I had done a bit of shopping online to find a new pair of boots and did a lot of reading for some good shoes that would give me what I need in that type of footwear. I ended up settling–at least in theory–on the Oboz Firebrand2. I could have ordered them online, but I opted to go shopping and find a place where I could try them on to see what the fit was like and get the feel of them before committing to a purchase. The only place I know of that carries that brand is the Mast General Store.
Since we generally enjoy trips to Asheville we decided on the Mast store there rather than going to one of the other branches. As usual, we arrived in Asheville to massive crowds. There is always one sort of festival or march or demonstration going on there, and Sunday was no exception. I think the heavy burst of population was due to some kind of gay rights push, but we weren’t sure. It made parking a tad more difficult (but not by much) and didn’t have any effect at all on our shopping, nor any kind of wait at our favorite pizza restaurant there.
After we made some purchases, got lunch, and returned to Carole’s car, we decided to head over to the Black Mountain Campground (National Forest facility) by way of the Blue Ridge Parkway. The views from the Parkway and nearby peaks were hampered considerably by resurgent air pollution–courtesy of our current Mother Nature-raping administration. The weather was warm, but not nearly as hellish as in Huntersville. Still, the high country was a good 10-15 degrees above normal for this time of year.
My intention was to catch the South Toe River Road (Forest Service) down to the campground. But it is still closed due to flooding damage from well over a year ago. Our government can find money to piss down the Pentagon rathole, but not for repairing our parks and National Forests. Instead I went over to the intersection of the Blue Ridge Parkway and NC 80 and took that down to the campground. After checking it out we then headed over to Old Fort NC and to the Curtis Creek Campground which is also a National Forest facility, but which is not blocked by gates due to road damage. We want to plan camping trips to both of these places so we needed to look at them to decide roughly where we’d want to park our Casita travel trailer when we go.
After that we called it a day and went back to the Interstate to drive home. All in all, we accomplished most of what we wanted to do, but the diminishing air quality that we witnessed was yet another reminder that global warming and mass extinction loom over everything. If you like our wild places, my suggestion is to do as we do and see as much of it as possible before it’s all dead.
|At the hiking shoe department in the big Mast General Store in Asheville.|
|What I bought there. Not the most attractive hiking shoe, but functionally what I need.|
|The Mellow Mushroom. Our favorite pizza joint in Asheville.|
|The Blue Ridge Parkway at a point where I pulled off to get a few photos.|
|Colors starting to change for Autumn. I was able to mitigate the hazy air pollution via editing software.|
|A small tributary of Curtis Creek.|
|This little one was in the creek at my feet. Very tiny.|