A busy few months of travel has meant that I haven’t always had as much time as I’d like to take advantage of all of the wonderful sights and scenes I have back home in Greenville, SC. When AJ and I moved up to Greenville, we made the decision based on a few factors, but one of the major ones was Greenville’s close proximity to the mountains of South Carolina and the significantly cooler (although not cool) weather here as compared to Columbia, SC.
But travel and life happen, and between being gone on what seems like most weekends this spring combined with teaching at Barre3 as much as possible when I am home, we haven’t quite been able to take advantage of the mountains as much as we thought. I decided that won’t be the case anymore, dammit – so whether I’m teaching or not, if we’re in town, we’re going to head out and enjoy our city and the surrounding area, even when it gets hot. Hey, you have to acclimate, right? So both days of the weekend during the past two weeks, we’ve done exactly that.
Last weekend, AJ and I headed up to Dupont State Forest after I taught the early morning class. Dupont has a lot of great hiking options, include an easy 6-7 mile loop that hits three waterfalls along the route. Normally, we tend to go the more “strenuous” route when it comes to hiking, but this one was a fun little mountain walk that included some truly breathtaking views.
The next day, my mom came to visit for Mother’s Day. She’s been dying to go on a hike here in Greenville and this was the perfect opportunity! She absolutely loves hiking and the outdoors, so I grabbed her some shorts from KUHL as part of her Mother’s Day present, and she loved them so much she wore them the same day! We did a moderate hike to Raven Cliff Falls in the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area and then a separate trail to a few more falls. Hey, gotta get those miles in!
This weekend, AJ and I finally got around to doing something we had been meaning to do since we moved here – bike on the Swamp Rabbit Trail! The trail is 19 miles long and extends from Greenville up to nearby Traveler’s Rest, and although I run on it regularly and we’ve walked on it and eaten at restaurants along the way, we’ve never gotten around to biking it. You may remember that I used to cycle quite a lot – even doing a 100 mile ride! But those days seem far behind me, as I hadn’t been on my bike since we moved – too busy with barre and everything else! Riding this weekend was a great reminder of how much I love it, though, and a great way to spend time with AJ. I should look into cycling groups in my spare time.
And finally, on Sunday we headed up to Jones Gap State Park with one of our friends. I tried to convince the boys that we should do a 10 mile trail, but they either didn’t hear me or they just ignored me – I’m thinking it was the latter. Instead, we ended up at about 7 miles, 4 of which was very strenuous and the rest of which was moderate. We got to see some gorgeous waterfalls, too!
We had beautiful weather here this weekend, so it was the perfect time to get outside and explore. I’m definitely making hiking more and more of a fitness priority, which I’m able to do these days since marathon training is over. I have to admit, it’s nice having weekend mornings free from very long runs. Even when I teach, it’s not so exhausting that I can’t do something else that same day. My glutes and hamstrings thank me.
I asked AJ this weekend if when we met almost 5 years ago he would have ever expected to be spending his weekends biking 20 miles on one day and going for a 7 mile hike on the next. His response was “No, but I’m pretty sure you expected that I would, so here I am.” Is he not the best?
Anyway, no matter where you live, I challenge you to make the time to head out this weekend (or next, or the one after!) to explore the beauty around you. As John Muir once said, “In every walk with nature, one receives far more than he seeks.” Preach, John. Preach.
What amazing natural resources do you have near you?