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Manufacturers of European-inspired down pillows, comforters and featherbeds. Fine bed, bath and table linens from France, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium and beyond. Located in the High Country.

Our 34 th Year

© 2017 DEWOOLFSON Down Int’l., Inc. Photos courtesy of Matouk, SFERRA and LuLu DK for Matouk


natural. comfortable. home. 9452 NC Hwy. 105 S between Boone & Banner Elk

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Local Builder

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Tom Eggers Construction, LLC Builder of your choice

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Photos Š Todd Bush

Photo by Todd Bush


There are lots of places you can go in the Blue Ridge Mountains to lift your soul. But few destinations match The Village of Sugar Mountain’s spirit of the outdoors and central location to all that is good in the North Carolina High Country. Home to the South’s pre-eminent winter ski resort, Sugar Mountain glides seamlessly into Spring, Summer, and Fall. Regardless the season, visitors and residents return each year to share a lifestyle they proudly call their own. The municipally-owned golf and tennis complexes belong to everyone, and lend a feeling of belonging that you won’t find just anywhere. The par-64 golf course delivers all the challenge and excitement you expect from a mountain layout, and features magnificently maintained putting surfaces that are the talk of the High Country. Weekly ‘friendlies’ for men, women, and couples are open to everyone who wants to play. Walking is encouraged and every effort is made for boys and girls to experience the game of golf in a nurturing environment. Sugar Mountain’s six Har-Tru clay tennis courts deliver what

every tennis player loves, low impact surfaces which are dutifully groomed morning and night. The racquet community here is close-knit, but always open to newcomers and travelers. RoundRobin events get everyone involved, too. And best of all, both sports provide quality playing fields at affordable rates designed to include everyone. But you’re just getting started. Some of America’s most spectacular hiking, fishing, and white water rafting is only a step away. Iconic attractions like Grandfather Mountain, Linville Gorge, The Blowing Rock, and the Blue Ridge Parkway are in your backyard at Sugar Mountain. And bring your appetite. At the end of each day you’ll find some of the world’s finest dining close at hand—from casual to formal. It’s all here for the taking. The Village of Sugar Mountain offers hundreds of accommodations of all kinds—from condos to chalets. For a day, or a lifetime, isn’t it time for you to experience Sugar Mountain? The only thing missing is you. For more log on



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Firelogs Tankless Water Heaters Vented & Unvented Heaters Free Standing Heat Stoves Outdoor Firepits & Grills Patio Heaters


Blue Ridge Propane has served Avery County and surrounding communities for 25 years. Locally owned and operated with certified service technicians and superior customer service. See what possibilities propane can offer you call 828-733-3603

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Appalachian Blind & Closet Co. 1852 Highway 105 Ste 3

Appalachian Blind & Closet Co.

M-F: 9:00 am - 5:30 pm 1852 1852 Highway Suite Highway105, 105By Ste 3 3 Sat: Appointment M-F: 9:00 am - 5:30 pmClosed Boone, NC 28607 Sun: Sat: By Appointment 828-264-1395 Mon.-Fri. 9:00am-5:30pm Sun: Closed 828-264-1395 Closed Sunday Sat. by appointment, 828-264-1395

©2017 Hunter Douglas. All rights reserved. All trademarks used herein are the property of Hunter Douglas or their respective owners.5284869

©2017 Hunter Douglas. All rights reserved. usedDouglas hereinorare ©2017 Hunter Douglas. All rights reserved. All trademarks used herein areAll thetrademarks property of Hunter theirthe respective owners.5284869 property of Hunter Douglas or their respective owners. 5284869



Can a new kitchen totally transform your home? “Definitely”

elegant living... TIMELESS VALUE Beside Mountain Grounds Coffee & Tea, Grandfather Center, Tynecastle

3990 NC Hwy 10 5 S. Suite 9, Banner Elk, NC 28604 • 828.898.9633 •

Fall In Love With Your Home...Again

Fuller & Fuller GENERAL CONTRACTING & DESIGN Add more space, remodel or build the new home you’ve been dreaming of... 8 — Summer 2017 CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE

1880 Tynecastle Highway Banner Elk NC 28604 828-898-8180

On the Inside . . . 14......... Bob Timberlake’s Letter to Home By Tamara Seymour

23......... Appalachian Summer Festival another “Tony” Affair By Keith Martin

25......... “The Play is the Thing” at Lees-McRae Summer Theater By Elizabeth Baird Hardy

27......... Tour de Art Set for 9th Season By Cindy Michaud 30......... Where the Music Is Special to CML

