Posted by: SoccerGirl | June 12, 2011

Memorial Day weekend visit

It’s only been a few weeks since my last post, but that’s a good thing because that means that I got to go up to the mountains twice in the same month!  The traditional but unofficial start of summer brought another opportunity to head west and spend time in the mountains.  Mom and Dad were able to drive up early Friday, which was a good thing because we had crazy rain/thunderstorms in Raleigh Friday afternoon, but by that time they were safe and sound in the mountains.  I was not so lucky and once again had to stay in Raleigh until Sunday morning because I had to attend graduation for the high school where I teach.  But at least I had Monday off so I got a little taste of the mountains.

When I arrived around lunch time on Sunday one of the first things I noticed was the umbrella that mom & dad purchased and added to the picnic table.  It made for quite a pleasant place to sit out of the hot sun, especially since the temperatures this weekend were in the 80s.  Mom and Dad said they even ate breakfast out there Sunday morning before I arrived.

New umbrella!

After hanging around the house for a little bit dad and I decided to go for a hike.  Mom stayed behind to relax and rest at the house.  We decided to try someplace new for hiking and went to the New River State Park area off Hwy 221.  Since I had driven up separately in mom’s car, we decided to take that and it was such a nice day that we cruised with the top down.  It took us about 30 minutes to reach the park, and we soon found the hiking trail.  I had read on the park’s website that it would give us “spectacular” views of the river.  This may be true in the fall/winter/early spring, but was not the case this weekend as we couldn’t see the river from the trail.  It was still a really nice hike, about 1 mile that took us around 40 minutes through forests and even through some meadows (a lot like our property).  It was pretty hot by this time, but the trail was mostly shaded so that was good.  After we finished we walked down to see the river, which looked very inviting.  We then stopped by the visitor’s center near the park entrance, which had a neat display of the river as well as a small exhibit area.  We drove back home, cleaned up, then headed off for dinner with some friends that have a house nearby.

Mountain Laurel flowers along our hike

Monday morning was time to do a little work as usual.  This time I told dad I would use the riding mower to cut the grass.  I started up by the house and did the flat area.  Once that was done, dad asked if I wanted to do some “fun stuff” so we took off down the hill to cut a trail through the meadow that followed along the property line.  Dad had gone through and made a few passes but wanted to widen it a bit.  It was pretty fun riding down the hill and cutting the trail, although it got a little bumpy in places.  I rode back up to the house and we planned to walk the new trail and find out exactly how long of a trail we had made.  Mom wasn’t quite ready so I got a chance to do more mowing, this time up on the hill around the new landscaping.  This area was a bit trickier as there were a few more holes to watch out for.  I did get stuck a couple of times, but dad was there to give me a push.  And I did slide off the seat once too, since the ground was a little uneven and I’m too short to reach the pedal sitting all the way back on the seat.  Even mom took a turn on the mower, although she used it for its other purpose, quick transportation to the bottom of the meadow and back to the house  🙂  Once we finished the mowing the three of us walked the new trail to see how it was and determine how far it actually was to do the loop.

Hi mom!

Mowing the grass

We also took the opportunity to start digging out a fire pit, something that we’ve talked about for awhile but hadn’t gotten around to yet.  We bought a fire pit last year at Lowe’s but really wanted the feel of a traditional campfire.  Dad and I dug down through the red dirt, which surprisingly was pretty easy, aside from the fact that we were in the sun and it was 80 some degrees out.  We dug far enough to place the original fire pit down in the hole and decided since it was smaller than the hole that we would fill in the space with rocks and then build up rocks around it to give it that natural look and give the pit some structure.  We didn’t quite get it finished on this trip, but will have it done soon so we can enjoy some s’mores all summer long!

Phase 1 of fire pit digging

Before mom and I headed back home Monday afternoon we had a visit from some old friends of my parents who also have a house in Ashe County.  It was fun showing off the house and sharing all the things we had done.  Soon after they left it was time for mom & I to make our way home, the weekend had come to an end and we had to get back to work on Tuesday.

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