Hiking Inn the Woods

For years I’ve wanted to go to a place called the “Hike Inn.” It’s a lodge of sorts, perched high atop a mountain in North Georgia. The reason I’ve wanted to go is the same reason I’ve never been: the only way to get to the Hike Inn is to hike in. Yes, one must hike through the woods for five “moderate” miles to get there.

I’m all show and no go when it comes to being woodsy or outdoorsy. I read about it and dream about it and think about it, but that’s as far as it goes. Hubby is exactly the same way. Except he doesn’t do the reading, dreaming or thinking.   

And then something wonderful happened. My daughter became friends with a girl who has the coolest, the hippest, the most uber-outdoorsy woman ever for a Mom. I’ve never met anyone like her before. She does things like triathlons. And trail running. And camping. And kayaking down fast rivers. And did I mention mountain biking? 

I took to Beverly like a tick to a dog.

I listened to her stories and admired her adventurous spirit.

One day I casually mentioned to Beverly how I’ve always wanted to do the Hike Inn. I said that I had the dream, but neither the drive nor the courage. And on top of that, Hubby would never go.

She said “Well, let’s do it! We’ll take the girls.”

To her, it was nothing at all. She had stayed there several times. And get this. She had also run the trail to the Hike Inn.

Yes. You read that right. She had RUN the hiking trail. 10 miles! (5 there and 5 back) Through the woods! Up a mountain!

I know. How cool is that?

Beverly has a line I love. It’s: “You’ll be fine.”

So it went kinda like this.

Beverly: “So, let’s do it. Pick a date.”

Me: “But…but….I don’t know if I can make the whole, entire, five long miles up there. Let me think about it….”

Beverly: “You’ll be fine.”

Me: “But snakes! I hate snakes.”

Beverly: “You couldn’t hate them more than I do. You’ll be fine.”

Me: “Bears? Have you seen any bears?”

Beverly:  “Really. You’ll be fine.”

Me: “What about the girls? Do you think they can make it?”

Beverly: “They’ll be fine.”

Me: “I don’t know. I don’t have any hiking stuff and I’m really busy lately…”

Beverly: “Pick a date. Let’s do it. You’ll be fine.”

And that’s how I was able to cross “Do the Hike Inn” off my bucket list.

But first things first. I didn’t even have a backpack, other than my daughter’s from school last year. So we headed to the camping aisle at the local big box store. I bought a backpack, a flashlight, and rain ponchos for two.

My daughter and I packed a bottle of water, pjs, a change of shirt and socks, toothbrushes and toothpaste, and some trail mix. (And my mascara and lipstick.) We met Beverly and her daughter and headed to the woods.

The Hike IN to the Hike INN was INcredible. Delightful. Pleasant. Exciting. Fun.

“Over the creek and through the woods….to the Hike Inn we go…..Bev knows the way, HooRay, HooRay, through the snake-y and bear-y woods, oh…”

 

The daughters

On down the path, we met a couple who was headed back down from the Hike Inn. They had spent the previous night there. They warned us of a copperhead snake beside the path up ahead.

Yikes! Freaked me out. What to do, what to do…a copperhead?!?!

Beverly: “We’ll be fine.”

I thought now was a good time to take a trail mix break. The couple took our picture before they headed on down the trail.

The mothers

Yes, that’s me…covered from head to toe. I wore my starched white long-and-lace sleeved cotton shirt. I’m donning my handy-dandy Hawaiian bandana and my running shoes. And yes, as a matter of fact I do have on mascara. Thank you for noticing. Mascara is one of those things I believe in. Like I believe in love, and babies, and mom and dad, and you. (Who was it that sang that? Don Williams?) Anyway, there she is. My friend and outdoorsy inspiration, Beverly. Look at her, completely at ease. Totally unfazed. A pro at the great-out-of-doors. No mascara necessary. Not covered from head to toe.

Beverly rocks.

Up ahead we didn’t see the snake those folks had warned us about (thank goodness!) but we did see this little coopery-headed-brown froggy dude.

The five miles were actually pretty easy. The Hike Inn’s website call them “moderate.” They weren’t. They were easy and fun. We talked and walked. Walked and talked. Our daughters hadn’t seen each other in a while, so they had fun catching up.

Here it was! Before we knew it! The Hike Inn!

The front

the back

 The Hike Inn is a green eco-friendly inn. Here’s the bathhouse.

Men on the left; women on the right.

It was complete with composting toilets.

Breezy. If you’ve used one, you know what I mean!

