Berkeley, CA

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Our first stop on this mini-vacation was Berkeley, CA.  The city of Berkeley sits on the east shore of the San Francisco Bay.  Berkeley is home to the oldest campus in the University of California system, the University of California, Berkeley, which was founded in 1868.

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Missoula, MT

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While visiting Missoula we parked at the Turah RV Park about 8 miles east of town.

Missoula, MT

Missoula is sometimes referred to as the “hub of five valleys” since it sits at the convergence of five mountain ranges.  The Lewis and Clark Expedition brought the first US citizens to this area, stopping near here twice.  After Billings, Missoula is both the second largest city and metropolitan area in Montana.  In addition, it is home to the University of Montana.

We enjoyed exploring the town, both the historical section as well as the parks and walking/biking paths along the Clark Fork River.  Our schedule coincided with their monthly “Out to Lunch” event which included live music and numerous food trucks.

Next stop:  Helena, MT

Asheville, NC

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Continuing our visit to the Blue Ridge Mountains we stopped in Asheville, NC, for 5 nights at the Bear Creek RV Park.  This time we did not travel on the Blue Ridge Parkway since there is a very steep ascent and descent just before reaching Asheville so we didn’t want to put this stress on our vehicle.

Biltmore Estate

I suppose a visit to Asheville wouldn’t be complete without going to see the Biltmore Estate.  This very large estate with a massive house, extensive gardens, parklands and a winery, was built by George Vanderbilt.  The Biltmore House was opened in 1895 after six years of construction.  It was during this same time that Cornelius Vanderbilt completed the family’s beach house in Newport, RI, which is know as “The Breakers”.  We toured that house back in August.  We particularly enjoyed the Biltmore gardens and the Conservatory with its extensive selection of orchids.  After we visited the winery and tasted some of the Biltmore wines we encountered a special event where they were presenting a variety of artisan foods to sample. Continue reading