Wait…what? East??? Yes, we are still planning to go southwest for for the winter, but we had to make a quick detour first. Last week Tim’s boss asked if he could be in the office for an important meeting, and since we were only 5 hours from Charlotte — the closest we have been or will be for a long time — we decided why not (also, you gotta keep the boss happy). Along the way we stopped in Asheville for a few days. We had plans to come here last spring, but ended up spending an extra week at my mom’s house instead, so this seemed like a good opportunity to finally see the town that so many people rave about.
We stayed at Bear Creek RV Park so we could be close to town during our short stay. Normally we would have picked the highly rated Lake Powhatan National Forest CG just outside of town, but with only two days and lots of rain in the forecast we chose convenience over nature. It was a pretty typical RV park experience where forty bucks a night gets you full hook-ups and a fantastic view of your neighbors sewer pipe. The site quality here is really mixed with some sites offering views, some with decent separation, and all the roar of the freeway.
It really didn’t matter what the campground looked like though because, once again, it rained for most of our stay. Sunday was the best day and we managed to get out and explore the town in between rain showers. First stop…the Asheville Farmers Market. This year-round indoor market has everything from fresh produce to bulk beans, canned items, cured meats, and even some Asheville sweatshirts adorned with cats (sadly, I have no photo). We skipped over the outerwear and left with a jar of local honey, some apples and a selection of winter squash.
Then we headed downtown and walked around for a few hours. Asheville is a good size city for exploring on foot with plenty of fun streets for strolling, but not so many that you get lost or feel like you need a week to see it all. The local art scene here is thriving and we really enjoyed the shops filled with unique crafts from various artists. Since we don’t have the space (or the funds) for any of the great paintings that we loved, I ended up with a tiny terrarium filled with local moss and ferns that fits nicely under the kitchen window in the Airstream.
After several hours we had worked up enough of an appetite to indulge in a late lunch at the famed Tupalo Honey Cafe. Delicious! While we both enjoyed our meals, my favorite was the complimentary fresh biscuits with honey and blackberry jam. I could have skipped lunch and eaten a whole basket of those flaky treats.
And that’s it. It was only a tiny taste, but more then enough to know we need to come back for a longer visit.