I’d heard a lot of great things about Asheville, North Carolina, so my wife and I finally made a trip there happen to meet up with some Durham friends for a long weekend in the mountains. Surprise: It was wondrous!

Our Airbnb was a cabin on a mountain farm in nearby Black Mountain, complete with sheep named Frodo, Samwise, Arwen, and Twiggy (the last one was named by previous owners). This was the view the first morning:


We missed Peak Fall foliage, but there was still plenty of color to mix with the barren branches:


And cozy morning frosts—very Hygge™ indeed:


One morning we hiked up Lookout Mountain in Montreat based on the recommendation of our Airbnb host. We were not disappointed by the Misty Mountain-esque view:


Asheville proper offered lots of walkable streets, good southern food—had chicken & waffles for the first time—and, among other Liberal College Town accoutrements, several “poems while you wait” street typists:


We flew into Atlanta and drove up to Asheville through South Carolina, but on the way back we drove through the Great Smoky Mountains. We did this not only to enjoy the gorgeous terrain but to stop and see the remnants of Camp Toccoa, the World War II paratroopers training camp made famous by Band of Brothers:


The camp site was closed, but we could see the famous “3 miles up, 3 miles down” Currahee Mountain from town.

I took pictures on a few other occasions, but so often my phone pictures failed to capture what I saw with my own eyes. That’s OK: being there in the moment was reward enough, as was hanging with friends, finally seeing Asheville, and getting to enjoy a crisp autumn weekend in Appalachia.