Asheville, NC Day 11 Jeep Trail

August 18, 2023 Unfortunately, our time in beautiful North Carolina is coming to a close and we will have to adjust to the warmer temperatures and humidity in Florida. We have enjoyed the cool temps and last night was no exception. This morning we had sunny skies with an expected high of 78! Can’t beat that! We took care of some business in the morning and got ready for our day. Bob was taking me on an adventure in the Jeep today. I didn’t know exactly where we were going, but Bob found a Jeep trail in All Trails for this area, so we thought we’d give it a try. We left at 11:30 after packing a lunch. We started out on the Blue Ridge Parkway going about 12 miles. We had driven this way earlier during our stay here, so we saw some familiar things, but didn’t stop. We did stop at the Walnut Cove Viewing Area (Elev. 2920 ft.) again just to see what kind of visibility we had today. It was great!

We passed through the Grassy Knob Tunnel and beeped our horn. The car behind us in the tunnel beeped their horn too. Then we beeped our horn twice and the car behind us did the same. Then Bob beeped a pattern of 3 beeps and and they repeated it. It made us laugh and it was fun while it lasted.

There was more traffic on the Parkway today than in previous days, but after all, it was the start of the weekend. We passed through another really long tunnel and reached Sleepy Gap (2930 ft.) It was mostly sunny today, but there was a strong breeze that we noticed in the trees. We turned off of the Parkway onto Wash Creek Rd. which is a National Forest Road that would begin our Jeep trail experience today.

It was unpaved and rocky, bumpy and narrow, and one lane.

It was the kind of road that the Jeep can easily handle . Bob said that the All Trails description of this trail said that we might see some bikers on the trail and we did. We passed these guys on a level stretch of the trail.

We passed the next group climbing up the hill as we were going down.

The description of the trail also mentioned that there were campsites located along the road that were reservable.

We passed at least 10 of them and at least 1/2 of them were were occupied. There were some very nice developed tent sites in good locations.

At times, the road was cut into the mountain with steep slopes on both sides–one going up and one going down.

We came upon Wash Creek Horse Camp, but no one was using it at this time.

We found a wide place to pull off along the side of the road and ate our lunch. We never did pass another car going in the other direction.

What’s fun about Jeeping is you can go other places many vehicles cannot go due to their low clearance and ruggedness of the road. You never know what you’re going to encounter or find along the way. The roads are usually not heavily traveled, so you’re out there by yourself and need to be ready for whatever comes your way. It’s always an exciting adventure!! After lunch, we continued on and came upon North Mills River Recreation Area where we found a picnic area, horse trails, bike trails, and hiking trails. We stopped to look and discovered this unique bridge over the North Mills River that flowed through the area.

There was also a campground for tents, RVs, and large groups with facilities.

We finished our drive on Wash Creek Road which came out on a paved road south of Asheville near the small town of Mills River. It is a farming community where they were growing acres and acres of tomatoes.

We could see the pickers working out in the fields. There were a lot of large farming operations in the area.

We caught Highway 280 which took us to the I-26 connection near Asheville. We arrived back in the campground around 2:30. We had some issues with the blog site to deal with before I could add today’s blog entry so that took some time, but Bob was a big help. Later, Bob worked on dinner and I did a couple loads of wash. I took a bike ride around the campground to see all the new weekend arrivals. The campground was gearing up with all sorts of fun activities for the kids this weekend. Auggie enjoyed his time outside and so did I. We have one more day before we leave on Sunday. We’re not looking forward to returning to the “sauna” conditions in Florida. Maybe we can drag some cool air along with us.

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