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10.26.2009

Life in Full Color

I think it's safe to say that football consumes our fall!  Between Duke home games (and away games that are close enough to drive to) and road trips to Florida games, we have been busy and have not really had a chance to catch our breaths since the season started on Sept. 5th.  We go from busy weekend to busy weekend - and I have to say, as FUN as it is, it'll wear ya out!  Especially those Florida weekends with a 10 hour drive both ways, a long, hot gameday in between and then we get into Durham late on Sunday nights with 8 AM Monday morning just a few short hours later - we've both become very reliant on coffee these days! 

So, a couple weekends ago, Florida and Duke had away games (Duke was at N.C. State only 30 minutes away in Raleigh, so we really could have gone...buuutttt we'll be at 7 other Duke games this season so we decided to miss this one) so we decided to take advantage of what would be our one and only "off" week from football and head to the western North Carolina mountains for a little R&R - ahhh...rest and relaxation was just what we needed!  (And now, two busy weekends later, I feel like I need another weekend like it!)

Just to emphasize how crazy our weekends are and how much time we spend in the car (or on a plane), I'll give a brief synopsis of our last few weekends:
  • Two weekends ago, we went to the mountains - 3 hr drive both ways
  • Last weekend, Florida vs. Arkansas homecoming (we flew this time - but still traveled all day Fri & Sun with layovers)
  • This weekend, Duke played at home (and beat Maryland!), but we left after the game to drive home (5 hours) for a good friend, Mallorie's wedding Sunday afternoon, and got home last night at 1 AM.
  • Next weekend - GA/FL!! - leaving Friday to drive to Jacksonville, FL (8 hours both ways)
So as you can see, it'll wear ya out!  But, it's all just too much fun to not do, so we keep going... I mean, I know once kids come in the picture (not anytime soon though!), we won't be able to do all of this...and you only have a husband and brothers that play college football for 4 years of their life, so we have fun with it while we can!

All that to say that, our quiet weekend in the mountains...in a bed and breakfast (Ryan made all the plans and surprised me - I love surprises and he loves surprising me...reason #5,682 that we're meant to be together)...was AMAZING!!!  The weekend we went was perfect too - it was peak weekend for the leaves to be changing so everything was GORGEOUS and full of color (hence the blog title).  We drove the Blue Ridge Parkway, checked out the Linville caverns and hiked some trails around the Linville Gorge, took the Tahoe on some off-road mountain trails on Brown Mountain, stopped by Oktoberfest at Sugar Mountain Ski Resort and bought some homemade apple butter (my favorite!) and fudge, and just drove all over the mountains and found some pretty, hidden private mountain drives with some of the most gorgeous mountain homes with amazing views!

You know we can't escape football for an entire weekend though.  So we did drive 45 minutes on Saturday afternoon to Blowing Rock to find a sports bar with both the Duke AND Alabama games on, which was well worth our trip to see Duke beat N.C. State!  And of course, BAMA beat Ole Miss, so those two wins at least helped make up for Georgia's loss to Tennessee that day (which we didn't get to see).  After the Duke game ended, we headed straight back to our B&B to make the 8 PM Florida @ LSU kickoff (big game!), which we ended up watching with our B&B owners in their living room instead of our own room because it turns out the wife was a Florida grad and they were game-ready and had the game on when we walked in!

Now for the pictures...


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While hiking a trail on Linville Mountain, Ryan noticed a hidden side trail that we followed down to this rock that hung out over Linville Gorge and exposed an awesome view.

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After hiking the gorge, we took the "hoe" as we call her (referring to the Tahoe) and headed to some off-road trails on Brown Mountain.

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On Sunday, we did some scenic driving.  We followed the winding road that went past our B&B and over the mountain (Joe Johnson Road) and at the top of the mountain, it turned into an unpaved road.  The owner's of  the B&B told us that supposedly the private drive, if you followed it all the way, came out by the Linville fire station, but that they had never been able to find it.  So, we drove past the "No Trespassing" signs and past some really pretty, hidden mountain homes, and at the end, lo and behold, we came out at the fire station!  This picture shows the unpaved road we followed for about 10 miles.

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After reaching the end of Joe Johnson road, we went to Sugar Mountain Ski Resort for the Oktoberfest Festival.

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We did some more driving over Grandfather Mountain and found this pretty little community overlooking a lake.

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Lastly, on our way back to Durham, we drove the Blue Ridge Parkway...

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Right before heading home, we got out to check out a little historic cabin off the parkway.  A nice man with some kind of foreign accent took our picture by this tree and told us that there was a short trail that led to a waterfall that was "definitely worth the short walk to see".  So, even though we were ready to hit the road, we thought what the heck and hiked the short 2 miles to the Cascade Falls (right picture).  I'm pretty sure there's a "waterfall", if you can even call it that, just as exciting as this one, complete with a 2 foot drop in elevation on my parents property at home. At least we burned the calories I guess.

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The "Blue" Ridge Parkway living up to it's name

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2 comments:

Rachel said...

Such great pictures! I love the collages you did!

jonchase said...

those photos are great! man i miss fall in NC!!!