“Not all who wander are lost.” – J.R.R. Tolkein
I know- its a terribly over-used yet wonderful quote that you find on travel-themed jewelry and journal covers in Hobby Lobby. Honestly it’s so befitting for the feeling of total wanderlust that comes with exploratory travel. In the mountains of Transylvania County I had no phone signal unless I went into town. I had to descend the mountain just to get my GPS in order so I wouldn’t get lost on the backroads. If I couldn’t load a map while I was out of tower range, I drove blind. Yet not once did I feel lost – only free.
I spent a good deal of time driving when I was away from the cabin. What’s funny is it never really got old because the scenery was so lovely.
When the dog and I set out for our first sloppy day of hiking and waterfalls, I didn’t really know where I was going to go on a rainy Sunday in an area where businesses already had strange, short hours. Brevard offered no options, so naturally I followed a random road though a neighborhood and into the forest. Specifically – we landed in Dupont State forest. After dawdling in a gift shop/diner, I spotted a highway sign for “Hooker Falls” and followed it to a gravel parking lot. We took to the trail in the light rain and snagged some photos.
This was my first look at the Blueridge Parkway and I was lucky that it was even open that day. I felt the need to stop at every overlook (but I skipped a few) for the magnificent views it offered. As I climbed the winding road, it became windier and the fog thickened. I was literally driving in the clouds and living for it!
I returned to the cabin pretty windblown, wet, and muddy. But I was cold and hungry so before trying out the bathhouse I needed food and a fire. I struggled a bit since i didn’t have enough kindling (poor planning on my part since up till now I’d been hanging at the neighbors’ fire.). However luck had it that my new neighbors, Jeremy and Cecilia, saw my plight and offered my coals from their grill to start my fire. So of course I accepted and that was awesome. They later invited me to hang out at their fire and so I brought the Malibu out and we had drinks and discussed our interests. They are very kind people and I wish them the best in their life together.
After dinner and socialization, it was bedtime – but this hiker needed a shower. So I walked to the bath house with my supplies and a flashlight and got clean.
I had started making a habit of recording each day’s adventures in my journal so I could be sure to remember my new friends as we encountered each other. I wrote in my journal and crashed for the night. I had plans to visit the Cherokee Reservation in the next county the following day.