On to Asheville

Tuesday’s drive, from Christiansburg to Asheville, NC was interesting. A line of freezing rain was moving through the area. The morning weather was reporting significant ice accumulations just where I had intended to go. Change of plan. Instead of small roads through the Blue Ridge mountains, I stuck with the interstates. They run through the valleys and lowest passes, so the roads would be most likely to stay clear. In an hour or so, I was through the band of weather, the sun came out, and I saw a gravel road parallel to the highway, right before an exit. So, off we got and went for a walk. There was a hayfield off the road, not posted NO Trespassing, so we went for a short off-leash walk.

That, my friends, is the first green grass Chico and I have seen since last fall.

That, my friends, is the first green grass Chico and I have seen since last fall.

I figured that it would be possible to approach Spruce Pine, NC from where I was, so I decided to try it. Spruce Pine, I had read back in the comfort of my living room, is the home of the North Carolina Gem and Mineral Museum.

My route took me past an independently owned drive-through that had such a long line, I turned around to go back and eat there.

They advocate spay/neuter on their roadside sign.

They advocate spay/neuter on their roadside sign, so they are fans of all sorts of dogs.

I settled on a Pal Dog for me,

that's with mustard, onions, and chilli.

that’s with mustard, onions, and chilli,

and a plain dog for the dog-who-wouldn’t-eat-dinner. Hey, it’s vacation. And, yes, I do realize that might help him not eat his dinner again.

Spruce Pine, it turns out, is a town where lots of things close for the winter.

Including the Gem and Mineral Museum, which is actually part of someone's rock shop.

Including the Gem and Mineral Museum, which is actually part of someone’s rock shop, a stone’s throw from the Blue Ridge Parkway, and buttoned up tight in the no-tourists season.

It was a nice drive on small roads to get there, and a nice ride back to the interstate. Turns out, I picked just the right routing because I passed a sign pointing to a place I have heard of and never seen.

place hold

Once again, my timing was a bit off.

Penland is sort of a Mecca for crafts people. It’s a beautiful setting, spread over acres and acres with what must be beautiful views (it was pretty foggy when I was up there) and of course because such important craft work goes on there, many people stay in the area to do their work, so the studio-galleries in the surrounding area number in the dozens.

In a few miles we were back on the interstate, headed for 96 Frances St, Asheville. I found a dog-friendly room through Air BnB and we came and settled in.

I awoke this morning to birdsong; forsythia is just about to bloom, and it it’s warm today I bet those daffodils will open up. Yay. I finally bumped into Spring.

Off to explore Asheville.

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