Written and photographed by Michaela Herberg
I think that innately some people are born to be adventurous and some not so much, but my mom, or Ma as we call her, was certainly born with a need to explore. Growing up my Ma made it her mission in life to expose me to all the things she loved. This included outdoor activities like camping in New England and Western North Carolina, hiking along the Blue Ridge Parkway, white river rafting down the Nantahala River, fly fishing in New Hampshire’s White Mountains, and so much more. The woman never says no to a challenge, and often dives into things headfirst with her dimples on full display.
Memory Making with Ma
To give you some insight into our originally New England-based family, I have two older brothers that are seven and eight years older than me. Growing up, the boys and my dad always had hockey, whereas my Ma and I had all things outdoors and animal-related, i.e. horseback riding, camping, and so much more. One of the things that we loved to do on the weekends was escaping to the WNC mountains, specifically Boone, to camp and adventure. We always claimed it was to visit my brother who went to the local college then, but most of the time we didn’t even end up seeing him.
The two of us would pack up the car and spend the weekend camping at a campground just outside of town. With time away from the boys of the family, we were free to eat what we wanted and adventure wherever we desired. It was during these trips that my mom showed me how independent and resourceful two gals could be.
An ENO Gear Filled Birthday
Flash forward to the present day, my Ma and I still love to adventure with each other, and with my home now being in WNC, she seems to find herself “coming to check on me” quite often. I always make sure to plan something fun for her weekend visits and this time I was excited to share a new trail and waterfall spot in the Big Ivy Wilderness, as well as her birthday/mothers day gifts. To aid in her future woodsy explorations, I gifted her a Plum/Berry ENO DoubleNest Hammock, a Mountains to Sea FieldDay Blanket, and a Deep Sea colored Roan TotePack (to match her mischievous blue eyes of course).
Surprising her with her ENO gear gifts at the beginning of the path, I loved being able to capture images of my Ma in her element and enjoying her, “brandy new”, as she would say, ENO gear. As we walked up the path and watched our pups race around us, I couldn’t help but bring up memories of our younger adventures. Recounting the different situations we’d gotten ourselves into, the various animals I brought home over the years, and the silly arguments we’ve had over things that no longer matter, but sure did bring up a lot of laughs now.
I love that my Ma has never been afraid to pack herself up and adventure when she feels like she needs to reconnect with nature. Even more so, I loved being able to give her these gifts that will allow her to continue to enjoy time outside, but in a more relaxed way.
The woman couldn’t wait to hang up her new ENO DoubleNest Hammock and snuggle into her FieldDay Blanket, and while she humored me with some great photos of her and her beloved pup, Ms. Sadie Mae, I knew she would have been the happiest if I had just let her recline in the sunshine, snuggle in, and take a nap.
At the end of her visits, I always make sure to thank her for coming to visit me and being my sidekick for the weekend. I know I’m extremely lucky to have the relationship that my Ma and I do, and I love being able to share my mountain home with the woman who taught me how to love the mountains in the first place. Here’s to many more adventures with the legend herself, my Ma!
Located in the mountains of Western North Carolina, Michaela is a recent addition to the ENO team as the Digital Marketing Specialist. With a background in writing and marketing, she will achieve her Masters in Digital Marketing in May of 2022. In her spare time, she can be found trail running, kayaking, and generally just exploring WNC with her two dogs Fenway and Waylon.