A Bed of Snow

Sometimes a trip that you have completely planned a week in advance still does not go as planned. You can either let it be chaos and a bust or you can let it flow into one beautiful, crazy adventure. This is exactly what happened when me and three friends went to Asheville the last weekend in February of 2020.

I was thrilled to be able to go to Asheville. I was looking forward to going on hikes and visiting numerous breweries. I had been once before but I stayed just outside of Asheville and never got into the city. All four of us piled into a Nissan Altima full of our camping gear and clothes, and we hit the road. We took the longer route from Atlanta to Asheville, as it is full of beautiful scenic views. It took us about 4 hours to get to Asheville and we were famished when we got there. We ate at this super cool taco spot called the White Duck Taco Shop, it has become a staple spot for every time I visit now. They have a great variety of tacos and some very unique flavor pairings. For example they have a duck and mole taco, a gyro taco, and a banh mi taco, and they are on their menu regularly. They also rotate a lot of different ones. The last time I went I had a brisket and shaved watermelon taco and it was amazing! After tacos we went to New Belgium, an Ashville classic, and enjoyed some good, cold brews. Then we headed up to Max Patch where we were going to camp for the night.

Max Patch is a bald top mountain and is a major landmark along the Tennessee/North Carolina. It is part of the Appalachian Trail and is located about an hour and a half from Asheville. I have had friends stay there before and you are almost guaranteed to catch some incredible sunrises and sunsets. Anyways, we were driving up the mountain and we were mesmerized by the snow on the ground. I did not think anything of it at the time, I just thought it was a beautiful sight. When we got to the parking lot near the top there was another car in the parking lot and I remember so vividly the look of horror on the woman's face in the passenger seat. Her husband then got out of the car and encouraged us to find somewhere else to stay or at least camp in the trees near the parking lot. We knew we couldn’t get back down because the road was iced over and the little Altima would not make it. We hunkered down and decided to sleep on a bed of snow. We were in a tent of course, and one of my friends decided to sleep in the car. We set up camp and gathered some wood to make a fire and roast some hot dogs. Then came part two of the disaster... The lighter we bought from the store was defective. So, here we were in the snow with no fire and the only thing to eat were hot dogs buns. This was not what I had planned or desired at all. With nothing left to do, we piled in the tent and slept through the night, until we were disturbed by trucks coming up the mountain and rustling in the bushes.

The next morning we woke from our slumber surprisingly feeling refreshed and slightly frozen. We cracked open some beers we had, went on a hike to catch the sunrise, and then headed down the mountain to find a Waffle House so we could thaw out. All in all, this trip did not go how I envisioned but not as disastrous as it could be and certainly very memorable. Adventure truly is what you make of it and sometimes when a trip takes a funky turn it makes it so much better. This will be a trip and memory I will always hold on to, the night we slept in a bed of snow.

"And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul."

John Muir