For about three months, I've been planning on joining friends, some old and some new, for a trip to the mountains this past weekend. As a travel writer, I have a hard time taking a casual weekend away. This trip was no different. I had called the Chamber of Commerce in Blairsville, GA, where we were headed, long ago looking for suggestions on the best things to do in town. I had called apple orchids, scoped out hiking possibilities and state parks, and even toyed with the idea of going horseback riding on our weekend adventure. Then the last two weeks, life started to unravel a bit.
Have you ever wished you could just bike downhill?
Overhearing my friends discuss plans to bike the “Virginia Creeper Trail” while coaxing me to join them on this famous 17-mile ride made me question my sense of adventure. I’ll try anything that does not include running for long stretches: skydiving, petting baby gators, bobbing for apples, inverted roller coasters, climbing Machu Picchu, batting a piñata, sport fencing, even walking a half marathon…but this sounded intimidating. I hadn’t biked in months and probably never topped ten miles in one stretch. I had been informed most of the bike trip was a gradual downhill ride. Still, you hear 17 miles, and you wonder.
If you've ever seen the movie Weekend at Bernies, a film about two guys who get invited to their boss's beautiful beach house for the weekend, you've seen Bald Head Island. Portions of the movie were filmed there. Aside from the strange plot twist the guys encounter along the way, the island is quite lovely. You could easily see why the boys wouldn't want to leave. After visiting Bald Head Island in North Carolina for myself, I can commiserate with them. We didn't want to leave either.
When I checked the Bald Head Island Limited site for things to do on the island, one of the first things that caught my eye was a sailing excursion with Riverside Adventure Company & Sail Shop. Their website advertised two hour Funsails aboard their 26' J80 Sailboats, and I envisioned a leisurely sail taking in the scenery and the sunshine while our guide sailed along off Bald Head Island. What I didn't expect was getting the chance to sail the boat myself, and arguably, that wasn't even the highlight of the outing.
I’ve never been what one would call a nature lover or anything related to being outdoorsy. It’s not to say that I don’t enjoy a good hike or run, even a camping trip every once in a while, but I generally prefer a controlled environment within four walls.