Sam's Knob

The weather this past weekend was spectacular for just about any activity imaginable. Phil has spent the last three days freshening up on his AMGA skills and taking the SPI Course with Appalachian Mountain Institute. I hear it is a very experienced group of climbers and guides and that Patrick Weaver is doing a great job at balancing the crew and refreshing their skills.

Meanwhile, I headed into Pisgah on Saturday with Daisy and our new dog, Vinca. As you make your way up to the Blue Ridge Parkway on 276, you can still see a lot of the tree damage that occurred thanks to this past winter's storms. Still, everything is blossoming and budding like crazy in the forest. The mountain laurel is starting to bud, and the rhodos and irises in Pisgah Forest proper are spectacular right now.

We parked at Black Balsam and headed up to Sam's Knob, which is a phenomenal spot to take in the views and eat a trail lunch. It was surprisingly breezy in the parking lot, though it was truly perfect hiking weather. The two girls and I then headed to Flat Laurel Creek and over to Little Sam's Knob for a total of roughly 8 miles, which was more than enough to tucker us out for the drive home.

Occasionally my motivation falters before I head to this popular area of the parkway, but once I get there, I am always 100% rewarded for making the drive and battling the crowds. Even though the parking areas were busy, the trails provided plenty of peace and quiet.

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