Camping in Roan Mountain

I know what y’all might be thinking when I say I went rural camping with 3 friends on top of a mountain – doesn’t sound like something my fashion-loving, makeup-wearing, netflix-watching heart would do! In reality, I love camping, but don’t get to go often. So last weekend I traded in my netflix for a sunrise, and my bed for a soft spot on the earth inside a tent. I wanted to recap a little of my experiences for y’all, and let you in on some things that went better and worse than expected, and share some highly laughable moments because there were many!

After spending an hour packing up my car with camping supplies, food, camera gear, and outfits to shoot in, we made our way from Nashville, TN to Roan Mountain, TN. The four of us (Meaghan – her blog here,  Caroline – her blog/photgraphy here, and Adi) met at the bottom of the mountain where we would spend the next 1.5 hours figuring where to go, what to take up this hike up the mountain, who would take what, etc. Once we figured it out, we started our journey up this mountain – oh, and it was pitch black outside!

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Going back, we all agreed on a few things we would do differently on that first night. Although, I wouldn’t change a thing from this trip because it was truly a learning experience for all of us, we definitely made a few things harder for ourselves than necessary:

  • Don’t bring your food, and food prep items up a 1/4 mile hike up an extremely steep mountain in the dark. We decided we would just eat beforehand next time to avoid lugging everything, and the time/struggle to cook at 10pm in the dark.
  • Figure out exactly where the trail to the camping spot is beforehand. This was a little hard because none of us had camped there before, it was dark, and there was no service. But next time, I think we’ll try to over research everything, have maps printed, etc.
  • Bring 1 thing to shoot up the mountain. I was feeling particularly ballsy, and decided to bring my ENTIRE large duffel bag (with about 7 shoot outfits, shoes, makeup, etc. etc. etc.) up this mountain in addition to the other many things I was carrying in my arms and on my back. You truly don’t know how out of shape you are until you have to lug 50 lbs of things up a very steep mountain HAHA. I could basically do an iron man competition now… don’t quote me on that though

Even though there were a few things we would change, it was completely worth the struggles from the night before to wake up, and see the most beautiful sunrise peaking through our tent. As creatives, we knew we wanted to wake up and get all the sunrise shots. So we quickly slapped on some makeup, and clothes, and started shooting for a few hours. Mountain weather was crazy, and we were so worried when we woke up because it was so foggy, but the fog quickly cleared, and the mountain emerged from the clouds showing off their dreamy hues of blue and pink.

We then packed up our items, made some breakfast by the car (thankfully we were smart enough not to haul all of our breakfast items up the mountain lol), and headed on our way to our next destination: Linville Gorge. Thankfully, our proclaimed leader of the group – Meaghan, who is a super climber/hiker/outdoorswoman, knew all the best spots with the best views. Linville Gorge did not disappoint, and after driving 30 minutes up a bumpy dirt road, we hiked to the top of the gorge, and I couldn’t believe the views!

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Now for when the trip took a turn – HA. This is gonna get good y’all. We had reserved a spot at a hip camp (like airbnb for camping) probably 30 minutes outside of Asheville on a bio-dynamic medicinal herb farm. The photos of the camp were amazing, and we were so excited to build a fire, get a bunch of good camping content, and relax in nature. When we arrived at our spot for the night, we were incredibly underwhelmed. Just so no one books this place in the future, this is the spot that we do not recommend. The herb fields were so overgrown and unkempt, the spot for us to camp was probably 80 degrees, no spots left with sun protection covers, the creek was disgusting, and the shower was in an old RV with 2 random men living in it – yikes!!

Have no fear, we quickly left, and after much searching and calling, found a place to stay in Asheville. Although things didn’t work out the way we planned, I’m really proud of my little girl gang for keeping the spirits high, and making the best of it. Plus Asheville is one of my favorite cities, and I was so happy to be there (and also sleep in a bed and take a shower). We went out on the town that night, drinking away the thoughts of the herb farm, and woke up for a quick breakfast at Early Girl Eatery. We then headed back home on the Blue Ridge Parkway (after a laughable amount of trouble of figuring out how to get on it, and if we were going the right way), and the drive home was truly magnificent. We stopped every so often to get some good mountain shots, and take in the crisp air.

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Overall, I wouldn’t change a single thing that happened on the trip. It brought us together to problem solve, and we learned a lot about what to do and not to do for our next trip. We had so much fun on the trip, and I cannot stress how important it is to surround yourself with like-minded women who support you and your dreams. We created to together, shared ideas together, and that was so beautiful to me. I hope you enjoyed hearing a little of the behind the scenes of our trip, and getting to know that being bloggers/creatives isn’t always easy or as it seems on social media. Let me know what your favorite part of the trip or photos were!

 

XOXO, Taylor

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