Well…. Some of you know, but many don't. These past couple months have been stressful for myself, and the little lady. Probably more so than most even know. With everything going on, a trip to Nashville for her work, and multiple other engagements, we haven't taken the time that we needed in order to reset. To rest not only our bodies, but out soul, our mind, and our hearts. With all of that in mind, Whit and I decided that we needed to take a this opportunity to do that. That we needed to get lost, in order to find ourselves again.
Saturday morning, we took our time… This too was also rare. I loaded the rack back onto the truck, bolted down the roof top tent, and loaded all of our provisions into the bed. We had decided that we needed to try a small campground just outside of Maggie Valley, NC called Mile High Campground. With this only being a short trip, we knew we wouldn't require much. Just some dinner for the evening, and breakfast for the morning. This made packing extremely light… Almost to the point that I was uneasy, as we only took one tote… Typically, there are at least two!!! Heading out, we traveled through the back roads of Hamblen county, and made our way down to Hwy 25E heading into Cocke County. We knew that we would then be jumping on the Interstate (I40) for about a 45 minute trek into North Carolina. I can't lie… I drove even slower than normal. I was taking in everything that I could see.
The weather was as perfect as anyone could ask for. The sun beamed through the glass warming the steering wheel, and down onto my arms. The outside temperature gauge on the truck said that it was only 75 degrees….. And it was 11:30 am. The trees seemed to barely move as the winds were low, the clouds very sparse, and the sky…. The ski was a pure blue. A blue like you would see in a painting, or television show. The road was winding its way through the mountains of North Carolina, and just ahead, we could see the exit that read "Maggie Valley". It was time to make our departure from the busy interstate, and head closer to our destination of the day.
This exit lead us down a nice stretch of highway, and into the town called Maggie Valley. As we had been in the truck for some time now, we decided this would be a good place to get out…. Stretch…. and maybe even act like a couple of tourists! Believe it or not, that's exactly what we did. The streets were crowded with many different stores. We saw everything from leather shops, T shirt shops, Trinket shops, and everything in between. Just because we aren't your normal tourists, we veered straight for the antique shops! There were two of them. About a block apart, and both had every inch of shelving and wall packed. There were magazines, cameras, locks, keys, you name it… I think you could find it within those walls. The stores in Maggie Valley had given us a great chance to stretch our legs, but we were ready to get to base camp.
As we pulled back onto the road, the Blue Ridge Parkway was only a few minutes drive up the road. One left turn, and we were there…. for about 5 minutes! LOL. We had traveled this route before, and knew that one additional left turn would get us back onto a gravel road were we could enjoy a slow ride to the top of the mountain.
As we traveled through the dusty mountain road, we quickly came to the top of the hill and were looking straight into the door of the campground office.
We had passed here before, but never taken the time to actually look. This campground, however small, was perfect for us. With only 24 spots, they have done a great job of having them spread out as to not have campers on top of one another. A quick check in, and placing a wood order (you aren't allowed to bring you own , and must purchase from them), we headed on up the hill to our assigned spot #18. For only $20.00…. I can honestly say that it isn't priced for the view. Although according to all the reviews online spot 18 wasn't one to be desired, we were quite pleased. Large enough for our Ram truck, a small picnic table, fire ring, and plenty of room to spread out and make ourselves feel right at home. Just at the back of our site was this….. And this is why I can say that the spots are not priced for the views. These views are priceless…
With plenty of day left, we made our way through camp looking at all of the different views. You see, this entire campground is built on the top of a ridge with stunning views no matter what side you look on. Oh… and the Elk.. Yeah….. They had Elk that lived inside of the campground as well. Our trip down through the campground gave us some additional views of the majestic mountains. Of the Elk that live there along side the campers. And numerous other campers out enjoying the beauty that is hidden atop this mountain as well. From people camping out of the back of their Honda Accord, to top notch rigs. It brought a smile to our faces to see that some of these people, well into their 70's, were still out here living, and being alive!!!
After a beautiful sunset, and a great nights sleep, we were both happy to wake up to a foggy Great Smoky Mountain morning on Sunday, and ready to see even more. After Whit made us both some breakfast, we decided we needed to take our time. Pack up, relax, shut down, and head out. With our route ahead already mapped out on the tablet inside the truck, we pulled out of the campground and back onto a beautiful gravel road that quickly let us back out onto the Blue Ridge Pkwy yet again. But also…. not for long!!!!! We had found a separate gravel road that would lead us back across the mountain, and let us come out just inside Cherokee, NC!
This road proved to be some of the most amazing hours….. minutes….. seconds of this trip. Both sides of the road had these huge sporadic patches of natural wild flowers. These patches of flowers were alive. The insects and bees had made this their home for the season. Stopping ever so often to look at the random flower patches, occasional turkeys, and small water falls…. we simply took our time. And I am glad we did. Taking this road until the end, jumping into Cherokee, and back across into Tennessee…. It was time to come back home and into reality. Still taking every opportunity to take each and every back road, the normal hour and a half drive home took us almost four, but again….. well worth it.
I know that this has been a rather long read, but for those of you that have taken the time to do so, I wanted to say Thank you. I'm a horrible writer, bad photographer, and truthfully not really good at much of anything else. But I truly wanted to take every opportunity to share some of our adventures with the world in hopes that we can possible inspire others to get outside, and see all of the beauty that God truly has resting just under our noses… I beg of you.. Turn off the noise. Get away from you WiFi signals. Put away your cell phones, and go explore. It truly can change your life for the better if you will let it!! Make sure you follow us on Instagram @wolfpackoverland for even more photos.