Bonjour fellow outdoor lovers! Hope these recent warm months have been treating you well and the outdoors have provided many opportunities for you to enjoy. The feeling of being engulfed in the outdoors has given me so much inspiration and will continue to throughout my life. I'm sure everyone has their own relationship with the outdoors for a variety of reasons, as well as many answers to the question: Why you enjoy the outdoors? My love for the Great American Outdoors was present in my recent road trip with my girlfriend to Mammoth Cave in Kentucky, Raccoon Mountain and Lookout Mountain in Tennessee, and Stone Mountain in Georgia. Of course, the main asset(s) contributing towards the success of the journey was our Granite Gear backpacking packs! We would have been extremely uncomfortable without this gear.
While visiting Mammoth Cave National Park, my better half and I participated in several cave excursions to further educate ourselves about this massive cave and its surrounding areas. I highly recommend visiting this versatile land as it can accommodate many personal ambitions. From cave spelunking to backpacking in the countryside, this national park had it all! With over 70 miles of backpacking trails and over 400 miles of known explored cave, this national park surely offers a plethora of outdoor activities for the backcountry enthusiast. During our backpacking excursion the Nimbus Meridian packs proved to be an extreme asset to relay all our gear across the open terrain during the long backcountry trek. The versatility of the Nimbus Meridian was exceptional considering multiple pockets to house a variety of items.
The next leg of our journey took us to Raccoon Mountain and Lookout Mountain in good ole' Chattanooga, Tennessee. Definitely one of the highlights from our journey stemmed from Raccoon Mountain, where we spent the night sleeping inside Raccoon Mountain Cavern. It was a unique, but fascinating experience! We were in complete darkness whether our eyes were opened or closed. Right before our overnight stay in the cave, we participated in another cave spelunking excursion through the Raccoon Mountain Caverns, consisting of only myself, my girlfriend and our tour guide, giving us more time and freedom to explore and roam within the passages. Their Wild Cave Tour was actually more physically strenuous compared to the 6-hour/5.5 mile Wild Cave Tour we endured within Mammoth Cave.
To finalize our expedition, we ended in the "Peach State": Georgia at Stone Mountain Park. This park features a massive quartz monzonite dome monadnock that elevates towards the heavens at 1,686 feet. I know this is no Mt. Everest, but for us native Floridians, it's an extreme escape from the flat lands that we inhabit. Don't get me wrong, Florida is a heated paradise all-around, but our northern endeavor was quite a different outdoor setting than we're used to seeing. I digress, this huge piece of rock is a challenging, but a safe haven for hiking, running and walking folks. As we made our ascent, there were several other people who had the same ambition of achievement to conquer this rock. Post-hike triumph, we refilled our energy by cooking at the top of the mountain with our camp stove. After enjoying our feast and the view, we descended back down to regular civilization. Side note: I must say, it was quite the accomplishment to be standing at the top of Stone Mountain knowing we endured over a mile of ascent while some folks took the easy route via the cable car.
All in all, our journey had taken us to a variety of areas that we've never visited before. Our Granite Gear packs kept us comfortable throughout the long treks on rough terrain housing everything we needed for several days backpacking into the wilderness. This gear led us along the way with the ever-changing environments, adapting every step of the way. We will continue to use Granite Gear's packs as we reach for the stars on future adventures. Now I encourage the rest of you to get outdoors and create your own adventure!
Here's some images from our journey. To see more go to cbaumer.com