July 4th we got up at 5:30 in the AM and made the drive to walk some of the trails at the Biltmore. It was so worth the early rise time! We took our lunch and just had fun hanging out with each other and taking pictures. We saw some views of the backside of the house that I'd never seen before and just getting out in nature for a bit was really refreshing. We also got ushered out of the woods by a stranger and his dog who'd just seen a black bear. Apparently they're so used to people in Asheville that a lot of times they don't even run away.
I'm always so amazed at the vision that it took to build the house and grounds at the Biltmore. When you walk around the grounds now, you see them in their fullness of growth but when George Vanderbilt and Frederick Law Olmsted were planning them they didn't get to see their vision in full maturity. As someone with a designing heart, I hate the thought of maybe not getting to see the full vision of something I create, but having so much vision to build something that future generations can enjoy is really inspiring and motivating to me.