When you actually take a vacation day from work and have the same day off together, it's fun to make the most of it with a road trip!
We decided to drive up to Asheville this past Friday to spend some time exploring before making our way to Kanuga for the rest of the weekend. Our first stop was Biscuit Head off Biltmore Avenue, which came highly recommended by our friend Garrett. We stopped in during the lunch rush and took a seat at the community table after ordering. I had the fried green tomato biscuit with brie, tomatoes, poached eggs, and smoked tomato hollandaise and Alex had the brisket biscuit with pickled onion, smoked chèvre, poached egg, and buffalo hollandaise. The poached eggs and various sauces and jellies were incredible! Their book may be on my wish list this year. I loved the cat themed decor. My favorite sign was of Ron Swanson's quote from Parks and Rec, "There has never been a sadness that can't be cured by breakfast food". That quote is pretty much my mantra. We were able to chat with a Charleston native and some Austin transplants about our hiking plans while we ate. The best part? True to Asheville style, Biscuit Head prides itself on serving locally sourced ingredients and composting or recycling as much as possible.
We left Biscuit Head and got on the road towards Max Patch. I honestly thought I was going to get sick on the way up. We spent over an hour winding up and down the narrowest roads without the aid of our GPS. Our drive was beautiful despite me being terrified that we were going to hit an oncoming car going around a curve or topple down the mountain. I'm just being dramatic. There were abandoned barns and cabins with tons of character around each curve. The higher we got the more snow there was covering the ground. We missed the snowfall on Thursday but we were so lucky to get to see the leftovers! I've been traveling to Asheville in February for at least the past five years and this weekend was by far the warmest weather I've ever experienced in winter. I sit at a desk for 40 hours a week and you would not believe how incredibly refreshing it is just to be outside in nature. I've been deprived of fresh air and sunshine for too long.
I was surprised by how few people were up at Max Patch during our hike. There were a few people leaving when we arrived and we were alone for the majority of our stay. There was only one other couple walking around while we were up on the bald but they were keeping to the other side. Because it snowed the night before, the trail was muddy and slippery. We trekked our way up carefully, trying to avoid the mud as much as possible. If you want to feel really out of shape, go take a hike! I kept stopping on the way up (because I'm wimpy) but each time we stopped it was a chance to take in a new view so in the end it was totally worth it to ascend the mountain slowly. It was so quiet and peaceful. We didn't talk a whole lot while we were up there...just pointed out interesting things here and there. I took some time at the top to catch my breath from hiking up the steeper route and just listened to the wind blowing through my hair.
We took tons of photos and videos on Max Patch. I've posted some here but we each shot a roll of film that we will send off to be developed this week! I haven't broken out my film camera in a while so I'll be anxiously awaiting to share the results. I was really worried that we would be let down by Max Patch since we were going in the middle of the day. Sometimes the light's not right and the views aren't as impressive as sunrise and sunset. All of those concerns were completely unfounded. The panoramic views of North Carolina and Tennessee's Great Smoky Mountains and Black Mountains were breathtaking. Plus we got to check hiking a teeny tiny portion of the Appalachian Trail off our bucket list.