Monday, March 26, 2018

Asheville, North Carolina

I am writing this on Monday, March 26 from Cave City, Kentucky. We are right outside of Mammoth Cave National Park. This was not a planned stop, but when Kim saw how close we were, well you know the drill. Kentucky, here we come. I seem to be falling further and further behind on the blog. This entry happened on March 13 and 14, so about 2 weeks ago.

We were in Clemson, SC and looking at our drive north to the Great Smoky Mountains, when I noticed how steep the drive was going to be. We have not seen many hills on this entire trip. I looked at all of the options and it seemed to not be much further to go through Asheville, NC. Well Asheville is where the Biltmore Estate is. My brother, Brian told me about visiting Biltmore this past year. He and his wife Julie, really enjoyed it. I mentioned it to Kim and the die was cast. We were going to Asheville and now I just needed to find a place to stay. I looked at all of the options and I could not find a good one. Most of the campgrounds were still closed for the season. I found one that was just opening. It is a USFS campground called Lake Powhatan.

We drove from Clemson for a few miles and then hit a large long uphill. The truck did fine and I felt good when we cleared the top at over 3400 feet of elevation. From there it was up and down all the way to Asheville. The total drive was 88 miles.

When we pulled into Lake Powhatan, I instantly loved the place. We had a nice site with great spacing to others sites around us. The rate was $21 with Electric only, but we were just staying 2 nights, so that was fine. They do have the "lakeview" loop that has full hook ups, but you can't see the lake from there, so I don't know why they call it lakeview. We had good cell signal and OTA TV.

It was a beautiful sunny day, so I decided to go for a walk to see the lake. I really expected to see Andy and Opie fishing in this beautiful North Carolina mountain lake.

The forecast called for much colder temps the next day. They even were using the dreaded "S" word. We were shocked to wake up and see 2 inches of snow on the ground and it was still snowing pretty hard.

We had already purchased tour tickets for $50 each at Biltmore, so we got bundled up and headed out. The roads were just wet and we had no issues getting to the gate. I was amazed that the place was full of people. We parked and caught the shuttle up to the house. It does take your breath away when you first see the mansion and grounds.

This picture was taken a little later in the day after some of the snow melted. 
In my opinion, the view out the back of the house is much more impressive than the man made house.
 We had a couple of hours before our tour time, so we walked the garden. It was my favorite part of the day. The grounds were quiet and covered in a fresh blanket of snow.

Daffodils blooming and tulips about ready to pop.

It was nice to get out of the cold and go inside the hot house. The flowers in there were the most impressive variety I have ever seen.

We then went out and walked some more of the grounds. Here a just a few shots of the many I took:

Rose Garden

Kim, with what looked like cotton plants
I was there too.
We grabbed a bite to eat and then went to our tour. The place was packed. It was hard to see each of the rooms over the crowd. You really could not wait until they left because there was another group right behind. I really did not enjoy the tour. It was so over the top that it disgusted me. This was the gilded age, when people lived in classes. It was not too many years passed the time of slavery. Kim, on the other hand really enjoyed it and that is what is important. I only took a few pictures and they did not turn out well.

The library was unbelievable

My favorite thing was the staircase

Everyone needs a bowling alley in the basement
That was a full day. We got back to the campground and got ready to move further up into the amazing North Carolina mountains to Cherokee. This would be our base to see the Great Smokey Mountains NP. I was really looking forward to that part of this trip, but it far exceeded my expectations. I will begin to tell that story in my next entry.


  1. The flowers and detail on the architecture were impressive. That place is huge!

  2. I was a bit conflicted at Biltmore. I guess it just is not my thing. Still impressive.