Austin and I went on a trip to the Blue Ridge Mountains last week.
It was a long drive. We left at 5:30 in the morning and didn't arrive until 1:30 the next morning (it should have only been about 18 hours but we made several stops and a long detour in the mountains when we almost ran out of gas). I realize that most people would cringe at the thought of being carbound for 20hr straight, but I kind of enjoy long road trips (I find them to be oddly relaxing) and we do them well. Two wonderful ladies contributed to our snack reserve, I made a new set of mix CDs, we read a book, I got some writing time in while Austin listened to inspirational podcasts. Plus, we've been so focused on other things lately that it was good for us to have that uninterrupted time to spend together, with nice conversation and few distractions.
Anyway, the trip was a lot of fun. Even though I had a cold during part of it (p.s. changing altitude while you have a cold really sucks - my ears punished me for that).
Some Cool Stuff:
(Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute)
This place is tucked away in the middle of the forest on a mountain top with pretty much no light pollution to speak of. It was once a prime NASA facility, then a part of the DoD during the 80s for Cold War intelligence stuff. Now it's a few salaried people and a lot of volunteers doing research and educating people about astronomical things.
These are massive, right? They used to be tracking satellites. Today they're used to detect quasar interference.
In the 80s they knew Russia was watching, so they painted a smiley face on the little one ;)
Historic Train Depot
I love trains. Don't know why, but I think they're awesome. It's kind of my dream to travel cross-country in a sleeper car. Apparently that's not the best idea for the claustrophobic though, which is unfortunate.
Anyway, Hendersonville has a Model Railroad Club that is awesome. They have a ginormous setup at the Train Depot that stretches throughout a multi-room space bigger than our apartment. And it's all hand made.
There's this guy in Henderson County that has a huge historical collection of stuff. He loans it out to the heritage museum at the courthouse on a rotation. When we were there, they had a huge Civil War setup and a walk-through of stuff from other wars America has participated in since. It was really cool to see the little details that you don't learn about at school and to learn some little interesting facts. They also had an exhibit about the county's history of course, which was fun to learn about too.
This city is crazy. And that is coming from a person who has lived in Austin for the last 3 years. Crazy, crazy city. But cool. Artsy, unique, and open. It had a sort of neighborhood vibe to it that was interesting. Also, we had some amazing coffee.
(I love that quote ^)
I'm not what you would call an outdoorsy kind of person - at all - but I think this was my favorite part of the trip. And I know it was Austin's favorite part because he is definitely an outdoorsy kind of person.
I've been to this area before a couple of times (my grandmother used to live there) and it's one of my favorite places. I know that's weird, and I don't really have a reason. There's just something about it.