Camping in Pisgah National Forest, North Carolina
Updated: Sep 4
Hello comrades, I am writing this as I am incredibly sleepy from 2 days & nights of being outside in the cold. This week I spent two days camping in Pisgah National Forest, which is right next to Asheville, North Carolina. It's part of the Blue Ridge Mountains and right next to the Great Smoky Mountains ⛰️
My boyfriend Nick and I arrive in Asheville Regional Airport, a convenient 2 hour flight from Newark. Our friend Alex, who's been camping since the previous night, picks us up.
We drive to Asheville in search of food and coffee (Nick and I are caffeine dependent). A friend of mine has parents in Asheville and recommended an award-winning Indian restaurant, Chai Pani. It was great, especially the okra fries.
As we are waiting for our friend J to arrive, we explore Asheville, ducking into shops to avoid the cold weather (it's low 40s). We take a tour of the New Belgium brewery. Eventually, we head to our campsite in Lake Powhatan Campgrounds.
The campgrounds are covered in the best foliage I've ever seen. We specifically chose this week to visit North Carolina because peak foliage was predicted, so we are happy.
Nick and I unpack in our yurt, which is a nice glamping site with limited electricity (but not enough for heating).
We walk around a bit and eventually meet up with J, who is at a neighboring campsite. We make some hotdogs and drink some tea. This is my favorite part, chatting near the campfire. It gets dark and eventually the freezing temperature has made everyone sleepy so we go to bed.
Our yurt has a made queen bed but Nick and I knew it would be below freezing, so we brought our sleeping bags. We put the sleeping bags underneath the bed's blankets, and sleep in a bunch of layers and beanies. We also have some handwarmers. We get a decent night of sleep but there's just an aura of intense cold around.
We wake up and head over to Alex's campsite. Alex and J are up and J makes us these fancy egg sandwiches with spinach and ham. J teaches me how to use his aeropress and makes me coffee (J and Alex are very good at camping). We eat and decide to go grocery shopping so we can have a proper dinner after hiking, so we go to Aldi's. I insist on making smores and get some fancy dark chocolate for it. Then we go to REI and I get some nice rugged men's gloves because I only had feminine gloves.
Casual scenic view on the highway to Aldi's.
Then we eat BBQ for lunch and and heat back to the campsite. Finally we go on a 3-mile hike - a little short because I am still rehabbing my back and want to be careful. It's a hike in the forest around Lake Powhatan and very nice.
After the hike some of us shower, and we start cooking stew/soup. I dice up potatoes, onions, and canned spam, and J cuts up celery and onions. I'm having trouble with the spam cause it's pretty gross. Alex fries the spam and puts everything into some beef broth, then lets it boil using the propane stove. Then cheese goes in at the very end.
The soup is pretty good and some of us get drunk on the New Belgium beer. We make smores and have some great conversations about paganism, dating, hobbits, and leftist politics.
A few hours later it's dark and the wood runs out, so the campfire dies and we have to go to bed.
A quick breakfast, we say goodbye to J (who is going to camp in the Great Smoky Mountains) and Alex drives us to the airport. He gets a flat tire but the camp staff notice and help us install the spare! They were really nice, probably because they're out in nature all the time. Then Nick and I head home and now I'm writing this.
I'm glad I could finally cover camping in this blog because it is one of my favorite hobbies. Camping highlights some of the things I love the most - nature, Nick, friends, food, campfires - and sidelines all the other annoying nonsense in life. It definitely makes me feel a lot calmer and happier and I've already been looking forward to my next camping excursion.
I hope you felt like you went on a little trip reading this. I'll be back next week to talk about latkes.✌️