Lean on me

Ahh the weekend…it’s always so nice to be able to relax after a long week, and lately, our weekends have been a little bit more laid-back which has been nice. Last weekend, Cam and I spent Sunday driving up in the mountains to enjoy the beautiful fall weather that we’ve been having. We drove along the Blue Ridge Parkway, which runs between North Carolina and Virginia, and it’s gorgeous drive. Thanks to Daylight Savings Time, we were able to get an early start and the beautiful drive up the Parkway all the way to Grandfather Mountain which is about 2 1/2 hrs from our house.

Stopping at one of the many overlook points on the Parkway
Beautiful views of the leaves, which are still so colorful for November!
On the way to Grandfather Mountain!

We finally made it to Grandfather Mountain, which claims to be the most rugged mountain in the Eastern United State. There are lots of areas for hiking and picnic-ing, there’s a nature museum and animal habitat, and there is even a bridge that is a mile off the ground! It had actually snowed the day before in the mountain, so it made everything look really pretty. After we checked out the swinging bridge, we decided to go on a little hike. There was a trail near the swinging bridge that said “For Experienced Hikers Only”, but we both had our hiking boots on, so we figured it probably wasn’t that bad, and started on our way.

Snow!! Makes me feel like I’m back in Michigan 🙂
The Mile High Swinging Bridge
Such beautiful mountains
The Mile High Swinging Bridge, with a view of Grandfather Mtn. in the background…aka where we did our hike!

 It was a pretty physical trail with lots of uneven ground (covered in snow) and there were quite a few areas with cables to hold on to. Everything was going fine, but when we got near the top of the mountain, there was a serious of ladders and cables. My hands are literally starting to sweat just typing this post, this part of the trail was so crazy intense for me that I would definitely say it’s most frightening hike I’ve ever done. I’m not normally someone who is very fearful of heights, so when we were on the Mile High bridge, I was fine. But when I’m climbing up a ladder on the side of a mountain that looks like it was built during the New Deal era (and being held together by rusted nails), that makes me nervous. And when I have to climb up a ladder where if I let go I will literally fall straight down and that will be the end of me, and then I have to grab on to a cable and maneuver myself to another ladder and do the same thing over again, that’s just not cool. But that’s what we did. I really wanted to stop once we got near the top, but Cam encouraged me to keep going. Even though I was swearing at him the whole way, he knew that I could do it, even if I didn’t want to believe it myself. My legs were shaking when we finally got to the top, but we were rewarded with a spectacular view! (It was then that Cam told me he was actually really nervous watching me climb up behind him because he said that as I was climbing up the ladder he just looked out behind my head and saw blue sky and then death below me…sweet).

Where the trail started to get tough…
Almost to the top…everything looked so pretty in the snow!
We did it! 🙂
The view was worth it (I guess haha)

Having only been married a little over a year, I am by no means an expert on marriage (is anyone ever really?). But I do think that it’s a really healthy thing for your relationship to push each other to do new things. When you face challenges of any type together, it forces you to really rely on each other, and it makes your relationship that much stronger. While climbing up all those ladders was bad, going down was way scarier, but knowing that I could depend on Cam to help get me through it made it possible for me to do something that I would have been way too scared to do on my own.

I may look happy, but I am literally holding on that ladder for dear life!
See, doesn’t this look pretty/really really scary?

This weekend we didn’t do anything quite that exciting–Cam came down with the stomach flu last night and is currently curled up next to me sleeping on the couch while I write this post. But whether I’m out buying him Gatorade and taking care of him when he’s sick, or he’s coaching me down a ladder as I am freaking out like crazy person on a mountainside, I am so grateful that we can get through anything if we lean on each other.