This past weekend was filled with great family memories, lots of laughs, and some hilarious new hiking phrases (hence the title of this post: “Don’t Tump on a Stump!”). Getting to spend some time in the great outdoors with my family is just what I needed. We stayed in our coach (who doesn’t love glamping, am I right?) at the Buffalo Outdoor Center Campground and hiked around Goat’s Bluff and Whitaker Point, otherwise known as Hawksbill Crag.
In this post, I just want to give an overview of some of the really cool places we got to experience this spring break, and a few tips if you’re really new to the hiking business! Maybe this post will even inspire you to go out and breathe that glorious fresh mountain air. Let me tell you if you have never gone hiking, you totally should. It has to be one of the greatest feelings when you look at the gorgeous view and think, “Wow, nature is so flipping awesome!”
Okay, let us begin! So, the first day of our mini vacation was mostly filled with driving to the Buffalo Outdoor Center. We arrived around 3:00PM and decided we would take a leisure hike to Whitaker Point, which is about three miles round trip. Now, my mom has been dying to go here, and I was pretty excited myself! Oh, and guys, it did not disappoint. It was pretty breathtaking to see the hazy mountains surrounding us and the beautiful valley below. You better believe I was snapping pictures left and right to try and capture such a beauty! To be completely honest, the photos don’t even show how beautiful it really is.
Tip #1: If you go hiking later in the day when it is very cloudy like we did, I suggest bringing a light thermal jacket, pullover, or sweatshirt. It can get quite chilly the higher up you go, (not to mention very windy!!) and it is wise to have another layer you can quickly throw on.
Now the real fun begins… Day Two consisted of an all-day hike that was, in one word, incredible! It was a fairly strenuous hike so I would definitely recommend investing in a quality pair of hiking boots so you don’t worry about slipping, twisting, or stumping on the trail. It happens a lot, so to have a good layer of protection between the rocks and your toes is a heck of an advantage. I bought mine from here.
We started on a very steep and rocky trail that was about three miles one way to go to the incredible Goat’s Bluff! As you peered over the ledge, you could see the Buffalo River below, and it was outstanding! Once we reached this destination on our journey, we decided that it was the picture perfect spot to have lunch! I was starved by this point, and I never thought a peanut butter wrap tasted so good. I love bringing these energy-inducing peanut butter wraps when I hike. They are the perfect fuel to get you through a long hike. They are filling, easy to transport, and downright delicious! I personally love the combination of apple and pear slices with a few raisins on either a pita or flatbread tortilla with natural peanut butter slathered on, but I think peanut butter banana would be an equally wonderful option.
Tip #2: When hiking long lengths, bring an easily packable lunch in your backpack, and don’t forget to bring plenty of water! We like to reuse plastic takeout containers to keep our lunch contained. It’s the perfect way to save some waste and keep your hiking backpack super organized! Also, protein balls are a great snack to keep your energy pumping!
After Goat’s Bluff, we ventured on down to what we thought was going to be Hemmed in Hollow, but ended up taking a wrong trail somewhere and ended up somewhere completely different. That’s the beauty of hiking, sometimes you get on the wrong path, but no matter what, you see some really wicked and beautiful sights. Instead of a waterfall, we saw the clearest water ever and the age-old Henderson’s Cabin!
It was a great day, filled with a 10.5-mile hike and gorgeous sights. At the end of the day, my feet may have been tired as heck, but I would do it all again! Hiking has to be one of my favorite ways to stay healthy and active while getting explore nature. I’ll say it again and again, hiking is something everyone should experience. You’ll never know if you’ll like it until you try it (I’m willing to bet money the views you get will make it all worth the rocky trails). So, my dear readers, I invite you to take an adventure and go hike, even if it is only a few miles! Nature is crazy cool and in the words of Cousin Eddie from Christmas Vacation, “It’s a real beaut Clark.”
Until next time,
Grayson E. Wise
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