Stormy and rainy all the way, so that I can barely see the tops of the Great Smoky Mountains. They are beautiful, of course, but being from Colorado, they are more hill-sized to me. I stop at the NC welcome center so I can pick up every tourist brochure known to man and as I am coming out, it clears long enough for a lovely rainbow to appear. Good juju. We stop in Asheville for a stroll around the historic downtown and it’s just as charming as I’ve read. I am thrilled to be in a place I first read about seven years ago and always wanted to see. It reminds me a kot of Ashland, OR with the town tucked into the mountains, an upscale main-street, and a liberal, college-town vibe. Tonight’s stop in Durham will be the last for our little caravan, as my b/f and my little dog head north for wintery New England.