Day 2 (Monday, May 12) of our North Carolina vacation was a travel day. We departed Oak Hill WV at 8:00 am, after a hot breakfast (complimentary) at our hotel. We arrived at the Best Western of Asheville Biltmore East in Asheville NC shortly before 2:00 pm. As was the case during yesterday’s travels, we had beautiful weather for traveling. The sky was blue, with plenty of sunshine and no rain. We had light to moderate traffic, with no delays in travel because of traffic.
We could have made the drive from Oak Hill WV to Asheville NC in 4 to 4 ½ hours, but we made several stops along the way. In addition to fuel stops, we made a few photo stops. We stopped at two rest areas in Tennessee and one in North Carolina. All three rest areas were located in scenic areas and were well maintained.
The first Tennessee rest area that we stopped at welcomed us to the state. This rest area was located along Interstate 81 in Bristol TN. We ate lunch at this rest area.
We liked the sheltered picnic areas at the Tennessee Welcome Center. Our picnic lunch included Bumble Bee tuna salad with crackers (ready to eat), no-sugar added diced peaches and a sugar free chocolate chip cookie. We brought the makings for this picnic lunch for FIVE picnics! Oh, see the box of creamer? I brought the fixings for several cups of tea with us on this trip. We did not bring a cooler with us. The creamer did not require refrigeration; however, it had to be stored below 80 degrees. The temperature in the car would rise above 80 degrees very quickly, when stopped for more than a few minutes. So, I had to bring the creamer with me when we stopped for lunch or photo opportunities.
The second Tennessee rest area that we stopped at was also a Welcome Center. This rest area was located in Erwin TN along Interstate 26. This rest area had beautiful mountain views and lots of land to stretch your legs.
We stopped at Metcalf Overlook in Tennessee, located along Interstate 26 near the North Carolina border. I loved the tree-covered hills at this overlook.
Our last stop before arriving at our hotel was at the North Carolina Welcome Center in Mars Hill NC. What a beautiful rest area!
As we were leaving this rest area, I noticed a trail behind the Visitors Center. I read afterward that the trail provides beautiful views of Interstate 26 and the surrounding mountains.
As I wrote earlier, we arrived at our hotel in Asheville NC shortly before 2:00 pm. I took note of the odometer reading upon reaching our hotel. We put on approximately 650 miles on the car / motorcycle since leaving Warren PA on Sunday morning. Our home for two nights was a large room with two queen beds, a desk and chair, a table and two chairs, microwave, refrigerator, dresser, nightstand, flat-screen TV and a large bathroom. Our room was located on the first floor at the back of the property.
We chose a great location for our 2-night stay. There were several restaurants in the immediate area to choose from, as well as plenty of shopping opportunities. We stopped at a couple of those shopping opportunities soon after arriving at our hotel. We purchased a Universal AC Adapter at Best Buy. We communicate via Blue Tooth, while traveling. Bob forgot to pack the charger for the Blue Tooth. We walked into the Asheville Mall, looking for a restaurant. We didn’t find a restaurant; however, I did find something interesting to photograph in the parking lot.
We ate dinner at Chili’s Restaurant, which was located a few hundred yards from the mall. We ordered from the 2 for $20 menu, which included one appetizer and an entree for each of us. We chose chips and salsa as an appetizer and ordered sirloin steak for our main entree. Bob ordered a 10 oz steak for $4.00 more. I ordered a 6 oz steak. Dinner was filling and very good.
We visited Biltmore Estates, while in Asheville NC — the subject of my next several blog posts.