Thursday, July 31


I've been on my "shakedown" trip for a week and having a great time. After picking up the "Backroader" in Mills River North Carolina I've been touring the area around Asheville. I will be staying close to Mills River for a bit - just in case something breaks and until I get comfortable with the van. Also needed to buy the basic "stuff" i will need on the road and Asheville is good for that.

When I not playing around with the Backroader I've been hiking and seeing some of the local sights. One of the things that this area has a lot of is waterfalls. I camped free for two nights about 200 feet from this little beauty.

Also visited the Cradle of Forestry which was where the first forestry school in the United Sates was created in 1898. It had hiking trials and history exhibits about the school and the early timber industry in North Carolina. Also a nice restaurant - fresh rainbow trout for lunch is hard to beat.

Have also been driving (and camping) on the Blue Ridge Parking, something I hadn't done in over 15 years. Nice and cool and lots of great views. Camped at Mount Pisgah for 4 nights which is the highest elevation campground on the Parkway, over 5000 feet.

Backroad Tale: Encounted two separate hikers while I was out trekking. The first, a man with a few years behind him, came out of the thick forest and onto the nice trail I was on. I asked if his route was the short or long way - he said "don't know, besides it's more fun not knowing exactly where I'm going". The second, an elderly lady with a German accent, when I asked where the trail we were on went replied - "everyone wants to know that, better to just follow your nose and enjoy" and away she went. Two chance encounters that sum up what my plans are as I "Take the Long Way".