Bangin’ breakfast at The Orchard Inn. Marianne hooked me up with the French toast because she knew I needed the carbs. I made a short trek up the road today, but with that meal I could have done four more of the same distance.
Leaving The Orchard Inn
I got a late start today. There was no rush and honestly I was so relaxed, I felt stoned. I was in a happy place. I rested as well last night as I have in many days and as I walked down the stairs into the great, open, main room of the Orchard Inn, I was swallowed again by the feeling I was floating. If you have the chance to visit this place, make it a must. You’ll not regret it.
I left around 11am and headed into the town of Saluda. I made it a priority to stop at Green River Adventures. Green River offers white water kayaking, stand-up paddleboardig, and guided waterfall/swimming hole hikes.
I was lucky enough to be able to chat for a while with Tim Bell, the co-owner along with his wife Sarah. The company recently relocated to the outskirts of the tourist area that is downtown Saluda, from a location that was closer to the interstate. Tim told me this move helped increase their business by 35% last year.
What I love most about people like Tim is their drive to follow what they are most passionate about. Not only do they get to do what they love everyday, they also get to share that same feeling with others. The best part of the job is seeing the smiles (sometimes the gasps of fear) that are plastered on the customer’s face.
If you’re in Saluda taking a weekend at the Orchard Inn, hit-up Tim, Sarah, and Company at Green River Adventures and get in on the action.
Tim gave me a couple of recommendations in Asheville and Brevard as well. I had thought I might skip Asheville because I was planning on moving west, but then I realized I would be making a mistake by doing so.
If I hit up Asheville I can also make a run on part of the Blue Ridge parkway. Signed. Sealed. Delivered. I may have to postpone my trip to Sapphire a few days.
I left Saluda and ran into a lady on the side of the road. She was working along the property that she and her husband bought and turned into a subdivision. There is a beautiful, little lake that they created by way of a man made dam.
We talked about travelling and life. She told me that when she and her husband visited Sante Fe, Mexico a few years ago how lucky she was to be able to travel and see such wonderful areas. It was then that she realized that,”Hey! I live in one of those places.”
Her reaction similar to a business owner getting so jaded by constantly being at their own business, that they overlook the small things a customer may see when visiting for the first time. Keep this in mind when life becomes too routine. Take a step back. Sit down at a table and order your own food, sit in the lobby, browse through clothes on the racks or do whatever your customers do when they interact with you and your business from time to time.
A Beautiful Day
The temperature was in the low 80′s today. I was in such a good mood I didn’t realize that I wasn’t wearing my gloves. I wasn’t going back down the mountain. I hoped they were in my bags. I was in such a good mood, I really didn’t care.
Hendersonville is much bigger than any other town I have been in for the past few days. Spartanburg is bigger, but by how much I am not sure. I came in on 176. The first things you see are multiple chain stores and a large highway that is four lanes, compared to the two lanes I came from Saluda. Everything seems to open up as you arrive. The sky unfolds and the comfort of the wilderness fades into the background.
Once I got off 176 and onto 25 business/Main Street, I left “big brand central” and waltzed into “small town central”. Main street of Hendersonville is petty awesome.
I don’t know exactly why, but I felt like I had been transported back in time. I felt like I was galloping my two wheel steed into a modern mid-western cow town. Maybe it was the pace. It was almost as if everything had slowed to a muted, slow-motion, frame speed and life suddenly got less complicated.
Every shop is is locally owned. There are a ton of restaurants, ice cream shops, clothing, and specialty retailers on the 7 blocks that make up Main St. Everyone was wearing pleasant faces as they moved in and out of the shops. They traveled at a speed that didn’t require a watch or a specific place to be any time soon.
Things to Do in Hendersonville, NC
If you want to find out what the town and surrounding areas have to offer, you could go to the visitors center, or you could visit Betsy at Sherman’s Sports. It’s pretty hard to find someone as knowledgeable, especially since her family business has been around for 90 years. First business in town!
I got enough info to keep me busy for a month. Unfortunately, I don’t have a place to stay for that long. If you’re in Hendersonville and you do have a few days there’s no shortage of things to do.
According to Betsy, most people come here to do hiking, fishing, canoeing, and kayaking in the National Parks that are located all around the area. Acording to her, there aren’t many outdoor businesses that cater to these interests. Most people go at it on their own in Dupont Forest, Chimney Rock Park, Mt. Pigsah, and on the French Broad River.
Hendersonville, itself is host to many outdoor festivals including gardening, music, arts and food.
Animals Around Town
A few things that caught my eye as I was wondering around town were the painted statues of bears and goats.
I’m from New Bern, NC and our mascot is the bear. Artists paint the bears and then auction them off to local businesses to raise money for the town. They do the same thing here with bears….. and goats, too!
Low Key Day
I arrived at the Claddagh Inn around 1pm. I got myself sorted and went back into town to snap a few photos and “try” to line up dinner. I was still good from my hearty breakfast and knew I could wait until then to eat again.
I stopped by almost all the restaurants in town and offered to do write-ups in exchange for a meal. None of them were having it.
As I cruised back home, I stopped and chatted with a retired firefighter from New York. He was shocked that I was riding around the country, “getting free stuff”. He couldn’t understand what I am doing. He asked me how people would find me and how they would use my write-ups/recommendations to help them.
He continued to telling me that he had set up a website a few years ago for his furniture business and only got one hit in a year. He asked me how I was going to overcome this problem of getting people to check out and follow the Globtrekkin site. I told him I had 10,000 hits in the last two weeks. End of that conversation.
The Globetrekkin’ business model inherently works because I travel, meet different people, and pass out business cards every single day. To have a travel site/business, you need to travel.
Some people still think that I play all day. I ride, which is cool. That’s my job. I also find cool places to visit and talk to interesting people. That’s my job, too. I also work on the site and write everyday. That’s what I do.
My goal when I came up with the Globetrekkin model was to create a job for myself. I am more and more confident that will happen as each day passes. I have ups and downs, the same as everyone else, but I am still confident. I don’t always know how it will work, but that’s the fun part.
This is the first venture I have undertaken where I have seen such immediate and explosive results. My goal now is to be one of the top 10 travel blogs in the U.S.
I am not doing this alone. Every person that follows me, every restaurant, B&B, friend family member, and individual I have talked to has had a part in me getting this far. If I had done it alone, I would still be sitting in Atlantic Beach, twiddling my thumbs, trying to figure it all out. There’s a long way to go, but the path you have helped set me upon is one I am grateful for.
Tonight, I met a couple from Tennessee at the inn. 5:30-6:30 is social hour, which includes wine and cheese. I got some good recommendations for places to see in Tennessee. I also got some good advice for how to get to my next couple of destinations. Thanks, Paul and Eileen!
The help doesn’t stop there, either. Every day I am getting more and more emails, comments on the blog, and recommendations for people to talk to and places to go. Thanks, everyone!
P.S. Found my glove in my bag. Whew!
Total miles today = 11