Mount Mitchell, Elevation: 6,684

Monday, July 28, 2014

After climbing Grandfather Mountain, we were feeling pretty invincible. And by invincible, I mean we were all reevaluating our recent life choices as we went to bed at 9PM because of exhaustion. 

Even though I was pretty sore, it was a good sore. I'm still not sure why I found so much pleasure climbing mountains and in this soreness, but when I woke up the next day, I was ready to climb mountains. Literally of course. I mean, you can't go to western North Carolina and not tackle the highest peak east of the Mississippi. That would totally ruin your street cred.

With our street cred on the line and a slightly delusional mentality, we decided to tackle Mount Mitchell. And by we, I mean me, my dad, and a fairly reluctant mother.

About 5 minutes into our hike, we ran across a deer. It was about 8 feet away from us, and it ended up standing there for nearly 10 minutes. After our little run in with our new friend, my mom was completely sold on the long hike up.

This is me about halfway through our hike. I'm pointing to the top of Mount Mitchell, showing my mom where we were headed. This looks super posed and all, but I had no idea that my dad was taking the picture. I was too busy reassuring my mom and myself that we could make it to the top, even though I was pretty wary seeing as the peak is covered by clouds (it was that high up)!


The remaining climb didn't seem to phase my mom. She was really excited about all the ferns growing up the mountain. So yes, we stopped and had an impromptu fern-photo shoot. 

After our little photo shoot, we heard people coming up behind us, so we started to speed up. It was a family with kids, and I was not about to be overtaken by a 5 year old. I had to maintain a little of my pride and dignity. Luckily, there's a light at the end of every tunnel. Literally. The end was only a 1/4 mile away.

To get to the very tip top of Mount Mitchell, you walk a concrete sidewalk. The peak has a parking lot and gift shop and what not, so the trail had to end to make it more accessible. The climb towards the end wasn't gorgeous, but hey, you're at an elevation of 6,684 ft. That sort of makes up for it.

Mount Mitchell is a very touristy location, so the peak wasn't nearly as special to me as Grandfather Mountain was, but it was still incredibly beautiful. 

Can we all take a moment to focus on my mom? She'll probably kill me for posting this picture, but I know I won't have died in vain. I literally have no idea what she's doing or why, but her pose is the best pose I've ever seen.

There was a lot more people at the top than at Grandfather Mountain (where there was no one but my family), but it was a rainy day (it poured on us the whole hike back), so it was a lot less crowded than usual. Being the typical tourist, we had to take pictures with the Mount Mitchell sign. We had to have some sort of proof that we'd made it to the top!

After taking our pictures, we climbed up to the peak. For a minute or two, my dad was higher than anyone east of the Mississippi (I'm talking about elevation guys, no drug references :) ). I did stand on one of the benches for a little while, so I could be taller than my dad and temporarily hold that title. Trust me, sore legs and hunger pains were worth that experience.

Also, please note that all the grey behind my dad is clouds. We were taller than the trees and standing in the clouds, and I think that it doesn't get much cooler than that.

And in case you're wondering, it's cold on top of the mountain, and it smells like Christmas. 

I think I figured out why we climb mountains as I sat with my dad a top Mount Mitchell. I was dirty, hungry, sore, cold, and had a bad case of bedhead. I wasn't wearing makeup, and I was desperately in need of a nap, but I was happier than I'd ever been. When you're sitting in the clouds and feeling like you're on top of the world, that's when it all makes sense.

I can now officially say that we came, we climbed, and we conquered Mount Mitchell. And it feels pretty good.

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12 Happy Thoughts

  1. How awesome that you saw that deer, and so close too.
    I love being amongst nature like that. I wish I lived closer to places like this to be able to do it every day.

    1. It was so cool! I've never really been THAT close to a deer, so it was very exciting. And YES, being in nature is so much fun. I live about as far away from the mountains as you can get, so we're in the same boat. I guess we have to love it whenever we get the chance xx

  2. Congrats on the climb! I love being at an elevation where it seems like you're in the clouds. It's so magical!

  3. I love the picture of you and your Dad. That is great! And the picture of Karen is a classic (skinned knees and all, lol). Who knew she could be so prissy! I'm so glad that y'all got to have so much time in the mountains!!

  4. Oh what a beautiful day!! That picture of you and your dad is priceless. I love seeing deer- there is something so magical about it :)

  5. The Christmas scent is the best. Haha I love how your mom needed a little coercing first. Sounds just like my mom! Awesome hike!

  6. How sad is it that my favorite thing about this post is that black and white pic of you and your daddy? I'm just such a Daddy's girl, so those little moments are always what stick out to me :) but this looks like such a blast!!

  7. I love being surrounded by nature so I can totally understand why you were excited! These photos are fantastic, everyone looks so happy :)

  8. Smells like Christmas? I don't need any more convincing than that! That hike looks absolutely gorgeous. I love hiking, but I'm the only one in my family who does… So if you ever need a hiking buddy, count me in! ;)

  9. B'awww you and your fam are too cute. And girl, those pictures are amazinnngggg

  10. Loved reading your post.. the place and the pictures everything looks amazing... :D

  11. So cool that you're literally IN the clouds. I want to climb a mountain so bad! Your parents are seriously so cute. Adorbs.


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