Friday, October 29, 2010

Fall Mountain Getaway

Thank God it's Friday, y'all!

Finally, a bit of free time to sit down and remember the fabulous time Miss Chef and I had last weekend--it seems like a lifetime ago, now that our lives have been taken over by she-who-shall-not-be-named.  No kitty pics today, though..this is my blog, dangit! 

Now, as Lisa of Laughing Orca Ranch is wont to say, you might want to visit the bathroom and grab your favorite beverage, 'cause this is one loooong post!

Let me start off by saying that, in spite of years of waiting, and months of eager anticipation and build-up, this mini-vacation was all we had dreamed of.  Everything about it was perfect!  The first piece of that was where we stayed.

We found the Cabins at Willoughby Woods through (Vacation Rental By Owner), a site recommended by a co-worker.  I have to say, it was exactly what we were looking for.  Clean, comfortable, isolated, and totally surrounded by trees.  I mean, imagine having views like this outside every single window!

I also appreciated the fact that it's a family owned--in fact, family-constructed--property.  They only have three cabins, two of which are barely visible to each other through the trees, with a giant firepit / gathering place in between.  We didn't even see our neighbors, but it was nice to know we weren't totally isolated.

Our first morning we were up fairly early, and decided to walk around the property.  There was a pole barn near a pond, all surrounded by nature.  Fiery, glorious nature.

Um, Blogger...this is sideways.  WTH??
We weren't the only ones having a good time, though.  Look who's having the time of her life, running around loose with millions of new smells to explore!

Yep, we brought Rosie along.  She got nice and tired on this morning walk, rolling around in the scrub growth and tearing around like a nutcase.  Here is some Sasquatch-quality video of the silliness.

That afternoon we left Rosie to rest, as we drove up into Brevard for an early lunch and then on into Pisgah National Forest.  Miss Chef had spent a summer in Brevard at a college program for high school students, and it was due to her great memories of that time that we chose to come here.  Our first stop was the very popular Looking Glass Falls.

Then we continued to drive through the forest, up to the Blue Ridge Parkway...where, in turning around to head back down, we happened upon a lovely lookout over Cold Mountain, of film and literary fame.

On our way back down, Miss Chef chose to follow the path less traveled...

...eventually leading us past a fantastic view of Looking Glass Rock.

We stopped for another photo opportunity as the late afternoon light began to gorgeous vista  after another in this place!

We finished the day off with dinner back at the cabin and s'mores over a fire outside...and then a full-body brushdown of our stinky, burr-filled dog.

 Thankfully, her exhaustion made her far more amenable to my touching her tail and other normally off-limits parts.  She raised her head once or twice to look at me, then just passed out again.

Day 2 found us heading over the border into South Carolina, about 20 minutes to Ceasar's Head State Park.  Miss Chef remembered there being a lookout just off the parking lot there that was worth the drive.  And she was right!

Smoky-looking, huh?

We had brought Rosie with us this time, so we went ahead and paid the small fee to access the trails.  We chose the shortest, a 3 mile hike which I thought would be just the right length for our only-a-little-in-shape selves.  I sort of forgot about that whole "what goes down must come up" thing that goes on in the mountains, though!

"Whee, isn't this fun and easy!?"

About halfway through, we found ourselves at the top of a small, trickly waterfall that offered a nice view to the next hill.

After having hiked back up...and up...and up to the parking lot, we were quite ready for a nice, quiet afternoon back at the cabin.  First we drove back into Brevard, though, and had a lovely lunch at a place called The Square Root.  We were able to sit outside with Rosie, who drew lots of compliments.  Dogs are such a great way to meet people.  And the people of Brevard sure seemed least to dog owners!

Then it was down time; the "rest" part of our weekend of R&R.

We left late the next morning, stopping in historic downtown Hendersonville for brunch, then proceeding eastwards, leaving the mountains quickly behind as we descended back down into the NC Piedmont area.  We didn't mind the drive at all, relaxed as we were, knowing we still had most of the afternoon to settle in at home and prepare to re-enter the working world.

On the other hand, one of us was just too worn out to even hold her head up...

This seems like an awfully short summary to me, and I know there are lots more pictures I wish I could show you.  But, if you stuck with it this far, thanks for coming along on our virtual mountain getaway.  Hope you all have restful, relaxing and refreshing weekends!


  1. Your photos are gorgeous! Thanks for sharing. My brother lives in Asheville, so I have visited some of these places.

  2. That last photo made me laugh so hard I almost peed my pants...

    What gorgeous photos, and what a gorgeous part of the world! How did you ever force yourselves to go home?!

  3. Rosie! You are such a clever dog, to find a perfect headrest like that.

    What a lovely place! I very much enjoyed your virtual tour. And, I'm very glad that you had such a great time.

  4. What an awesome vacation. It's so great with expectations are met or exceeded. And Willoughby is the name of my hometown :-)
    Thanks for sharing.
    Happy Halloween, jj

  5. Wow, wow, wow. You took some absolutely beautiful pictures! Looks like it was heaven on earth for all of you. :)

  6. Oh my goodness! Very ingenious head rest, Rosie! I might try that some day! hehe!

    The Sasquatch-quality video totally cracked me up. Cute!

    And the photos were gorgeous! I would have wanted to just sit and take it all in. But how could you, knowing that there were more breathtakingly photoworthy sights to see?! Wow!

    And, I, too, love to drive on the roads less traveled. Such an adventure, but hopefully always with happy surprises. :)

    Oh! And they had real quilts on the bed?? Gotta love that!
    You're making me want to take a trip similar to yours with my own sweetie.

    Yes yes...S'mores!



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