Hickory Nut Falls in Chimney Rock, NC

Chimney Rock holds a very special place in our hearts. Besides being an adorable mountain town in a gorgeous part of the North Carolina Mountains, it is a sentimental place. Josh and I came out this time to photograph our best friends’ wedding at the Esmeralda Inn in downtown Chimney Rock. We cleared our schedule and made a long weekend trip out of it. We wandered around Lake Lure, tried some awesome restaurants, and finally visited Hickory Nut Falls together. You see, the last time we came to Chimney Rock together, we got engaged. Actually we got engaged trying to hike up to Hickory Nut Falls but never made it. It was a cold, rainy December weekend when we decided to do a camping trip out in the mountains. Josh was participating in the NC 100 waterfall challenge, so we were spending almost every weekend of our lives at that point, hiking to and photographing waterfalls. Being the die-hard adventurers we were, we decided that a little cold and rain never hurt us. We turned our trusty Honda Fit into a makeshift camper and spent every day hiking for hours to a new waterfall. On Sunday, before heading home, we decided to stop in Chimney Rock to try to cross Hickory Nut Falls off our list. Hickory Nut Falls is located inside of Chimney Rock State Park and its an easy hike from inside. Only problem is that the park was closed by the time we got there. Never mind, we said, “we’ll just bushwhack our way up there”. Well, get inside the woods, a few miles up and everything starts looking the same. Plus, its cold, rainy, and the sun is getting ready to set very soon. We were lost. Oh, and did I mention that our hiking Garmin stopped working? Yeah, that made it even better. But we knew we were so close to Hickory Nut Falls and didn’t want to have gone through all that for nothing, so we kept hiking up the mountain, thinking we would surely connect to a proper hiking trail soon enough. Well, that never happened. And the sun kept setting. And somewhere, through it all, Josh decided that I am a badass and he would like to spend the rest of his life with me. He didn’t have any of this planned, he was just waiting for a moment that he felt compelled to ask. Even though I knew he should be popping the question soon (I mean we had already been dating for about 8 years!) I was still surprised. There I was, in my full body rain suit, no makeup on, probably with leaves stuck in my hair from bushwhacking and he asked me to marry him. I already knew for a very long time that Josh is enough of a badass for me to want to spend the rest of my life with him too:). Somehow we scurried down the mountain and found our way back. We stopped in a cute little trading store in Chimney Rock to pick out a silver engagement ring to seal the deal, ate a delicious dinner, and smiled the whole way home. We never made it to Hickory Nut Falls that weekend but it didn’t matter. The journey there was more enjoyable anyways :)

Happy Birthday to my wonderful husband Josh Hartman. Thank you for making my life an adventure and for being my best friend!
XOXO, Shelley

To check out more of our travel photos, check out our travel blog at https://www.hartmanoutdoorphotography.com/blog/travel/


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