Experiencing Asheville, NC, in a new way

After coming back from the Galapagos Islands, we returned to visiting places closer to Marietta, GA. Also, our situation with eldercare changed so that our RV travels would be less frequent for the foreseeable future. In fact, in late August, we took a trip without the RV to Asheville, NC. Jason’s brother lives about 30 minutes away from Asheville, so we had been there before to visit, but this time met friends who drove down from Maryland and rented an Airbnb right in town. It was a different type of exploration, and we spent a lot of time driving, hiking, visiting disc golf courses, and sampling drinks at microbreweries. Don’t worry; we didn’t combine the drinking and driving activities at the same time. 

Even before arriving in Asheville, we found a beautiful park on the back roads along our path.  We discovered Georgia’s Tallulah Gorge State Park for a beautiful pit stop. The gorge has steep cliffs and water running through it, creating dramatic scenery. We enjoyed a hike followed by a picnic overlooking the falls. Of course, we made a point to check out their camping facilities for future trips.

Once we arrived in Asheville, we took a deep breath to enjoy the mountain air. Each day, we tried to get out and about. We spent some time driving parts of the Blue Ridge Parkway and exploring hikes along the way. One day, we walked around downtown Asheville and learned that most things are closed on Tuesdays, even the public bathrooms. 

You could say this was a tour of libations, to some extent. We checked out the town of Black Mountain, two local breweries, and the Black Mountain Disc Gold Course. We drank tasty brews at Lookout Brewery and Pisgah Brewery. We also revisited Sierra Nevada Brewery. We had been there before with Jason’s brother and taken the free tour. This time, we skipped the education and enjoyed relaxing outdoors with great company and cold drinks. This facility offers a taproom with a fancy restaurant, a gift shop, a huge selection of beverages, and a beautiful outdoor area for fun on good weather days.

One of the coolest disc golf courses we visited was the newly created North Cove Leisure Club. It’s located north of Asheville in the middle of nowhere. Formerly used for ball golf, the massive location offers three challenging and immaculately maintained disc golf courses. As a fun surprise, my brother Greg drove from Charlotte to join us for a round here.

Aside from all our touring around the area, the most exciting nature moment happened right across our driveway at the Airbnb. One morning our friend woke us up saying, “Wake up.  There’s a bear!”  So, of course, we jumped out of bed to see what she was talking about. As it turned out, the construction across the street had scared a baby bear up a very tall tree and the mama bear followed. The tall tree they climbed was a few feet from the other side of our driveway, so we stood on the safety of our porch and watched things unfold. 

They stayed up in the tree for at least thirty minutes. The mama bear was so big that it was hard to believe the branch she was sitting on could hold her weight. After some time, I think the mother got tired of waiting for the baby bear to come down, so she started down herself.  When she got to the bottom, she made a noise that seemed to say, “Come down here this minute little bear!” Then we watched the little guy quickly make his way down. It was a rainy day, so it seemed the tree would be slippery, but the bears had a great grip on the bark. The bears moved down the tree with such agility that I would think twice about running up a tree to avoid a bear in the future.  

Check out the almost 4-minute video I’ve shared to watch the scene yourself. The picture in the tree doesn’t do it justice, but the two dark spots are the bears (the cub is above the mother).  The clip of the blue car is our Subaru in the driveway. 

P.S.  My next LinkedIn class happens on Tuesday, April 23rd, at noon. Find out more here.