I recently flew out to Tennessee to meet up with my mom for a mother/daughter camping trip out in North Carolina in the Asheville vicinity.
One of my brothers got married this past spring in Vegas, my mother just went through a divorce and then moved across country and needless to say with all of these things that has been happening my mom over a couple phone conversations and while out in Vegas started thinking that it was finally high tide that she and I go and do a trip together.
This trip was a long time in the making.
Growing up we didn’t do family vacations. In the summer time we had The Lake which was close by and about once a year mom would pack us all up in the car to take a drive down to Tennessee to go see her relations down there. That was pretty much the extent of it, except for that one year we took a Greyhound bus out to Branson, Missouri to go see relations for a week.
Do you remember those informercials back in the day on family vacations? Sometimes mom and I would just watch those and talk about what a vacation would be like. We were always in the mindset of someplace with historical significance and usually with a waterpark somewhere close by. Every once in awhile my mom might get the travel pamphlet but then it would always be ‘not this time Jess’.
With so many years of experience behind me, of ‘not this time Jess’ I wasn’t really sure if this would actually all come together and finally happen.
All this to say that I am really happy that this actually happened.
I flew out to Tennessee then stayed there a night and then the next morning after my mom got home from work we where able to get all the last minute things put together and then drive the 2 and half hours to our camp sight in the Pisgah National Forest in Mills River.
We stayed at the North Mills River Recreation Campground. We both really liked this campground. The couple who are hosts are super friendly, they drive through multiple times a day to check on everyone and multiple times in the evening to check up and see if anyone needs firewood. Each campsite has a bear box on it to lock up your food, there are bathrooms with showers and you’re not very far from hiking trails, fishing and mountain biking trails.
After getting the campsite all set up that first night we had decided to go back into Mill River to go find wood, fill the gas tank up and find a place where we could get service so we could figure out our game plan for the next day. On our way out it started raining and then there had been a rather bad car wreck so we ended up taking more backroads to get to the main back road and that was the end of me driving for any amount of time with my mom being in the car with me as the passenger.
It slightly worked out better for mom to drive while I manned the navigation to get around and for moms multiple camera devices. Between her big camera, her phone, my phone and her GoPro it was all too much for me. Which is why I will never be a Youtuber. I prefer enjoying the scenery and being more in the moments rather than taking all the videos and all the pictures. Yes, I get it is nice to have some things captured to remember the moments but when we are so planted in looking through a lens we don’t see all of our surroundings.
By the end of the trip I did start to get the hang of it. I am still waiting on those GoPro videos though, so mom when you read this just remember I would like to see those. Thanks.
After going to the store, filling up I then took mom over to Sierra Brewing so we could relax possibly grab a snack and use the wifi. Sadly they are not doing their backyard appetizer, I was able to grab a beer while we figured out the plan for the next day. We enjoyed the gardens and sitting out on the patio at Sierra. We went and walked around the vicinity explaining some of the fun things that Sierra does on property. They recycle and compost on site, they have a whole system to collect rain water and they grow many of their vegetables they use on site. Just think if more business had this sort of structure. Just think if cities and states let you collect rain runoff and we only planted plants that were native to an area…..
Sierra also has a play area for your younger children. When Aspen was little she’d ask a lot to go to that playground to play in the sandbox. It was strange seeing the little play area and not to see Aspen and Yoshi in there playing around.
We had ideas of what we where wanting to do a lot of it depended on the weather and my moms knees of how much to do each day. Mom and I had wanted to do a lot more hiking but she is about do for knee surgery so inflaming it even more wouldn’t have been fun for either of us. This is pretty much how travel works you have an idea or a few ideas of what you are wanting to do and then depending on how things go you either go with the main plan or you revise the plan. It’s all about learning to go with the flow.
After we went back to the camp to build a campfire and make dinner before heading to bed and having a restless nights sleep with a storm right over us.
Parts II and III