Inger and Jeff Latreille
A Creamery & a Brewery
~Saturday, May 1, 2021~
What an amazing day. The weather couldn’t have been more stunning...clear blue skies, and temps in the low 70’s.
A little interesting start to my morning though. I woke up to no power and what I thought was also no propane. The blue indicator lights on the fridge were off which usually tells us we’re out of propane. I checked the fridge...still cold. Good. But what about my morning coffee? How am I to heat my water? As panic set in, I was about to do things the old fashion way and boil water on a campfire. But then I thought, let me just try the stove and see what happens. We have flame! But will it last? Maybe it’s just what’s in the line and then it will peter out. Yes! It seems to be working normally, thank goodness, or Jeff would not have had a good start to his day, with a grouchy wife. So what happened you ask? When we are dry camping like now, the fridge runs on propane…..sips it basically. Uses very little. But, it also needs a little power from the battery to stay cold. The propane level was fine. It was the power that was depleted. At this campsite, the most amount of amps we’re pulling is about 4. There just isn’t enough sunlight during the day on the solar panels to fully charge the battery. At a bright sunny spot, we’d be pulling in about 13 amps and be at 100% power in no time. But here, the most we’ll get to by the end of the day is 78-80%. While I was doing my writing last night, I was also watching an old movie on our TV which uses a lot of power. Since we’ve had hookups so much lately, I forgot about this. Had I remembered, I would have turned it off to save power. Once the battery is depleted, you need the generator to jump start it again, to kick in the solar. A bonus to owning lithium batteries is that you can use them up completely without ruining the batteries. With standard batteries (like the ones that come with the rig), you can only go down to 50%. Though they’re a lot more expensive, lithium is truly the way to go.
After our little hiccup this morning, we prepped for our day to be out and about. First stop...picking up our We Boost that we had ordered from Best Buy. Really looking forward to not having to struggle so much with our reception in remote places. Stay tuned for video footage of our installation on that puppy.
Next, a propane fill. There weren’t too many options, so we ended up driving an extra 10 miles from where we were to fill up. And at $3.50/gallon, it was quite expensive….about the highest we’ve paid.
Now for some fun stuff. Today’s first stop….Looking Glass Creamery, a local shop on the outskirts of Asheville in a town called Fairview.
The shop is located off the beaten path to a more beautiful, secluded neighborhood, up in the hills. The views were breathtaking. Low and behold, we were at someone’s home that had been converted into a commercial creamery. Parking was a bit challenging with our Hank the tank, but thankfully with someone leaving, we were able to squeeze in. Due to COVID, they were allowing only 1 group in at a time in the shop with its small size. We were greeted by manager Ona, who led us through the different cheese selections. We ordered one sample platter and a bottle of Rhone style wine to enjoy with it. It was the perfect
Saturday to just be on their lovely rustic patio with the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains as a backdrop, while eating some of the best cheese we’d ever had. 🧀🍷The wine which was 60% Grenache and 40% Syrah, was a great pairing as well! Their farm is in Columbus, NC, where they encourage visitors to peek at their production facility where the cheese is made and aged. Hopefully one day we can check that out. We couldn’t leave without making a little purchase of our favorite cheese and the wine we had. The wine is only sold to a select few retailers, so we opted to buy it there. Regretfully, we should have also purchased the rosemary/pear jam too. Next time. What a fantastic stop!
After being at the creamery for quite a while, thanks to the perfect setting, we didn’t have time to see the Arboretum today, so we thought we’d check out downtown Brevard on the way back to our campsite. But, something along the way, prevented that one. Only minutes from the creamery, still in Fairview, we passed a “happening” piece of property with a hubbub of activity. The sign read Targua Brewing. It didn’t take long for us to decide to turn around and investigate. What nearly became a missed opportunity, turned into one of the best days of our entire trip. We were completely immersed into the life of a local, welcomed and entertained beyond our dreams. North Carolinians are such down to earth, welcoming, nice people. Dog and beer lovers were everywhere on the HUGE property. Sadie was the complete center of attention down at the river, swimming with the kids and chasing any stick that would be thrown her way.
But what was truly special, was the down home Bluegrass music being played by locals that day. With their fiddles and guitars in tow, these local musicians set up their canopies, and hunker down for some good ol’ Bluegrass playing. There must have been 10 different groups just enjoying a Saturday afternoon and jamming together. They’d get up, go get a beer, then come right back into the group and resume their playing. It kind of reminded us a little of our Ireland trip, where we stumbled on a pub in Doolin where locals come together on Thursday nights to jam on their fiddles and lend their voices. Pretty awesome to be hanging out with such great talent. Asheville is home to some of the greatest fiddle and guitar players around. An added bonus was meeting a few of the musicians, fiddle player Mark and his dog Guinness and all-things John and his dog. John plays 4 different string instruments and sings, but what impressed us was his talent in building his own dulcimers, mainly for children. He finds thick cardboard, adds alder wood for the fret area, and paints it. He brought one out for us to see, so of course I couldn’t help but ask him to give us a sample playing.
It was awesome, and what a great sound. After quite a lengthy talk with him, we exchanged information. He is very interested in RV travel as well. So we hope to meet up with him again one day. Check out his video on recycling instruments with cardboard and tin cans at:
We also met a couple from Boston and their cool retriever named Boeing, named after her husband’s fascination with planes. Her parents are from the Asheville area. Her husband grew up in Vermont, so we really hit it off talking about everything from dogs to travel. They’re also renovating an 1890’s 2-story bungalow in Boston and from the looks of it, are doing a terrific job with the project. They are also expecting a new baby in November. How exciting!
A day of wine and beer indulgence and Sadie frolic makes for one tired group. We didn’t quite make it to Brevard, so will have to shoot for that tomorrow. A simple dinner and a campfire was the perfect ending to a perfect day.