A “Beary” Nice Day

Earlier this week hubby and I planned a day date for Friday (today). We had a leisurely morning and enjoyed our coffee then we were off on an adventure.

I wanted to drive up on the Blue Ridge Parkway to see if any leaves had started to change. We entered the parkway at our normal entrance point (Exit 33 off of I26). It was another hot day, but with a little added elevation, the temperatures were a little cooler. It was 89° F when we left home.

We had not been on the parkway long when we saw some black bears just at the fringe of the trees on the side of the road. We did a quick U-turn to try and take a few pictures. There was a mature female and three cubs. You never approach a bear — especially when the cubs are nearby. They will protect them fiercely.

The bears did not seem bothered by the people or the stopped cars. You could tell that had become somewhat accustomed to humans. But never let that fool you. Steer clear of them. They are beautiful and regal to behold, but they are wild creatures. I was pleased they seemed healthy which means their food supply up to this point has been plentiful. We snapped a couple of pictures and then we were on our way.

We drove up to the Folk Art Center. We love to look at the artwork by local artists and crafts people. Hubby fell in love with this beautiful bees wax vessel with embedded North Carolina flowers. He bought a small one for us to enjoy. I also picked up some postcards to mail (finally).

We then continued north up to the Craggy Gardens picnic area. Elevation there is about 5000′ compared to where we live in the foothills at an elevation about 1100′. The temperature there was about 74° F — sheer delight! We packed some sandwiches before we left home and this was the perfect place to enjoy them.

The leaves have started to turn at this elevation. I think there may be some rapid changes in the leaf color this week as our temperatures are supposed to drop drastically starting tomorrow. We will plan another drive before I leave for NH.

After lunch, we drove back to the Asheville farmers market in search of some fall vegetables to plant. We picked up some various types of lettuce, some Swiss chard, a few kale plants, some dill, chives, some onion sets, and some Easter Egg radish seeds. Tomorrow, we will clear out our raised beds and plant our fall veggies.

Next, we made our way to the Baltimore Estate for some ice cream. We are season pass holders, so we enjoy an occasional trip to the dairy barn for a Winky Bar sundae. We do not do it nearly as often now because of cholesterol issues, so it is a real treat.

We had a really nice day. The only thing we did not get done was our trip to the orchard. We will do that early next week so we can stock up on some fresh apples.

I feel pretty fortunate to live where we do.