I lived near Asheville in the small town of Black Mountain, NC during a few months of my 8th grade year. My mom and sister both lived there when I was in my 20s so i’ve visited plenty of times. It is such a refreshing and unique place to go and I couldn’t wait to take Steve for his first time!
We started our first morning in Asheville with a hike up to Mount Mitchell. If you recall this is where my mom took me on my trip from last June. Mom and me did a short half mile out and back on a very pretty trail near the summit of Mount Mitchell, and I’ve wanted to come back and go further out ever since… go figure, endurance runner wants to go longer.
We took a few pictures at the top then started on our trek.
“What’s your goal for this hike?” Stephen asked, walking a few paces in front of me.
“I don’t know, what do you want to do?” I replied with a typical female response. I knew Stephen well enough to know he already had a set plan, and I already knew I’d go along with it.
“I want to go four hours. Two hours out, two hours back and negative split on the return.” said Stephen, happy and full of energy.
My view for the next 4 hours was pretty spectacular 😉
Up, up, up we go! Our total elevation was just about 2500ft
Quads were killing me, but the weather was perfect and the views were outstanding.
And down, down, down…ropes were in some steep areas and much appreciated!
Looks like we were standing in front of a painting. Also this must have been way early on in the hike for us to be so smiley.
After our 4 hour hike…Actually 3:55, we did in fact, negative split! We cleaned up and drove to Ivory Road Cafe & Kitchen, a place we had to hit up since the owner and chef is an old friend of Steve’s.
Steve & Jill
We ordered several things off the menu and all of it was to die for! I apologize for the lighting, but we needed to sit outside. The weather in Asheville was beautiful in early September compared to the oppressive humidity back home.
You can’t really see, but there’s an egg in the middle of this cast iron skillet of cinnamon roll goodness… I declared this in my Top Five Favorite Breakfast Dishes of All Time. And if you know me and my love for breakfast, this was a big deal.So much of a big deal that the next morning we showed up when Ivory Road opened for breakfast. What? We needed to fuel our morning hike…with donuts that they bake fresh and special on Saturday mornings. Travel Tip: get there early, the fresh donuts sell out fast!
Our breakfasts, and coffee and a lemon donut! Don’t get me started on my lemon love.
After we carbed up we left for a much shorter waterfall hike at Pisgah National Forest that Jill suggested we try. Since the route was shorter we ran most of the trail until we got to the waterfall where the hike turned into a climb and ascended, what seemed to me as, almost vertical. It actually scared me a bit, not the heights, but my legs were in garbage time from the day before and I didn’t have much confidence in the going down part after all the climbing. You know how after a marathon or long run going down stairs is the tough part? Yep, that’s kinda what I was experiencing. I just didn’t trust my legs that morning, so we made it up about 3/4 of the way took some fun pictures on the way down near the falls, and ran back to our car.
It was finally time to head to downtown Asheville and hit up a few breweries. One I’d been dying to try was Wicked Weed’s Funkatorium which features a ton of sour beers.
This place had a great outdoor area with bocci ball and cornhole. I absolutely will go back.
And that was our trip! 2 great hikes, a ton of amazing food and new beers! It will not be our last trip out there. Til’ next time…
What’s your favorite place to hike?
Who’s running a fall race?