The third day of our family vacation began with a hike at Carvers Gap!
Ryan and I have completed this hike twice in the past (it’s a rather long day-trip from Charlotte, but totally worth it) and were excited to bring my sister and brother-in-law and our two dogs out for a chilly and windy hike on the Appalachian Trail!
We arrived at the trail head nice and early and didn’t see anyone on the trails for a solid hour which was a bit unusual, as this is a popular hiking spot. It was neat to have the trails to ourselves and we had a great time hiking, chatting and watching the dogs romp around and have the time of their lives.
We ended up completing a 5-mile out and back hike on The Balds, a series of treeless mountaintops that offer expansive panoramic views of the Appalachian Mountains.
I love this hike so much because you’re able to soak up gorgeous mountain views the entire time you’re hiking. It’s gorgeous and I’m so glad we had the chance to do it with Leslie and Ross!
Since the trail was a little ways from the house we rented in Banner Elk, we didn’t make it back until close to lunchtime. We thanked my parents for watching Chase and grabbed a quick shower when we arrived home.
Before moving onto the next activity, my mom requested a family photo for my parents’ holiday cards, so we snapped a few with the help of Ross’ tripod before heading out to lunch.
(We realized we all randomly packed plaid shirts and I suggested we all wear plaid and channel How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days and look like a “little plaid family” for the photos. Haha!)
The Fagan crew upped their game and went for a double whammy: Plaid and vests. (Cheesy coordination champs right here!)
After family photos were complete, we made the short drive into downtown Boone for lunch at Our Daily Bread.
We dug into soup, salads and sandwiches (the curry pumpkin soup stole the show) before walking across the street to browse around Mast General Store.
The store had everything from outdoor apparel and equipment to kitchenware and souvenirs but we were most interested in the barrel candy! We loaded up on a variety of candy from the barrels that managed to last us through the week. I drooled over some of my favorite candies that I haven’t had in years and made sure to add them to our stash. (Anyone else a fan of the melt-in-your-mouth delicious Ice Cubes chocolate squares?)
With our big bag of candy in tow, we headed off on our next adventure and stopped by Grandfather Trout Farm to do some fishing.
We used worms and corn as bait and did our best to fish for rainbow trout we hoped to eat for dinner. The fish weren’t biting like we anticipated and it ended up taking more finesse than we thought to catch a few!
Chase seemed to have fun at the trout farm, mainly because the activity meant he could spend time outside with his grandma!
This little boy loves looking at leaves, trees and the sky. He’s an outdoor dude already!
We left with five large trout and ended up grilling them for dinner and had enough leftover for lunch the next day, too. It was a great way to cap off the third day of our mountain vacation!