November 15, 2022
Looking Glass Falls near Brevard, NC

I love fall and seeing the trees change color. Since autumn color in Texas rarely offers more than a faint blush or tinge of yellow, I’ll travel far to see a good show. But it’s tricky when you’re making reservations 6 or 8 months in advance. The trees keep their own schedule, and you might arrive too early or too late.

Looking Glass Falls

And that’s how I found myself in Asheville, North Carolina, at the end of October into early November, two weeks past an early peak of what’s been described as one of the best years in memory for fall color. Gah! I knew I’d pushed my luck by booking our stay in late October rather than the week before or earlier. But with so many places experiencing warmer summers that linger into fall, I’d hoped my gamble would pay off. All through October, I anxiously read the color reports, and before we even arrived I knew I’d missed the big show. But I hoped we’d still see something.

And we sure did. It’s Western North Carolina, after all, with rumpled blue mountains and hardwood forests of tall trees that don’t all turn at the same time. Even past-peak is pretty darn good, and far better than anything I’ll see when Austin’s fall color finally starts around Thanksgiving. We stayed busy every day with drives through the Great Smoky Mountains and along the Blue Ridge Parkway, with hikes at Chimney Rock and in the Pisgah National Forest, and — of course — with a couple of garden visits at Biltmore House and the North Carolina Arboretum.

I’ll share those soon. But today come along on a quiet, late-afternoon hike to see a waterfall and take in a few scenes from around town.

Moore Cove Falls Trail

Waterfalls abound in the mountains around Asheville. One day we drove into Pisgah National Forest to see the powerful and picturesque Looking Glass Falls, pictured at top. We also enjoyed a peaceful afternoon hike to Moore Cove Falls and saw only 3 or 4 other people along the trail.

Blue skies and yellow-orange trees hanging on

As the sun slipped slowly between the trees, we had the forest trail nearly to ourselves.

A boardwalk path over a wet area collects fallen leaves.

Trees don’t grow straight and tall like this in my part of the world. These are racing for the sunlight — and in fall make a bit of “sunlight” of their own.

Moore Cove Falls were little more than a lacy trickle due to drought, but they cascade over a cliff of layered rock.

You can walk behind the waterfall here.

Asters were flowering among the fallen leaves…

…and pollinators were enjoying them.

A lovely place to explore

Downtown Asheville

Downtown Asheville was glowing with ginkgo trees at peak color. Everyone was stopping here for a photo.

Good views looking down too

We took our selfie higher up in a parking garage, where golden leaves lit up window openings and matched my rain jacket.

More scattered gold on a sidewalk mosaic at Mellow Mushroom pizzeria

We found some brilliant reds too.

West Asheville

More color in the charming neighborhoods around West Asheville…

…where of course we ate at Sunny Point Cafe. I had the chicken and waffle sandwich: a freshly made waffle topped with fried chicken breast, pimento cheese, jalapeno jam, and bacon. Delicious!

Another day I needed to compare North Carolina BBQ to Texas BBQ, so we stopped at 12 Bones Smokehouse for dinner. They recommended the brisket, which surprised me (that’s more of a Texas thing, I thought), but it was sold out. So I had the baby back ribs with a blueberry chipotle glaze, plus sides of corn puddin’ and jalapeno cheese grits. Verdict? Mmmmm.

“Barbecue may not be the road to world peace,” reads an Anthony Bourdain quote on the wall, “but it’s a start.”

Up next: Fall color at the Biltmore House gardens.

I welcome your comments. Please scroll to the end of this post to leave one. If you’re reading in an email, click here to visit Digging and find the comment box at the end of each post. And hey, did someone forward this email to you, and you want to subscribe? Click here to get Digging delivered directly to your inbox!

__________________________

Digging Deeper

Come learn about garden design from the experts at Garden Spark! I organize in-person talks by inspiring designers, landscape architects, and authors a few times a year in Austin. These are limited-attendance events that sell out quickly, so join the Garden Spark email list to be notified in advance. Simply click this link and ask to be added. You can find this year’s speaker lineup here.

All material © 2022 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

The post Fall foliage, falls, and food in and around Asheville appeared first on Digging.

