Adventure stories: Start with being loose


Editor’s note: We recently asked Xpress readers and writers to share their own true tales of adventure for possible publication in our special Adventure issue. Here is one of those stories.

July 14 started with a piece of paper and a pencil. The list, which Kennedy wrote while riding in the back seat of the VW camper van, started with No. 1: Be loose.

Each numbered item had a little box so we could check off each destination as the day proceeded.

My granddaughter Kennedy and I have been adventuring around Western North Carolina for as long as she can remember. She’s 7 now. I grew up in Asheville, so I’m lucky to know a lot of the cool places. The blue VW Westfalia was one of four such campers that supported my career as a touring musician giving concerts for kids and families.

Today would be an epic adventure. First stop: the Sierra Nevada gardens and playground. Then, on the way to No. 2, Looking Glass Falls, Kennedy decided she’d rather see the fish at the hatchery first.

“Well,” I said, “that’s why the list started with ‘Be Loose.’” And when it came time for Moore Falls, being loose allowed us to nix that little hike altogether. A smart move — there wouldn’t have been time.

Over the course of the day, we checked off seven destinations, including our magical picnic on the parkway, overlooking Looking Glass Rock.

Kennedy and I, along with my wife, Susana, on occasion, have been all over the place. It’s a weekly event for us, and we love it.

Our very first adventure was finding our way down the Swannanoa grade on the old dirt road searching for the geyser outside of Old Fort. I hadn’t seen it since that exciting train ride in the first grade from Biltmore Station. We found it, but alas, no water! For months after that, Kennedy, who was 2, kept telling everybody, “The geyser died.”

Later on, we saw it in all of its glory.

SIGHTSEEING: A favorite spot near Old Fort. Photo courtesy of Timmy Abell
SIGHTSEEING: A favorite spot near Old Fort. Photo courtesy of Timmy Abell

— Timmy Abell


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