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Old Gold & Black

Old Gold & Black

Bursting the Bubble

Fall+weather+can+be+unpredictable+in+the+mountains%2C+but+the+cloud+cover+creates+dynamic+shadows+and+shade+that+keeps+hiking+relatively+cool.+
Fall weather can be unpredictable in the mountains, but the cloud cover creates dynamic shadows and shade that keeps hiking relatively cool.

THIRSTY MONKS AND FOGGY MEMORIES—

Writers Addie Lawrence and Elaine Best have set out to explore the world outside of the bubble, hoping to find gems and adventures in the supposedly miserable Spartanburg. They hope to be the renegades of a new movement, that students will pop this bubble and explore what Spartanburg and the areas surrounding Wofford have to offer. In this Issue, they journey outside of Spartanburg and into North Carolina for the changing leaves.

The Thirsty Monk

Where: 92 Patton Ave., Asheville, NC

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Price: $3 tacos, $5 brats, $7 sandwiches (all three come with chips or slaw included in the price) and $6-$9 shared plates. Drink prices vary, though this pub offers different specials daily. Pint Nights are on Wednesday with a “Buy the beer…keep the glass” deal.

Hours: Mon – Thurs: 4:00 p.m. – Midnight; Fri and Sat: Noon – 2:00 a.m.; Sun: Noon – 10:00 p.m.

What it is: Voted second of the Great American Beer Bars in the South and first Most Unusual Beer Selection in 2013, the Thirsty Monk provides a wide selection of brews and grub to visitors in the Asheville area. The Thirsty Monk has two sections: one upstairs, and one downstairs where you will find a Belgian bar.

Our thoughts:

E: So we saw this place coming into Asheville, and I must say, it was love at first sight. We wandered around the city before deciding to eat here. I think we knew it was official when we saw they sold $5 pints of bacon.

A: The bar has a serve-yourself water station with an assortment of random cups and a bike hanging from the ceiling for some reason. Despite the large sign that said “Order at the Bar,” we waited for an uncomfortably long time to be served. We decided to test our morals and our taste buds by ordering pepper jack brats with Lusty Monk mustard.

E: Things continued to get weird as the meal progressed. We saw many interesting characters walk past the pub including people wearing cat ears and others choosing to walk around barefoot. The most interesting person, however, was the man dressed as a nun who walked briskly into the pub. We think he was part of a comedy horror tour they have in Asheville. We think. The Thirsty Monk also has a basement that contains a Belgian bar. I was told there were no waffles, so do not get your hopes up for a Belgian waffle bar.

Ratings:

E: I give the Thirsty Monk five Hail Mary’s for a genuinely fun atmosphere, good food and for random male nuns. Also, Lusty Monk mustard gets its own section in the holy book of condiments.

A: The Thirsty Monk gets a heartfelt toast for serving chocolate beer. Those of weak conviction, venture not.

Mount Mitchell State Park

Where: 2388 State Highway 128, Burnsville, NC 28714

Price: Free

Hours: October: 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Nov. – Feb.: 8 a.m. – 6 p.m.

What it is: A state park full of hiking trails ranging in length and difficulty. An easily accessible overlook at the top of Mt. Mitchell provides a view of the mountain ranges in the neighboring states.

Our thoughts:

E: We had our friend drive her mega-car up this mountain. If Addie had driven, we might not be writing this article today.

A: To be fair, our driver almost careened off the mountain due to fog and photo ops. We took the Blue Ridge Parkway, which is a beautiful road with mountain tunnels and arches of overlapping trees. There are plenty of overlooks to take pictures of the changing leaves and to pose for that Facebook profile pic that you’ve secretly been planning for weeks.

E: Interestingly enough, overlooks aren’t as impressive when you’re surrounded by fog. The white abyss was slightly terrifying but the lack of oxygen was kind of fun in that “woah I’m not breathing normally” kind of way.

A: We picked a trail to hike at random, and the damp earth and vivid green mosses growing on rocks made us feel like we were walking through a Tolkien novel. We hiked to a spring protected by a mere wooden fence. Faced with the temptation of untouched water, we hopped the fence, cupped our hands and drank it to celebrate our hike. We’ll probably get Ebola, but that’s a problem for “future us.”

E: You know, if a “future us” exists. I made Addie go first because I was afraid of getting bit by some poisonous snake. Some people may view me as a horrible friend but I see it as a survival situation. The water was surprisingly refreshing. We did a lot of other nature things as well, such as yawping (some weird English major thing Addie made us do, though it was fun). And then we saw a black bear on the road as we drove back to Wofford.

A: It’s Emersonian! “I too am not a bit tamed, I too am untranslatable, / I sound my barbaric yawp over the roofs of the world.”

E: I rest my case.

Ratings:

A: Mt. Mitchell gets a healthy 85% with points subtracted for the fog. This rating is insured for – 50% in case we all die from mountain water diseases.

E: I give it four out of five bear paws for supplying wild adventures and random rocks to climb on. Bonus paws for no poisonous snakes.

Moral of the story:

E: Drink random things you find on the ground. It’s not a journey until you hop a fence. Black bears are cute from a distance when you’re in a car. Pubs can be a religious experience.

A: Become one with nature by screaming as loudly as possible. It’s good for the soul.

If you look closely, you can see a male nun standing outside of the bar, The Thirsty Monk.
If you look closely, you can see a male nun standing outside of the bar, The Thirsty Monk.

— Elaine Best and Addie Lawrence

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