Last Tuesday, when Tom and I visited Carl Sandburg NHS, we were really on our way to Brevard, North Carolina. We have friends from college that we would run into occasionally at Annual Conference who live near Brevard: Beth Ann and Chris Chiles. This was our first opportunity to visit them in their home in all the years since college. Of course, Beth Ann and Chris are probably the only people who move around more than we do! They have been doing it their entire married life. Chris is in manufacturing and they move where the jobs take them. Chris currently travels three weeks a month all over the United States so they settled in a place they love, not far from major airports.
Beth Ann has a wonderful blog, “It’s Just Life,” which she has been writing for nine years. She started when she and Chris lived for a time in Australia. She wrote a blog post about our visit and you can read her perspective here.
After we were done at Carl Sandburg, we headed toward Brevard, North Carolina, and Beth Ann and Chris. We took what looked to be the shortest and straightest road to their house: Green River Road. Well, it looked good on the map! The road got narrower and narrower, then the pavement disappeared, then it became barely wider than the truck with a deep creek on one side and a hill on the other. There was no place to turn around so we continued on. First bridge weight limit 22 tons. We crossed over. Second bridge weight limit 15 tons. We crossed over. Third bridge weight limit 10 tons. We crossed over. Fourth bridge no weight limit posted. Yikes! We crossed over FAST! Then back to pavement and on to Chris and Beth Ann’s house.
After catching up for a bit, Beth Ann and Chris took us for a tour of some local waterfalls. Connestee Falls was really spectacular and the picture doesn’t do it justice at all. It is two waterfalls coming down two opposing mountains, with the waterfalls facing each other. At the bottom they change direction and run into a creek/river. We could only see them from the one side so it looks like one long waterfall. We would have loved to hike to the bottom but it was raining and we didn’t know where the trail began.
We drove into the Pisgah National Forest and stopped by Looking Glass Falls. Tom and I have been to Pisgah before but always in the summertime when there are crowds of people. Turns out that a rainy March weekday is an excellent time to visit if you want to avoid the crowds!
We then drove on to Sliding Rock. When Tom and I tried to go there before, there were so many people that you couldn’t park within miles of Sliding Rock. This time Chris pulled right into the main parking lot allowing us a leisurely stroll to the bottom. Sliding Rock is a natural waterslide about 30 feet tall with an eight foot deep pool at the bottom. In warmer weather, you pay $2 per person to slide down, climb back up, and play in the water all day. Although Tom took a lifeguard position, we decided to pass on sliding down the rock.
We headed back to Brevard and walked around downtown for a little while. Brevard has about 6,000 residents and is becoming known as an artsy town on the edge of the Pisgah National Forest just south of Asheville. They have world class musicians and festivals in the warmer months. There are lots of restaurants and fun shops. We stopped by Downtown Chocolates – yummy! – and walked through a couple of gift shops and an old-fashioned hardware store. We also saw some of the downtown sculptures.
We ate supper at Hobnob which is known for its fish. I got steak, which was dry, but those who had fish said it was delicious. We also got an appetizer platter than had lots of picked things on it. I tried pickled onions and picked okra for the first time and felt very adventurous! (I may be adventurous about where I live, but I’m not about what I eat.) After supper Tom and I headed home.
We completely and totally enjoyed our visit with Chris and Beth Ann in Brevard, North Carolina. We can see why they like it and chose to live there. It was good to have time to spend with old friends that we don’t see nearly enough.
Have you ever been to Brevard, North Carolina, or Pisgah National Forest? Be sure to share any favorite memories of the place.