"Around here, however, we don't look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things...and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths."
---Walter Elias Disney

Thursday, August 18, 2016

72 Days: Always Go A Little Farther

That's today's lesson from our adventures in and around Asheville. Twice today we didn't settle for what we found and pushed on and found something even better.

Our first mission was breakfast. We walked down to the part of town where we ate dinner last night and had seen lots of restaurants and such. We quickly found out much of Asheville begins work at 10 am, and this was only a bit after nine. We saw a bakery and cafe that looked like a likely spot, but decided to walk down the street a bit and see what else was open. A second option appeared and looked more our speed, but seeing there was only about a block more of businesses on the street, we walked on a little farther.

The very last business on the road was Mamacita's Taquieria. And they served breakfast. The sandwich board outside advertised a $4.20 Wake-N-Bake Special. We felt this was our spot. It was unbelievable! John's breakfast burrito contained tater tots. Tater tots. And I can't even begin to tell you how delicious the huevos rancheros were. They played Bob Marley music and the staff laughed as they went about serving customers and prepping for lunch. The place, and the experience, was perfect.

Since the weather turned out to be absolutely beautiful, we made today our Blue Ridge Parkway and Mt. Mitchell excursion day. It was a wise choice as blue skies combined with some poofy clouds low in the valleys made for an almost otherworldly experience at the high altitudes. After walking up to the summit and the viewing tower (more of a platform) at Mt. Mitchell's peak, we saw a little nature trail that went out into the woods and doubled back to the parking area, so off we went.

There were a few paths leading off this well-marked trail and John led us off on most of them. One in particular was great. It led to a big rock outcrop forming a nice little overhang. But the trail went on, getting a bit narrower, but still clearly there. As that path went on, it got more and more sketchy, but we thought we could and should go a little farther. It ended on the south side of the mountain offering views similar to the peak, but without the other tourists and through a curtain of alpine trees. It was spectacular. And quiet. And a bit awe-inspiring.

The point is, in both instances we could have stopped at the first thing, which was good, or the next, which was better, but by going a little farther we found more personal experiences with less company and more satisfaction in feeling like true explorers. We are "hey, what's around the next bend?" kind of guys, John and I. And I'm very thankful for that.

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