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Wow! We just cannot quit using this word…maybe it is because our jaws are dropped and our mouth is hanging open in utter awe most of the time, or maybe its because by now we have been on the road so long that our vocabulary skills are suffering significantly, but either way, WOW! What a cool day we have had today driving to Asheville! And all thanks to a tip we got from a local yesterday in Apex.  She suggested that we drive to Boone NC, and then get on the Blue Ridge Parkway, which is exactly what we did, and what a gift!

We got to Boone (yes, named after Daniel Boone) around lunch time. We quickly assessed this quaint little mountain town, and came across a small place called F.A.R.M.  Their signage indicated that F.A.R.M. stands for: Feed All Regardless of Means.  They also advertised Real. Good. Food.  So of course we did not hesitate to go in, where we were greeted by Kim, who shared with us the menu, a short bit about how it all works, and how they use all locally sourced foods, including meat and produce, as well as some desserts donated by Panerra. The costs of the meal is merely a suggested donation, people pay what they can. If one cannot pay, they can receive a free meal for an hour of volunteering, unless physically incapable.  The menu is pre-fix, and you can eat as much as you like.  It was a culinary delight! Everything was made from scratch, creative, and fresh! Again, with the exception of the desserts donated from Panerra.  We had one of the best meals thus far on our trip, and felt beyond good supporting this amazing cause.  We came to learn that there are a network of these worthy cafe’s around the country, so please visit: Oneworldeverybodyeats.org.  It looks like there are some efforts underway for locations both in OR and WA! Yes to that!! Check out their vision statement and their 7 core values…Inspiring and impressive! This was exactly one of those “moments” that we have had quite a few of, that turn out to be “soul surprises” for us, and we leave feeling so fortunate to have had an experience that we would not have had if we had not been right here, in this moment! Thank you F.A.R.M. for what you do in the world!

After a bit of scavenging some of the local wares, and a quick look at Appalachian State University, we left Boone and navigated our way through the stunningly beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway! Another WOW! In fact, quite a few of them! It is a one lane each way road that meanders (45mph top speed) through the Blue Ridge Mountains from Virginia all the way through western North Carolina.  Wikipedia states: “The Blue Ridge Parkway is a National Parkway and All-American Road in the United States, noted for its scenic beauty. The parkway, which is America’s longest linear park, runs for 469 miles (755 km) through 29 Virginia and North Carolina counties, linking Shenandoah National Park to Great Smoky Mountains National Park.” We hope to see the latter tomorrow!

We were only on about 4o miles or so of this beauty, but we will be back, and hopefully to do more legs of this stretch of Americana! She is worth seeing!!!

We didn’t get to Asheville until dusk, so more on this town tomorrow!

Very happy travelers, with Very Happy tales about their

Very Happy Trails!