33......... Barn Quilt Trails By Joe Tennis

35 ........ Charleston Forge…Made in America By Karen Sabo

42......... A Blowing Rock Summer Special to CML

65......... Tales and Trails of the Blue Ridge Parkway By Randy Johnson

Cover Photograph Courtesy of Bill Russ,

68......... The Magic of Fairy Gardens By Kelly Melang

79......... A Mission in Valle Crucis By Keith Martin

83......... The Life and Times of Junior Johnson By Jim Leggett

88......... Mr. Appalachia: The Wonderful Works of Cratis D. Williams By Jim Casada

91......... Discovery along the Overmountain Victory Trail By Mike Hill

96......... Edgar Tufts and Rocks by the Ton By Carol Lowe Timblin

119....... Empowering Women through Healthcare By Koren Gillespie

131....... Farm to Table in Watauga County By Julie Farthing

133....... WNC Cheese Trail Leads to Real Cheese Nirvana By LouAnn Morehouse

summer! 135....... Traditional Stack Cakes By Jim Casada

136....... Preserving the Past at Old Orchard Creek By Lynn Rees-Jones

Cultural Calendar with Keith Martin Be Well/Be Wild with Samantha Stephens Book Nook Finance with Katherine S. Newton Birding with Edi Crosby Fishing with Andrew Corpening Landscaping with Bob Oelberg Legal Beagle with Tricia Wilson Local Tidbits Recipes with Brennan Ford Wine with Ren Manning Blue Ridge Explorers with Tamara Seymour



The Village Of

BLOWING ROCK Open to the Public

Bonfire Nights Steak on the Lake Music & Oysters Live Music

Classic Surroundings, Modern Amenities Classic Surroundings, Modern Amenities

Divide Tavern

Chestnut Grille

Divide Tavern

Chestnut Grille

Best Breakfast Buffet in Town!


EstablishEd in 1891

9239 Valley Boulevard Blowing Rock 828-414-9230 9239 Valley Boulevard Blowing Rock 828-414-9230

Blowing Rock Farmers Market includes farm raised produce, meats, cheese, honey, eggs, plants, fruits, vegetables, flowers, artisanal breads and desserts, natural body products, and whole foods from local farms, growers, and whole food producers. Join us in Downtown Blowing Rock for the best fresh goods. Parking is available at the American Legion. Thursdays from 4pm to 6pm on Park Avenue

828-295-5505 |

EstablishEd in 1891

Open May 25 - Oct 12 on Thursdays from 4pm to 6pm on Park Avenue Check out all the latest at

The Legend Lives On

“The most unique and lovely creations in Blowing Rock!” – Diana R. Handtiques customer HandMade

In THe uSa

110 Sunset Drive #2 Blowing Rock, NC ~ 828-295-7001 We’re open year-round!

Hwy 321 South, Blowing Rock 828-295-7111 •

Come enjoy the patio this summer! 20 drafts, imports and microbrews

• • • • Serving Menu 7 days a week 11:00am-midnight Bar open ‘til 12:00am, Sun-Wed and 2am Thursday-Saturday


MAY 20 • JUNE 10 • JULY 15 AUGUST 12 • SEPT. 9 • OCT. 7 10am-5pm • Free Admission •

1121 Main St. Blowing Rock 828-295-3155 •

Park Avenue, Downtown Blowing Rock 10am - 5pm, RAIN OR SHINE! • Free parking downtown on the street and in the parking decks on Wallingford St. and at BRAHM. Free trolley to and from parking areas at Tanger Outlets and Food Lion, all day, looping every 20 mins. • Art in the Park is host to 90 artisans at each show. Some of the best local and regional artists and craftspeople showcase their handcrafted jewelry, pottery, fiber, glass, photography, painting and more.

Geologist On Staff Heated Flumes in the Winter Specializing in NC gemstones Rock Hound Tours Available all Summer • Private Party Room Available • Fossils, Mineral Specimens, and Much More! 2 LOCATIONS!

• 111 Mystery Hill Lane, Blowing Rock, NC • NEW! 1655 Hwy 105, Boone, NC

beside the Putt-Putt Course at ‘Sunrise Grill’

"Our newly opened 2nd location gives you a completely different mining experience!"

828-264-4499 •

Open 7 Days a Week All Year! May 24-Aug 11: 9:30am-7pm Aug12-May 23: 9:30am-5pm



Banner Elk Winery & Villa Experience Luxury in the High Country’s Original & Most Acclaimed Winery Savor award-winning wine and pamper yourself at The Villa, a luxury B&B. Spend your days exploring the local golfing, fishing, and skiing. Or recharge with a spa treatment and a glass of wine in front of the magnificent stone fireplace. A weekend getaway, corporate retreat, family vacation, or destination wedding ... it’s the perfect place to relax, re-inspire, and rejuvenate ~ both inside and out.

