Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links to support this blog, my special-needs dog, and my traveling habit. All opinions are my own.
Family lore states upon my first visit to Busch Gardens when I was four or five, I picked up a statue of a gnome with intention of taking it back to New York. (I didn’t, I’m sure my mom made me put it back.)
Camping in Hendersonville, N.C.
One of the reasons I chose NERO Coffee + Camp in Hendersonville, N.C. is because it’s close to DuPont State Recreational Forest, home of blue ghost fireflies. Legend has it these lightning bugs represent spirits of fallen Confederate soldiers, which doesn’t make sense because Union soldiers wore blue.
I also chose it because the owner has an intriguing story, she owns a coffee company! Upon receiving instructions to the camp, I was even more thrilled to see mention of a gnome at the entrance gate!
Our stay was brief, shorter than the first night. Upon arrival, my traveling companion, Janet, and I put up the tent but unfortunately, didn’t secure the rain fly portion very well. We explored some of Pisgah National Forest, drove a bit of the Blue Ridge Parkway, then hiked some of DuPont Forest at sunset and into dusk. Although we saw some regular fireflies, we didn’t see the blue ghosts – I don’t think we stayed long enough for them to come out. Plus, it began to rain, and it had been a long day in the car.
Listening to the Rhythm of the Falling Rain
It was about 10 p.m. when we returned to the dark and rainy camp. Near our firepit, there was a sweet glowing gnome. Our host kept the light on for us.
Janet slept in the tent and my dog and I slept in the car. For hours, I heard rain pelting the car and rushing water from the creek next to the tent. Every so often, I picked out from behind the curtains in my car to ensure the tent was still there.
Thankfully, the rain stopped sometime in the early morning hours but all the camping gear – inside and out – was wet.
We found civilization in the welcome shed on site. It has warm, bright lights hanging from the ceiling and sweet notes from the host. Rather than a guestbook, there’s a whiteboard to sign. I’m not a coffee drinker but there was plenty of it in here, including the host’s blend.
While out in about on the property, I spotted more gnomes. I also saw a valley to chill out on hammocks and a trail through the woods. It was a quiet stay in the mountains and wish we could’ve stayed longer but it was off to the next adventure.
Book with HipCamp
Note: It’s primitive camping here with a porta-potty and hose for water. The road up to the site is steep but my 2014 GMC Terrain made the trek.
New to HipCamp (www.hipcamp.com)? Think of it as the Airbnb version of camping and glamping. Sure, you can book a stay in a campground but you can also book a stay in a camper, in an orange grove, or at a drive-in movie theatre.
Book through my HipCamp link to save $10 on your first booking.
The night before, we stayed at Rosewood Rendezvous Tiny Cabin in Winnsboro, N.C.
The next night’s stay was in Tiger, Ga. at the Tiger Drive-In Theatre.