Friday I only worked until 1 PM, so when I got home, Mike and I decided to go on an impromptu camping trip for our 16 monthiversary. We packed up our camping stuff (twinkle lights included), left some food out for the cats, and hit the road to Pisgah National Forest.
The weather was absolutely gorgeous on Friday in Aiken. Sun was out. It was hot. It would have been great kayaking weather. It was sunny for our drive, too. All the way to Spartanburg, and then it started clouding up. By the time we reached Hendersonville, a thunderstorm was imminent. We were less than a mile from the campground when the bottom dropped out and we found ourselves crawling along down the road.
We got to the campground only to find they didn't have any single walk-in campsites left. Luckily they knew of a place about 6 miles away, so we reserved a spot over the phone and then headed back the way we had come.
It didn't look like it had rained a single drop at the new campsite, which made setting up the tent and cooking dinner really easy. The firewood was all damp, though. So Mike spent two hours trying to get the kindling to light while I drank Landshark and took pictures.
Once dark fell, we still didn't really have a fire. I'd wanted to investigate the nearby "lake" before bed, so we went for a quick walk to the water.
Our air mattress has a hole in it, so when we woke up in the morning we were essentially sleeping on the ground. I tossed and turned all night and couldn't convince myself to lay there any longer, so at about 7 I got up, changed my clothes, and then walked around the campground. Mike slept until about 8:30. I'm glad we weren't planning on sticking around - this place had too many rules.
I do love mornings in the mountains. Everything is so calm and the horizon is so misty. Around 9 the sun really started to come out and I thought we were in for a great day. We packed up the food and important things but left our tent and grill because we were planning on returning for a 2nd night to camp before heading home on Sunday.
We drove a few miles back into Pisgah National Forest to the fish hatchery and the John Rock trail head. The last time Mike and I hiked in Pisgah, he proposed. We decided not to go back to Looking Glass Rock AKA Proposal Rock, but instead went to John Rock. John Rock is across a valley from Looking Glass and you get a great view!
It's less than 3 miles to the top and the climb is not bad. It's mostly gradual incline with one or two steep parts. Our hike was muddy because of all the recent rain, so there were a few slow-going stretches and a lot of puddles to avoid. But the view from the top is worth it!
That rocky hump in the distance is Looking Glass Rock. Mike and I were on top of that outcropping when we got engaged. We only had about 10 minutes to enjoy the vantage point, though, because it started to sprinkle. I didn't want to be on the rocks when it really started raining. They get slippery and dangerous.
We headed back into the tree coverage right as it really began to pour. I put the camera away and it didn't come back out the whole trip down. About 1/4 of the way back the sun came out and the rain turned to a light drizzle. I thought it was just a passing summer storm, but within 5 minutes the sky went dark and we were plodding through some seriously heavy rain. The trail turned into a mountain stream and we were soaked.
Naturally the rain subsided right about the time we got back to the car. It didn't seem like the rain was going to let up anytime in the near future, so we decided to head back to the campsite, pack up the tent (wet), grab lunch, and head home. Which is exactly what we did. When we got back to Aiken we had to set the tent back up to let it dry (because it was hot and sunny in Aiken...naturally).
Despite the weather, it was a good little adventure. It's nice to get away from home sometimes.