A publication of Carolina Mountain Life, Inc. Publisher & Editor, Babette McAuliffe ©2017 by Carolina Mountain Life Magazine, Inc. All rights reserved. Contents may not be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission from the Publisher. Share us with a friend! CML is published 4 times a year and is available by subscription for $35.00 a year (continental US) Send check or money order to: Carolina Mountain Life, PO Box 976, Linville, NC 28646 Contributors: Deborah Mayhall-Bradshaw, Wesley Barker, Jim Casada, Nan Chase, Andrew Corpening, Edi Crosby, Julie Farthing, Brennan Ford, Morgan Ford Koren Gillespie, Kathy Griewisch, Elizabeth Baird Hardy Mike Hill, Randy Johnson, Lynn Rees-Jones, Jim Leggett Ren Manning, Keith Martin, Tom McAuliffe Pan McCaslin, Kelly Melang, Cindy Michaud LouAnn Morehouse, Katherine Newton, Robert Oelberg Amy Renfranz, Jane Richardson, Karen Sabo Tamara Seymour, Samantha Stephens, Joe Tennis Carol Lowe Timblin, Tricia Wilson and Steve York

Corporate Meetings • Weddings • Special Events 135 Deer Run Lane, Banner Elk, NC 28604

828-260-1790 12

— Summer 2017 CAROLINA BannerElkWVSep/Oct2012.indd 1 MOUNTAIN LIFE

8/14/12 10:56 AM 828-737-0771


Pu blisher’s Note

“I got to be there!” My resounding remark about my second grand-daughter’s entry into this wild and wonderful world. Witnessing this miraculous event made a deep impression on me about the importance of being present. The tree of life emblazed in the fabric of her birth will forever remind me that every day is a gift. She was 12 days early, and as with most births there was no set time of arrival. Extraordinary events often just pop up unexpectedly, but the good news is this: a myriad of events and happenings are packed within these pages to help you plan ahead for your bucket list summer. We love the theme for this summer’s big Symphony by the Lake at Chetola . . . “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” In fact, you will most likely struggle with too many options and wonder how you can be in two places at one time. So, pull out your calendars and get busy making reservations, ordering tickets, and getting your gear ready for all the outdoor fun and activities. My traveling office on wheels is always packed with bundles of magazines and a bag of clothing and sporting options. If needed, I can pull out the hiking boots and hit the trail for a quick hike at lunch, or grab a blanket and head over to the park for music in the Valle. Reusable shopping bags are always handy for stops at the many farmers’ markets during the week. In hopes that I have more time, I even put my tennis racquet and a few golf clubs in the back. But then again, I may just be hanging out with my girls in the backyard soaking in all the simplicity and wisdom they have to offer—no special clothes or gear needed. No matter your philosophy on life, there is no mistaking that every day is a gift. Whether through providence or planning, make sure you’re there, living those special moments.



Bob Timberlake: A Life of Creativity and Collaboration By Tamara Seymour, with excerpts from ‘Bob Timberlake’s Letter to Home’


o some folks, “Bob Timberlake” is simply a brand name. They may know of his artwork, his furniture lines, his cabin designs. Get to know the man behind the brand and you’ll find a friendly, easy-going outdoorsman and constant family man who wants little more than to share what inspires him. And what does inspire Bob Timberlake? For starters, he is deeply moved by Carolina landscapes, from the wetlands and bogs of the coastal plain, to the lakes and farms of the Piedmont, to the streams and ridgetops of our mountains. His connections with the land are deep, and his astute observations of nature’s nuances are reflected in the fine, realistic details of his paintings. “Everywhere you look out here, there’s another scene to remember. There were five turkeys in the big pasture yesterday. Geese coming down in the late sunlight. I watch all that stuff. I look for all those little details. I know where the morning sun first hits the treetops. I know where the sun is at five o’clock in the afternoon.” Bob has a deep sense of family and tradition, and a cooperative attitude that guides a life of productivity for a greater good. Prior to his full-time career in painting, he worked several family businesses, keeping his many creative endeavors – drawing, painting, designing, building – glowing in the background of everyday life. When art finally became top priority, his small-town upbringing and the family traditions that were part of his history naturally transferred to his creations. “We grew up exploring and camping out under the stars. We’d cook fish at night and sleep out there on the bank under the trees... Everywhere we went, there was countryside. Everybody had a couple of acres and small farms and chickens and horses. It is something that crawled inside my heart, and it’s never left.” As an enthusiastic hunter and fisherman since boyhood, he appreciates any place that is “birdy” or “fishy” and has spent much of his life contributing his time and talents in support of the conservation of these special places. His many travels in pursuit of the sporting life have also led to a large body of work, as seen in his paintings of hooked trout, ducks in flights, and decoys on a shelf. But seemingly mundane objects can provide just as much inspiration when viewed through the lens of Bob Timberlake: a toy drum, a basket of berries, a woodpile, a plaid jacket. Sharing the Experience Bob has documented many of his inspirations, life experiences and artistic endeavors in a large collection of published works. His most recent book, Bob Timberlake’s Letter to Home, was published this spring. One of the most comprehensive biographies to-date (cowritten with noted author T. Edward Nickens), and a fresh port-


“No matter where you make your nest it’s how you feather it that makes the home.

