Hi Bob…We’re leaving Asheville, NC this morning

(Dear reader, in case you hadn’t heard, Steven and I have left our home on Penobscot Bay for a camping trip of our own.  If you’re not interested, page down a few posts and everything will be devoted to Life in Searsport; in the meantime, we’ll be traveling for a while and wanted to keep Bob and our friends updated on our travels.)

Hey Bob,

6,000 ft. and the snow is blowing in from the West. Time to get off the mountain.

We got your message and we’ll call you late this morning when we’re certain that your gym class is over.  We’re leaving Asheville this morning under heavily clouded skies and the threat of more rain and snow.  But we’ve had a phenomenal time and are already talking about coming back.

Asheville is a small, art deco city filled with happy, friendly people…of all ages including more young families than we can remember seeing anywhere else.  The bluegrass and celtic music plays every night, the beer is microbrewed all over the state (my current favorite is Piscah Pale Ale Organic), and the southern food is savory…yesterday for breakfast we had turkey/ham hash with a chili sauce, scrambled eggs and fresh sautéed greens…and biscuits with apple butter and sourwood honey…oh my!

Entering the Goshen Pass on on e of the swinging bridges. Hoping to make it down the mountain by sundown, so JJ carries the pack.

To work off the calories (who’s counting anyway?) we spent the day hiking at the NC Arboretum just off the Blue Ridge Parkway.  17 miles of beautifully groomed trails that wind along the Bent Creek and then lead you to the beautiful buildings with special displays of living Christmas plants, amazing NC quilts and bonsais…we thought we would be there for just a couple of hours but ended up staying until the sun started to set because other than the staff and a couple of trail runners, we had the entire 434 acres to ourselves…this is really a great time to be traveling!

Back in town, everywhere you look there are signs in the store windows reminding patrons to shop local and eat sustainably…the big bookstore in town, independent Malaprop is the best we’ve ever seen…we spent 2 hours there last night pursuing books on green living, organic fiber crafts, stone buildings (Steven wants to build that green house and clay bread oven this Spring) and South Carolina…our next destination.  All of that reading made me hungry of course and you’ll never guess what we parked beside…a Chocolate Lounge.  I’m in love with Asheville!  The lounge was open until 11PM (on a Monday night) and served homemade liquid truffle hot chocolate…mine was bittersweet chocolate from Kenya mixed with coconut milk and Steven had Maple Chocolate…a combination of milk and dark chocolate, maple syrup and smoked sea salt.  Can you imagine?  Heaven, pure heaven.

Steven’s made a quick slide show of some of the best photos we’ve taken in the last few days…including some old time country musicians from Gettysburg, great scenery and some of our favorite stops…check it out!

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