Grandfather Mountain & The Highland Games

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

 My husband is the biggest outdoorsy guy in the world. He loves being outside, LOVES the mountains, and don't even get him started on the topic of camping. He's always wanted to take me camping, but was hesitant because some would say I can be a little high maintenance or maybe a little girly. Little did he know how much he underestimated me for our first real camping trip together, EVER, as a couple in 13 YEARS!

 

Growing up my family went camping a few times, but always with a lot of stuff, close to the cars, and/or on a campsite/campground. Half of my family lives in Kentucky with lots of land, so we would also camp one night around a bonfire, but never too far from the house. There was always a toilet, shower, and sink within walking distance. I have never had that real backpacker, hiker, roughing it type of camping. My husband laughed when I told him about my history with camping and was a bit skeptical when I told him I could rough it.

 

His brother invited us to Boone, NC for the Highland Games that takes place on Grandfather Mountain. His friend owns land around there so we could hike and camp freely. My husband, being the gentleman that he is, made sure I was as comfortable as possible so he borrowed an 8-man tent and two twin XL cots from a friend and hiked them in himself. :) . Am I spoiled?... NO WAY RIGHT?! lol He got laughed at a little, and worked his tail off setting up our camp, but just another feather in my love cap for my husband<3. Needless to say, we definitely slept extremely comfortably all weekend. 

 

After setting up camp we set out on our first adventure hiking to Compression Falls. It downpoured the night before so our friend, who is a local, said typically you can swim freely and jump off the falls into the pool below. Well, after a very steep downhill hike we discovered the rain did a number on the falls, and while there was some areas for swimming, you can tell by the pictures the waterfall was a little treacherous. Unfortunately there would be no cliff jumping for us that day, but we were able to get close, swim in some areas where the current wasn't so heavy, and enjoy some cold ones. We stayed there all day sunbathing, swimming, and taking it all in. The hike back was probably the greatest workout I've had all year. It was basically rock climbing straight back up and my legs were HOT. We reached the top and headed back to camp. I got some shots of the falls and our day there. Absolutely something I recommend to go visit, but be weary of bringing small kids and don't plan on taking a lot of stuff when you go!

 

As close to Compression Falls as we could get. :)

 

 Can't forget the essentials!!

 I don't go anywhere anymore without my cooler filled with a pack of La Croix. When we gear up for trips my husband is in charge of packing the cooler and he knows now he goes to the store to get two packs of drinks, his beer, and my La Croix. :) (This is not an ad, I seriously love it, and the flavor above is my current obsession). 

 

Here's a snap shot of our evening hangs. Some literally.

 Hubby wins again!! Camping stovetop Starbucks insta-coffee! Had a beautiful morning with friends around the campfire with coffee, eggs and bacon, THE WORKS! These people know how to camp. :)

 

Our friend's family had a yurt on their land which came in handy for keeping a lot of our stuff dry. I wish I would've taken pictures of the inside, it was so cute and a perfect little getaway. I would love to go back to hike in and stay at the yurt and unplug for an entire weekend. It really is a cleansing feeling!

 

 Around our friend's parents' home. So beautiful!

 

 

 

 The makeshift bridge to our campsite^^

 The Highland Games were such a blast! Definitely something I recommend to check out to experience some authentic Scottish culture. There were competitive games like sheep dog trials, the Caber Toss (giant log throwing), and dancing. There were also many, many men in kilts. It was a lot of fun and you could get some interesting food. We did find out that they do not sell alcohol on premises which was a slight disappointment as we were excited  to try some scottish whiskey. You are able to bring in our own however we found this out a little too late. We still had tons of fun, stayed a while to watch the games and listened to some great music. We headed back for camp later that afternoon to spend the rest of our time exploring, playing more drinking games, and making great memories.

 

Me and Hubs entering the Highland Games 2017

 Fulfilling one of his GoT/Harry Potter fantasies :) My knight in semi-shining armour. lol

 

Overall it was a blast of a weekend with some really great friends. Lots of games, laughs, drunk nights, and the most exercise I've had in a year. lol. Definitely something I highly recommend to anyone wanting to try something new. Take a group of friends and plan a weekend in Boone to hike, camp, explore, and get to know eachother better. Although it was not a completely unplugged weekend it was one of the first weekends that I was not with my phone 24/7 because I knew I had no service and there was no point. I traveled everywhere with my GoPro and tried to document as much as I could while experiencing it all. I can't wait to go back and explore more of what the NC mountains have to offer. I am a beach girl through and through, but stepping outside my comfort zone was an experience all on its own and something I plan to continue with future adventures. If you get the opportunity to visit Boone or Grandfather Mountain definitely take advantage! Thanks for reading, I hope you enjoyed it!

 

 The Camping Crew 2017

 

 

 

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