After a weekend at home with dear friends John and Jo, we decided to hit the road, visit the Asheville, NC area, see my brother and his wife, and just generally chill. Mission accomplished.
If you have never visited Asheville, it is one of the most eclectic, inclusive, and interesting communities I know of. Nestled in the western mountains of NC, it sits at about 2,000 feet elevation and is surrounded by mountains, national forests, and outside activities galore. Did I mention it is a really cool town? See the picture (below) of the famed Drum Circle from a previous trip of ours.
We camped at Lake Powhaton SP, which is about 5-10 miles outside of town, and is a great campground! Our site was private, level and plenty of privacy. Most sites (including ours) do not have services (water, electric, sewer), but we didn’t care – we were happily self-contained. With our senior pass, our site was only $11 per night. Once we got a campfire going we were pretty much in heaven. Between a combination of my recovering shoulder and crappy weather we did not partake in any hiking, but this area is rich in places to hike, bike and whatever outdoor activities you may enjoy.
Long overdue, we had dinner with my brother and his wife. Typically we get together several times per year but for the last couple of years we have been remiss. It was great to see them again, break bread, celebrate his birthday and spend the evening laughing, talking and catching up.
We chatted with some other campers at the campground and learned of some other area attractions, which included a campground on Mount Pisgah. It looked pretty nice, and at about 5,500 feet elevation it looked like it would be a nice place to visit when the weather is warm elsewhere. Either way, a ride on the Blue Ridge Parkway in October (or really any time of year) is simply gorgeous.
We also visited Mount Mitchell, which is the highest mountain on the east coast at about 6,700 feet elevation. Because the clouds rolled through as a storm approached we had almost zero visibility.
With a rainy day Saturday, we started the day with eggs and bacon, followed by several hours of reading when we decided to get motivated. With the weather being what it was, we headed to the new Sierra Nevada Brewery. OMG. I guess the facility is the size of two or maybe three Home Depot’s – it is huge, and just stunning. We couldn’t get onto a guided tour, but were able to tour the facility on our own. We found time to taste test some brews and sample their restaurant, meet some really nice people in the process, and just have an entirely pleasant afternoon. At the next opportunity we will return and get a full-guided tour. But beware – tours are booked full weeks in advance. This is not to take away from the host of other small local brewers in the Asheville area, but this is truly a one of a kind facility.
Saturday night found us nestled in our camper for a quiet night of reading with the sound of rain beating on our roof. We made our way home Sunday and met back home with ex-Pope Band parent friends Bruce and Nancy for dinner. All in all, not so shabby a long weekend!