Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Adventure 3: Asheville

© 2008 Dub Scroggin

We finally made it to North Carolina and started this leg of our adventure by touring the entire city of Asheville before settling in the downtown area for a thorough walk-about. A weekend festival made it extra exciting but proved problematic in getting lunch. We finally found a table at Hannah Flanagan’s Irish Pub.

© 2008 Dub Scroggin

I think we saw and photographed every church in Asheville with their wonderful spires, landscaping, and fascinating architecture. At the beautiful Basilica St. Lawrence, a kind parishioner took us on an unofficial tour.

We walked the trails at the Asheville Botanical Gardens and found gorgeous plants as well as one of two letterboxes hidden here.

This is one of my black-and-white photography practice efforts taken at Riverside Cemetery, a place dedicated to the memory of Thomas Wolfe. One thing about old southern cemeteries, there are lots of references to the Civil War to be seen inscribed on the weather- and time-worn headstones.

© 2008 Dub Scroggin

“Historic Helping Hands” is a letterbox find at this cemetery. One of many reasons letterboxing fascinates me is discovering the stories behind some of the sites we’re led to explore. This one has a story, too, which connects Riverside with a historic cemetery in Charlotte, N.C.

© 2008 Dub Scroggin

Thomas Wolfe is just one of many southern writing legends; we visited his mother’s Victorian boardinghouse Old Kentucky Home where he lived for a period of time. The house is now operated as a North Carolina State Historic Site.

Did you know that Southerners like to paint their porch ceilings with “Haint Blue” as it wards off evil spirits? Apparently Mr. Wolfe’s mother felt the same need. When I move back to the south, I’m painting my porch ceiling haint blue, too.

© 2008 Dub Scroggin

And here I am with my feet in his shoes (size 13), a bronzed pair in a plaque in front of the house.

North Carolina’s rich literary tradition interests me enormously, so I bought this recently released book to learn more about writers in this part of the state.

Another day had the entire family touring the enormous Biltmore estate. The house and property are simply gorgeous but quite overwhelming.

© 2008 Dub Scroggin

Touring the Biltmore House involves shuffling along in huge lines of folks up and down innumerable stairs all over the house, quite tiring. I took advantage of one of their porch rockers; a bit of rest and a root beer float helped refresh me for the family letterboxing endeavor at the Biltmore.

One of the clues led us to the temple and statue of Diana and on to a nearby wooded area where I stepped on a snake camouflaged in the leaf-littered ground. This brought an abrupt end to my interest in tracking down this particular letterbox. I do not like snakes. Later we did find the “George” box at the Biltmore Outdoor Center and pronounced our Asheville visit complete.


meg said...

What a great adventure; I've wanted to visit Ashville after reading a book set there, & the Biltmore facinates me (of course, as a house museum docent, I have a thing for old homes)
You have my sincerest sympathy over the snake mis-adventure; since I'm afraid of them also, I probably would have fainted on the spot :-S

Melissa said...

I love Asheville! I was there for a conference a few years ago and was surprised at what an interesting city it is. On the one hand very classically Southern, on the other hand an eclectic mix of drum circles and quirky shops. And if I remember correctly there was a nice quilt shop there, at least there was when I was there!

Thimbleanna said...

Eeek! A snake would have ended my adventure too -- yuck! Ashville looks so exciting -- I've always wanted to visit. If I make it there, I'll definitely be looking for that book of literary trails to guide my visit -- can't think of a better theme for the trip!

Pat said...

What an interesting place! I'm putting Ashville on my list of "must see"!

I know a little about letterboxing and I'm glad you were able to find so many and leave your stamp behind.

You do look tucked out, but happy in that last photo, June! I know how the crowds and walking up stairs can be tiring.

You did so many nice things this vacation!

Are you really thinking aboit moving back to the south from AZ?

rohanknitter said...

Looks like a great time! (except for the snake) We have relatives that live in the Ashville area (Lake Lure) and one day when we visit I'd really love to see the Biltmore.

hunnybunny said...

How amazing June, it looks like you had such a good time (snake aside). What a wonderful looking vacation. I'm really excited by the prospect of seeing more pictures.

nicolette said...

Love the idea of those letterboxes! Thanks for sharing your vacation. It’s great to learn about new places to me and to see the houses and huge buildings.

Asheville... I can almost hear the southern accent!

African Kelli said...

I want a porch like that with rockers HERE! Love these photos. I've never been to NC and it is just beautiful. Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

I am so intrigued by those letter boxes -- kind of like a treasure hunt in a way. Some great photos you're sharing but I'll bet it's difficult to pick which ones to post! I did know that about the roof of all the porches being painted blue but I definitely didn't know it was always a specific blue or the reason behind it -- great to learn. This past winter when I completely painted the entire house inside, I painted the ceiling in my office and two other rooms in a nice soft blue -- I love it. Oh, I see you found a friend to join you in that rocky chair! Thanks for sharing so much of your vacation with us -- it's all so interesting.


Kristie said...

I'm glad your back, Junebug. I missed you.

Kristie said...

I'm having comment reruns. Weird. What I intended to say was you look like you were having a good time, and you looked relaxed. I like seeing you that way. I don't like you talking about moving! Sigh.

Robyn said...

What a fantastic adventure June! Keep having fun...and love your tan! Lots of suncream girly!

Kelly said...

glad you came to visit Asheville! you have a nice blog and great photos. i write a blog about all kind of asheville-related things, as well as other miscellaneous topics, if you are interested it is carolinamornings.blogspot.com - I'd be glad to add you to our blogroll as well.


calamitykim said...

Junie- I used to go for long walks alone in that cemetery. One of my most favorite things to do on my days off. That whole area of Montford was close to my house in downtown Asheville and I would make up stories about the bed & breakfasts there. I am so glad to see these pictures- they help cure a wee bit of my homesickness. I am so glad you are back and Happy Anniversary!

Ms Jay said...

I hope you enjoyed your trip to North Cackalacky..I borrowed one of your photos...hope you don't mind