Bristol, TN – Steele Creek Park

Today we wanted to get some steps in, but had to do it quickly. We headed over to Steele Creek Park. Most of the time, we park at Rooster Front and walk over. Today we parked in the Mill Creek parking area.

After leaving the parking area, you will come to a fork. Going left will take you towards Rooster Front, but like I said, we needed a quick walk today. We took the fork to the right. This is a short, / paved / nice little walk. Maybe 1 mile round trip from the parking area. Going this way your walk is along the creek that runs in the other direction into the lake at Steele Creek. You’ll see ducks enjoying the water. There is a bridge that will take you over into Steele Creek park if you’d like. Across the creek is a small picnic area. Usually when people are using the covered picnic area at the creek, there are kids playing in the creek. This is the perfect spot for kids to play in the creek. We just enjoyed walking along the creek until we got to the end at Steele Creek Park Rd.

Here are a few photos from today. The twins were up later in the day for just a little bit. Included one photo of Sawyer. Not sure why I didn’t get any photos of Eli.

Directions to Steele Creek Mill Creek Parking: You can use the Steele Creek Park address of 4 Little Ln, Bristol, TN for your GPS. If you’re coming off of Hwy 126 onto Broad St., pass the entrance to the park. You will pretty quickly afterwards see the parking area on your right.


Sign at Mill Creek Parking trailhead


We’ve just taken the right fork and you have the creek on your left


Nice shot of a couple of ducks


Here’s where the bridge crosses the creek over into Steele Creek Park


Looking back towards another bridge that takes you into Steele Creek Park


Another shot of bridge into Steele Creek Park


Enjoying walk along the creek

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Arriving at the end of the trail at Steele Creek Park Road


Sawyer with his tool box. There’s always something broken at Nana and Pop’s.


Asheville, NC – Biltmore Estate

We went back to Biltmore today. We went towards the end of December, but I didn’t post anything from that visit. For the prior visit, we went to do the house tour. Had no idea that you could take cameras in the house. All I had was my cell phone. I don’t normally post photos on here from my cell phone. It was on a weekend day too, and you had to reserve a time to start your tour. So, you can imagine that there were ALOT of people going through the house.

Today we went back to go through the house. It was on a Monday, so we thought that maybe there wouldn’t be as many people. We were right. Alot of the Christmas decorations were taken down by now. We ended up only doing the main floor and upper floors. We bypassed the lower floor where the kitchen, pool, etc. are at.

Before going through the house though, we decided to take a little walk on a trail that we’ve never walked on before. We headed across the road beside of the conservatory. We walked down into the azalea garden. When we came to the first intersection, we took a hard left and headed for the Spring Garden. We knew nothing would be blooming. Just wanted to check it out and get in a few steps. We walked around the Spring Garden which is just a 1/4 mile loop.

After we enjoyed the house, we walked out onto South Terrace and then headed to the conservatory to check out what was blooming in there. It seems that if you go to the conservatory 2 weeks in a row, that there are slight changes from one visit to the next.

Here are several photos from today.

Address: 1 Lodge St, Asheville, NC


Even though it’s winter, this green section of the Spring Garden is nice


This would be the short way to the house. To get more steps in, we back-tracked to the azalea garden.


Heading back up the stairs at the azalea garden entrance. Just imagine how pretty this section will be in the Spring.


As you walk into the house, the first thing that you notice is the winter garden


They have some amazing ceilings in the house


Pipe organ in the banquet hall


Breakfast room


View from the Loggia


Partial shot from their very impressive library


I call this a teaser, in preparation for their “Designed for Drama: Fashion from the Classics”. This runs until 7/4/17.


Partial shot of Louis 15th Room


South Terrace and it’s view


Heading through the walled garden to the conservatory. Doing some prep work in preparation for the Spring blooms. 


Enjoy the rest of these photos from the conservatory

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Asheville, NC – North Carolina Arboretum

This was our monthly visit to the arboretum. For many other months / to see what’s blooming each month, search internet by “ranger annette north carolina arboretum”.

Didn’t really see much of anything blooming today. Well no wonder, it’s January. An unusually warm January though. We were out walking around in t-shirts and no jackets today.

We walked 3 different trails today. We started out behind the education center on Running Cedar Road. It’s 1/2 mile long. It was an easy walk down to Bent Creek Road. Bent Creek Road is the main trail that runs through the arboretum trail system. We turned left and took an easy walk about 1/2 mile to where you split off either to the right onto Old Mill Trail, or off to the left onto Wesley Branch Trail. We took a left onto Wesley Branch. It’s only 4/10 of a mile, and moderate. It brings you to Natural Garden Trail. We took a right and walked about 1/10 of a mile back up to the exhibit center.

Here is an arboretum trail map.

This was really our first walk since around Christmas, so along with our trail photos from today, also posting a few pictures of the holiday festivities.

Address: 100 Frederick Law Olmsted Way, Asheville, NC


Was walking through the gardens beside of the education center and ran across this concrete cat. As many times as we’ve been through these gardens, have never seen this before. 


Nice slight view of some hills in the background as we are getting ready to step out of the gardens and head out on Running Cedar Road


After we turned left out of gardens, took off on Running Cedar Road. The trails at the arboretum are very well signed. 


The long final stretch on Running Cedar Road that takes you down to Bent Creek Road


We have arrived at Bent Creek Road. As usual, well signed. You can turn right and head towards Lake Powhatan, take the little trail straight ahead and walk along the creek. We took a left. 


Bent Creek Road is so easy and level. Great trail for bicycles too. 


Taking a little detour off to the right to spend some time along the creek


That little detour takes you to where you are across the creek from the azalea gardens


Time to turn left and head up Wesley Branch and back to the education center


Walking through rhododendron thicket


As we were walking Wesley Branch, out in the woods saw a tree with something colorful. Zoomed in and discovered this. Not sure what that is all about.


Ending our approximate 1.5 mile walk at the education center


We took a walk through the tiny greenhouse at the education center. Bonsai safe in the greenhouse for the winter season.


Now to our Christmas photos. Eli beside of our tree right before Christmas.


Sawyer getting ready to climb up on the bed for a little rough housing


Mom, Steve, and myself on Christmas Eve


Mom, Andy, and Teresa on Christmas Eve


The twins, daddy and mommy at my mom’s on Christmas evening


There must be something really interesting on TV for them to stop opening their presents


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