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Western North Carolina Outgoing Journey – September 21-25, 2021

Jerry and Carol Burke, Larry and Mary Ann Nelson and Judy Frascht-Miner made the trip to Hendersonville/Ashville North Carolina for a small group journey. A welcome dinner was held at Ron and Jan Partin’s home who hosted Larry and Mary Ann Nelson on Tuesday evening.

Wednesday was spent at the Biltmore Estate touring the gardens, green house, stately home and having lunch in the former stables before a wine tasting at the Biltmore Winery. Biltmore House is known as America’s Largest Home and a National Historic Landmark. But before it became one of North Carolina’s most popular tourist destinations, it was simply “home” to the Vanderbilt family. Determined to make this a self-sustaining home, Vanderbilt enlisted architect Richard Morris Hunt to design and build a 250-room chateau. Landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted was also hired to create formal gardens and transform the former farmland into a beautiful pastoral landscape.

The Wednesday evening dinner was hosted by Larry and Susan Harvey who hosted Jerry and Carol Burke. Thursday was a drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway and the Pisgah Forest with lunch at the scenic Pisgah Inn. The Pisgah Forest is a land of mile high peaks, cascading waterfalls, and heavenly forested slopes. Comprised of over 500,000 acres, the Pisgah is primarily a hardwood forest. We stopped at the Folk-Art Center on the Pkwy before taking our hosts to dinner at the Pack Tavern in Ashville. The evening was spent at the Wortham Center for the Performing Arts in Ashville for a performance by the Harlem Dance Group.

Friday was the Carl Sandberg house and goat farm. The house was closed due to COVID but the goats that Mrs. Sandberg raised were available to see and pet. After a walk around the lake, we were off to the DuPont State Park. Dupont Forest is an outdoor lover’s dream with many waterfalls and 86 miles of trails on protected 10,000 acres. We hiked to three waterfalls (Hooker, Triple and High Falls), and had a picnic lunch at the High Falls.

Our concluding dinner was at the home of Harriet Hilton who hosted Judy Frascht-Miner. Saturday was a free day with our hosts. Carol and Jerry Burke went downtown to the Hendersonville Market on Main Street and visited the Stone Ashe Winery in the afternoon for a relaxing glass of wine and a great view.