—Bob Timberlake



folio of more than 50 never-published works of art, Letter to Home reveals essays, sketches, photos, artifacts, and collections of Bob’s sporting memorabilia. Not to mention a bevy of lyrical, inspirational quotes, and his personal formula for happiness… “I’ve known for a long time that it takes only three things to be truly happy: something to look forward to, something worthwhile to work hard towards, and someone to love. That’s pretty simple, I know. But it has worked for me.” Upon delving deeper into his personal writings, the theme of sharing reappears time and again. His desire to share his creativity has influenced his direction not only as an artist and designer, but as a businessman. The Bob Timberlake name has become central to numerous collaborations that have contributed to his great success – and Bob continues to be an innovative and savvy business partner, notably here in the High Country. Mountain Alliances The Timberlake family fell in love with the mountains early on, and have increased their presence here in recent years. “The mountains have always drawn me back,” says Bob. Here in one of his favorite places, he has expanded his creative realm, and with several world-class collaborations worth mentioning. Consider Chetola Resort, one of Bob’s earliest signature projects in the High Country. “Chetola,” meaning “Haven of Rest” in Cherokee, spans 87 acres in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains. In 2004, The Bob Timberlake Inn at


Chetola Resort in Blowing Rock opened to the general public. Formerly a historic 1846 Manor House, the exclusive bed and breakfast features Bob Timberlake furniture, lamps, accessories, artwork and personal mementos. Drawing on the success of the Inn, Timberlake’s Restaurant opened next door in 2012. The restaurant is not only outfitted with Bob’s paintings, designs, and historic outdoor gear, it features a menu inspired by his favorite culinary delights. And in his most recent collaboration with the Chetola team, Bob has again added his distinctive style and Midas touch to a new project guaranteed to attract likeminded outdoorsmen and women: the Chetola Sporting Reserve at Blue Ridge Mountain Club (see “Chetola’s New Sporting Reserve,” p55). In yet another High Country collaboration, Bob has joined forces with Linville Falls Mountain Club to design a series of rustic cottages and cabins for Club residents. Located between Blowing Rock and Asheville bordering the Pisgah National forest, Linville Falls Mountain Club offers a secluded forest setting, backwoods hiking, world class golf, and the majestic Catawba River running through it all. Bob’s unique cottage and cabin designs emphasize open and efficient layouts with generous indoor and outdoor living spaces—all with the option to feature the comfort and charm of his signature furnishings and accessories. And of course his painting continues to be the source of countless partnerships between the artist and those who

most appreciate his art, with hundreds of pieces in galleries and personal collections throughout the High Country. Many would argue that some of his best works are those that capture his mountain observations – trees covered with rime ice, historic log cabins, old apple orchards, a snow-capped Grandfather Mountain. “I love the way snow bares the soul of the land… when you look in the woods, up in the mountains, on the hillsides, snow opens up the land almost like a skeleton… Up there, the things eternal seem close enough to touch.” Home Is Where the Heart Is When he’s not spending time enjoying his mountain interests or traveling about for his next outdoor adventure, you can find Bob in his studio or gallery in Lexington, N.C., creating art “with a love and fervor that’s never been so strong,” writes Bob. Or perhaps, he’s spending time with his growing family, the most recent addition his second great granddaughter born in May. Wherever he may be, you can bet that he’s searching for his next inspiration in the places, people, work, and family he values so much. “All this is what drives me today to share what I feel and love and to be creative. It’s what keeps me pondering what I might be and what I might be able to do and be when I do grow up.”

Bob Timberlake’s Vision comes to life at Linville Falls Mountain Club

Timberlake Inspired Fully Furnished Cottages from $339,900

Model Open Daily


45 Blue Ridge Drive North, Suite T, Marion, NC 28752 CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Summer 2017 —


8/19 – 8/26 – 9/14 – 9/21 – 9/23 – 9/30 – 10/7 – 10/14 – 10/21 – 11/2 – 11/14 – 11/28 – 12/14 – 12/19 – 1/9 – 1/23 – 2/2 – 2/16 – 2/27 – 3/10 – 3/19 – 3/23 – 4/7 – 4/12 – 4/24 –

