My last week of Challenge was probably my favorite. We went to Lake Jocassee and camped at Devils Fork State Park for two nights. Despite a nasty storm on our first night there, it was a great trip and a beautiful place.
Maybe it was because we were there during the week (Wednesday – Friday) but there was very little boat/jet ski traffic. The park has campsites and villas. Our campsites were waterfront and had easy access to put our boats in. We had sites 10, 14, and 15 I think. There were 3, right together. Also, I came home from this trip feeling the cleanest all summer because of the nice bath houses with showers, woohoo! 😜
So, the best thing about Lake Jocassee is that it’s a clear water lake. The water was pretty warm and it was so nice to just hang out and swim and paddle.
One day we went to Whitesides Mtn and hiked. That was an easy hike with beautiful views. It was in Cashiers in NC, I believe. After our hike, we stopped at an ice cream shop in town called Sweet Treats to get cooled off.
It took us about 4 hours to get there but it’s totally worth the drive. I’m already planning another trip to take my family!
The view from our site.
My hammock. I slept like I haven’t slept in WEEKS because of the water lapping at the edge of the lake at night. *heaven*
One of the views from Whitesides Mtn.
Another week on the job took me to Damascus, VA. We were originally supposed to go bike part of the New River Trail but because of some mix ups with camping reservations, we ended up at Damascus. I am perfectly happy in Damascus. It’s one of my favorite little adventure towns. They are obviously big on the biking with the Creeper Trail rolling right through town, but they also have climbing, hiking, camping, and fishing. The Appalachian Trail also crosses through Damascus at a couple different spots and it’s home of the Trail Days festival.
I love Mt. Rogers Outfitters – I bought a great AT shirt there this time. I also love Sundog Outfitters, which is where we rent our bikes and use their shuttle service. There’s MoJoe’s coffee shop right next door to that. They have delicious coffee, frappes, and smoothies, as well as homemade baked goods. I had a blueberry muffin and an iced mocha latte this time. YUM. Right down from Sundog is a place called Cowboys. It’s a gas station, I think, plus restaurant. They have delicious tater wedges if you’re in the market for that kind of thing.
One of the best cheeseburgers and/or milkshakes I’ve ever had also came from Damascus. It was after our AT trip last year when we did the Grayson Highlands section and finished in Damascus. I think it’s called Off the Beaten Path and the ice cream shop is separate from the cheeseburger place but the buildings are super close. I was so hungry, I honestly wasn’t paying much attention to anything beyond the food going into my pie hole. I had a black cherry milkshake and a cheeseburger all the way. I can taste it now. Hmmm… Totally worth the 4 hour drive to town. 🙂
So anyway, something new I got to see this time was Backbone Rock. How cool is that?! And people were climbing and rappelling on it! I hope we can make a longer trip of it next time and do the climbing as well as the biking. This was my fifth time biking the White Top to Dam. section. I love it! I love to go fast. I love it when I take my time. I love when it’s hot or cool, Fall or Summer. It’s always beautiful and well-kept and I would love for it to be in my own backyard. Check it out.
I’m about 2.5 weeks into summer and its flying by! But I guess that’s what happens when you’re having a great time.
This will be my third summer working for a program within our Parks and Rec department called Challenge. Last week was the boys’ extended and we took them for a two night trip to Emerald Isle and we paddled from Hammocks Beach State Park over to Shark Tooth island. We were supposed to continue on to Bear Island but the wind was just too strong. The kids really enjoyed themselves though and found some awesome sharks teeth and shells!
This week is the girls short week and we are leaving today for the US National Whitewater Center and one night at Crowders Mtn. It’s a new trip for us so we are all looking forward to it but keeping our fingers crossed that we don’t get washed out at the campsite.
We’ve already climbed, rappelled, hiked, and paddled this week…
I hope you’re enjoying your summer adventures like I am! 🙂
Ahhh, my last week of my summer job. I enjoy this job but this summer really tested my dedication. Every single trip we took ended up in rainy, stormy weather.
This week was our girls extended trip and we took them out on a new adventure for all of us. We were supposed to head to Carolina Beach State Park for camping and then get up and paddle out to Masonboro Island, a coastal reserve. Not long after we arrived, the storms blew in and we were caught in hurricane level winds, lightning that we saw strike trees directly in front of us and blow up a transformer to our right. It was very scary and I was so thankful we were in the van and not in our tents! The next day when we were supposed to paddle, the wind was still blowing so hard that we decided not to attempt the paddle out to the island. We let the girls play on the beach and at the marina in the park, which they seemed to enjoy very much. I hate we didn’t get to enjoy the trip as planned but hope we get another shot at it some time!
We did get a little paddling in!!! 🙂
Day Two’s sunset *almost* made up for the craziness of the night before.