (and two at one time even!). This is only the beginning. Love you, Jason.