And the view from the rocking chairs on the porch.

The dining is family style. They actually weigh the entire group’s “throw-away” food. If it is less than 3 ounces, then our group gets an official smiley face on the official board.

We got frowny faces.

We learned at dinner that some of our fellow Hike Inn-ers had seen a bear earlier in the day. Bears! Oh my! Better them than me, for sure.

The evening zoomed by. No electronics here. We couldn’t even bring our cell phones. Our evening was filled with with girl talk, hot tea, horseshoes, swatting the mosquitoes. We crawled into our bunkbeds and settled in for a short, summer slumber.

Each of these doors leads to a teensy room for sleeping. Nothing inside except bunk beds.

I got up early the next morning to watch the sun come up. Cup of coffee in hand, I rocked on the porch while the sun turned the world pink. And then bright. I rocked some more. And drank more coffee.

We enjoyed a big breakfast (our group got yet another frowny face for more than 3 ounces of waste, but our table did awesomely) and headed back down the mountain.

About half way down the mountain, we stopped to eat our brown bagged lunch the Hike Inn had packed for us. Inside each bag was a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, an apple and-and-and———–

A gigantic, incredibly delicious cookie.  Chocolate chips, peanut butter, M&M’s, oatmeal! YUM!

I got the recipe. WooHoo!! Here ’tis.

Hike Inn Cookies

4 eggs
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 lb brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/3 sticks butter
2 2/3 tsp baking powder
1 lb peanut butter
2/3 cup chocolate chips
2/3 cup M&Ms
6 cups oatmeal (dry)
Mix together the ingredients in the order listed. Spray or butter cookie sheets. Drop dough onto a cookie sheet with an ice cream scoop and flatten slightly. Bake at 350°F for 15-20 minutes or until done.

Did I say YUM! For real, YUM!

Now look carefully at this picture. It shows you what Beverly is made of. Not only does she have her own backpack on her back, but she’s got both my daughter’s and her daughter’s backpack too. I was so tired, I almost asked her if she’d carry mine as well. And just look, the girls have joined my bandana-on-the-head-in-the-woods fashion statement.

Beverly was right. I was fine. I had a fine blast. She’s a good influence on me…

So there you go.I did it! It was great. I can truly say: been there, done that, got a t-shirt. A cute t-shirt, by the way!

Until next time, Friends, savor the flavor of life!

Lots of love, The City Farmgirl, Rebekah

Leave a comment 21 Comments

  1. Marlene says:

    I love it! I’m so jealous, too. I wish, wish, wish I could do this kind of thing. We used to walk and hike all the time, but health issues have kept my husband from walking much lately. Every time we think we’ve got it beat, another symptom pops up. But we keep trying. This was so encouraging!

  2. Cindy says:

    Congratulations!! You did it. I love reading your articles. I have always been more of the outdoors type so reading your side of the story is very interesting. You are so funny!! Keep up the adventures though. Look at the new world you are exposing your daughter to. And remember – "You’ll be fine."

  3. suzanne says:

    Hi, the trip sounds like a blast! I want to know what the bear was doing when the "other" group saw it!

  4. carol branum says:

    Rebecca,This is completely cool,I am glad that you had fun.It is too hot here,106 degees yesterday.There is a place at Branson Mo.kind of like this,I hope to go to in late Aug.or the first of Sept.They have horse back riding,at the" Lodge of the Ozarks".I told my friend, I wanted to go more in the fall when it was cooler,but,then we can,t take in White Water.Her answer was "So,lets just go twice!"So,I have been working on the bank account.It is so expensive,her answer was to" ask another friend to share"she always,has the answer.Its nice when you have friends of the same intrest,all of my friends are cool like that too,and its great!Have a safe summer,Carol Branum,Lamar MO.

  5. Kara says:

    Is your friend available to rent out? I need someone like her to get me off the sofa. Enjoyed your adventure! Aren’t you proud of yourself? I would be! Great post.

  6. Gina Danaher says:

    I too am very jealous of your experience. I would absolutely love to visit Hike Inn. Unfortunately I am too far away to just drive over to the trail and give it a go. Maybe it’s something I can do in the future as part of a vacation down south to visit family? I will keep this in mind and my dreams.

    I really enjoyed this post!

  7. Margaretr Beck says:

    This is very inspirational. I at age 62 have almost given up on these types of adventures but after reading this, maybe not. There is hope.

  8. Rusty McHale says:

    Rebecca:
    What a wonderful experience for you and your daughter. I truly enjoyed reading your story and what a great sense of humor you have. Please post more stories that we can all read and enjoy (and maybe be a little envious at the same time).

