Sleep Under the Stars

At least once in your life.

A few weeks ago I was up in Winter Park and we decided it would be the perfect weekend to hang up the hammock. With the gentle sway I fell asleep between the trees and under the stars.

There is a short list of places that I have felt vulnerable, but also at peace. There’s something about opening yourself up to the things that scare you, but will leave you wanting more.

As I’m typing this I’m sitting in the airport. Not that abnormal, but I’m grateful for the opportunity to fly places because there are a lot of people in the world who only dream of this.

I’m going to London. By myself.

I’m scared, excited and desperately trying to soak everything in. I’ve wanted to solo travel for the longest time, but I’ve always been too chicken. This summer the chance presented itself and I jumped. Or, cautiously dipped my toe in the water and then jumped.

I feel vulnerable. I feel at peace. See you when I get back.

Max Patch Mountain

When I first realized that I wouldn’t be spending Thanksgiving with my family I decided I wanted to go camping. Lately, I’ve been using Instagram to inspire all of my adventures and I had seen pictures of this place called Max Patch. Not only does the name sound fun, but the photos people were posting were beautiful so I decided I just had to see it for myself.

Max Patch is a bald mountain located near the Tennessee and North Carolina border. About 1.5 hrs from Asheville, North Carolina and ~4 hrs from Atlanta. It was originally cleared to act as a pasture for sheep and cows, and was occasionally used as a landing strip for small aircraft. Today, they maintain the space with controlled fires and mowing so Max Patch remains a “high” east coast mountain that when standing on top you can observe the rolling vistas of the Great Smoky Mountains.

Due to the fires in North Georgia, North Carolina, and Tennessee there was a fire ban where we were headed and since I don’t own a ton of camping gear my friend Lydia and I borrowed a bunch of stuff – camping stove, sleeping pads, and a lantern mainly. [Shout out to Lydia’s friend]. When we woke up in a cloud on Saturday the camping stove came in clutch. From the safety of our sleeping bags we ate chicken noodle soup from a can for breakfast and honestly, I don’t think homemade soup would have tasted any better.

The rest of the trip flew by as we packed up our things and headed out on the Appalachian Trail. The trail runs right over Max Patch so we chose to go North and hiked part of the way towards Lemon Gap – now I just want to know why it’s called lemon gap… But when we returned to Max Patch the clouds had finally lifted and the view I had come to witness opened up in front of me.

It. Was. Amazing.

Some adventures aren’t glamorous. Sometimes you need all of your clothes + sleeping bag to stay warm. Sometimes you can’t see all of the vistas and sometimes you eat chicken noodle soup for breakfast.

My advice though? Keep on, keeping on because all adventures are important and from the – sometimes – wise Craig Huey, “we are in training”.

For what you ask? For life, and whatever it chooses to throw at us.