Van Life: Asheville, Hot Springs, Brevard

The kids were off to Camp Booyah Sunday – Friday, so Kelly and I got to take the van out for it’s first real road trip — five nights in the van exploring parts of NC we’ve not been to as much as the Boone area.

We drove to Lake Powhatan Camp Ground just outside of Asheville for our 1st night.

We love Asheville so decided to head into town, park the van (in downtown — it fits in a regular parking spot!), and go to one of our favorite restaurants – Salsa’s.

We had enough time to walk around a little, and came across this old London double decker bus that is now a coffee shop — it had quite the driver:

Lake Powhatan camp site was pretty nice – tons of trails to explore! The next morning, we explored the area by bike, and stumbled across the NC Arboretum, so we spent some time there. They had a pretty amazing bonsai section that we both really enjoyed.

On day 2, we drove from the Asheville area up to Hot Springs NC. We had a camp site right on the French Broad. While this camp site was not quite as nice as the Lake Powhatan one, it was good enough for us. We spent two nights here, chilling by the river, hiking/running, and enjoying the hot springs (which are hot tubs that have the hot spring water pumped in), as well as the local restaurants.

After two nights in Hot Springs, we headed south back through Asheville on the way to Brevard, where we stayed in Davidson River camp site. We restocked groceries in Asheville, and had our 1st lunch in the van in the grocery store parking lot. 🙂 Davidson River Camp Ground was very nice, and we definitely plan to come back and stay longer.

Brevard is known for it’s waterfalls, so we did go in search of a few. I think we hit four in one day, a few much more remote than others! One was right off the road (Looking Glass Falls) and is the most photographed waterfalls anywhere, another was a secluded drive on a forrest road to a mile hike (Log Hollow Falls), and another was a much longer but less secluded forrest road to a 2+ mile out and back hike (Twin Falls). We also rode our bikes into town and ate at Pad Thai on night one, and hit Oscar Blues Brewery on day two.

Brevard has white squirrels — I thought it was an albino, but come to find out, this is their normal color! Amazing we had just seen black squirrels in Niagara the week before!

Van life is definitely for us — can’t wait to get back out there!

Maiden Voyage

Well, there’s a bit of a back story I’ll expand on some day, but for now, let’s just say we got started on van life a little earlier than anticipated. This new category of posts will cover our van life trips.

For the maiden voyage, we just went one night in our new conversion van (rv) to Cedar Point Campground, near the mouth of the White Oak River, in the Croatan National Forest. The camp ground is relatively small with just 40 sites on two loops, but it was well-equipped and quiet. We had electrical for the van, but the water was a faucet shared between a couple sites and didn’t have a hose connection for us, so we used the water on board. (We thought we had run out of fresh water, but alas, we probably just didn’t know to use the water pump – lesson #1 learned). Other than that, we are starting to get the hang of all the features of the van, but still have a lot to learn!

The camp ground itself wasn’t super exciting, but the Cedar Point Tideland trail was beautiful. Over the evening and morning we were there, we ran, rode, and paddle boarded all around. Here are a few photos:

The next day after we packed up, we went over to Emerald Isle and hung out on the beach and in the rented home of one of Riley’s friends for the day. Emerald Isle is a beautiful beach, and we all got a little too much sun.