Thursday, March 22, 2012

She did!

I'm writing to you from beautiful Asheville, North Carolina, after a leisurely and picturesque drive through the Georgia and North Carolina mountains and, of course, an hour or so at the Nantahala Outdoor Center. I am psychologically unable to pass that place without crossing the bridge and letting it all soak in for awhile.

Today was much different than my December trip. The place is active now, preparing for the spring and summer whitewater season and for some kind of world freestyle kayak championship that's happening there this weekend. Also saw a surprising number of Appalachian Trail thru-hikers crossing the road and stopping to chat. It's a little early in the season, but then the season is also early this year.  It was in the low 70's, and balmy.  I spent about an hour, walking, sitting, enjoying.  Took lots of photos, but since bringing the computer was a last-minute decision, I didn't think to bring the cable that connects the two, so that'll have to wait until I get home.

After leaving the NOC I wandered to Bryson City where I had lunch at an Ingles supermarket (knew I could get food appropriate to my diet there), then followed signs to the Blue Ridge Parkway that took me on an old highway going toward Asheville, through the casino town of Cherokee, up a big hill and onto the Parkway for 10 miles or so. Right past the first opportunity to get off it, there was a sign that said "Asheville, 58 miles" right after that there was another sign that said "road closed 37 miles", so I opted to turn around and pick up the interstate again. I was getting a little bored with the Parkway anyway. Some beautiful views here and there, but mostly highway. Glad I did it, though.

Yesterday was crazed. Heard from Sobhana, the teacher, that she had a change of plans and would not be at the retreat center Thursday afternoon or Friday morning to meet with me. She hooked me up with a woman here in Asheville who is hosting her, which is why I'm actually in Asheville. There was no need to come here to get to the retreat -- just have to backtrack for awhile. We've worked it out so that I will meet the two of them for lunch tomorrow, then I will drive Sobhana to the retreat. That'll give us time to talk about Aranya Bodhi. I brought the computer so I could stay in touch with them (although she has my phone number now), research my way around Asheville, etc.

The weather and season up here are just beautiful. Misty and overcast in places, sunny in places, but I passed a long stretch of hillside in the Nantahala Gorge that had Trillium blooming thickly all along the highway. I've never in my life seen so much Trillium blooming in one place! Beautiful. And the state has planted daffodils thickly in places along the interstate -- seemed to be mostly at interchanges, exits, and such, but it was nice. They're a little behind our season at home, but that's to be expected. Should be wonderful at the retreat center for this week -- deep in the forests, quiet, lots of walking places.

Obviously, the car got a clean bill of health from the dealer, or I wouldn't be here.

Guess that's really it for a week, this time. Talk at you then.

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