We went to Table Rock mountain in Linville Gorge, NC. It is a place Ben has been rock climbing before, and had discovered a beautiful camping spot for us.
The beautiful campsite and view he took me to
It was really secluded-- we had to go off the hiking trail and climb across some major boulders to get there. But good things happen when you go off the beaten path!
It was a pretty small area, just large enough for one adventurous little family... like ours :)
Building and maintaining a fire is one of my FAVORITE parts of camping!
There is a mountain formation nearby called "Grandfather Mt" because the shape resembles the profile of an old man. This one did, too. Interesting....
After pitching our tent we hiked higher up the mountain for the sunset and made it just in time to capture the last few sec. on the camera. Not so zen, but I'm glad we have the memory.
I always say Ben hasn't really "been" somewhere until he's done a backflip there, but please, Don't jump!
Our "Outward Bound" marriage-strengthening activity was rock climbing. Ben is an awesome climber (really, really quick), but I've only climbed in indoor rock centers. It was enough to get me excited, but it is TOTALLY DIFFERENT climbing in the elements! We were there on a very windy day, and the area we climbed at was at the edge of the gorge, so all you saw looking down was the gorge, not the landing. I belayed Ben while he went up and down the 5.7 a few times, then I wanted to try. I went half-way up, then got too nervous and came back down. Ben went a few more times, and I decided to try again.
It was hard for me to do-- logically I knew the rope was safe and Ben was experienced enough to keep me safe, and that I had enough talent to make the climb, but in that moment logic never really set in for me. I was terrified! I couldn't look down, and couldn't really see up, either, so I had to completely trust and rely on Ben to tell me where the best holds were and which side of the wall I should climb around. I trusted the advice from my husband on the ground, since he had more experience and perspective than I, and I knew he loves me and won't lead me astray.
I would take one step, stop and catch my breath for a while, and decide to take another step with his coaching. Every few feet I would freeze and yell down, "You still have me?! Am I really tight?!" But Ben was always patient, and, step by step, I made it up the wall.
What an amazing, amazing thing to do while newlyweds! I had had no idea it would turn out to be such a strengthening experience! Ben said he was so proud of me for facing my fear and going back to conquer the wall after giving up once (and with a recently twisted ankle), and I was proud of myself for trusting my life to someone else while pushing my body to new limits. I love that I can learn new things from Ben, and vice versa. Hopefully we will always be able to grow together.
The view down... WHOA.
The last thing we did on our trip was revisit the little waterfall we found on our New Years trip to Blowing Rock, before we were engaged or thought of moving to N.C.
You may remember this picture from that trip in January....
Don't we look soooooo happy? (Rhetorical question. I finish know the answer.)
Yay for the Blue Ridge Mountains!
Happy 6-month-iversary, sweetheart! I love you so much!