Trip-A-Month: September 2021

They’re back! Our monthly videos of our family explorations and adventures are back. What a better month to make a comeback than the same month that we started these videos last year. It’s also another anniversary trip with just Thomas and myself.

This post gives more of a description into our September 2021 trip to Boone, NC and the surrounding area. If you’re wondering where we stayed, where we adventured, or any details of this trip; here’s our deep dive!

We headed into the mountains for our 6th wedding anniversary. Every year, we’ve done a trip to where we explore a new area (however, on our 5th we went back to the Florida Keys where we spent our honeymoon. You can watch this two-part series here) and we haven’t explored the Boone area all that much; especially together.

So, we had two and a half days for our trip with no plan but to try Tenkara fishing and check out a winery. We booked a little cabin just 15 minutes from downtown Boone, but secluded in the woods. It was a perfect studio style cabin where we could watch the pile of movies we’ve been dying to see (that doesn’t have any singing or animation) and enjoy some wine we’ve had saved up.

12 to 2… 12 to 2

I took a Tenkara casting workshop in California back in 2018 where I learned more about this minimalist style of fly fishing. It really peaked our interest and we’ve been wanting to try it together since then. With Liam, we kept feeling the pull back to Tenkara fishing. While Liam is throwing rocks in a creek, Thomas would gently nudge how cool it would be that one of us could be fishing while the other is playing with Liam. It takes up barely any space in an already packed adventure vehicle and it’s super light weight to hike with at about 2 ounces!

It may be because fly fishing has been super trendy the past few years, but the idea has been creeping up quite a bit. We broke down and got a rod with accessories for this trip to Boone. It literally arrived the day before we left! Maybe Santa will bring us another rod for future trips like this one together, but the Sato rod by Tenkara USA did great for this one.

Thomas has been doing the research and figuring out where to begin, but we were still at a loss when we finally arrived at our cabin. So, we asked a couple of our friends from the area for places to check out and try this style of fishing at while we’re here.

They did not disappoint with recommendations. Our first day, we went to one of our favorite parks along the Blue Ridge Parkway, Julian Price Memorial Park. Our college buddy, Sam (who is a fishing guide around these parts), recommended we hike along the Boone Fork Trail upstream and fish the way down.

Tenkara fly fishing has a specific cast that takes a little practice. The rod up at a 12 o’clock position and then to a 2 o’clock position. 12 to 2… 12 to 2. Over and over again. I spent a good half hour working on my cast to no avail. Thomas was getting pumped up on the sidelines to have his go at this new sport. Welp, in good ol’ Thomas fashion, he tries for less than a minute before catching the first fish!

The next day, we checked out Bass Lake off the parkway. On the far side of the lake, you’ll have a beautiful view of the Moses Cone Manor up on the mountain! It was a perfect time to be here as the leaves were already changing and we were surrounded in fall colors. Though we didn’t catch anything, the lake was a great spot to practice casting with all the open space. There is quite a bit of water lilies to avoid, but still a picturesque spot.

Bass Lake didn’t give us the luck we wanted before heading home, so another friend of ours gave us coordinates to a spot on Goshen Creek along the parkway (thanks Dan!). He said it was his favorite spot to fish in the whole area and we immediately saw why. It was absolutely gorgeous! The rhododendrons and trees created a tunnel like canopy over this creek that made it so easy to take memorable photos. We attempted for a couple hours, but still no luck. I did catch a tree, though! It seemed like many have before, too, as Thomas pulled out 4 more flies from the same branch. Gotta love some trail magic!

Julian Price Memorial Park, Boone Fork Trail

Cling!

For my 30th birthday, I celebrated with a ladies trip to the Yadkin Valley area (Dobson, Elkin, etc.) known for it’s wine. While there, we were all given the “Wine Bible” at a tasting that shows all of North Carolina’s wineries. Now I feel like I NEED to check them all out!

So, after our Julian Price fishing escapade, Thomas and I changed into some nicer clothes in the tiny bathrooms of the park (a feat in itself!) and headed off to Grandfather Vineyard and Winery.

Even though you drive right past the local dump, you find yourself parking in this little secluded escape. Grab a glass or a tasting tree and sit right next to a creek or beside the beautiful barn for the ultimate feeling of “parents day out!”.

Thomas and I enjoyed their white wine and red wine tastings with a cheese board. It got a little crowded by the creek with little dogs barking at everything that walked by, but this winery was so quaint. I loved their Voigner so much that after the tastings, we got a couple more glasses and bottles to take home! I was feeling pretty good going to an early dinner after this tasting..


It’s pretty easy to tell if I have had a wonderful day. Number 1, I’ll probably say it over and over how great it has been. Number 2, I won’t stop smiling at everything. Let me tell y’all, ending the day eating fancy pizza, drinking more wine, listening to jazz music after fishing, and hanging out at a winery all with my husband; it was clear I had a great day. I’m pretty sure our waitress at the restaurant thought I was on something with how giggly and smiley I was. Or maybe she thought that I was having a lot of wine (and she wouldn’t be wrong about that..).

Our 6th anniversary was another to love and cherish for years to come. Though we didn’t go that far from home, and we really didn’t have much time, it was another amazing adventure. We have no plans for what our 7th will look like yet; but will probably include more wine and maybe some fishing. However, it’s always an adventure with us Briley’s!

See y’all out there!

Sam

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