A Roadtrippers Life for Me: A Journey through the Mountains of North Carolina
U30X Alum, Angel Bailey, shares her experience of using a new app to discover the mountains of North Carolina.
Spontaneous Procrastination. It happens to all of us.
It was the Friday morning of the weekend leading into the best holiday of the year - Independence Day in the USA. I’d spent the better half of the last two months dreaming about a holiday adventure yet was too busy to actually plan something. “Why did I wait so long to plan something?” ! I ask myself while starry-eyed at the idea of being spontaneous.
The battle waged in my head as I debated the downfalls of being ill-prepared, to the benefits of “going with the flow” and leaving room for curiosity and true exploration. I mean heck, some of the best adventures I’ve had, happened on the fly!
A new tool
When a friend told me about the Roadtrippers app just four hours prior to the end of the workday, I found myself emerged in the possibilities at my fingertips. I sat down that Friday afternoon and within an hour had an epic Independence journey planned to North Carolina’s beautiful Appalachian Mountains. Our route, rest stops, accommodations, attractions, viewpoints and all!
How the app works
The app is based on a system of reviews, recommendations, and GPS coordinates. This enabled me to plan with confidence based on reviews for anything from hiking trails and campsites, to hotels, breweries and art museums.
And the best part? I could easily toggle between different activities AND see where they fell on our route, making it even easier to know how best to plan our day and fit the most in.
A tool that encourages more than a destination
As the saying goes “life is about the journey, not the destination.” The Roadtrippers app exemplifies just that - how to make the most of any journey. With all interests in mind, we had a roadmap for our adventure and the keys to making it our own. It was incredible all that we were able to fit into a three day weekend while never feeling rushed or under stimulated.
Our unique adventure
Since the mountains had been calling for some time, our first stop had us headed straight to Linville Falls - one of North Carolina’s most infamous hikes. While we didn’t have a clearly defined route in mind, we decided to see where the trails would take us - and as luck had it, it was straight to epic views and diving through waterfalls.
After a nature filled morning our next destination was perfectly timed with the intent to help refuel our tired feet and sip on some local vines. Linville Falls Winery, a family owned and operated winery just a short five minutes from our hiking adventure, provided us relaxing views, good tunes, and a taste of its staple grapes Riesling and Cabernet Sauvignon, blueberries, and raspberries. Nestled in the lower end of Avery County near the Blue Ridge Parkway they house a state of the art tasting room on a 40-acre farm with award winning wines unique to the region with complex flavors.
Getting out of my comfort zone
I’ll be the first to admit I’ve never much into camping. Family vacations consisted of coastal condos and vacation homes. The thought of camping for me was not only new, but a bit nerve wrecking (that’s the diva in me talking).
The Vance Toe Rive Lodge changed my perspective. Upon arrival at the campground, I was pleasantly surprised by the beautiful landscapes and accommodations. Each campsite was provided a wooden plank in which to set up a tent, a picnic table, firewood and nearby facilities.
But the best part? They had a free shuttle service that brought people to the Vance Toe River Lodge and Brewery. This place was a true gem. Between the people, the eats, the drinks and the views, I can’t wait for my next “camping” experience!
The added bonus of flexibility
While the Roadtrippers app helped lay the foundation for our trip, we were able to spend a good amount of time exploring new trails, driving through the beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway and finding ourselves amidst a cluster of breweries in a nearby town we may never have found had our inspiration and curiosity not taken the wheel. Plan ahead, plan on the go, the app is just as flexible as you are.
Lesson learned: leave space for spontaneity, don’t stress the small stuff, and don’t over plan.
Sometimes the best adventures one can have are when they allow themselves to be open to all possibilities - and a bit of help from the trusty Roadtrippers app!
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