This passed weekend, I had the privilege of joining nine of my friends on an incredible trip to North Carolina. We stayed in a lovely cabin located up in the mountains of Tuckaseegee, where we busied ourselves with a variety of interesting and worthwhile activities. This post serves to provide a brief overview of our journey altogether. I will be giving more detailed accounts of our trip within the upcoming week, just so that you all can get a taste of the experience that I and my friends had. Until then, here are some highlights from our weekend adventure. All photos depicted here are mine!
Day 1: From Tallahassee, to Tallulah, to Tuckaseegee
On our first day, we loaded up three cars and departed from Tallahassee at around noon. It was Friday July 22nd, and the excitement was so real that it was almost tangible. The eight hour drive would be a grueling one, however that was not a concern at all. We traveled through Georgia where we eventually reached Tallulah Falls. Realizing where we were, I urged tour driver to take a small detour so that we could see the gorge in all of its beauty. Upon arrival, I lead my friends down the trail leading to the famous stairs which lead into the gorge’s base. We descended 375 steps down until we reach the beautiful suspension bridge overlooking the 96ft Hurricane Falls. We crossed nervously, then proceeded downward another 200 steps before reaching the base of the falls. It was a beautiful site to behold. Although I had been here before, I was receiving a renewed experience. The last time I visited this place was in February, so this was my first time seeing the flowers bloomed and the trees covered in green. We eventually made the perilous journey back to the top of the gorge, before continuing on to our destination in North Carolina.
Tallulah Falls Trail is a moderate hiking trail. Be sure to prepare yourself both mentally and physically before you try and make your way through the area. Our group was moderately in shape, however we were not prepared for the intensity of the hike at all. Be safe, be smart, and stay hydrated!
We finally reached the cabin late into the night, where we took time to get ourselves comfortable before starting our next day.
Day 2: Bryson City and Deep Creek Tubing
On day two of the trip, many of us woke up at around 7:00 am to watch the sunrise. We gathered all around on the dock behind the cabin, which sits on a lake. The morning air was crisp, yet comfy, and we all sat down and soaked in the calming aura surrounding us. We planned out our excursions for the day, and prepared to move on to Bryson City, North Carolina where we would be tubing at Deep Creek. The drive took about an hour from the cabin, and as we neared our destination, I felt an immense feeling of joy. I had only gone tubing once before near Tallahassee at a place known as Bear Paw, so I was ready to see just how the two rivers compared.
We arrived at Deep Creek at around 11:00 am, just before the afternoon crowd hit. If you have never gone tubing before, I highly suggest coming here. There are various stations where you can rent your tubes (prices increase as you travel closer to the river). We paid $5 each for our tubes, which is a fairly decent price given the size of the tubes as well!
We hiked up the trail leading to the top of the river. Winding up the mountain, we were able to look below and observe the locals as they traveled down the current. We reached the top of the area, and proceeded to enter the cold water. I left my phone near the car, as we went up, but I can assure you that the sight was beautiful indeed! We launched ourselves down the river, and the fun ensued.
Water shoes are highly encouraged when you tackle Deep Creek. Although not 100% necessary, there are plenty of rocks in the water, and you wouldn’t want to accidentally hurt yourself on sharp edges! I bought a pair for $5 at Walmart! An investment that was well worth it.
The currents were strong as we were whirled around the river. There were plenty of currents, drops, and bumps, that kept the ride really exciting! This definitely was not a lazy river, and I was reminded as I was hurled into the waters. When we were done, we were all exhausted, yet satisfied.I highly recommend a visit to Deep Creek if you ever get the chance.
Tips for Deep Creek:
- Bring water shoes
- Leave all loose valuables in the car! (yes this includes your phone and car keys!)
- Bring dry clothes and a towel for when you’re done!
- Don’t stand up! (the currents will take you away!)
- LITERALLY DO NOT STAND UP! (some spots of the river are incredibly deeper than others!)
- Make your body as flat as possible (it’ll make the process easier, trust me)
- Watch out for large rocks!
- Paddle when necessary!
- HAVE FUN!
Day 3 in Asheville
On our third day, we didn’t wake up as early as planned, which was fine. We wanted to go to Sliding Rock, so we hurried and got dressed and went on our way. We decided to take a more scenic route to the location, so we traveled along Blue Ridge Mountains. Seeing the mountains go by as we drove along, really set the tone for the day. Being from Florida, this was an almighty site for me. As we drove deeper and deeper into the mountains, the urge to stop overtook us so we decided to park at several overlooks along the way. We eventually reached the highest point, where we again stopped to take pictures and explore the area. There were many people sightseeing around us, and we couldn’t help but scurry around trying to find the perfect view. We eventually were satisfied with our time there, so we continued on to Sliding Rock, where we were greeted by a large crowd.
It was a Sunday afternoon, and the area was packed with people of various demographics. We pushed our way around the crowd, set our stuff down, and began to walk around the immediate environment. Again, I wish I had my phone on me, but I was too nervous about getting it damaged, so I left it. We walked to a restricted area, where a sign was on display reading “Do not enter”. Of course we ignored this sign and continued on to discover what lay beyond, and after slipping, falling, and stumbling along the slippery rocks, we were welcomed by this beautiful open area surrounded by large trees. There was what I can only describe as a “mini Sliding Rock” which let off into a shallow pool. There were children playing with their parents, and I was taken back by how gorgeous everything was. I felt a childlike energy overcome me as I slid down the rock and into the water below. It sure was a thrilling time!
After practicing here a few more times, we decided to turn back and tackle the big rock located at the main area. Unfortunately, right as we were nearing the rock, a crack of thunder was heard so the lifeguards evacuated everyone. We didn’t get to slide down large stone, but that didn’t stop me from getting a great photo! Soon after, we left the scene and headed to Asheville, North Carolina, where my heart still roams.
Arriving in Asheville, I was immediately in love with the certain aesthetic of the architecture, the sounds, and the people. I felt as though this was a place that I could call home one day. We decided to get dinner at this wonderful restaurant called Mayfel’s. We entered the eatery through the back kitchen entrance, after finding a staircase leading to an outside bar. The inside of the restaurant had a calming essence, and the service was unparalleled to anything that I’ve experienced before. The food itself was fantastic as well. I ordered a burger with fried egg and bacon, and fell in love instantly. We all left great tips after eating our fill.
After dinner, we decided that it would be best to just wander around the city, entering any shops that may catch our interest. The boutiques, galleries, the street performers, etc. were all very pleasing to the eye. If I had the money, I could spend hours there just looking at shops and purchasing items that I really don’t need. The people were all very friendly, and there was music flooding the streets at every turn. We remained in Asheville until the sun set, and when we departed, I promised myself that I would be back soon enough.
We returned to the cabin, sore and tire from the day’s activities and went to bed. We’d be leaving to return to Florida in the morning, so we all needed to rest. I went to bed sad that the adventure was over, but happy that I had the chance to have such a great time with some great friends.
As I mentioned earlier in this post, I will be updating you all on some more of the specific details of the trip soon. I said that this was going to be a brief post, but clearly I got carried away! Please tune in next time for an update, and I hope to hear from you all soon!
If you want to stay up to date with the happenings in my life, feel free to follow my Instagram! The link to my account is here, and I update daily! I will also be linking the websites to all of the places that I visited while on this trip, so please feel free to check those out as well! Thanks for reading, and I hope you all have a pleasant day!
Published by Keanu Jackson