Getting into Asheville via route 23 is so beautiful – Smoky Mountains on either side and Appalachians opening up in front of you.  It was especially fun on a motorcycle weaving in and out of lanes going upand down the hills.  We only saw a couple of other bikers but the weather was great.

There are so many hiking trails around there, having the chance to do only one, we went to Montreat and did the Lookout Trail.  At least thats what my friend Chanel recommended – it was close by and fairly easy.  When I have more time and am not on a motorcycle I’d love to go up to the blue ridge parkway.

Black mountain to Montreat
Black mountain to Montreat

Trailhead parking

The road to the trailhead is so steep, the heavy bike almost didn’t make it up the slope. Yeah I’ll admit probably because I’m a newbie with heavy bikes and not used to a full load.

Lookout trail summit

The summit on the Lookout trail is so beautiful! Apparently they filmed some of The Hunger Games here. I think we were looking to the west of black mountain, but it was a great lookout point to take in the valley behind us and read our books a little.

Although we only spent one night in Raleigh it’s worth a mention.  Nice town and it was an easy sunny drive just 4 hours from Asheville. But it was our first actual couchsurfing experience together!  We met a really great guy, Prashant, on CS and biked to his place.  We had a great afternoon of talking and drinking. He is from new delhi so we exchanged plenty of stories and then cooked some dinner.  We also got a drink from the black flower downtown which was a great little bar.

So yummy! It is home made at this bar too.
So yummy! It is home made at this bar too.

I don’t know if Marelise mentioned but we’ll do our best to grab a photo with each host so people can see the real faces of CS when they ask what it is, and see what nice and awesome people we’re meeting. Anyway we’re in richmond for two days and will post again soon.

-Kiernan

Our couchsurfer host, Prashant took us out to the Black Flower.
Our couchsurfer host, Prashant took us out to the Black Flower.

Information stockpile
We drove to Asheville all the way on Route 23 and to Raleigh on the I-40
Montreat trail descriptions and map by graybeard graphics
A link to Blue Ridge Parkway road conditions and closures
Couchsurfing Check it out and do it! It’s awesome!

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