Travelogue: Summer at Stone Door

"What if I have to pee once we're out there?"

I hadn't been on a legitimate hike in a long time - over a year, in fact. "We'll just pee in the woods," said my husband, smirking at the panicked expression that came over my face. "Easy for you!" I said, and I was about to explain the different methods I learned for a girl peeing in the woods from the tough, fearless Girl Scout Day Camp leader I spent every summer with growing up, when we came to the wash houses at the beginning of the trail. "Oh..."

I'd been hearing about the Great Stone Door for a while now.

With a name like that, I really didn't know what to expect, but I knew I wanted to find out what all the buzz was about.

We're also trying really hard right now to plug into our community more.

We've spent a lot of time and energy and thought on how to travel away from our Tennessee home, but one day I had a thought: if we don't explore the when we're here, what on earth will we do once we get anywhere else? We're dreaming about adventures instead of having them wherever we are.

So we're doing our best to learn about our home. Which meant visiting Stone Door.

And you know what? Tennessee is breathtaking.

As always, the pictures cannot do justice to the real thing. The walk through the forested trails was peaceful, easy, and shaded. Then, as we turned a corner, the massive vista spread out before us as plainly as if we'd stepped through a doorway.

I was drawn to the light like a moth. I raced so quickly to the edge that I scared myself, stopping short later than I meant to. My head began to spin and my stomach stung by the fear of heights that suddenly decided to reappear after years of dormancy. "Watch it, babe!" I heard from behind me, and Justin, my rock, calmly moved me back a few paces.

We explored the trails as they snaked in and out of the woods from cliff to sunny cliff. It was later than we'd planned, which was perfect because the sky got pale with the yellow light of the setting sun. We waited until it was an orange orb and then hit the trail again back to the car so we weren't caught out in the dark forest.

And, my god, it was a beautiful day. It was just a lovely, magical day.

If you're on the search for a hike and a view, you can find it in Tennessee. We certainly did, and it was worth it. And in case you're wondering, I did not have to pee in the woods, after all.