Oct. 28th, 2012, Sunday: Brad and I crawled out of the truck at the rest area the next morning and as we walked back from the restroom we noticed people sleeping in cars on either side of us. Wonder if they slept any better than we did?
We took off after sips of apple juice, pulling out a banana and mandarin to eat on way. We exited at Roanoke Virginia and drove the strip, not seeing any good coffee shops. Looking for gas also, we drove into Salem, a suburb of Roanoke. Gas was only 3.16/gal, the least expensive we’d seen so far! While Brad was pumping gas I noticed a nearby Starbucks. Soon we were sitting in our truck, sipping our beverages and logging onto their wifi to check up on a few things - one of which was to see if I could find a replacement for my work shift at the gallery the coming week.
Back on I-81, we spotted towering Kudzu covered trees that looked like giant monsters!
We stopped at the Tennessee border info center for a little break then kept going, watching 100’s of power bucket trucks and semi’s hauling what looked like huge generators, heading north towards where Hurricane Sandy was expected to hit.
We veered south onto I-26 across the Tennessee Appalachians then dropped into Asheville North Carolina around 2:00.
Brad was excited to see so many cool signs in town as we drove around looking for a spot to park. For the first time on our trip we encountered poor weather. It was raining and icy cold out. My thin rain jacket did not keep me warm while we tromped around town pausing while Brad stopped often to shoot pics of signs. I kept thinking we’d warm up, but it was just way too cold and windy compared to the tee shirt weather we’d enjoyed.
Finally we went inside an old Woolworth store which had been converted into artist booth spaces. It was great to be out of the rain.
When we left there the rain had diminished so we continued our trek around the downtown area, me a bit less cold and grumpy, content to read menus outside restaurants while Brad collected sign photos.
Eventually we worked our way back to where we’d parked and I happily traded my thin rain jacket for my down coat. We had dinner at Scully’s pub and hung out there for a couple of hours, once we discovered they had wifi. We sat at a table beyond the bar where excited patrons were watching football.
A hot bowl of jerk chicken chili diminished our inner frost, while sipping a martini (me) and beer (Brad) chased away any lingering ice! Our waitress was darling, very friendly and real, and her favorite reply was “okey-dokey” as she brought our sandwiches and sweet potato fries. After leaving Scully’s we drove across town, looking for gas and trying to figure where to sleep that night. The rain had stopped and we could see the moon through light cloud cover. We took off south towards a campground we spotted on our map on North Mills River road where we pulled into a campsite in the dark. Since it was still so icy cold I ended up going to sleep wearing my down jacket beneath our two quilts.