At the end of August, a call was put out to take a trip to the mountains of North Carolina. Four of us ended up making the trek in mid-September to hike and camp at Mount Mitchell in Burnsville, NC.
We drove up on a Friday and spent the night in Asheville. The following morning, we drove out to the trailhead and began our hike. The valley was warm and humid, but as we gained elevation, the temperature dropped rapidly. We traversed numerous small streams and switchbacks, admiring the vibrant greenery along the way. We only paused to rest and admire the view a couple of times on the hike up as our goal was to go up and down before nightfall.
When we reached the top of the mountain, the temperature was palpably cooler and the wind was stronger. We were also partially surrounded by clouds! Yet we could still see the rewarding, expansive view across the mountains. We stayed at the top until we got cold, and then we began the trek back down.
After keeping up a steady pace during our descent, we successfully made it down with an hour to spare before nightfall. We cooked a dinner of mac and cheese on a cook stove and hot dogs on an open fire. We enjoyed s’mores under a clear night sky and fell asleep to the sounds of a gurgling stream beside our campsite. We deemed the trip a wonderful, nature-filled success.
Columnist: Emily Hadley