the creep factor at the fields of the wood bible park was akin to that of the center of the world, but fuelled with the fire and brimstone of religious fervour. the ten commandments are emblazoned across a steep slope, atop which sits the world's largest testament. the park also includes a replica of jesus' tomb, a stairway lined with psalms dedicated by state factions of the church of god, and a worship pavilion heaped with broken pews and other religious ephemera. and like the center of the world, it was completely deserted save for a lone watchman at the top of the mount. we didn't stick around to find out whether the faithless would be smote down by a cranky god or his fanatic followers.
we had no particular reason for staying in asheville except for it being conveniently located between bonnaroo and charleston, but it was such a rad little town i wish we'd spent more than one night. equal parts austin, portland, and southern comfort, asheville is a fun mix of quaint, cool, and confederate with no visible downsides. we spent a while exploring malaprops books, ate a sustainable lunch at early girl, drank some local brews, and enjoyed wandering the streets lined with independent businesses and crazy antique shoppes. eventually i'll find an excuse to return.
the old south is all kinds of lovely, even in disrepair. as you walk south through the historic district, the houses become so absurdly beautiful it seems ridiculous that people actually live in them (though an uncomfortable number are listed by sotheby's, as even the south's oldest money suffered from the economic downturn). we visited the nathaniel russell and aiken-rhett houses, both of which preserve their regency/federal décor, from cantilevered staircases to slave quarters. we also backtracked out of town a ways to check out the boone plantation, the oldest american plantation still in operation. much of the slave architecture remains, and a local gullah (derived from angola) woman gave a rather moving performance detailing slave history and culture in the lowlands. by this time i've given up on burritos and given in to doom's desire for southern bbq; i eat grits for the first (and last) time.