An apple a day typically keeps the doctor away, but for David and I, an apple a day still wouldn’t rid us of all the apples we picked this weekend on our impromptu little trip to the mountains to go apple picking this weekend. We decided it would be fun to do something different and just get out of Charlotte for the day so early Saturday morning we headed for the hills towards Flat Rock, NC to visit Sky Top Orchards (which I heard about from one of my friends from college!) for some fun fall activities and then planned to take a little ride on the Blue Ridge Parkway afterwards and maybe stop for a mini hike or a picnic,weather permitting, however, David did not understand my sense of urgency in packing/planning ahead if we really wanted to stop somewhere and eat lunch…. but more on that later. So, like I said, we got up at like 7 to get ready and planned to leave by 8. At ten to 8 David was still lounging around and hadn’t showered so needless to say by the time he got ready, we got gas, and got on the road, we could have just slept an extra hour or two and left at a normal time. But I do loving driving to the mountains, for a few different reasons, one, the scenery is awesome!
I love the slight twisting and turning of the roads on the interstates and main highways through the mountains, unlike the actual mountain roads where I feel as though I could plummet to my death at any moment, especially with David’s love of hugging tightly to the curves in his mini, as if we are in some kind of get away car in an action pic. Terrifying is potentially an understatement. But the second reason I LOVE driving to the mountains is passing through small towns with oddities such as this one:
yep, thats the community communicator, I mean I know most small towns have little hometown newspapers or something like that, but for some reason the idea posting the news and events of your town on a billboard is strange to me… and mostly I like that it is called the “Community Communicator” its quite the alliteration for such a small town. Anywho after an entertaining and lengthy drive through the mountains We finally arrived at our destination and were ready for a fun afternoon of apple picking!
Much to our dismay the dismal weather did not drive out the multitude of visitors so it was quite a challenge just to find somewhere to park, mostly because this orchard perched on top of this mountain had no parking, we just pulled off on the side of the road with all the other cars and hoped for the best. And then hiked back up the hill to get a basket and a map and develop the best plan of attack to avoid the masses of people with small children and wagons in tow. Although it really was perfect weather, it wasn’t hot and sweltering, with the sun beating down on you and it didn’t rain so there was a nice breeze and everything looked lush, green, and ripe for the pickin!
Once we battled the masses to grab the aforementioned basket and map we hit the old dusty trail in hunt of the 3 types of apples that were actually ready for picking, which were Fuji, Red Delicious, and Golden Delicious. Things started out a little slow, and at first I was thinking it would be impossible to fill this twenty pound basket with delicious fall fruit….
as we wandered the rows and rows of apple trees we were finding that the easily accessible lower fruits had been picked and the only way to get the remaining good fruit was the climb the trees or be really tall, cue David’s over involvement in this activity.
I tried my hand and getting the apples from the tops of the trees, but my stature didn’t help me too much. Although later in the trip we got a little smarter and found that parents weren’t as willing to drag that ginormous wagons, all their kids, and their apples to the backs of the rows or to the rows further away from the main gate, so we lucked out in finding lots of red delicious apples in the outlying rows, so tips for all you people hoping to hit up the orchards later in the season, if you don’t want to climb a tree, then hike to the back, your efforts will be graciously rewarded!!!
Like I said, once we got to the lower hanging red apples things really turned around for us and David and I were even willing to stop and pose for pictures with our harvest, because we were doing less struggling to pick them!
David made sure to shine his up nice and pretty for you guys! So you would be impressed with his efforts, at first I thought he was shining it up and was going to eat the apple fresh off the tree, then he promptly informed me of his less than favorable taste for apples (ooops!) and his potential concern for what we planned to do with all of them, however I think I made an apple lover out of him this past weekend (he didn’t have much choice!)
Clearly not making the effort that David did, I was an underachiever and just posed with my apple still attached to the tree, I like to think of it as an action shot, so it looks like I put forth some type of effort in the excursion, because to the uninformed spectator it looked like David was doing most of the work, battling the branches to get the high ones, reading the map, annnndddd…. carrying the full basket,
a true testament of his strength and patience with me as I frolicked through the orchard trying to capture all the perfect pictures to share with you guys! Like the ones of these cute little apple signs, used to mark the rows!
I do love a good theme, and everything at this place screamed apples! Apple cider, apple butter, apple signs, apple chips, candied apples, caramel apples, APPLE EVERYTHING. Once we hiked from the back of the orchard back to the main hut, it was time to bag up our produce and have it weighed and foot the bill for our little adventure! I mean, we did get quite the heaping pile of apples, and I was happy to pose with them, for a short moment before feeling like I was going to dump the whole basket on the ground.
I clearly need to get the the gym and pump some iron so David won’t have to do all the heavy lifting next time! So, like I said, we sorted the apples and had them weighed, we managed to score roughly 20lbs of apples for $18. It was awesome! AND, in case your wondering what 20lbs is in numbers of apples, its about 40-50, we had to count for recipe purposes when trying to figure out exactly WHAT we were going to do with all our apples!
If you’re looking for a fun fall activity for the family or something different to do with your friends, I definitely recommend finding a local orchard and taking advantage of nice fall weather and fresh decloiusness to really get you in the mood for the new season! I just love fall! And I definitely recommend sky top if you are in upstate SC, or in the Asheville/Henderson,NC area. David and I really enjoyed it and are already hoping to go back next year to get TONS more apples so we can make lots of delicious fall treats. If you are wondering what we did with all the apples, stay tuned I have a few recipes to share with you and some other fun fall ideas so that your hard work doesn’t go to waste! Also, stay tuned tomorrow for more on our adventure on the Parkway!