Sarah Tucker in Concert Benton Blount in Concert The Moore Brothers in Concert Dirty Dancing Movie Screening Off The Wall in Concert So Good For The Soul – A Tribute to the Music of Motown Terri Clark in Concert Ram:Corps 828-433-SHOW Flip Fabrique – “Catch Me!” Big Bad Voodoo Daddy in Concert Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story on Stage Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” “A Charlie Brown Christmas” Messiah Sing – A – Long The Sting Police An Evening of Piano with Jason Farnham, “Lesson Plans to Late Night” with Lucas Bohn Lenoir Saxophone & City Rhythm Jazz Band Bob Eubanks in The Not So Newlywed Game Wizard of Oz – National Broadway Tour Lily Cai Chinese Dance Company Benjamin F. Long, IV Lecture STOMP – National Tour “On Golden Pond” – National Tour The Malpass Brothers in Concert RENT – 20th Anniversary Tour



e r u t a S ign Event s! Enjoy summer breezes at 4900ft when you visit Sugar Ski & Country Club’s year-round resort. Efficiency • Efficiency w/loft • 1 & 2 bedroom Condos with WiFi and access to hiking/biking trails.

July 14-16 and August 11-13 Fine Art & Master Crafts Festival Downtown Banner Elk

Congratulations CML on 20 years of serving the High Country!! 100 Sugar Ski Drive Banner Elk NC 28604


October 21-22 40th Annual Woolly Worm Festival Downtown Banner Elk

AveryChamberLogo-600x384.jpg (JPEG Image, 600 × 384 pixels)

Come by or contact our Visitor Center for more information! 4501 Tynecastle Highway, Unit 2, Banner Elk, NC 28604 828-898-5605 | CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Summer 2017 — 1 of 1

4/1/15, 1:25 AM


...something for everyone!

Cultural Calendar Spotlights


he calendar listings and season announcements in our last issue highlighted several events on the 2017 schedule of An Appalachian Summer Festival in Boone, many of which have yet to take place, including An Evening With Sutton Foster on July 8; the Eastern Festival Orchestra with guest violinist Midori on July 9; the North Carolina Black Repertory Company from Winston Salem with their production of Cheryl Davis’ play Maid’s Door on July 14; the dancer-illusionists that comprise MOMIX, offering “visual splendor and theatrical magic” on July 21; and a mixed repertory evening of works commissioned by Charlotte Ballet (formally known as the North Carolina Dance Theatre), marking the farewell performance programmed by artistic director and choreographer Jean-Pierre Bonnefoux and his wife, prima ballerina Patricia McBride as they retire from leadership of the company after a noteworthy 20-year tenure. For a complete list of events, many of which have just been announced, visit www.appsummer. org or call (800) 841-ARTS (2787). Beyond those highlights, there are literally dozens of other productions from which to choose. To help you plan your theatre going experience, here are some of the most interesting summer shows on the horizon from now through early September, listed below by producing company. PLEASE NOTE that all of the performances, dates and times are subject to change; readers are strongly encouraged to contact the box office for the most current information.

Ensemble Stage continues their inaugural season in their new home in the Historic Banner Elk School with an ambitious summer line-up of six productions, which began in June with Neil Simon’s lighthearted comedy The Star Spangled Girl. From July 7 – 15, Catherine Filloux’s historical drama Mary and Myra takes the stage; it is a play about Mary Todd Lincoln’s stay in an insane asylum in 1875 and the efforts of her progressive friend Myra Braswell to win her release. Playwright Joanna MurraySmith tells the tale of Patricia Highsmith, the grand dame of crime literature whose love of fictional murders becomes a dangerous reality in Switzerland, playing from July 29 – August 6. Comic genius Joe DiPietro’s newest work gets its area debut when The Art of Murder concludes the lineup from August 18 – 26; set in a remote countryside estate, this farce involves an accomplished but eccentric painter, his wife, an art dealer and the maid (“there’s always a maid”), each of whom is being targeted by a murderer (or is it murderers?). Their popular Kids Summer Saturday Theater continues this summer with 11 am performances of Rapunzel on June 24 and July 22, and The Tales of King Arthur on July 8 and August 5. Ensemble Stage is the region’s leading advocate of these Italian commedia del arte versions of classic children’s theatre, cultivating future generations of theatre-goers in the process. For more details and ticket information, please visit or call (828) 414-1844.

“see you at the theatre!”


