I love hiking! It’s like an addiction. The funny thing is, I was never ever active when I was younger. You couldn’t pay me to do anything active. When we moved to Charlotte I was bored a lot so every weekend I would find a park or drive to the mountains and walk the nature trails. There is something so freeing and relaxing about just being outside. One of our favorite hikes is Crowder’s Mountain State Park. It’s not that far from our house and the drive up is really pretty.
The first time I went to Crowder’s Mountain I was terrified. I do not like heights. Seriously, me and heights are not friends! There’s a reason why I’m 4’11, I’m just NOT supposed to get any higher off the ground. I’ve done just fine this whole time without being up in the air and I’m good! When I heard that we would be hiking to the top on this trip, I freaked the hell out. I heard that individuals had lost their lives or got injured once they reached the top. I was very uneasy but I’ve reached a point in my life where if I don’t challenge myself and push myself I won’t do it. If it makes me uncomfortable and freaks me out that’s the exact thing I have to do. There’s no greater feeling that being scared of an obstacle then overcoming that obstacle and I needed to teach my boys that fear has no power if you defeat it. The hike up to the pinnacle wasn’t hard at all. Some of the trail was paved but most was gravel. The elevation changes were very noticeable. My legs started to hurt and I got winded, it was like leg day without the weights 😉 There were a lot of twists and turns on the trail but other than that it was pretty easy. As we rounded the corner, there were a few people coming down and they said “You’re almost there but don’t stop at the tower, keep going and you won’t regret the view!” I didn’t even know there was a tower but we kept going just like they said. When we got to the tower, you could see that you were at the top, it was awesome. Here’s the thing though, you can see how high you are and I wanted no parts of going beyond the tower. First off, to get beyond the tower is a tiny path, like one person at a time and tight rope walker type path. Then you get to some rocks and that’s where the views open up and you are amazed and instantly engrossed in these awesome views. The views are breathtaking! Then I noticed the sign reminding me that people have fallen and have died falling from the a few feet ahead of me. Reality check! I walked over to the edge and my legs were shaking so I backed away and took photos from a safer distance. There were people repelling and others taking photos and sitting on the rocks. I so wish I had that courage and if I wasn’t with my kids I probably would have sat closer to the edge but I was so afraid the kids would slip that we all stayed far away. Behind us was a set of stairs that we took back down the mountain. These were some steep steps! At one point I slipped and it was about to be a very bad situation if I hadn’t regained my balance. Headed back down the mountain I heard a group of people above us running from one group of rocks to the next. I don’t know if that was the smartest idea but it did give me a greater perspective of just how high we were. I gained a greater sense of my limits that day but at the same time there was something brewing inside me that makes me want to go back, maybe when the boys are older.
I love exposing my boys to the rugged outdoors and getting them outside and exploring. That’s what boys are supposed to do right! When I was pregnant, I said that I hoped to have a boy because all they need is a stick and some ants and they’re entertained for hours. I couldn’t have been more right. My boys love to get out on a nature trail, grab a stick and entertain themselves pretending to be ninjas with swords or “old men” with walking sticks. Taking them to Crowder’s Mountain scared the heck out of me because of their inner dare devil but they loved it. I have to admire their sense of adventure and willingness to push the envelope, even if it freaks me out.
I have to be honest and say that I’m not 100% proud of the photos that I took. When I’m not comfortable and relaxed my photos don’t turn out the way I want. I am my own worst critic and a bit of a perfectionist. If I could go back and re-shoot some of them I would but on the flip side, seeing the images takes me back to where we were and how happy I was just to be in the environment.