Blue Ridge Outing with the Car Club, and Another Idea

Last weekend, our British car club had an outing planned.  There weren’t any reports of the virus being in our area yet, so we went ahead with it.  We practiced our new social distance, and I was using a Asian style bow for a greeting.  I find that keeping my hands together reminds me not to hug my friends like I usually do.  It is reminiscent of an old habit from the surgical suite of keeping your hands clasped together while waiting for something to be done so you didn’t break your sterile field.  For this drive, since we’d mostly be on the roads in our cars, it seemed like an OK activity.  So, we gathered at a local store parking lot, and had some chat time before the drive.

Blue Ridge Drive at

This time, My Sweet Babboo wanted to drive his Fiat.   Can you see his fuzzy dice in Italian flag colors hanging from the mirror?  He loves those things.

Blue Ridge Drive at

Our drive leader has this red Lotus Exige, and he brought some friends from Hickory who own the silver Lotus Evora.

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Out of the parking area, we headed up Leicester Hwy going north from Asheville.

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Rural roads often have farmers in tractors on the road.

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The mountains have yet to begin greening up, but the scenery was nice anyway.

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Old barns are a frequent sight.

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These pastoral scenes are all over the western mountain area.  Those little white dots on the hillside on the right side of the photo are sheep.

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Driving a nice rural route took us around valleys, and up mountains with twisty roads that the guys like.

Blue Ridge Drive at

Flowers were often seen, like these blooming golden forsythias, next to a old low barn.  It was hard to get a lot of photos of those, as they would come into view around a curve and be behind us before the camera could focus.

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Our first stop of the day, a rural general store with a small cafe outside of Hot Springs, NC.

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After a bit of chat time and a pit stop for most of us, we set out again.

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A tributary to the French Broad river was on the left, and interesting rock formations on the right.

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Going through a small town near Marshall, a weeping cherry was in bloom.

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A pretty stream runs past an old stable.

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Later on, the route took us past the French Broad river.

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Once again, interesting rock formations on the side of the mountain next to the road.

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The end of the run was at a restaurant.  Since there were no cases of the virus in our area yet, we felt like it was safe to eat and we had a lovely lunch with friends before heading home.  It was a bit funny, as we drove an Italian car with the British Car Club to have lunch at a Mexican restaurant.  It was an international day.  But it was probably the last time we’ll do a club activity for some time.

I am really concerned about all the small businesses that are suffering right now, particularly restaurants.  Yesterday, our governor ordered all dine-in seating areas closed in all restaurants, going to take out only.  This mandate in other states dropped restaurant meal purchases by over 90%, which will put the small family run places out of business in a matter of a few weeks.  I had an idea of one thing I can do to support my favorite places while this is going on.  I’m going to invite my gal pals for a virtual lunch.  Each of us will get take out from our favorite place, supporting our local restaurants, and eat at home while we chat on the phone using the speaker or a video call app.  Yes, I’ll be getting my lunch from my favorite locally family owned spot, Champa, a Japanese and Thai place with fabulous sushi in downtown Hendersonville.   My first lunch is planned for tomorrow, so will see how it goes. We have to continue to support these small businesses as we can, and since I am used to eating out at least a few times a month, I’m going to continue doing that with take out.  The fun part of this is we can do it with friends who live far away too, like my dear pal in Idaho, or a long time friend who moved to Wilmington.  Please share this idea, #virtuallunch everywhere you can.  Click on the Meme to Pin me!

I’m also going to make an effort to shop my local quilt store by phone too.  I’ll bet if I call them to order, then I can pick it up without spending a lot of time in the store.  They are at high risk for financial problems with the loss of customers in the stores, and I am concerned for them.  Of course, I’ll be washing my hands after touching store and post office doorknobs, but I also realized something else just this week.  After going to the PO, I had to open the door to the lobby area, and by the time I was back in the car, I had touched the outside car door handle, the inside door handle and the steering wheel before I picked up the hand wipes.  So, now I’ll be wiping down my car door handles and steering wheel when I’ve been shopping, or picking up packages at the post office.  I’m not concerned about the packages themselves, the virus can only live about 4 hours on porous surfaces like paper, cardboard and fabric.  So even if someone at the PO had it, by the time the mail sits overnight in a locker waiting for me to pick it up, it should be fine.

Are you doing any fun things now, either outside or at home?  Who can you have a Virtual Lunch Date with?

20 thoughts on “Blue Ridge Outing with the Car Club, and Another Idea

  1. Rita C.

    Enjoyed the scenery on your road trip, Carole. The idea of a virtual lunch is a good one. I put hand sanitizer at our front door and in my purse last week, and am acutely aware of the things you noted before we ever get to the sanitizers. I planned out my meals yesterday and made a list of things we’ll likely need soon (and trying to think of alternative, smaller places to shop vs Walmart, which was pictured incredibly crowded on the parking lot yesterday. WV now has its firmed confirmed case (but who’s kidding who?, we knew it was and is here all along). Our state has now officially closed bars, restaurants and casinos too. Take care, give care.

    1. Connie

      I loved the drive through of your countryside on such a beautiful day. My husband has a mustang and after reading your article I told him that we should join a group and go on some adventures. It may take me awhile to convince him to do this. 😉 thanks so much for brightening our day.

