By Maggie -- Jun 25, 2014
A+ for Asheville!
A+ for Lake Powhatan State Park!
We had an all-around awesome time in this tree-hugging mountain town. Good vibes, good food, good people! It reminded us of Santa Cruz in almost every way, minus the proximity to the ocean. In other words, we need to find a scheme to get rich quick so we can buy a house there and spend more time there :)
We camped about 10 minutes outside of town at a place called Powhatan Lake, which is a tiny lake in the mountains surrounded by hundreds of hiking and mountain biking trails. We went into town a few times but didn't feel the need to spend all of our time there because of how beautiful the area around our camp was. On our second day, we decided to go on a hike through the Arboretum and up along a ridge line on a trail called "hard times". We got lost a few times, and suddenly after 3 miles of hiking it started raining. Hard times suddenly turned into hard times - but we remembered our ponchos and we made it back in about 4 hours. Our feet were screaming by the time we got back, so we relaxed and Ryan made us a pizza in our little oven - Italian sausage, red onion, fresh basil, tomato, mozzarella cheese, gluten free crust (for Maggie) and an egg (for Ryan).
We want to applaud the Lake Powhatan Campground for being possibly the best all-around campground we've stayed at so far. After staying in 30-40 campgrounds over the past few months, we're well-versed in what makes a solid campground. It's really all about doing the basics really, really well. You get an A+ if you have the following:
~ Bathroom Facilities: Flush toilets, a real mirror (not a metal one), clean floors, good lighting, close to most campsites
~ Showers: Free water, Decent water pressure, warm water, clean walls and floors, hooks to hang clothing and towels
~ Spread out sites: Campsites that have a good amount of space between them and aren't squished together
~ Site Amenities: Picnic table, fire pit, level camping area
~ Location: Close proximity to something cool, minimal road noise
~ People: Friendly hosts that mostly leave you alone, helpful and knowledgable check-in people
~Cost: Relatively low, below $30 for a site with electric / water in-site
Getting an A+ ain't easy, but Lake Powhatan had all of these things and deserves our top honors! We have been to some incredible sites that lacked a few of these things and it makes a noticeable difference.
This morning we explored the town of Asheville and stopped in a few stores and coffee shops, including Battle Cat Coffee Bar (where Ryan is seen drinking a Pimosa: PBR & fresh squeezed mango juice) and Biscuit Head for brunch. The whole morning I felt nostalgic for Santa Cruz... It felt so comfortable and laid back. Someone told us earlier on this trip that "Asheville is the new Austin". As far as we're concerned, they both totally rule.