Friday, March 3, 2023

Checking Out and Heading Home

Our short visit and exploration of Asheville in early October 2022 was about over.  Time to load us all up and head back across the Appalachian Mountains to East Tennessee and our home.  Of course, I didn’t go back the same way that we came and we did make one stop along our ‘new’ route.

This was the view from our window of our hotel room at the “aloft” hotel we stayed in while visiting Asheville.  Great location just a couple blocks off the center of town and the view was decent as well…

A bit more about our hotel in Asheville.  ‘Aloft’ hotels is a division of Marriott International, Inc.  Aloft, with just a little over 200 locations, is one of the 30 brands operated by Marriott.  Marriot has 8,000 properties with 1,423,044 rooms in 131 countries and territories around the world. 




The on-line description of our ‘aloft’ hotel states that “it is a chic, urban lifestyle experience”.  It certainly ‘popped’ as compared to the usual along the highway hotels that we usually stay at when we’re on a road trip.  Not the usual sink in the bathroom and that wallpaper is quirky isn’t it?  Our favorite plus was the walk-in shower…standard for these hotels.  A great amenity for those of us who are just a ‘bit’ older.  It was a great place to stay...

The Asheville North Carolina ‘aloft’ hotel is located at 51 Biltmore Avenue.  Phone: 828-232-2838.  Website: https://www.marriott.com/en-us/hotels/avlal-aloft-asheville-downtown/overview/.

Moving along, we followed I-40 west until US Hwy 74 branched off toward the south west, with our eventual route through the mountains being NC Hwy 28 to US Hwy 129, aka “The Tail of the Dragon”.


This is the Mast General Store in Waynesville North Carolina.  Its part of a family owned group of 11 similar stores scattered across North Carolina and East Tennessee.  We’ve been the downtown Knoxville store and, while in Asheville, we stopped at the Mast store in that city.  The ladies opted to visit this location as well.  Mast General Store’s beginnings trace back to a very small town in North Carolina that opened about 170 years ago.  W.W. Mast bought full interest in the store in 1913…and thereafter it was called the Mast Store.  These stores are indeed ‘general stores’ as they carry everything from clothing to outdoor gear to toys, a huge selection of candy as shown above...and much much more.  Located at 63 North Main Street, this building was built in 1937.  Website: https://www.mastgeneralstore.com/.

The town of Waynesville was founded in 1810 by Colonel Robert Love, a soldier from the Revolutionary War.  He donated the land for the courthouse, jail and Public Square.  He named the town after his former commander, General “Mad” Anthony Wayne.

Waynesville was the scene of the last skirmish in the eastern theater of the American Civil War.  After being attacked in a nearby town by Thomas’ Legion of Highlanders…a Rebel force of Cherokee and European soldiers, a detachment of Union Mounted Infantry retreated to Waynesville, where they were surrounded by the Rebels.  The following day, learning that General Robert E. Lee had surrendered and that the war was over, on May 7th 1865, the Confederate forces surrendered to the Union troops...



Lots of stores along Waynesville’s Main Street!  The ladies led the way but I usually hung out on the sidewalk watching people and traffic going by.  Bill was more participatory…browsing along with the ladies.  My ‘browsing’ was much more interesting to me than most shopping could be…

In any case, this was one of the ladies first stops.  Logan’s Gift and Home D├ęcor Shop is located at 26 North Main Street.  It was packed with lots of stuff for the determined shopper.  For more information, you can click on https://logans-gifts-and-home-decor.business.site/.

As you can see by this photo, Waynesville is a popular place with tourists!  Downtown was busy…and this was before the fall colors were in their full glory.  The town’s Main Street Historic District is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  Thirty-five contributing buildings in this central business district are included in the listing. 

In addition, Waynesville encompasses 2 other Historic Districts on the National Register as well as 17 more individual listings.  The other Historic Districts are “The Spread Out Historic District” with 67 structures and the “Frog Level Historic District” with 16 structures.  FYI, the latter Historic District is located in a low area near the railroad tracks and Richland Creek…and it frequently flooded…hence the moniker “Frog Level”.

This unusual stone structure at 113 North Main Street was built in 1905.  This Romanesque Revival style one-story building built with river rock is still intact.  I love the windows and the stone work is truly eye-catching.  Originally, this building was constructed for use as a bank, then later it served as the public library and then a gift shop.

Currently this handsome and unusual structure is home to the “WildFlour Blue Bakery”.  To view their menu which is full of sweetness and lots of goodies, go to https://www.yelp.com/menu/wildflour-blue-waynesville.

The Haywood County Courthouse is located at 215 North Main Street in Asheville.  This neoclassical revival style building was completed in 1932.  While the front of the courthouse is 3 stories high, there is a large drop in topography at the back of the building…where it is 5 stories high.

The building is situated on a slight hill so it tends to dominate this end of Main Street.  Several war memorials have been constructed on the property, including the Revolutionary War, Confederate Veterans, Century Vault, All Veterans, Korean War and the Vietnam War.

Waynesville and Haywood county are located in the midst of the Blue Ridge Mountains...including the Great Smoky Mountains in the western portion of the county.  There are several mountain peaks approaching or exceeding 6,000 feet in elevation, the tallest being Mt. Guyot at 6,621 feet (2,018 m).

Two major festivals are held in Hayward County every year.  The annual ramp (Allium tricoccum) convention in May draws as many as 4,000 participants every year.  The first ramp convention was held in 1925.  See Waynesville Ramp Festival 2023, a Festival in Waynesville, North… (festivalnet.com)  

“Folkmoot USA” is an international folk festival that has been held in Waynesville every year since 1984.  This 2-week event has featured folk groups representing from about 100 countries.  The name “Folkmoot” is an old English word meaning “meeting of the people”.  For information about this festival and Folkmoot USA, go to www.FolkmootUSA.org.

Not the first time…but I was faked out again!  This brick structure is the Olde Brick House…but it isn’t old and it’s never been a house.  Built in 1987, it is a ‘non-contributing’ structure in the Main Street Historic District. 

Oh well…time to head on down the road and over the mountains.

When we returned to our home in East Tennessee it was time to celebrate Bill’s birthday.  But wait!  He sure doesn’t look happy does he?  It could be due to the fact that he’d just tested positive for Covid-19, not exactly the birthday present he’d hoped for…

But the situation does get ‘better’ or at least more interesting!

Soon, Bill had company as regarded Covid-19!  Laurie took this selfie.  First his better half Bonnie tested positive, then Laurie joined the group…and I rounded out the party as the last of this happy family group to test positive.  The good news is that all of us had been vaccinated and boosted at least once, so no one was truly miserable except Bill, who felt bad that he’d given Covid-19 to the rest of us.

It wasn’t long before all 4 of us were back to normal…

Just click on any of the photos to enlarge them.

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

1 comment:

  1. The Haywood County Courthouse in Ashville was very impressive as most older courthouses can be. We have been to a mast General Store, but I can't recall in which city.

    Too bad that you all caught another bout of covid, and glad the recovery was a swift one.

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