Monday, August 17, 2020

Virtual Tevis Week 2: Passing Cougar Rock and Lyon Ridge

Life sure changed quickly on me last week. Phew! 

A cloudy sky

I received a call Tuesday at 4 pm that a spot opened up at a private school and Wyatt was next on the list if we still wanted it. The catch? School started today and we had to do a parent orientation, fill out a 9 page application, have Wyatt get an academic evaluation and then meet his teacher all before school started. It was a very hectic end to the week. By the time Friday rolled around I had not made it home from work before 8pm since that Monday and I was exhausted.

Before the rain hit

It also made it really hard to get our walks in. Wyatt had his awards drive by ceremony for cub scouts Wednesday evening at a local park, so we brought the dogs and snuck in 2 miles there, but other than that we didn't make any headway all week. 

Soaking wet from the rain that made it through the tree cover

Then the weekend came and Saturday dawned rainy. I was supposed to received 84 bales of hay that morning but the guy canceled to avoid it getting wet in transport. This left us with a free morning, so we packed a lunch along with plenty of water and headed back up north to tackle Vaughn's Gap - a 7 mile out and back with 1500' elevation gain in the first 3.6 miles. 

It was the coolest hiking experience of my life. 

We started off with cloudy skies that would intermittently sprinkle on us. The tree cover was thick enough at the lower elevation to block most of it and honestly the cooler temps and light rain felt nice as we trudges ever upward. 

Straight up with no complaints except from my legs, lungs and heart

Eventually we climbed higher than the trees and got pretty soaked, but by that point we were all hot and tired from the exertion and didn't really care. 

The coolest part? We climbed above the clouds and out of the rain. By the time we reached the top of Vaughn's Gap, a ridge dividing the taller Hogback Mountain and Rocky Spur, we broke into sunshine and blue skies. We stopped for a breather and some lunch before starting the trek back down all of us thankful that the climb up was behind us. 

Almost made it to the top and this rock looked perfect for a nap

As we made our way back under the clouds we noticed rivers of rain water where there hadn't been on the way up. Our timing had been perfect. We had made it above the cloud cover right before the deluge hit and were now back under it after it had passed. Seriously the coolest thing I've done on a hike. 

Looking like a drowned rat

I was so damn proud of Wyatt for doing that hike. The last mile was nearly straight up, it was muddy from the rain and I know plenty of adults who couldn't have done it. 

Then on Sunday the hay came bright and early. We had plans to meet up with new friends and do another hike, this time 2 miles of easy mostly flat local trails mid morning and busted our butts to stack it all before we needed to leave. I was surprised Wyatt had enough energy to do it, but having a friend along made it all that much better. We ended up going out for pizza after and it was the absolute perfect way to spend a Sunday.

After that hike we were 27 miles along the Tevis trail having conquered Cougar Rock and passed the trot by vet check at Lyon Ridge. The next stop isn't that far ahead and this week we only have one scheduled appointment after school/work which should make getting smaller miles at home easier. 


  1. That's a great hike. Kids recover quickly. More so than adults. :)

    1. He was pretty tired but recovered better than I thought

  2. what a gorgeous hike -- way to go Wyatt haha. that's exciting about his new school too, good luck with everything!

    1. Thanks. It is a lot of changes in short order but hopefully all for the better

  3. What a fun hike! And how cool that you got above the clouds? Hogback is one of the mountains you can easily see from various parts of Tryon area and it's always so cool watching the weather come over that mountain. Glad Wyatt is in a new school! Did you decide to make the change b/c of the virus or was it in the plans before hand?

    1. Its a gorgeous mtn. We had originally planned to hike up the service road to the top of it but by the time we got to the top of Vaughns Gap we looked up the steep road and went back down instead. HA! Someday.

      As for school - it was on my mind anyway since Wyatt has had some issues with school and bullying the last year, but it was always expensive. Well, with COVID the price of free public school went through the roof and it ended up being less money to send him to private school then fiddle with all the after school and days off school care we needed to piece together so it made sense to bite the bullet and try it. We will see how it goes for him.

  4. This is so awesome. I love that you're doing the Tevis experience on foot and getting out there to see so many cool things