With Sukkot already having been so rainy and an imminent threat of severe storms, we gave up camping 2 days early and decided on a whim to drive up to the mountains to go apple picking. We went to our friends' house in Winston for a potluck/birthday party/wedding vow renewal. We figured we were already halfway there, so we found a decent room for $60 in Hickory and spent the night there. After breakfast, we drove the rest of the way to Hendersonville. When we went looking online (literally at 4pm the day before...ha...told you it was last minute and spontaneous) for well reviewed apple picking farms, Stepp's Hillcrest Orchard came up. We were a little late in the season, so it pretty much the tart varieties that we had to choose from. We got some Law Rome, Stayman Winesap, Granny Smith, Pink Lady, Blushing Gold, and Arkansas Black. We picked 3 1/2 bushels and bought another half-bushel of Fuji to round the batch out with some sweet apples. One bushel was for another family that requested them. Our habit is to make applesauce to keep us through the whole year and Rebecca also wants to make apple butter.
The first wagonload. Each of those baskets is half a bushel. We wound up filling 7 baskets total.
Of course, the kids ate as many apples as they could while we picked. :)
After apples, we went for a drive up the Blue Ridge Parkway for a bit and saw some beautiful fall colors. Our spontaneous trip turned into great timing for enjoying our favorite season. Sadly, our camera battery was dead that morning, so we had to make due with the dumbphone's camera. And sadly, I (jeremy) got very ill with a severe case of food poisoning on the way home from the mountains. Not fun. I was sick for the good part of a week.
We caught site of a waterfall along our route. Glassmine Falls. It was a view from a distance but a pretty cool find since it often is dry and not flowing this time of year.
So far we have eaten quite a few apples, made 34 pints of applesauce, and 7 pints of applebutter with another bushel or so left to go... if Irene doesn't eat them all before we get to them. She can frequently be found just grabbing one from the bags to snack on.