At the Barter Theatre, performances of Footloose: The Musical continue through August 12. Based on the popular 1984 movie featuring Kevin Bacon, Lori Singer, and John Lithgow, the story follows newcomer Ren McCormack, who is in shock when he discovers the small Midwestern town he now calls home has made dancing and rock music illegal. Also playing on the Gilliam Main Stage at Barter through mid-August is The Cottage, by Sandy Rustin, a play wherein “The true meanings of fate, identity and marriage are called into question as a surprising, hilarious web of secrets unravels in this potentially – but not quite – murderous romantic comedy.” From August 18 through September 9 is Million Dollar Quartet, a sleeper Broadway hit in 2010 that scored three Tony nominations and an award to Levi Kress for his portrayal of Jerry Lee Lewis. Inspired by an actual but unplanned 1956 recording session when Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and Carl Perkins joined Lewis at Sun Records in Memphis for a private, impromptu jam session, the show recreates classic rock ‘n’ roll hits too numerous to mention. Add to that impressive line-up the following two productions on the Barter Stage II and your theatre sojourn to Abingdon, VA will be complete. The Savannah Sipping Society (now through August 12) by Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope and Jamie Wooten is a laugh-aminute comedy about four Southern women, all needing to escape their dayto-day routines, drawn together by fate… and an impromptu happy hour. Leaving Iowa (running through mid-August) is Tim Clue and Spike Manton’s “comedy about family vacations,” as told by the children of parents from the nowdubbed “greatest generation.” The story toasts their idealism and character and a little roast of their undying dedication to the classic family road trip. Info at www. or 276-628-3991.

Horn in The West has welcomed nearly one-and-a-half million audience members since it opened in 1952 as the nation’s third oldest outdoor drama. Now celebrating its 66th season and welcoming new artistic director Chris Bellinger, this Revolutionary War drama brings to life the famous frontiersman Daniel Boone and the hardy mountain settlers of this region in their struggle to preserve their freedom during the turbulent years before and during the war for independence. Ticket information is available by phone at 828-264-2120 or Performances through August 5 in Boone.

Lees-McRae Summer Theatre in Banner Elk perpetuates their longstanding tradition of excellence with two musicals remaining on the current season. Since 1985, they have brought high caliber productions to the region under the direction of Dr. Janet Barton Speer, the matriarch of musical theatre in the High Country. Million Dollar Quartet (see description under Barter Theatre) has local performances from July 12 – 16. The season closes with Legally Blonde: The Musical from July 28 – August 4, about which Speer says, “it can be perceived erroneously as ‘fluffy.’ Yes, there is a lot of pink and ‘California girl talk,’ but it morphs into something different. Every moment in this show reminds us that when we try to stereotype people, we usually get it wrong. That theme is then surrounded with great song and dance numbers.” For tickets or information, visit info at or 828-898-8709.

By Keith Martin

Tweetsie Railroad is North Carolina’s first theme park, opening sixty years ago on July 4th in 1957. Known primarily as a Wild West adventure park with amusement rides and a petting zoo, Tweetsie features stunning three-mile long train rides aboard a historic, coalfired, narrow gauge steam locomotive. From a performing arts perspective, Tweetsie is a major employer of professional talent and produces 21 performances of a half-dozen live entertainment and stage shows each day. A sampling of offerings includes the Can-Can Dancers, Country Clogging Jamboree, and The Sunset Show. The 2017 season runs through October 29 with varying dates and schedules; for more information, visit or call 800.526.5740.




July 28-30 FRIDAY & SATURDAY 10 AM - 5 PM

Susan Moffatt, Succulent


Preview Party - July 27 www.BlowingRockMuseum.Org

Bob Ray, Homecoming

Summer Exhibition Celebration July 7

Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Walk July 22 423 W. King Street, Boone NC 828.262.3017 l

Sponsored by:


A World of Flavors, Close to Home.

ou don’t have to travel far to send your taste buds on a splendid journey. From traditional favorites to temptations for the more adventurous palate, our menu selection is rivaled only by the array of our wines. Call for Reservations



Two-Time Tony Award-Winning Broadway Star Sutton Foster Added to Summer Festival Line-up By Keith Martin


Hayes Auditorium Broyhill Theatre banner Elk, NC Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat June 25–July 2 Million Dollar Quartet July 12–16 Legally Blonde July 28–August 4


828.898.8709 |

or the fifth season in a row, and for the seventh time in eight years, An Appalachian Summer Festival (AASF) has landed a major theatre icon to headline their schedule. Two-time Tony Award-winning singer, dancer and actress Sutton Foster joins the stellar lineup previously announced and will be next in a growing succession of Broadway stars who have graced the stage of the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts at Appalachian State University. During the summer of 2016 we were treated to a dynamic performance by sixtime nominee Kelli O’Hara, fresh from her first Tony for “The King and I” at Lincoln Center. Brian Stokes Mitchell appeared in the summer of 2015, just months before he received yet another Tony (his first was for “Kiss Me, Kate”), and the Isabelle Stephenson Humanitarian Award for his volunteer work on behalf of the Actor’s Fund. 2014 brought a concert by television star Matthew Morrison of “Glee,” who would soon make a yearlong appearance on the Great White Way as “Peter Pan” author J. M. Barrie in the Broadway musical “Finding Neverland.” Tony-winner Idina Menzel from both “Wicked” and “Rent” appeared in the newly-renovated Schaefer Center in the summer 2013, then immediately began rehearsals for the Broadway-bound musical “If/Then.” In 2011, AASF presented ten-time Tony nominee – and two-time recipient for “The Rink” and

