October 21, 2010
All guests at the Biltmore Inn get a dashboard pass that lets them freely roam the grounds of the Estate all hours of the day or night. We are pretty sure that no one in our group took as full advantage of this benefit as we did. We were up at 6 a.m. this morning to get pictures of the Biltmore at sunrise, and to set up a souvenir shot of ourselves in front of the mansion before it was overrun with tourists and staff members enforcing no parking rules in the plaza. We hadn’t realized that the grounds would be swarming with workers at that hour—busily blowing leaves, fertilizing the lawn, trimming branches, and making sure that all was in immaculate condition for their off-estate guests’ arrival when the gates opened at 9 a.m.
Following are a few of our favorite early morning photos. Dick took the foggy mountain shot from the rear terrace of the Biltmore.
We returned to the Inn for breakfast with friends, then headed north, while our friends headed south to Savannah. The mountainsides were awash in the brilliant colors of changing leaves brightly illuminated by an unclouded sun. We were intent on getting in some serious mileage, so we stuck to the highway, and didn’t lollygag taking pictures on the backroads, as is our usual habit. We did make a quick stop at the New River Gorge to stretch our legs—that’s where we took this picture.
We made it to Bridgeport, West Virginia, where our Super 8 accommodations were a precipitous come-down from the Biltmore (albeit at a decimal difference price point). After our early rising and a long day of driving, we were almost too tired to care.