    Love-

    Rusty

  9. Mike Flowers says:

    !!!LOL!!!

  10. Cindy says:

    Oh, so envious! I’ve always wanted to do something like that! I would wear mascara too btw….no reason not to look pretty when running from a copperhead!! How fun, glad you did it. I’m inspired now to take the plunge…or, rather, the hike. :-)

  11. Sarah says:

    What a trip! I agree, your daughter will remember forever the time when Mom got out of her comfort zone. Would you do it again?I’m printing out that recipe. It sounds wonderful, even if I’m not hiking off any calories.

  12. Brenda says:

    Great story! Sounds like a blast. I am not sure if I have ever walked that far at once. I am doubting it. I grew up in Indiana and there are to parks there that are mostly covered with hiking trails. They are in Brown county and we went there a few times as children. There is also campgrounds. The trails are easy to extremely hard. I do not remember any being this long though. The cookies list 1 lb of brown sugar. How many does it make? Sounds yummy!

  13. Bonnie says:

    I’m proud of you! I wouldn’t think you would have had any trouble walking the 5 miles in after training for the marathon. Of course the snake thing is a different story! But you did it and had a great time it sounds like. Thanks for the cookie recipe. My granddaughter was here yesterday and we made them and everyone who tasted them loved them! It was a great project for an eleven year old and a rainy day.
    Bonnie

  14. mellee says:

    good for you to have lived one of your dreams. it looks like y’all had awesome fun. and how lucky for you to have such a great friend; those aren’t easy to come by. i am doing my own ‘living in the city but am really a county girl’ lifestyle. i grew up in the kind of county you hiked in and can say i miss the peaceful beauty of home all the time. but i do try and keep a little of my county self alive; i have a huge vegetable garden growing in our front yard (the sun is best there:). i can also say i feel you on the snake issue; am NOT a fan. thanks for sharing and hope you have many more countygirl adventures in the future.

    mellee

  15. Debbie says:

    Woo Hoo! You go girl! See, you WERE fine! Don’t you just love friends who bring out the best in you? I have one such friend too…My Dancer friend that gave me the courage to take tap dancing lessons at 37… And then more courage to perform in her annual recital with the rest of my class which consisted of two other late blooming tap dancers in the late 30’s age range,2 years in a row!

    I loved the classes but the stage fright before the performance had my stomach in knots! Once it was over, I was fine too!

    Every once in a while, my hubby drags out the video to remind me of how much fun it was to tap dance and be center stage if only for a minute… I think that’s how long our song was…Just about a minute!

    Your hike sounds like the perfect one for someone who didn’t fashion themselves as " outdoorsy at all " . So sweet for a mother/daughter get away…What a sweet mother daughter memory you made too!

    Congrats!

    Deb~

  16. kay says:

    Hey, I’m with you, mascara and lipstick……good times!

  17. It looks like you guys had a great time. I would love to go to the Hike Inn. What an incredible experience to have!! PS I’m not too fond of snakes myself.

  18. kay says:

    Made the cookies, I only had peanut M&M’s so put a bunch in
    the little oscar and munched them up……way good cookies!

  19. nonnameme says:

    Hi Rebecca,

    Sounds like you and your daughter had a great learning experience. You should keep doing these types of trips…see if you can get hubby to go too. My O/H and I have hiked in Maine…one trip he showed me bear tracks in the sandy beach near the stream we were on….since we were 20 miles from nowhere…I was not happy he did…no one else around. I’m usually one curled up with a quilt I’m working on, so these adventures are exhausting, exhilerating, etc…but I’m glad we’ve done them. I’m now, at 57, having some major medical problems (looks like I have Parkinson’s disease), so I don’t know how many more years I’ll be able to do these things…but I have a trip to England in the plans, with my grown daughter,nieces, plus I am hoping to go SKYDIVING! for my 65th birthday…
    hope you just keep doing, while you’re young, and healthy!
    have a great summer!
    nonnameme

  20. Shery J says:

    Wow, Great fun, the photos gave me a good ‘feel like I’m there’. Beautiful place. I saved the cookie recipe too. Thank you. Hike Inn…what a perfect name.

  21. amanda says:

    Thanks so much for the recipe. We have been to Hike Inn 3 times and love it! Plan on going again soon. But always wanted the cookie recipe! My husband and his buddies are doing a section of the Appalation Trail and I plan on making these for them. Thanks again.

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