“Kiss of the Spider Woman” – Chita Rivera, along with Tony-winner Ben Vereen, the Leading Player from the original production of “Pippin.” Currently headlining “War Paint” on Broadway, legend Patti LuPone, star of Broadway’s “Evita” and “Gypsy,” performed musical selections from both those Tony Award winning roles in her 2010 appearance. Sutton Foster continues the tradition with her High Country debut on July 8, 2017. Foster has performed in 11 Broadway shows, and her stunning portrayal of Charity Hope Valentine in the recent 50th Anniversary revival of “Sweet Charity” is rumored to be headed to the Great White Way this upcoming season. She originated roles in the Broadway productions of “The Drowsy Chaperone,” “Little Women,”  “Young Frankenstein,”  “Shrek The Musical,” plus her Tony Awardwinning performances in  “Anything Goes” and “Thoroughly Modern Millie.” Her most recent Broadway appearance, in the title role of “Violet,” garnered her sixth Tony nomination. Foster was first seen on television on “Star Search” at age 15, but has more recently appeared in the series  “Bunheads,”  “Psych,”  “Johnny and the Sprites,”  “Flight of the Conchords,”  “Sesame Street,”  “Law and Order SVU,”  and  “Royal Pains.”   She currently stars as Liza in the criticallyacclaimed TV Land series, “Younger.” AASF promises “a high-spirited and dazzling evening of song.” For tickets and other festival information, please visit:



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Alta Vista Gallery

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Visit our workshop and gallery at 567 Main St. East in Banner Elk, or our virtual gallery at:

Joan Sporn OVER 100 ARTISTS: including Joan Sporn, Monique Carr, Jeremy Sams and Will Moses, heir to Grandma Moses OPENING RECEPTIONS: Every 4th Saturday, June thru Nov Celebrating 10 Years of Craftsmanship in the High Country!

IN OUR 27TH YEAR: Oils, Watercolors, Pastels, Prints, Custom Framing, Craftsman Art Tiles, Stained-Glass, Mangum Pottery O N T H E N AT I O N A L R E G I S T E R O F H I S T O R I C P L A C E S

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2839 Broadstone Road, Valle Crucis • 828.963.5247 Near Mast Store Annex • 15 minutes from Boone or Banner Elk

Spring Group Exhibition: Through July 15 Artists’ Spotlight: A Moment in Time - Florals, Still Lifes and Interiors” Mary Dobbin, Connie Winters, Gina Strumpf, Helen Farson Mid-Summer Group Exhibition: July 22 - Sept 15 Carlton Gallery’s 35th Anniversary Celebration: Opening Reception July 22, 2-5pm Artists’ Spotlight: “Landscapes, Treescapes & Waterscapes” Andrew Braitman, Kevin Beck, Egi Antonaccio 10 miles south of Boone Grandfather Mtn.Community 10360 Hwy 105 S. Banner Elk, NC 28604 828.963.4288 Tues-Sat 10-5, Sun 11-5


CarltonGallery Celebrating 35 Years! A G A L L E RY F I L L E D W I T H E X Q U I S I T E G I F T S

The Play is the Thing for Local Performers with Lees-McRae Summer Theater


his summer, as they have for every summer since 1985, dedicated artists will come together to produce remarkable theater on the stage of Lees-McRae College. This year’s shows—Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Legally Blonde, and Million Dollar Quartet—promise entertainment and excitement for the whole family. In addition to the talented professionals who travel to Banner Elk to help bring to life these complex and challenging productions, the company of LeesMcRae Summer Theater includes a host of locals, many of them volunteers, who join in the productions to share their love of theater and to give back to their community. Some of the local company members are professional performers who enjoy being able to practice their craft close to home. One of these is singer, actress, and dancer Geana Anderson Welter, who has already graced the summer theater stage in several productions, and appears in Joseph in addition to working with her husband in their own entertainment company. “I am grateful for the opportunity to perform professionally in my own backyard!” says Anderson. “Being a wife and mom, it would be really hard to have to travel in order to find work.” Local volunteer actors have also been a helpful ingredient in many of LeesMcRae’s popular productions over the years, and three years ago, artistic director Dr. Janet Barton Speer, who has been with the program since its inception, began incorporating a special element in one of the summer productions: a corps of children who both add to and learn from the show in what Dr. Speer likes to think of as “a really fabulous drama camp.” Adult volunteers from the community appear in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, the first production of the season (ending July 2), and will appear in Legally Blonde ( July 28-August 4). But as

