Sunday, September 16, 2012

Tales from the Road: Asheville, NC

September 10, 2012 – Asheville, NC

You have no idea what joy it brings me to type the location above.  I have wanted to visit NC for as long as I can remember, Asheville specifically.  My friend Susan is very involved in the world of folk music and over the years I’ve met, or heard of, quite a few singer/songwriter/musicians who live in the area.  From what I understood, it’s a very cool, artsy town with an emphasis on healthy living. Right up my alley! Well, at the moment I can’t tell you anything about that as I we haven’t gone into town yet, but I can attest to the absolutely breathtaking beauty of this place. 

Again, please remember that I am originally from Ohio but have lived in South Florida for the majority of my life, so I have no memory of hills, valleys, mountains, or even seasons for goodness sake. Florida is all about the sun & surf, and I love that, but I’ve always felt that my heart was elsewhere. On the few occasions I went back “home” to Ohio, I spent as much time as possible in the woods, trees, especially those on my father’s 50+ acres in the southern part of the state.  We explored Old Man’s Cave (where I understand he and my mother had a few romantic moments back in the day!) stayed at country bed & breakfasts, one owned by the Amish that was, as expected, void of electricity.  I loved it, and when the plane landed in Miami I cried, overcome with a strange sense of homesickness for a place where I hadn’t really ever lived.  My friend Catherine says it’s because I long for the hills, that where my people are from, and I am sure she’s right.  My ancestors are originally from the hills of West Virginia, my grandfather a coal miner, and my mother wore the “hillbilly” label proudly. But I point is that I am happiest, most peaceful, in the middle of the woods, surrounded by trees as far as the eye can see, something you don’t experience in the Sunshine State. 

Welcome to North Carolina
 So, yesterday when Chip and I trudged further and further up the hills, as quickly as our RV motor would let us, and caught our first glimpse of those mountains in the distance, I was beside myself! I couldn’t believe how green everything was, everywhere you looked just a sea of trees! Breathtaking doesn’t begin to describe it. And when we finally pulled into the national park where we’re staying, Chip doing his darnest to navigate the motor home around the steep curvy roads, I was practically speechless.  You know that we gravitate toward national/state parks whenever possible, learned rather quickly that I don’t enjoy the RV park experience, and will sacrifice some amenities for a prettier view and more space between campsites, preferring as much of a “camping” experience as you can get in a 30-foot monster! Well, this is by far the most beautiful place we have ever stayed.  This is the view I woke up to this morning, as you can see Loki is enjoying it as well.  


Campsite, Lake Powhatan

When we met the park ranger at the gate, he told us that the weather had just turned cooler, a fact we realized quite quickly as we began to set up camp. Finally settled in around 8 pm, I made us a quick pasta dinner while Chip ran back to the office for firewood.  After dinner we sat around the fire, sipping wine and wishing we’d both brought jackets! Duh! What were we thinking, only packing light summer shirts, sandals and shorts? I have one pair of jeans, but no long sleeved blouses and since the temps are in the low 60’s this morning, this Florida gal is gonna have to do some shopping! 

We have no real plans for the day, will likely head into town this morning, stop by the visitor’s center and figure it out from there.  First, another cup of coffee while I soak in this gorgeous nature…ah….


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