Asheville time

Our first night in Asheville also happened to be the first night of street sleeping. We had yet to actually park and sleep on the side of the road, and this was the night. We would drink at the Altamont Brewery, so we sought out parking nearby. I found a tall orange house with Tibetan prayer flags, and dropped Donnie a pin.
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We scouted the location, it looked up to our standards (of which we were still refining). Not too close to the police station, out of the school zone, no sidewalks, some scattered street lights, no dogs barking at invaders.  As we discussed our plans, trying to be stealth, a dude from the house we picked yelled down to us, “nice solar panel setup!” and he invited us in. He and his roommate cheered us on before we continued on our way to the bar/ “private club”.

North Carolina’s bars are fancier than that, they’re technically called “private clubs” – members only. Membership fees cost $1 and if you refuse to become a member, you must find yourself a nice member to sign you in as a guest.

 – NCGS 18B- 1000(5) states, “A private club is an establishment that is organized and operated solely for a social, recreational, patriotic, or fraternal purpose and that is not open to the general public, but is open only to the members of the organization and their bona fide guests.” – Mountain Xpress

 

The chatty bartender took great care of us after learning about our chosen homelessness. We also met an older Michigan man who played ping pong with us for hours, explaining vortexes (Asheville has a lot, apparently) and how he came to this town.

We slept on the street with ease, and woke up early, wandering to Izzy’s coffee house. We lingered here for a while, brushing our teeth in the bathroom and refilling our coffees. We worked for a few hours before exploring town.
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Thanks to an awesome mutual friend, we found ourselves surrounded by a group of social, poly, Asheville transplants as well as a beautiful group of new Asheville moms. Between these relationships, we explored different angles of this small mountain town and were welcomed in, removing the tourist feeling. During this time, we stayed in a tiny house, with a couch surfer, at a friend’s house, and in a friend’s driveway. snaggymountain-4

Between stays in Asheville, we spent time at an incredible 67-acre farm and artist residency called Snaggy Mountain (where I also fell ill for a few days). It was full of musicians, eager to break into spontaneous jams at any hour of the day or night. Laid back, in-tune, curious and intentional creatures full of smiles and ripe for late night “cornbread and butterbean” jamming. Instruments, pulled off the walls and taken into their arms as the moon rose over the mountains, and connections encouraged through this music that could not be ignored.  An open home, one for old friends, travelers, musicians and WWOOFers.

Donnie decided Asheville, more specifically Snaggy Mountain, will be his home for at least the summer, which is so exciting! I’m practicing being happy and not jealous 🙂 but am hoping to at least visit in the near future.
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 As for my future, I’m trying not to make any decisions today. That’s working pretty well and I actually really enjoy the not-knowing. Feeling at home with the uncertainty is definitely a recent intention of mine. I’m not done with the West Coast but I did connect with the Blue Ridge Mountains and the people I met in Asheville. Excitedly, I can say, “we’ll see”.
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