Graveyard Fields and Tubing down the French Broad

Weekend adventures complete! Plus I just finished laundry which is like an olympic event around here. We don’t have w/d connections in this tiny apt. So I have to load up all the laundry, which was a bunch this week (due to swimming and tubing and waterfall hopping). I had a record 6 loads! But anyway, who cares about laundry!

Saturday we woke up and we had instructions to meet Michael at Graveyard Fields along the BRP (Blue Ridge Parkway). I don’t have cell service out in the mountains but Michael does. So he is able to text me and whatnot, but as soon as I get going on the Parkway, I loose it. We got all our gear packed, lunches and snacks made, cooler packed and headed out to meet him. When we arrived he wasn’t there. I had figured that we would be late, he told me to leave at a certain time and we were a good bit later! So we walked around, decided to eat lunch, and finally he ran up off the trail. We were about to go without him! So we got all changed and ready to go hiking and swimming! The first falls (lower falls) was amazing! It had a huge cascading waterfall that landed into a good sized swimming hole.

Took them for donuts in the morning.

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“Mom, take my picture while I ride this rock.” Ok!


The lower falls was a .25 mile hike, and beautiful! We let EK swim for around 30 minutes. The water is super cold by the way! Addison won’t get in very far, she likes to stack rocks and throw them. We packed up our gear and headed to the upper falls, which was 1.5 miles away. We made it to the falls and hung out there for about an hour. This one had a massive rock that you could climb to get to the top part of the falls. We climbed up and hung out and climbed down to play in smaller pools of water. After a snack and some drying off, we packed up and headed back. So it was almost a 3.5 mile hike for the day. Addison is such a trooper. She has her moments, but she does great for the most part.

Upper Falls, that’s as far as she went and we told her to come back down.

It looks steeper than it is, it was very easy to move around, and just make sure you don’t touch any water while walking.

Looking down from the upper falls.

As soon as we got to the lower falls Ella Kate wanted to go camping. We told her she had to tell us beforehand. Last weekend was kinda crazy last minute camping and we would rather go all weekend than just fly by the seat of our pants camping. We forgot a chunk of stuff. Anyway, we got back home, grilled some burgers and played in the grass…the weather was amazing all day. It was windy but not hot, or cold. When we got to Graveyard Field, it was a little chilly. Addison had on a tank top, and I questioned why I didn’t put more clothes on her. But we warmed up after moving around. There is about a 12 degree temperature difference between Asheville and the Mountains. It was 80 when we left and about 68 on the mountains.

Sunday morning we got up and got ready to spend the day on the French Broad River. Packed up our lunches, snacks, drinks, inner tubes, life jackets, and water shoes. We were all suppose to meet at 10…I think we all finally got in the river at 12:00! We were late cause we had to go buy 3 more tubes, and then we stopped again and got a floating cooler. We met up with the Dodds and left there car, and headed to where we dropped in. We had to blow up 15 tubes. We had 15 people with us, and another on a kayak. Addison wasn’t a fan at first. She didn’t like sitting in the water. But, she did snag a tree branch and played with it for a while. She eventually started tube hopping and hanging out with people. Next time will have to bring some sort of suckers and water toys to keep them entertained. There was a TON of people on the water floating, paddle boarding, and kayaking. Tubes everywhere! Its like a lazy river, we went over 4 small rapids. So they had fun on their first tubing experience. I had a blast! We landed at Bywater, which is a bar on the French Broad. They have people cooking hamburgers and hotdogs, yard games all over, live music, and people lining the river watching the tubes go by…or in our case, watching 16 people bail out of their tubes! It was quite a site! We hung out and ate burgers and dogs and listened to music. We had a ton of kids with us, they played games and ran around. We were beat, packed up, and headed home to clean up. The water on the broad is clear, clean, and cool!

Only picture I took, I have a lifeproof case on my phone, but I still won’t put it in water…so I took a quick picture and put it back in  the ziplock super fast!

Not many big plans this week. I did laundry today, some cleaning tomorrow. I am trying to figure some logistics for our next camping trip. I am meeting my mom to hand over the girls for a week or so starting 7/28ish. I want to hike Mt. Mitchell, which is the highest peak on this side of the Mississippi at 6,684′. It’s a 12 mile round trip hike. And it is hard. Michael said he was bumming out when he ran it, but he ran it…and it was the last part of his run. I can do it as long as we don’t have kids. You can also hike the first 6 and then camp on top of the mountain. We can’t do that yet, because our gear is made for mainly just camping, not backpacking. So we are planning on camping at Black Mountain campground and then driving to the trail head and get started. It should take us all day to do. Hopefully the weather will cooperate, but that is our plan!

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