We had not checked out Asheville since we arrived in NC. I had been here a few years ago for a paddling trip gone wrong with my brother
Before visiting the epicenter on breweries, we did a quick hike in the Green Rover Game Lands with Max
He enjoys playing in the shallow rivers and this was no exception. He ran back and forth between Amy and myself. One of our reasons for going on this trip was to give Max some new experiences and he has made the most of it.
After dropping him off we made the 1 hour drive to Asheville. We started with a walk through the art district
While driving along the French Broad river I got this Déjà vu feeling. Then the paddle outfitter store popped up where my brother and I started our journey. Interesting how different a place feels based on the circumstances for which one finds themselves there.
Town reminds me of Austin. Lots of cool breweries and quirky restaurants, but during COVID we did not get to sample them, even though they were open and serving tons of people indoors!
We found a place called White Duck Taco. They had a ton of cool types of tacos to sample. It was a nice day to sit outside and be out in public for a change
We walked through the Botanical Garden, but were really not that impressed
Followed by a stop at Asheville main cemetery
Next stop was Grove Village. Another little art district, but all the shops were closed today
It was a full day of city exploring. We had dropped Max off at the groomer when we got into town and scooped him back up on our exit
I would like to spend more time here, maybe a few months. I was surprised that the weather this far inland is not that far removed from Michigan. Maybe 10degrees warmer, but don’t think I want to go through Dec/Jan/Feb here, just like I don’t look forward to it back home.
The next day we road the Thermal Rail Trial and went into Rutherfordton. We had to go off the trail to get into the city. In doing so we passed by the worst Meth house I have seen. A sickly looking man on the porch yelled out to me, “I see you captain!” I gave him the customary tip of the cap.
It is a little bigger than Forest City with a similar small town charm. I think it is the county seat as we passed a court house and a couple more govt buildings
We saw a Trump / Republican storefront selling all sorts of great swag
The town claims ownership to Christopher Bechtler, who came up with the idea to mint the first $1 gold coin in the US. There are references throughout town
That afternoon we went back to the Green River Game Lands to hike another trail near where we went with Max recently. The water looked so inviting I decided to take a dip….it was cold
Something funny happened on the way home. I decided to take a different road in order to drive up this tight set of switchbacks to recon for a later dirtbike ride. When we came out at the freeway we found it closed. There was an accident, A fuel truck jack-knifed and I guess it was a bad scene. There really was not an easy way around. We found a mountain road, different from the original one we took, and followed it for a couple miles. Then it became blocked. Why you ask? Because all these semis came off the freeway and tried this road and the turns were too tight, so another semi jack-knifed on this road! Looking over to my right I saw all these emergency people laying floats in the river. We were able to turn around and head back, yelling to people that they might as well turn around as it was going nowhere. When we got back to the freeway, it was a madhouse with the fire on both sides
We took the switchback road back and a few hours later we got past the accident.
It was a free for all. So much misinformation about what was open ,what was closed. It felt like I was back in Guatemala, try to determine what was factual in my efforts to escape across border to Mexico. This was my favorite picture
Right before getting back on the freeway, I saw this truck in the ditch. It was a cap on a ridiculous afternoon. Evening by the fire, lucky to still not be stuck in that mess
We should have not pressed our luck, but we went back to the Green River to hike a section called the Narrows. When we were there yesterday a girl told us there was a kayak race next week and a lot of people were practicing. If we hiked down this steep section we could watch them come through the most difficult section
We hiked down and sat on the rocks awaiting the carnage
And here they come!
They got stuck
It was the same girl we met the other day! She was calm. Said hello and asked if we could hold her kayak while she climbed out and helped her partner out from being wedged between 2 rocks. Then climbed back in, waved, and was on her way. What an impressive young woman.
Our next stop was the Carl Sandburg house. He is a Pulitzer Prize winning author/poet who came down here to raise goats and write books about Lincoln.
Drove through Hendersonville on the way home. Another place I would like to come back to spend some time
The next morning we drove down to South Carolina, only about 30 minutes. We came across The Palmetto Trail. Apparently it runs the full length of the state. It was a nice wide path with beautiful colors
This is downtown Tryon. I did not know it before, but it seems to be the World Equestrian Headquarters. Lots of riding stables and performance facilities.
We hit the local farmers market, which was pretty much a guy and his truck
Then I took the bike and rode back to Green River to check out those switchbacks
Another interesting event. I did not realize there was a bicycle race going on. When I entered the road it was blocked off, but I thought I could just weave through with the dirtbike. So I start seeing all these people standing along the road. I am wondering what is going on. Then I come upon huge packs of bicycles. I start passing them on both sides, splitting the middle. They are yelling at me, meanwhile kids on the side of road are motioning for me to do wheelies. I felt bad, but I had to just keep going. I felt like the guy who sprints out and tries to get the peloton to follow, but alas they were not taking the bait.