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…”
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.
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.
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 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
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