The first night sleeping in Anuar the Adventure car was a bit restless. I think it was mostly due to nerves, because trust me, there is no shortage of padding and blankets in there. It felt pretty unnatural, so I think my body was on the defensive. However, when I woke up the next morning I felt great and ready to go, but I think that was mostly just excitement fueling me. I had my breakfast of chia pudding that I had mixed up the night before, brushed my teeth, and did my dishes. It took twice as long to do all of that in a car than at home, but I think that’s mostly due to the fact that I don’t have a system down yet, so it was a bit strained.
After awkwardly preparing for the day, I headed out to explore the Obed area a bit. I stumbled upon an incredible little hike to the Lilly Bluff overlook. It was about a half mile one way up hill, but it led to a fantastic boardwalk and overlook of the Obed Scenic River. However, if you don’t want to make the uphill hike, you can drive to the Lilly Bluff State Park parking area, and it’s just a short flat walk to the same overlook. The exercise was nice, though, so I didn’t mind. I was still pretty excited about everything, so the day was off to a pretty great start.
There is a ton of great climbing in the Obed, but since I’m lacking in the gear department and also the belayer department, I had to bypass that section of the park, but not far from where I had camped was a small town called Wartburg, TN. That’s also where the Obed Scenic Wildlife office is located, so I decided to stop in there and grab a couple of maps. One of the maps included was a self-guided walking tour of the town, so naturally I did that because I was still in the “do all the things” phase. It ended up being pretty short as I only went to the places that really piqued my interest, and let’s face it, the town was like two blocks.
After checking out the town a bit I headed on to a much larger area: Asheville, NC. It was later in the evening when I arrived, so I mostly just spent my time driving around getting a lay of the land. I visited their local botanical gardens (which were free FYI), found time to enjoy some local coffee, start on some writing, and find my camp site for the night. As it was still quite early in my trip, I wanted to stay on the safe side and went for an official camp ground with a check-in and check-out process. I stayed at Lake Powhatan Campground in the Pisgah National Forest right outside of Asheville. The folks at the front were incredibly nice, and since I was alone they put me in a site right next to a campground host named George who was an 84yo skiing instructor from New Hampshire. I wanna be like George when I grow up. Once I was at the site I whipped out the propane camp stove for the first time and cooked up a gourmet dinner of sweet potatoes and green peas (because I’m a child) by the light of a headlamp and then cracked a cold one with myself. Maybe I should try and get to a campsite before dark one day…