The goal: A few days away from phones, email, text messages and day-to-day life in general.
The Plan: Rent a cabin in the mountains (we both love the mountains) with some friends and hike, relax, go canoeing and just hang out.
We wanted a few days away in the mountains to relax and hang out with some friends. They did the heavy lifting and found a cabin on Lake Watauga in Tennessee that worked out perfectly. Two floors with a loft, so everyone had room, lots of deck space overlooking the lake, a kayak and canoe included and Wi-Fi to allow us to keep an eye on email. Cell phone coverage was non-existent at the cabin, but available about two miles up the road. To keep costs in line we ate all our meals at the cabin. Over the course of four days and four nights we went on two hikes, explored the lake and got in a little canoeing. The pace was relaxed and just what we all needed.
This was the first hike of the trip. Melissa and I love to hike, but due to schedules neither one of us had hit the trail yet this year and we were itching to get out and stretch our legs a bit. This hike looked like a great for our needs. We had four adults and a two year old. A little bug spray and we were off.
I wish I could say the hike was a success and that the falls were beautiful, but I can’t. We had a great time on the hike, saw some beautiful creeks, took pictures and got in some exercise. Somewhere we missed a turn and never found the falls. We attempted the Appalachian Trail approach and … Oh well, part of the joy of hiking is just relaxing and enjoying the hike. We will call that hike a win!
This was the second hike of the trip and was worth it. The hike from the parking area is quite steep, but only about ¼ mile in length. Blue Hole is a popular swimming hole and it can be crowded, but the weather was cool, it was a weekday so we almost had the falls to ourselves. The downfall of the falls being so popular is that there was quite a bit of trash along the trail – some people just amaze me.
The cabin included a nice canoe and we spent part of an afternoon just exploring the lake. It was mid September, so the weather was warm in the sun, cool in the shade and almost no traffic on the lake. Perfect conditions for a relaxing paddle on the lake.
A rental cabin can be a great way to split costs and take some friends along. Cabin rental generally include everything you need – dishes, cooking utensils, sheets and towels. If you are a picky cook, bring your own knives and pans as the ones in the cabin may be a little, uh, challenging to work with. The same holds true for bedding – if you are driving, you might as well bring along your favorite pillow.