I’ve been to a lot of states but most the time if I’m travelling for work, I end up staying in cities. This trip was completely different. We rented an airbnb in the woods outside of Asheville, close enough to drive there in less than 30 minutes but far enough away that it definitely felt like a retreat in the mountains.
I had heard a lot of great things about Asheville before we got there and they all turned out to be true. The Blue Ridge mountains are beautiful. There are great trails to run on. There’s great craft beer. And there’s a thriving art scene.
In our week there, we got to experience it all but most importantly we got to spend a lot of time outside in warm weather. I got to run in shorts in late December!!
The apartment that we stayed in was on a mountainous country road and you had to drive over a creek to get into the driveway. I went running on roads around the apartment quite a few times and within 10 minutes, I would be running past horses and cows. Living in Toronto, empty country roads with farm animals are not something that I’m not used to but it was beautiful running.
The other things that I am really not used to it turns out are hills; lots and lots of hills. My calves are sore still! The beginning of my runs would always be great until I turned around and realized that I’d been running downhill the whole time and now had to run back uphill.
On New Year’s Day, Callum and I went to go find some trails. We ended up at the Bent Creek Experimental Forest. Despite the name, it seems to be a normal forest, not an experiment! It apparently has around 30 miles of trails but we ran about 10k of them and there was a really good variety. There were some technical dirt trails and also some not technical crushed gravel trails but all of them were hilly.
I wish we had found the Experimental Forest earlier because there were tons of trails there that we didn’t have a chance to explore but it’s a good excuse to go back.
After 6 days in Asheville, we drove back to Toronto and saw snow for the first time this year. It’s -25C (with the windchill) in Toronto today and I had a snowy run yesterday. I keep wondering why we decided to leave North Carolina where winter is short and not very cold!
In a couple weeks, I’m off the Las Vegas for work with a little side trip to the Grand Canyon so there is more travelling and running coming in the near future!
Have you ever gone on a runcation? What’s your favourite place that you’ve run?