The Great Smoky Mountains were beautiful with changing leaves as we dropped into North Carolina. I had been in this area once before and saved a few things for a return trip with KR. One of them was the Biltmore in Asheville.
The Biltmore is aptly named. It certainly couldn't have been named the Biltless. It is dubbed as the largest home in America. If you can't get all of it in one picture with a large lens from several hundred yards away - that IS a large home. It has 250 rooms, with 35 bedrooms and 43 baths. If that piques your interest, a lot has been written about the house and I am sure you will find it interesting. The big piece of grass is the front lawn. The view from the back porch is to die for. The current estate contains 8,000 acres and has 75 of those in formal gardens. We toured the house, but they don't allow you to take pictures. The place is quite incredible.
One of my favorite films is "The Last of the Mohicans" (the edited version, of course). The last 17 minutes of the movie were filmed in Chimney Rock State Park, just down the road from Asheville. Coming back here and seeing this park has been on my list of things to do for ages - so we did it! You drive up to the visitor center with Chimney Rock looming over it. Then you take an elevator carved into the rock up to a path that leads you to the viewpoint. It was crowded, but well worth the visit. The rock faces that are so impressive in the movie, run along the hills for miles. We also took a hike to Hickory Nut Falls. It was good to get out of the car and stretch our legs.
We did a great job of keeping up with what might have looked like an impossible schedule. Our itinerary for the 25th had one more item on it and it was getting dark as we left Chimney Rock. So we raced in the fading light to Flat Rock (the name of the town) to see the Carl Sandberg NHS. Fortunately, most of the exhibit was outside with lights. The picture was taken with a flash - it was actually pitch dark outside with a rising moon!
We got a nice room just south of Flat Rock for the night.