I decided to meet up with Josh for a night of debauchery in downtown Charlottesville followed by an early hike of Crabtree Falls. After a sweet, smooth drive down to Charlottesville listening to Joe Rogan interview Black Flag's Henry Rollins, I stopped into Starbuck's to re-up on caffeine and get some work done. After about an hour of that, I decided to take advantage of the nice weather and head over to Meadowcreek Disc Golf course.
It's a neat little nine-hole layout with dynamic holes weaving through the woods on each side of the creek. I played one round of nine with three locals that were coming around on their second round of nine. Tom, Greg, Mike, and I alternated between longs-to-shorts and shorts-to-longs and had a great round, only needing to fish discs out of the creek twice.
After the round I headed into Charlottesville to walk around the downtown mall area and grab a quick bite to eat at Citizen Burger Bar. Their onion rings are on point by the way. With some good food in my stomach, I hit the gym for a sub-eight mile and some quick squats with the aim of not burning out my legs for tomorrow's hike.
I met Josh back at the house and regrouped/made plans for dinner. We decided on Citizen Burger Bar again! The bar runs on a basic vision: We believe in good food, cold drinks, and common ground. This is the people's burger bar.
To start, we ordered cheese fries (meltted mixed cheeses, jalapenos, house ranch) priced at $8 and crispy friend pickles (beer-battered pickle spears, sriracha mayo) priced at $7. Josh's first beer was Hopslam by Bell's. It's a double IPA sitting at 10% ABV brewed with six different hop varietals and later dry hopped with Simcoe hops. The beer has a nice body and a honey finish to keep the hops in check. Josh rates it as, "I'd get it again." That's really good on the Josh-scale.
For entrees, we both decided on Timbercreek beef burgers cooked to preference (red, pink, or no pink) and side salads. I went with The Hotness, topped with jalapeno jack, sriracha mayo, fresh jalapenos, grass-fed chili, onion, tomato, on a house brioche bun priced at $13. Josh ordered their Wild Mushroom & Swiss, topped with McClure swiss, wild mushrooms, black onion, citizen sauce, iceberg, tomato on a house brioche bun priced at $16. He also had a Devil's Backbone and Citizen Burger collaboration beer, their Smoked Maple Vanilla Porter. He rated it at, "Alright." and compared it to Breckenridge Brewery's Vanilla Porter. The food was great and left us completely satiated and ready to retire for the night.
Eight A.M. alarms mean that it's time to hike! Josh made cheese omelets with salsa and coffee before leaving the house. We stopped at 7-11 on the way out of town for the imperative trail snacks. The parking area for Crabtree Falls is located about an hour from Charlottesville near Montebello, a small resort town in the middle of George Washington National Forest. There was a $3 fee for daily parking which neither of us knew about. We ended up driving into Montebello to the general store to break a $20. I ended up buying blueberry almonds which turned out to be crack. I would 100% suggest you try them for yourself.
The park at the base of the falls is very nice. There are two parking lots, restrooms, and a 500ft ramp that makes the lowest waterfalls handicap accessible. The lower half of the trail is more rugged than the top, but is still pretty moderate. Many signs along the trail warn hikers to stay on the path and the dangers of slippery rocks in the waterfalls. Apparently 30 hikers have died here... Most of the rocks had great traction and were pretty level but we had some trouble with the big icy spots flowing over the path. The view at the top doesn't provide a look at the falls, but instead looks out over the valley and onto the adjacent mountains.
We decided to stop at Blue Mountain Brewery on the way back and grab a quick lunch before I headed back up to Northern Virginia. The brewery has a nice patio looking westward over the valley with a wood burning fire pit. This front deck acts as a walkway, leading you to the dining and bar area. Josh and I posted up at the bar and decided to split a pizza that was half spicy ground sausage, onions, & peppers and half Italian sausage with caramelized onions, apples, & a balsamic reduction. Both sides of the pizza were super tasty but I preferred the spicy sausage. Josh had their Full Nelson, a Virginia Pale Ale with both citrus and floral notes which went well with the sweeter, Italian side of the pizza.
After dropping off Josh and getting the rest of my gear from his house, I headed back north with a new hike hike under my belt and a full belly above.