In Asheville, NC, with rumpled blue mountains and tall hardwood forests, even past-peak fall color is pretty darn good.… Read More
The post Fall foliage, falls, and food in and around Asheville appeared first on Digging.Read MoreFall color, Mosaic, Murals, North Carolina, Restaurants, Scenic hikes, Southeast, Travel, Trees, Waterfalls, Wildflowers, Asheville, Asheville NC, fall foliage, waterfallsDigging

November 15, 2022
Looking Glass Falls near Brevard, NC

I love fall and seeing the trees change color. Since autumn color in Texas rarely offers more than a faint blush or tinge of yellow, I’ll travel far to see a good show. But it’s tricky when you’re making reservations 6 or 8 months in advance. The trees keep their own schedule, and you might arrive too early or too late.

Looking Glass Falls

And that’s how I found myself in Asheville, North Carolina, at the end of October into early November, two weeks past an early peak of what’s been described as one of the best years in memory for fall color. Gah! I knew I’d pushed my luck by booking our stay in late October rather than the week before or earlier. But with so many places experiencing warmer summers that linger into fall, I’d hoped my gamble would pay off. All through October, I anxiously read the color reports, and before we even arrived I knew I’d missed the big show. But I hoped we’d still see something.

And we sure did. It’s Western North Carolina, after all, with rumpled blue mountains and hardwood forests of tall trees that don’t all turn at the same time. Even past-peak is pretty darn good, and far better than anything I’ll see when Austin’s fall color finally starts around Thanksgiving. We stayed busy every day with drives through the Great Smoky Mountains and along the Blue Ridge Parkway, with hikes at Chimney Rock and in the Pisgah National Forest, and — of course — with a couple of garden visits at Biltmore House and the North Carolina Arboretum.

I’ll share those soon. But today come along on a quiet, late-afternoon hike to see a waterfall and take in a few scenes from around town.

Moore Cove Falls Trail

Waterfalls abound in the mountains around Asheville. One day we drove into Pisgah National Forest to see the powerful and picturesque Looking Glass Falls, pictured at top. We also enjoyed a peaceful afternoon hike to Moore Cove Falls and saw only 3 or 4 other people along the trail.

Blue skies and yellow-orange trees hanging on

As the sun slipped slowly between the trees, we had the forest trail nearly to ourselves.

A boardwalk path over a wet area collects fallen leaves.

Trees don’t grow straight and tall like this in my part of the world. These are racing for the sunlight — and in fall make a bit of “sunlight” of their own.

Moore Cove Falls were little more than a lacy trickle due to drought, but they cascade over a cliff of layered rock.

You can walk behind the waterfall here.

Asters were flowering among the fallen leaves…

…and pollinators were enjoying them.

A lovely place to explore

Downtown Asheville

Downtown Asheville was glowing with ginkgo trees at peak color. Everyone was stopping here for a photo.

Good views looking down too

We took our selfie higher up in a parking garage, where golden leaves lit up window openings and matched my rain jacket.

More scattered gold on a sidewalk mosaic at Mellow Mushroom pizzeria

We found some brilliant reds too.

West Asheville

More color in the charming neighborhoods around West Asheville…

…where of course we ate at Sunny Point Cafe. I had the chicken and waffle sandwich: a freshly made waffle topped with fried chicken breast, pimento cheese, jalapeno jam, and bacon. Delicious!

Another day I needed to compare North Carolina BBQ to Texas BBQ, so we stopped at 12 Bones Smokehouse for dinner. They recommended the brisket, which surprised me (that’s more of a Texas thing, I thought), but it was sold out. So I had the baby back ribs with a blueberry chipotle glaze, plus sides of corn puddin’ and jalapeno cheese grits. Verdict? Mmmmm.

“Barbecue may not be the road to world peace,” reads an Anthony Bourdain quote on the wall, “but it’s a start.”

Up next: Fall color at the Biltmore House gardens.

I welcome your comments. Please scroll to the end of this post to leave one. If you’re reading in an email, click here to visit Digging and find the comment box at the end of each post. And hey, did someone forward this email to you, and you want to subscribe? Click here to get Digging delivered directly to your inbox!

__________________________

Digging Deeper

Come learn about garden design from the experts at Garden Spark! I organize in-person talks by inspiring designers, landscape architects, and authors a few times a year in Austin. These are limited-attendance events that sell out quickly, so join the Garden Spark email list to be notified in advance. Simply click this link and ask to be added. You can find this year’s speaker lineup here.

All material © 2022 by Pam Penick for Digging. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.

The post Fall foliage, falls, and food in and around Asheville appeared first on Digging.

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