I love Asheville as a place to visit. It’s got all the big-name stores, an independent bookseller, some fun shops to wander around downtown, and ton of great restaurants. When I booked Powhatan for a week, I was thinking of all these things. I definitely wasn’t thinking of how it would be to visit when COVID-19 was in the picture. But here we are…
So I mostly hiked around, took photos, and read books. I did get to Barnes and Noble for a brief sojourn into normalcy, if everyone wearing masks and working hard to stay 6 feet apart is normal. I guess it is these days. Less normal was the restriction against campground visitors, so I had to improvise to meet up with a few friends in the area. Lunch at a local park, dinner at their house, it all worked out okay.
This time, my fourth at Powhatan, I was on Site 43 in the lakeside loop. Technically, the loop isn’t really lakeside at all, it’s about a five minute walk to the actual lake but this is the loop closest to the lake so maybe that’s what they meant.
My site was, to put it politely, seriously sloped. And it was narrow. So narrow that if I had backed in, my front door would be less than 2 feet from the wall of bushes and trees that defined the edge of the campsite. So this became one of those times I was really happy to have my little Caravan Mover on the Alto. It lets me drive the trailer anywhere I want, and putting it sideways was what worked best for this challenging site. Check out the number of plastic stabilizer pads (those orange things under the trailer wheel) that I had to use to get “level enough” that the water would drain out of the sink and shower!
This was also the first test for the new Gazelle shelter I bought a few months ago. It’s lighter and slightly smaller than my previous Clam shelter, so it fits down the side of the truck bed perfectly. Just as easy to set up and take down as the Clam, so I’m pretty happy with it.
One of the best things about being at Powhatan was the cooler temperatures. I actually wore a sweatshirt for about ten minutes of one morning walk, which felt wonderful. Fog also gave things a different look and discouraged swimmers from showing up too early in the day. Yes, there is a swimming beach and it was quite popular with both kids and mountain bikers.
The other end of the lake has a beautiful waterfall going over the concrete dam, and I was quite obsessed with the contrast of streaming water and still lake. My morning walks usually took me on the Lakeside trail loop so I’d take a few minutes and stand above the waterfall trying to get a good shot.
One of the challenges of being a full-timer is getting physical mail delivered. I enrolled in Medicare last month and the card arrived in the mail at my box in Tallahassee. I had it forwarded to my friend, Holly, who lived close enough to Asheville to come up for lunch twice. The first time, she delivered the card. The second time, she brought her laminator and generator and fired them up to provide me with a nicely laminated Medicare card. Doesn’t everyone keep a generator in their pickup? I know I do, and Holly does too 🙂
While this time around at Powhatan was definitely different thanks to the pandemic, I still enjoyed my week. Cool temps, some good thunderstorms, excellent hiking trails, and lots of photography opportunities. What’s not to like about all that?
Lake Powhatan Campground (recreation.gov)
- Site 43. Not at all level any way I tried, but I managed. All sites in the Lakeside loop have full hookups, but you may need more than 1 hose to reach the sewer hookup.
- Services: electric/water/sewer, dump station, individual toilets and showers.
- Cell service: Verizon (very weak, required hotspot and Weboost antenna), ATT (none)
- Groceries: Ingles 10 minutes up Hwy 191. Lots of stores in Asheville!
- Boat launch on French Broad River down Hwy 191. (I didn’t go, just noticed it was there.)
I have not quite come to terms with the brevity that people crave as they dash through life, flitting from one thing to another.