This is the final installment of my bachelorette weekend posts and I saved the best for last. The bride-to-be wanted to hike to the summit of Richland Balsam Mountain. What attracted Brittni to this particular trail is that the Richland Balsam Summit is the highest elevation on Blue Ridge Parkway. Thankfully no one was hungover or this would have been a hellacious idea. Even with decent electrolyte levels and good sleep it’s not the easiest hike. I would still consider this a beginner level trail but there were steep climbs and lots of rocks to trip over. After 10 beautiful years, I finally blew out a Chaco.

The hike was filled with such lush and vibrant greens that some of these pictures look photo-shopped. I promise the green was really that green. It was gorgeous. The trail was also scattered with berries and wildflowers blooming which was an extra treat. I was walking through a fairy garden, I know it.


When we reached the summit we were nothing short of disappointed. The only view we got was of this sign. I took a picture of my unimpressed face with the so-called summit behind me. I cackled when I heard Brittni say, “Miley Cyrus was wrong. This was not worth the climb.”


Nevertheless, we kept on hiking the loop back to the car and I could at least count this as Weight Watchers points so that I could indulge later. Then, we started being able to see the sky through the trees. What was waiting for us on the walk back to the car was better than the summit.


There it is! There is the breathtaking view we were hoping for all along. Our sincerest apologies for prematurely doubting Miley Cyrus. This is my victory stance that Nan caught at just the right moment. Fans of Mulan will recognize this as “King of the Rock”.


The view from the parking lot is pretty great too if you like parking your car long enough to take a picture and getting back in. No judgement there. I’m from the Smokies and you lovely people stimulate the economy as well as anyone else. Parking lot pictures are up next!


Last but certainly not least we jumped for what seemed like ages to get this picture timed just right and Britt’s future mother-in-law is the gem who captured the moment. You’re the sweetest, Nan!


This is how I felt for the whole weekend. Girls trips have GOT to happen more often. We braided each other’s hair, drank too much, and celebrated Brittni.

I highly recommend getting outside with the people you love anytime the situation presents itself. Just don’t get caught up with the view at the top. Sometimes the best one is waiting for you farther down the trail.

Until next time,



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