Hi everyone! I hope you all enjoyed your weekend. I know I did, which is why I couldn’t wait to update you guys on what happened!
If you’re dying to know what the surprise is, just scroll down. =) Otherwise, enjoy my recap of our trip to Asheville, our adventures with hiking, and pretty pictures. I’ll be trying to get together a slide show of all the pictures we took.
South Mountains State Park
I referenced a handy map from this website to see where waterfalls were located around Asheville. I’m a complete sucker for how beautiful and majestic they are, and was excited to see there were quite a few!
Some parks required admission, so I searched around to find ones without entry fees. This was supposed to be a frugal day trip, after all! I was not disappointed upon finding South Mountains State Park. It was a little over an hour to get to, which broke our trip up nicely.
We headed out at around 9:30am, and I was giddy with excitement as the weather had cooperated nicely. It was cool and there wasn’t a cloud in the sky. It was the perfect day to explore nature.
We arrived around 11, and found the park to be mostly empty. There were only a few other people going up to see the falls. The website had classified this as an easy hike, but I have to disagree. I don’t have much to compare it to as my hiking experience is severely limited, but my legs were getting numb after climbing so many stairs! Even R was breaking a sweat.
It was all worth it, though. This is what we were greeted with:
After that, R wanted to explore further, so I let him run ahead while I took a break. I slowly caught up to him, and we stopped for a drink and some snacks. He told me that it looked as though the trail got easier up ahead, so I trudged along.
I’m really glad I did, as there was still more to see. Thankfully there were no more stairs – I don’t know why, but I prefer dirt, even rocks, to the stairs we encountered.
Going down was still difficult, though, as it was pretty steep, and I kept gaining too much momentum. There were times R had to hold me back as he was afraid I’d fall. I kept telling him, “I can’t stop, I can’t stop! Wee!” He wasn’t amused, having had his fair share of trip-ups while running in the mountains before.
Eventually, we made it out, and saw a few really cute dogs along the way (dogs make my day, along with waterfalls). Our rough plan was to get to Asheville and walk around. Normally, I have a list of things I want to check out, but I felt like going with the flow this time.
Unfortunately, that didn’t work out too well. We stopped for lunch, and made it to Asheville around 3:45. The best thing we learned: parking is free on Sundays. That was great, as we didn’t have much change on us!
We wandered around for a bit, but R wasn’t really feeling up to it for some reason. In his attempt to explain it to me, he said something about getting used to wandering around in the woods with no one around, and not adjusting back to city-life. The streets were bustling with a decent amount of people, and there wasn’t enough space to walk side-by-side most of the time.
Perhaps this is just downtown Asheville. Either way, I really liked it, and I hope we can go back just to explore the city. Trying to fit in hiking and sightseeing might have been too ambitious.
Given R’s blahness, I mentioned I had seen another set of trails not too far away. We would be going back toward Charlotte, so we agreed to stop and check it out on the way.
It was quite the adventure! You actually have to wade in some water and cross a few rocks at the beginning, and we got our feet soaked with really cold water.
We were a little disappointed, though. I’m not sure if we went wrong somewhere (although there was just one straight path!), but according to the website I read, it was 1.5 miles to a waterfall from the entrance.
We walked, and walked…and walked. We reached something, but it certainly wasn’t the waterfall that was depicted on the site. There was a lower and upper falls, so we thought that maybe we just needed to go on a bit further.
Eventually, we wanted to give up. It was nearing 6pm, and the sun would start setting around 7. We didn’t want to get so far in that it would take forever to get out. While we both really wanted a nice payoff from continuing on, we at least got to see pretty mini-waterfalls.
And well, the payoff did end up coming, actually.
Shortly after we agreed to take a further look down the trail, we found a tiny path leading out to a huge rock overlooking the trails and river. While I was busy taking pictures, R pulled out the ring from the backpack.
I turned around and he was waiting on one knee.
Obviously, I said yes. =D
Looks like my grandma’s nudging worked. ;)
I wish I had a better story than that, but truthfully, it doesn’t feel as though anything has changed. R and I have been living together for over a year now, we’ve combined our finances, we’ve been acting similarly to a married couple, and this was just the next step waiting to happen. We both agreed to wait until after we moved and got settled in, and from there, R has been waiting for the right time.
I preemptively wrote a post on what my affordable dream wedding would look like, so you can have a look at that for now. I have no other news to report, as we’re not really in a rush, and have no clue what year we want to get married in, let alone month. But as we get the details ironed out, I’ll be sure to let you know. Just don’t hold me to any wedding updates until at least next year!
So that was my weekend! On Saturday we celebrated R’s birthday with some cheesecake and fettuccine alfredo (his favorites). We’ll be going out to eat tonight in celebration, as we didn’t spend much on our trip to Asheville aside from gas.
I think it’s safe to say we have a new hobby now! I’d love to go back to new trails in a few weeks, as the fall foliage was lacking due to a rainstorm earlier last week. The leaves are supposed to be turning then.
What’s your favorite part about hiking? What other frugal fall activities have you partaken in so far? Share your proposal story with us!