you knew that when i said i’d be headed out into the wilderness, i ‘d be taking my camera along with me and snapping away… and then, posting tons of photos for you to see. well, i went. i snapped. and now i’m posting.
for those of you who have never been to north carolina, this is a little taste of some of the things you can see and do in the mountains of north carolina. we weren’t gone very long, but it was plenty of time to have some fun, unexpected adventures. which is just how i like to spend my days. and what lina and i would love to do with y’all!
just so you have a little background information, we rode on the blue ridge parkway (pictured above), a road that winds around, up, down, and through the mountains of tennessee, north carolina, and virginia for 469 miles (755 km). it is a two lane road built over 50 years in the 19th century. much of the road was built as a project of the CCC (civil conservation corps), a public work relief program, started by president franklin d. roosevelt’s New Deal, that operated from 1933 to 1942 in the states for unemployed, unmarried men from relief families, ages 18–25. today it is the most visited part of the national park system in the entire US every year since the 1940s. freaking cool, huh?!
the parkway is hailed as one of the best design achievements as a road that lies on the land and blends into the landscape. but, it’s not just a road to drive on… it’s a gateway to much, much more. camping, hiking, waterfalls, and some amazing forests and wilderness.
well, you just have to visit it. it’s so unique. and it lies just 5 minutes from our apartment, as it descends in to the asheville area. once you are on the road, it is only 10-15 minutes and you have left the city far behind and are surround by beautiful vistas and amazing nature.
ok. enough history. ready to check out adventures?!
do you see it?! that is a BEAR!! a real, live black bear that crossed the road in front of us and headed up the mountain. it was AMAZING!!
the campground where my parents are spending a few days. we gotta do that soon! ok. here’s what we did: my parents were not at their campsite, but their rv was, so we took out our chairs and blanket and plopped ourselves down. yes, we are camping crashers. you should’ve seen their faces when they realized we were there! hehe. fun stuff.
i know you wanna come for a visit now, right?!
after returning from all those amazing adventures, we had my brother over for dinner and then he took us to an outdoor bar by the french broad river (there’s a river that runs through asheville – and it is in fact the 3rd oldest river in the world, behind the nile in egpyt and the new river in the states. cool, huh? and another tidbit of trivia: i’ve rafted both the new & the french broad. time for a trip down the nile now! hehe.).
anyway, we had an interesting little discussion with my brother at the bar about the word “wild“. i love that word, it makes me think of wilderness and nature and all the beautiful natural beauty that is in the world. but, i’m thinking about it a little differently right now… and that’s a good thing i think. it’s never wrong to expand your mind. the thing is, when we say wild, we mean that something is not tame. when, actually, the things that are wild are just being natural. so, we define nature, animals, and all that out there in relation to ourselves… we’re civilized. it’s all wild – which has the connotation that we must tame it. as it being wild is wrong. and the truth is, perhaps we should actually learn how to be a little more wild…
wild is beautiful. wild is what’s real. wild is what’s been around longer than we have. just a cool discussion and a cool way to think about wildness, wilderness, and a chance to appreciate it all the more…
hope your weekend was beautiful and restful and wild! peace, wild people.
it’s not my birthday today. or any other special day, for that matter. but, perhaps that’s the point. it’s just a day. a regular day. however, is it really just a day? isn’t any & every day a gift? yeah… a day is a moment in time filled with wonder and awe. a chance to do amazing things, whether that means traveling to some exotic and beautiful place, or staying under the covers at home all day, or going to work to do the same thing you do every day. the point is… it’s a day. and you and i are alive. and breathing. and we have choices. we get to be the master of our days, our dreams, our life. we really do.
for the past week i have either been majorly sick myself, taking care of my wife being majorly sick (thanks to me), or quarantined in our home trying to rid ourselves of all the germs and contagiousness. today, we’d had enough. still a bit weak and tired, we decided that since the sun was shining, we’d make our way outside for a short little walk. we needed to feel the sun, to experience the warmth in the air. and it was a short trip outside, but it felt oh so good. not a grand, mind-blowing day in the eyes of many, but a grand, mind-blowing day nonetheless. any day can be extraordinary.
i didn’t remember that until yesterday, though. after spending the past few days inside, i made a conscious choice yesterday to make a change. i had gotten stuck in my head. but, i also let myself feel and think. i was tired of feeling sick and disconnected. yet, i wasn’t able to leave the apartment yet & begin life again. part of me didn’t really want to. still, i wanted to move on somehow. i needed to reconnect myself with myself. so, i grabbed my headphones, plugged in some music, and did some yoga. and i felt it. my soul. ahhhh… soon, i found myself having a hour long chat with my mom; and then, watching a beautiful bird as she patiently and diligently built her nest just to the right out my kitchen window. i locked eyes with this gentle creature a few times as she flew back up, carrying a stick in her beak. i pulled up a chair by the window and just sat there. i must have watched her for at least an hour. it was amazing. beautiful.
as i followed her every move in the process of nest-building, i was reminded of the beauty of each creature simply being who or what she/he is. and then, i got it. self-discovery is a wonderful (painstaking) process, but it is not one where we must figure out what is wrong with us and what we need to change (what i’ve been obsessing with lately). instead, it is an opportunity to listen to ourselves, to know ourselves as we are right now. it is simply spending time with ourselves and remembering that who we are, what we love, who we love, etc. and who we are right now is exactly who we are supposed to be. we are just fine as we are. we are enough. all we need to do is that which comes natural to us. all we need to be is ourselves. like the beautiful bird building her nest.
yep. my purpose in life is to simply be me. all the details will take care of themselves.
so, on this regular, ordinary day, i want to celebrate the amazingness of life, of being exactly who we were created to be, with you…. by sharing this video. watch it. listen. look. think. dream. be,
here’s to wishing you a great week ahead. embrace yourself and embrace this crazy, amazing life!