Deb and I settled down in Hendersonville as our base and made a short visit to Asheville. Deb had an appointment at UNC Asheville, and while I waited, I found a quiet wooded hideaway and snapped some shots.
Afterwards, we had a lovely dinner at Aloft, where we sat on the balcony and watched the activities below.
Asheville is an interesting place. The people are very open and welcoming and the population seems very diverse. It’s a small city with lots of art and culture, surrounded by mountains. Personal artistic expression seems huge here. The first person I noticed as we drove through was a man with yellow hair. Not blond, yellow. Jaime, our server was new to the city, but said that she loved it for the beauty, the nature, and the people.
The next day, we ventured into Cherokee. We were both excited to visit the town and learn more about Cherokee culture, as we both have Cherokee ancestors. We stopped first at a beautiful park in town.
Then we visited the Cherokee Museum, where we got more history than we bargained for. We learned about the Cherokee alphabet, or syllabary, which was created by Sequoyah between 1810 and 1820. It was an impressive achievement for a man who could not read and his system was so elegant, that Cherokee people quickly and easily learned it. The Cherokee language went from being a spoken language only, to a written language. The language, both written and spoken, remains strong today. We saw many street signs written in Cherokee.
If you are ever in Cherokee, N.C., you must visit the museum and experience the history of the Cherokee people.
We heard of a restaurant in town, where we could experience authentic Cherokee dishes –Paul’s Restaurant. We were instantly intrigued, so we headed over. We had a lovely lunch there. I highly recommend the sweet potato fries. You may have had sweet potato fries elsewhere, but I promise you, they were nothing like the sweet potato fries at Paul’s.
Deb, ever the connection maker, spoke to a southern woman in the restaurant who told us about a nearby waterfall, “Mango Falls.” We set off following the directions given, but along the way we stopped and asked for confirmation from someone along the road, who said that he thought the name of the falls was, “Dingo.” Eventually we arrived at “Mingo Falls.” We parked, and began the ascent. The thing about waterfalls is that there is always an ascent, and you have to make it on foot. Here is the shot from the viewing point:
It was a steep climb to the viewing area, and it was a full day of adventure. After viewing “Mango Falls” We were ready to return to the hotel for some much needed rest!