This Labor Day, my roommate and I decided to take advantage of the weekend's BEAUTIFUL weather and get outside! We drove about two miles away to Crabtree Falls in the Blue Ridge Mountains, and took the 3.5 loop up to the top of the mountain.
We loaded up our backpacks with (far too many) snacks and water, and set off in search of adventure! We got there at about 10:30 am, which was pretty perfect timing. The parking lot was filling up fast, but we snagged a spot and were off. Thankfully there are several different overlook stops along the hike, so the groups and families got spread out easily and we could stop to breathe and take pictures often.
Keep in mind, I've had 4 knee surgeries and still am not 100%, so I always throw that brace on for added support and am super careful about it. I haven't gone hiking in a long time, because having basically a surgery a year never really gives you much time to recover and build strength up. I was a little nervous how this hike would be, but it ended up being a blast!
The waterfalls honestly weren't super impressive, but they definitely were cool to see. Just being up in the mountains breathing fresh air and pushing my body was exciting!
Once we got to the top (about 2,600 feet-- which I know thanks to the Snapchat filter!), we stopped and ate our picnic lunch and relaxed for a bit while enjoying the stunning mountain views. Getting up above the world like that just puts things into perspective, and I loved it.
Here's the thing I did NOT expect: going down was SO MUCH HARDER than going up. Staying at a constant decline kills your ankles and shins, and my legs were shaking SO badly going down all the flights of stairs and rock piles and everything. I was holding on to everything I could for stability, and it was one of those keep going because I can't stop or I'll never make it kinds of things.
Thankfully we made it back with no wipeouts or anything, and although I'm sore today, it wasn't nearly as impossible as I had feared, and it was so much more fun than I expected!