Fall began early for us; the leaves were changing in Maine when we left in mid-September. Our plan was to meander south, visiting family & friends along the way. Eventually, we ended up in mountains, hoping to enjoy the beauty without being too cold.
Boone was our first stop, where we enjoyed The Woolly Worm Festival with Debra & Dave. And of course, the mountains & friendship were beautiful.
Asheville was the preference for our next stop, but alas, many other campers had the same idea. Ever flexible, we headed north to Virginia’s beautiful Grayson Highlands. An otherworldly place created by the Scottish immigrants after logging in the mountains left them bare. An enterprising farmer bred & released especially hardy ponies to keep the mountain balds open, recreating the highlands of Scotland.
A great spot opened up in Asheville’s, Lake Powhatan campground; we had 14 days of camping bliss. Water, electricity & sewer within the incredible beauty & privacy of a forest setting. The Bent Creek Experimental Forest offered 44 miles of hiking along forest roads & trails. These 6000 acres are the oldest experimental forest east of the Mississippi & were created to aid in the rehabilitation of abused lands & promote sustainable forestry.
Learning about the beginnings of forestry at the Cradle of Forestry headquarters in the Pisgah Forest was amazing. George & Edith Vanderbilt bought over 125,000 acres to create a playground for themselves & their friends. Vanderbilt also wanted the timber to produce an income, so the science of managing woodlands began. He hired a German, Carl Schenck, to manage the forests & make them lucrative. When Vanderbilt died unexpectedly, Edith donated 86,000 acres to the federal government to create the Pisgah National Forest.
Next stop, Clemson! Davis & Anne invited us to enjoy a Clemson Football Experience! What a day that was! Davis gave us the campus tour from the backseat of a golf cart & we watched the game from the incredible comfort of the IPTAY suite. Oh my, what a way to watch football. Delicious food, comfy seats & lots of friendly people. Truly a great day!
Near Clemson, Devils Fork Campground is located on the shores of Lake Jocassee, known for the clean cold water that feeds the lake from four Appalachian rivers. This 7500-acre lake is 300 feet deep & serenely calm. After the Tiger Storm of the weekend, we have had the campground to ourselves. A beautiful spot to rest & relax.