This morning, right after cooking and serving breakfast, I put on my running clothes and went for a run through Asheville. I left the Carolina Bed & Breakfast with no idea at all what I would write about for my next blog and returned filled with ideas from the vibrant life that fills our city.
It’s not often that I run in the morning which is a shame because it is a beautiful time to be out and about. The mountain air is cool and fresh and the streets are shaded. My first turn took me down Chestnut Street. Just before the intersection with Broadway, the road is elevated over a small garden plot. I love to look down at the pastel pink, yellow and blue beehives placed next to lush plots of vegetables and flowers. I am not sure I could ever be a beekeeper but friends of ours are, and there is a strong beekeeping culture in Asheville. Bees are so important to agriculture and it pleases me to see them being cared for in a natural setting.
Turning right at the intersection I ran up the long hill to Pack Park where this Saturday, as on every Saturday in the Summer, a crowd of 50+ people were taking part in “Yoga in the Park”. I always tell myself that when James and I retire from our retirement I will join in and enjoy a 75 minute free class in the grassy, sunlit park, surrounded by the classic architecture of our City Hall framed by Town Mountain.
Leaving the flexible and meditative crowd behind, I ran past the morning coffee drinkers outside Starbucks (of course) and on down Charlotte Street toward the Grove Park Inn. Suddenly I found myself running against a crowd of joggers and walkers dressed in white and splattered with paint. It was the Asheville Color Run. The Color Run is a International Movement which celebrates health, happiness and individuality. According to their website they hold more than 170 events in 13 countries and are still growing. The 5K run is about fun. The only rule is that you have to wear white and end up splattered in color as you will be doused with paint of a different color every kilometer. It looked like great fun and I enjoyed exchanging high fives with the passing runners and watching them being sprayed with yellow paint as they went through one of the color stops.
Just after Charlotte Street Computers I took another left on Kimberley and headed into the Grove Park Neighbourhood. This is a different side of Asheville, a little more manicured and controlled, the wide avenue is lined with brick houses and thick green lawns. I could smell the honeysuckle and lavender of the border plants as I turned off Kimberley and down to a small pocket park on Murdock Avenue. There was a little league game taking place and I watched for a minute as I stopped at what is, so far as I know, the only public water fountain within a five mile radius.
On to W.T. Weaver and down the Greenway next to the University. At the end of the road I took a quick circuit through the Asheville Botanical Garden. Today there was no wedding being set up but there were a number of birthday parties taking place on the grass under the trees, at least one of which featured pirates!
Heading out of the Botanical Garden I pleased to see that the extension to the Reed Creek Greenway, which connects it to the University Greenway, was now open. This means that
guests at our Asheville Bed and Breakfast can now do a four mile out and back run without running along the busy (and hot) Broadway Avenue. Finally I turned up Magnolia where I waved at Wes and his Moving Sidewalks Segway Tour before reaching home again.
There you have it, just a typical Saturday morning in Asheville. Is it any wonder we love our town so much?