Capping off a busy weekend, we decided to go hiking in the mountains the day after the wine tasting adventure (see Asheville, N.C. post). Danny, Kim, Lena and I drove to a prearranged spot at more than 4,500 feet, where we met Tom and Michelle. We had gone to the wine tasting with them the day before and had dinner with them that night at their home way away from everything. We brought the dogs – Pumpkin and Gira – who went nuts in anticipation the whole 45-minute drive.
It was a beautiful day, not a cloud in the sky, with a cool wind blowing to cut the sun’s heat. We hiked up some hills (mountains?) and down some trails, at first trying to find blueberries. Alas, the hot summer and low rainfall ruined the crop. But the walk was definitely a workout.
The Asheville area is pretty interesting, a mix of mountain culture with the arts community that has flowed into the area. The latter like to refer to themselves as “bohemians,” but they look suspiciously like the “beatniks” of 40 years ago. The 2bagsandapack World Tour has been visiting this city in western North Carolina as part of our interim travel between international destinations. I have spent a wonderful month with my daughter and family as I retool for the trip to southern Europe – Croatia, Greece and Italy (maybe Portugal).
Asheville has its charms, mainly its strong arts and cultural community, as well as the downtown retail and restaurant establishments that are strongly local in nature. In Asheville, you will find the Biltmore Estate, a well-known tourist destination. The grounds are beautiful, the main mansion is immense and filled with artwork and antiques. We went on an adventure to the Antler Village winery inside the estate grounds to enjoy a wine tasting.