Okay so I follow A LOT of travel bloggers, not that I consider this a travel blog but more a lifestyle/ inspiration blog, and I have noticed that they all JUST travel. They do not have “real life” jobs! During one of my mass blog reading sessions I got really down on myself; wondering, why would anyone want to follow my blog. I’ve only got Thanksgiving and Christmas weeks, weekends, and summer to travel. Then as I was reading (creeping) I had an epiphany; I am a sensible traveler. I work, take classes, dance, practice yoga, AND find time to travel. What’s important is that you’re MAKING your adventures happen! Some of us just have to do this while keeping a balanced “real life”. Don’t get me wrong I’d kill to be able to quit everything and just travel the world while making money off blog writing but right now that is not a feasible option, so if you’re like me and want to “HAVE IT ALL” then follow along the journey… outside the comfort zone of course!
One of the best ways to travel while maintaining a “real life” is a weekend trip! It is also a great excuse to explore your own country! So seeing as Aidan and I are here for the time being we are taking full advantage. We jump in the car and go! Our first time to go on one of these spur of the moment adventures we started out on the way to Arkansas. Planning to hike, camp and fully enjoy the natural state! Well weather wasn’t on our side. Last minute and I mean after we’ve packed, on the way out of town we think of a bright idea… New Mexico. It’s beautiful and I’d never been either! I call my Mimi (I don’t know why I didn’t google it) and ask if packing for Arkansas was about the same; my Mimi said, and I quote, “You’d be colder in Arkansas than New Mexico.” So we go on our way fully prepared to camp somewhere in New Mexico.
12 hours later…
We turn up in mountains and this wasn’t like any going to the mountains I’d ever seen. For hours we’d been making our way up slowly. I kept asking Aidan where in the hell these mountains were until we hit the tree line and boom we go from desert to forest in 2 minutes! We stop in this tiny adorable town, Mayhill, thinking we’d camp right outside of it. We pull up to the store front and OH MY GOSH there are gun signs, president hating signs, and a warning for a drunk Native American lady. Against our better judgements we go in. We were wanting a bottle of wine for the night and asked the owner if he had any after searching the store; to our dismay he rudely directed us to a different town further up the mountain. The last thing I wanted at that point was to drive more to find another shit town. We decide we don’t need wine and to head to the camp site. It was on the main highway. We pulled in and there was nowhere to hike and it was RIGHT ON the HIGHWAY. I had the total hebbie jebbies from the people of Mayhill- I’ve seen plenty of scary movies to know how that would have ended, so to my dismay we get in the car and head out. I was terrified we’d made this journey for nothing. It’d be the same story. Man was I wrong.
If you haven’t been, you need to! It is built to look like a tiny western town. It is tiny but the locals are so friendly and genuinely happy when people stumble upon their precious town. We found a shop and did our business. We get to our camp site, set up and cook. The sun went down… I think we survived an hour after that. Somewhere between snuggling up and telling him there was no way any of my 20 layers were coming off, we wised up and got the heck out of there. As we were packing up the tent I notice frost forming on the tent! It was literally freezing.. and my Mimi said it’s colder in Arkansas, yeah right! It all turned out perfect because we found a friendly hotel owner that had a vacancy. The next day was majestic hiking through the woods with the crisp air blowing! We hiked all day. I HIGHLY recommend the hiking trails through out Lincoln National Forest; they are easy and the view is unforgettable! My favorite was from the Bluff Springs campsite. There were two different trails; one sort of just ends at some barbed wire fence but the other goes onto a rocky trail heading up the mountain. Both gave us phenomenal views! There is a little waterfall and creek that runs through the campsite that just scream “picnic by me!”
The town of Cloudcroft is a must for anyone itching to get away from it all. With its fabulous outdoor activities, locals and food it is the perfect weekend getaway! Now about the food; all the locals raved on and on about this BBQ place- Mad Jack’s Mountaintop Barbecue. Apparently it is to die for but the guy only cooks a certain amount and when he’s out, he closes up shop. We missed him every time! One day we even got there at 3:30pm thinking no why he could be sold out- he was! So if you are interested in some to die for BBQ get the early, I’d say play it safe and be there for noon! There were also a couple of breakfast places we checked out (because I’m all about that breakfast) and I am happy to say they were both delicious. Waffles never tasted SO GOOD!
So what are you waiting for…. Pack a bag and pick a state or city or country! Your adventure awaits you! No matter how far or close from home you are!