  2. KJ

    Thank you for the road trip photos. I miss those. Our local British car club doesn’t seem to do many. Our club holds the first car show of the season in mid-April. No mention of a possible cancellation but, with all gatherings of over 50 people banned here in BC, and 76 cars registered for the show, it is likely to be canceled. I guess the committee is just waiting as long as they can as they, and everyone else, hopes the virus danger is over by then.
    We are timing our grocery shopping for quiet times in the stores. Too bad the tinned goods, rice and pasta have not been restocked yet. Yes, we are getting take-out from a couple of fairly new restaurants still. We have even eaten in one a couple times as they are slow anyway, being quite new.
    Good heath to you.


    The car road trip pictures are pretty. Just yesterday I realized as you have, many areas are touched and need to be cleaning that we forget.

  4. Toby Thompson

    Thank you for your lovely photos. You live in a beautiful area that I’m supposed to be visiting in a rendezvous vacation with my grandchildren, son & daughter-in-law this July. I’m praying the worst of this will be over by then and we can get together. Meanwhile, my backyard bird feeder in Ohio is the extent of my entertainment since the activities I like to do the most (attend concerts, quilt guild meetings & quilting workshops) have all been cancelled.

  5. Nancy Roberts

    Ah… forsythia and flowering trees- can Spring be far off? What a lovely drive. I like your idea of clasping hands to keep oneself mindful to not reach or touch. You are so right about the steering wheel and door handles- a good reminder. I’m sewing more and staying close to home.

  6. Mary Stori

    It’s great you got your drive in….all of our Porsche events have been cancelled….they tried so hard to find ways to make them work but as each passing day brings new information about how the virus spreads, it was decided to hold off for the time being. We’ve taken the route you described many times…..several of our favorite restaurants are in Marshall. One final thought…..such a good idea to help support our locally owned businesses. Unfortunately we live too far from any that will deliver, but may be able to go fetch carry out. Artists like myself who depend upon gallery foot traffic have now been realizing zero sales, just another unexpected result of this life altering event. Fortunately we don’t have a young family to support, so we can ride this out…..terribly worried for others of course.

  7. kathyinozarks

    I enjoyed all of the photos-sounds like a very fun day-and good for everyone’s mental being.
    your idea of the virtual lunch is a good idea-I will post that on fb. we don’t eat out anymore-we both have dietary restrictions I can cook-bake healthier at home for us.
    The President has spoken of helping the small business’s don’t know how yet

  8. I always enjoy your car club outings Carole, and at least you can still go for a lovely drive these days! The virtual lunch is a great idea!

  9. Wink! Wink From Idaho!! Your day looks as lovely as our last Sunday. Hubs and I took a country drive to a rural vineyard. It was so nice to get out. Jackson and I continue our daily walks….as I await news about school/work. Your virtual lunches are such a creative idea! Now that I have some extra time on my hands…maybe I’ll figure out all the # stuff. LOVE!! Sending smiles and hugs……:)V

  10. Mary Ed Williams

    Love the road trip pictures! Where in Idaho does your friend live? My sister and her husband live in Idaho Falls. They used to do sports car rallys in Richmond. I visited them in 2017 when the eclipse went right over their house. Before that event, my sister took me to a really neat quilt show – 5 towns along the northern border of Wyoming put on a show together. One town had a population of 89, the largest town was 1165 people. There are more than that in the development where I live!
    Thanks for the ideas and thoughts.We will get through this.
    The Lake Junaluska retreat I told you about was cancelled. Maybe rescheduled for August.

  11. Joan Sheppard

    Great tips from you as always. Love the Tractor Meets Mini’s! Looks like the best ever trip! As a “Flatlander” I might just be tempted to make that route. So pretty. Virtual lunch sounds like a great plan – everyone gets to eat what they want. Grocers pretty well stocked today except for T. P. and eggs. Population 33,000 in our town and I think every one of us was out walking, biking, running, playing yesterday. Saw people I haven’t seen for a long time. There is an upside to this – everyone out and about with their kids, the dogs, Grannie…..
    Thanks again for a wonderful Virtual Photo Trip through the mountains.

  12. Sherrill

    What a great bunch of cute cars! Wonder if you could say approx. what the route was that you took. I’d love to drive that this fall. Thanks!

  13. Brenda Ackerman

    Hello Carole, I enjoyed your car club outing photos. It is always amazing to me how up until a certain age and that is different for everyone, that we miss the absolute beauty of the world around us. That is one of the many things I miss about my Dad, he loved to just on a whim, gather everyone up and say We are going for a ride! So, I do always enjoy the pictures and stories of the trips you take. Your idea of encouraging everyone to support our local restaurants is a great idea. I will have to find out if any of the restaurants will deliver this far out. Thank you for sharing and have a fabulous day!

  14. Mary

    What a lovely trip you had with car mates. Very lucky, because it will possibly be the last for the time being I guess.
    I’m embarrassed to say that our borders are still open and very few visitors are self isolating. Horrors!! And the infected numbers rise. Don’t think travelling anywhere would be enjoyable with this threat of infection.
    Love your idea of a virtual lunch with friends – hope you all have a wonderful time and eat yummy food.
    I’m heading for the safety of my sewing room!! :))
    Stay safe!

  15. Thank you for taking us along on your car trip, truly an International outing, as you said. Many outings are now not happening down here in New Zealand too, including our regular caravan club rallies. Luckily as stitchers, we have plenty to keep us occupied at home.

  16. Taking a drive seems like a safe activity, so long as you stay in your own car. I am used to wiping down my car on the inside, but this week I did also wipe off the outside door handles too.

    We are taking a walk each day to get out of the house, and trying to figure out a reasonable schedule. Some days we do take a drive too. I am concerned for small businesses too. I saw that Hero Arts (a very large stamping co.) had to close because SF shut down. It is a good time to make a small crafty purchase if you can afford it.

    Stay well!

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