just for the night.
It was one of the last summer days of the season, we jumped on an opportunity, packed light, and headed up high, just for the night. Jonas Ridge is a small town in Burke County, North Carolina and boasts sections of The Pisgah National Forest in the area of the Linville Gorge. We love it here because it's not that busy on the people part, and it offers such a vast variety of backcountry hiking and camping options. In my opinion, this area as a whole - The Pisgah National Forest - is one of the most beautiful areas of landscape, in North Carolina. The views go on for miles with the Blue Ridge Mountains, and the Appalachian Mountains providing panoramic views that are sure to leave an imprint on your soul.
The details on the location of where we camped this night, will remain private. This is one of the few times that I'll do this and not share our actual location.
But if you're ever around Jonas Ridge, you should probably stop at this store...
Grab a Bison Burger, some beer, maybe some gas, or whatever else -- because they have it all and are one of the only stops in this area.
After chowing down, we went to our destination, parked the car, and began the 1-2 mile hike up and into our camp... just for the night.
The hike was pretty steep uphill for a bit, and then it leveled out once we got onto the mountain ridge. Note the above little froggy spotted on the trail... he was cute.
Once to the campsite, we walked over to the view that we were led to by a small opening in the trees...
This view literally took my breath away. The weather was right at 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Perfect.
The work week began to slowly slip away from my mind, and I found myself entranced by the mountains, by the hills, by the air. Even if, just for the night, it was exactly in that moment that I felt myself being set free from everything.
We ran around like children, taking pictures, looking through the trees back at the amazing view, laughing. We spent these moments of the early afternoon contemplating how to stay here forever. This day couldn't have been more like a dream come true.
The leaves were beginning to change subtly into their fall attire as I made my way exploring through the forest and Ginger found us some wood to start a fire. The forecast had been calling for a little rain, but we never felt a drop.
After we made a fire and set up our tent, we came back out to the view for one final look.
We watched as the sun gave its final show and then disappeared below the mountain range in the distance. Our amazing view was now pitch dark.
At some point in the midst of a smokey haze from the fire, and the sounds from the creatures of the night, we made our way to sleep. I don't remember dreaming or having any problems sleeping... this was just the most peaceful experience I've ever had, even if it was, just for the night.
I remember waking up at some point in the early part of the morning and being blinded by an orange light.
IT WAS THE SUN.
Having no troubles getting up and heading out to our view, I had my camera in one hand and my Ginger's hand in the other hand.
Good Morning. <3
Seeing a sunrise is probably one of the most fulfilling experiences you can have. It makes you ready for the day, grounds you, and here in this spot out on this rock ledge, I was absolutely happy.
We ran back to grab our coffee and upon heading back to the view, the fog had started to roll in.
And just like that, the view was transformed and the light in the sky had changed. The only real change I remember fully observing was the change in my cameras focus. It wasn't the sun rising anymore, instead it was my Ginger smiling in the background with his cup of coffee raised in a toast as we continued to welcome the day.
To us, the view wasn't necessarily important (even though we admired it greatly). The important part of this trip, was escaping. Setting our worries aside, clearing our heads, and relying on each other to make it through, just for the night.
We soon packed our things and hiked out of the forest and back into the world. The world of worry, world of doubt, world of chaos. Not all days are good days, not all days are bad days, but this day, here on this mountaintop, was one of the days you remember for a lifetime. Not because of the magnificent beauty of nature, but because of the ability to fully let go. It is when you do that, you are really living.
My ultimate goal is to feel this feeling every single day, and not just for the night. XOXO
***Some prints are available for purchase from this blog post and are listed below. If there's one you're interested in that isn't listed and/or would like different sizing options, please contact me as I'm happy to sell any prints you find appealing :) ***