Summer 2009

Nashville, TN to Asheville, NC

291 Miles/466 Km

22 June 2009

Route Map

Route Information


Points of interest

Distance From





Nashville, TN Home
N 36.2348
W 86.7040
TN I-40
Knoxville, TN Home
Nashville, TN
Asheville, NC
N 35.9685
W 83.9292
TN I-40
Asheville, NC Asheville Bear Creek RV Park Home
Asheville, NC
N 35.5588
W 82.6059
NC I-40
Great Smoky Mountains National Park          

Photographs and Commentary
Click on picture to enlarge

Today's ride was through some really beautiful country. When we left Nashville we had a relatively easy ride over rolling hills. As we approached the Tennessee-North Carolina border, the hills became bigger. More accurately, they became the Great Smoky Mountains. In Knoxville, I-40 and I-81 merge into one highway for a few miles. When I-40 and I-81 go their separate way, I-40 starts into the mountain. The road has some steep grades and lots of curves as it negotiates its way through valleys and over passes into other valleys. By the time we reached Asheville, the hills got a little easier and the road got a bit straighter. Susie and I have been over this stretch many times in the past. One of our favorite areas to to camp in with the kids was Cherokee, NC and we used this route at least on the way in or out.

Our rain free days are over. Other than some thunderstorms in Santa Fe and Gallup, we have had almost no rain in the past few weeks. When we hit Knoxville, the streak ended and we went through a rain storm that lasted for a while. Fortunately for us, the rain ended before we got to the hills and curves of the Smokies.

The main reason we stopped in Asheville was to visit Biltmore, the Vanderbilt Estate. Biltmore is the largest private home in the U.S. The house was completed in 1895 with grounds and gardens laid out by Frederick Law Olmsted, the designer of New York's Central Park and Brooklyn's Prospect Park. It is impossible to see all the grounds and the house in one day so we built in a day and a half. Today we started with something important... the Biltmore Winery. We went through the fermentation rooms and the cellars and made our way to the wine tasting room. Susie is not a wine drinker but was willing to try. I didn't think she would like the dry white wines, but the sweeter white wines did not please her either. She tasted one red and gave up. After the tasting room came the wine shop where I left a few dollars. While we were in the Winery, the skies opened up and apparently we missed a strong thunderstorm (there were indications of a power failure in the campground when we got back). We decided that in view of the soggy weather and the fact that the Biltmore House would close in a hour and a half, we would leave the rest of the estate until tomorrow when the weather is supposed to be better.

Biltmore Winery tower

The Biltmore Winery tower. According to the guides, it is the most photographed structure on the estate. The guide also told us that we could take pictures of anything in the Winery. I responded I don't photograph wine, I drink it!

Wine cellars

Wine Cellar

Wine Library

The Winery has been collecting bottles of wines in the Wine Library. Susie is going to suggest adding this as a type of special library to her foundation class. She is not sure how wines would be cataloged.

Previous Day Next Day