Soaking up the Sun at Craggy Gardens

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When I decided to come to UNC Asheville for school, one of the determining factors was the great abundance of outdoor activities which I hoped to enjoy. Unfortunately, my four years flew by with very little time for any fun extracurriculars. So I made it my mission this summer to catch as many sunrises, sunsets, blue skies, and rainy days as possible, enjoying what each has to offer. On a particularly splendid Monday afternoon, my roommate and I spontaneously decided that an evening hike was the only way that we wanted to spend the evening, so hike we did.

One of my favorite places for mountain views and cool summer breezes near Asheville is Craggy Gardens, so we took the picturesque drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway and practically sprinted up the path from excitement, but not before remarking how fairytale-like the trail looked in the Golden Hour. 

We burst onto the sun-soaked overlook out of breath but exhilarated. Unfortunately, we were not the only ones with our brilliant idea as there were three other photographers and a few young couples, but the view was enough to mitigate the crowd. After many, many photos we simply sat at the rocks' edge in silence; taking in the last moments of daylight, breathing in the sweet mountain air long and slow, decompressing from the days and weeks and months of stress. 

While we started the evening intending only to have a fun time, we ended it with an oft-needed lesson: don't work so hard making a living that you forget to live. The hike home was dark and quite, but the drive was filled with music as we belted out Wicked duets together. We remembered not to take life so seriously, that taking time to live in the moment is the cure to any hectic, stressful, seemingly unmanageable time. We came home refreshed and ready to take on the world again.