When I exited the hotel in Asheville Sunday morning at 6am the city was silent. Nothing moved until I was making a 22-point turn in the Aveo to get out of the cramped parking. The steep exiting slope onto the main street rocked he car up and down as I drove over and slid alone through the downtown streets. The GPS lead me through a desolate section, devoid of many buildings, and up a steep incline. I had punched in a route to Mt. Mitchell State Park, but I figured I had already passed it on the highway previously and now wasn’t so sure what the GPS had in mind. Anyways, I continued through a now winding, steep, and narrow road along the mountains. Halfway through Town Mountain Rd the GPS dropped dead, and while I probably should have turned around, there was no room or driveways. To my left was a rock face, and to the right was a drop-off, with no straight-aways. So, I found my only option at the end of that road was to sneak onto the “Blue Ridge Parkway”, a scenic road route through the side of the mountains. I remembered the GPS had wanted me to turn right, so I did. Yet, this scenic ridge lead only to the top of a mountain – covered with fog – and with no way down to a road leading to my destination. I climbed and climbed, with the deep blue of the Smokies rising into the endless fog until I found a side route to a small town named Weaverville. I took this turn, desperate now for gas, thinking I’d have been stuck on the parkway if I had to drive any further. Luckily, about 8 minutes into town I found a small gas station and filled up. At this point, with the GPS failing in the mountains and no way to obtain a written set of directions to the state park, I decided it best to find LML (Landmark Learning, the school which hosts the W-EMT class). Mt. Mitchell was never ascended, and time does not allow me to make another go at it. Mountains have a reputation for bad luck – but the original North Eastern plan is still on. I’ll just have to come back here someday.
Now, I’ll just have to see what happens next. I’m typing this in the LML parking area – you’ll read everything I have in succession when it is posted, but I don’t know when I’ll have another chance to write