Home Away From Home in the Nantahala National Forest
It is easy to forget how pleasurable the simple things in life are when we’re always on the move. Don’t get me wrong, I love being on the move and living in the moment, but sometimes we all feel so rushed that we forget how great just staying still can be. So when some friends of ours in Miami invited us to stay at their cabin in North Carolina, I was excited to discover a part of America I had not seen yet. We flew into Atlanta and drove three hours into the beautiful Nantahala National Forest, watching the big city fade away as the straight highways became curved and twisty mountain roads, and buildings gave way to trees and mountains. I found I was actually relieved to not have any cell phone service! I love my phone, but I was ready for a vacation from technology and the daily hustle and bustle.
Here is our friends beautiful cabin we stayed at, affectionately known as “Camp Weil”, right on the shore of Nantahala Lake. Nantahala is a Cherokee word that means “Land of the noon-day sun” and when the sun rose overhead it lit up the forest, turning everything amazing shades of green and gold.
The porch with two comfortable rocking chairs looking out onto the lake was a great place to sit and relax, but my favorite place was probably the couch! I spent lots of time in my comfy pajamas being a couch potato and enjoying the warm wood-burning fireplace that emanated the smoky pine scent that you can only really smell when you’re in the wilderness far from home.
There were a lot of water toys to play with during the day which included jet skis, kayaking, floating rafts, wake-boarding, and inter-tubing. Normally, I am not a huge fan of inter-tubing, but this time I had so much fun laughing (and screaming) as we zipped through the water at high speeds. I can’t wait to do it again!
At night, we’d enjoy a delicious home-cooked meal and gaze at all the stars. The stars seemed like you can just reach out and grab them, they were so bright. Big-city living is great, don’t get me wrong, but it doesn’t get dark there the way it does in the woods. It was so peaceful and quiet in the evening, with a light breeze blowing through the trees and a galaxy of stars overhead.
The whole experience was a perfect way to recharge and reconnect with nature, which is something I think we all should try to do more often. It makes you appreciate both the woods AND your cell phone just a little bit more!