Last weekend we went on a family camping trip to Black Mountain campground at the bottom of Mt Mitchell.
We got there at around 3:30 on Friday and quickly set up camp. I don't think we've used that old tent in a little under 2 years.
We got a site that was right on the river but you didn't have direct access to it because of a drop off and a fence bordering that drop off. That was fine by us. It just meant that we didn't have to stress out about the kids wandering into the water.
I did do a little bit of trail running while out in the woods. It was only a half mile, but it covered some rough wooded terrain. There were large boulders, a couple of old wooden bridges and lots of steep inclines and declines. Just being at the campground, you were already pretty deep into the wilderness. No phone reception and rules that you had to fallow to ensure bears wouldn't walk into your camp. So out on that trail, I started to get a tiny bit of anxiety. I'm so lame. My biggest fear was stepping on a copper head. The path was covered in leaves and I could see little burrows in those leaves. Gives me the shivers right now just thinking about it. So every time I cam to really leafy part of the path, I would count to three and then take off as fast as I could. This method caused me to almost roll my ankle once.
On the morning of day 2 we took the kids down to the river for a little class, seminar, presentation or whatever you should call it, about wildlife, bugs and bears. It was mostly for the kids, but I found it to be very informative.
First he told us about the different tiers of creatures that live in the water. The top tier that he talked most about were creatures that are the first to be affected by pollution. So if you find those bugs and things in the water than it is good and clean. Then he had all the kids (and the grownup too!) go out into the stream and find all the things like stick bugs and craw fish that are a part of the top tier.
We also spotted a really large water snake sunning itself on a rock just down stream from where we were all turning over rocks. Fun fact though, that is the only water snake in that portion of the carolinas and although it will bite, it is non venomous. And, the second that it hears you it will take off. So that was nice to know. He also educated us on bears. Good to know that black bears do not want to eat me. Black bears only want my chips and beer. If I see baby black bears, I should get away!
After our wildlife education, the kids did a little of this...
And then I did a little bit of this...
While Brad attempted this...
The temps were great. In the 70's at night and mid to high 80's when the sun was out during the day. It did rain for most of day 2 and all of night 2. This led us to the realization that we need a new tent. Ours leaked through the windows and got some of our stuff wet. Wet stuff is miserable when tent camping. But all in all it was a fun trip. The next time I go there, I want to hike to the top of Mt Mitchell and camp for a night. It's a 6 mile hike that takes at least half a day, and when you reach the top, you are at the highest peak in the Appalachian mountain range... at least that's what we were told. I can't wait to go camping again!