By Elizabeth Baird Hardy with the previous summers’ productions of Oliver! and Mary Poppins, this year’s blockbuster musical, Joseph, also includes local children. This was Dr. Speer’s fifth time directing the irrepressible Joseph, the first show of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice of Phantom of the Opera fame, and it makes history as the biggest cast Lees-McRae has ever fielded in a show. With 78 performers, 30 of them children and many local volunteers, Joseph showcases LMC’s dedication to connecting with the local area: “It is a wonderful tie to the community,” says Dr. Speer, who sees bringing in the children as a way to repay the community for its incredible support over the years while also combating the myth that theater is not for everyone. “We want to give back to the community that has made us great.” Overall, the community has been incredibly supportive of LMC summer theater, ranging from local businesses who buy advertising in the playbills to large sponsors like Skyline and Skybest whose generous support helps make these shows spectacular. Local sixth-grader Annie Yawn, who was excited to be coming back for her third year in the children’s chorus, is happy that her work has drawn others to the theater for the first time: “Some of my good friends had never seen a show, and when they came, they were amazed!” The summer theater program gives these children experiences and training they can keep forever, while also welcoming them and their families. In addition to gaining valuable theatrical experience, many of the children in the production also have the unique opportunity of being in the show with their family members, joining their parents and siblings. This year’s summer company spans a wide range of ages, from five to seventyeight, and an equal span of experience. In fact, many local actors initially begin working with the LMC summer theater program as volunteers, gaining experience

and becoming professional actors for later shows. However, both Dr. Speer and Managing Director Jennifer Poarch point out that there is very little distinction between the volunteers and the professionals, many of whom report that being in Banner Elk is one of the best things about traveling to work in the LMC program. “It’s nice to see Banner Elk becoming a cultural center,” says Welter, who has enjoyed the opportunity to work with LMC students and Dr. Speer. The local actors also help the visiting professionals with insights, from good restaurants to great hiking spots, but, even more importantly, the volunteers bring their own special enthusiasm and spirit, according to Poarch. Dr. Speer also appreciates the freshness and joy that the volunteers possess, whether they are children or adults, and whether they are passing out programs, singing and dancing, painting sets, or helping with costumes. Local performers who are interested in helping with summer theater are warmly welcomed. Annie Yawn thinks that children “should definitely do it,” not only because of what they learn, but also because “it is really fun,” and they create long-lasting friendships. Tickets are available for both evening and matinee performances in the LeesMcRae Summer Theater series; Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat runs through July 2, and the series continues with Million-Dollar Quartet ( July 12-16) and Legally Blonde ( July 28-August 4). This summer’s “Theater for Young People” offering, Screen Test, will run July 8 and July 22 as well. It’s a fun theatrical experience for the whole family, and a reminder of the importance of balance in our use of technology. To learn more or order tickets, go to community/summer-theatre/, which is also the place to start learning about opportunities to join the summer company of 2018. CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Summer 2017 —


2017 Tony Award-Nominee Eva Noblezada Joins Numerous North Carolina Artists on Broadway By Keith Martin


he seemingly-unending litany of Tar Heel connections to Broadway grew even stronger this season with the addition of “Great White Way” newcomer and Charlotte native Eva Noblezada. This year alone, North Carolina can brag about four-time Tony nominee and four-time Emmy Award-winner Laura Linney (Lillian Hellman’s “The Little Foxes”), whose father was the wellknown playwright and professor from Boone, Romulus Linney. Tony-winner and current nominee Jennifer Ehle (star of the Tony-winning Best Play “Oslo”) is from Winston Salem and the daughter of legendary British actress and Tonywinner Rosemary Harris and writer John Ehle, co-founder of the NC School of the Arts. 2017 Tony recipient Rachel Bay Jones (for her role in the Tony-winning Best Musical “Dear Evan Hansen”) is a longtime veteran of Flat Rock Playhouse, the State Theatre of North Carolina. Enter a 21-year-old making her Broadway debut in the title role of “Miss Saigon,” for which she received a 2017 Tony nomination for “Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical.” Noblezada was honored in the same category as legend Bette Midler (for


“Hello, Dolly!”), who made her debut fifty years ago as Tzeitel in the original production of “Fiddler on the Roof,” and twotime Tony-winners Patti LuPone (“Evita” and “Anything Goes”) and Christine Ebersole (“42nd Street” and “Grey Gardens”), both nominated for their co-starring roles

in “War Paint.” Eva was a junior at Charlotte’s Northwest School of the Arts (NWSA) when she was “discovered” during a performance at the 2013 National High School Musical Theatre Awards, known informally as “The Jimmys” after James M. Nederlander, the late theatre owner/ producer. Casting director Tara Rubin was in the audience and arranged an audition for impresario Cameron Mackintosh; at age 17, Eva was chosen to star as “Kim” and made her West End debut in the revival of “Miss Saigon,” winning an award for “Best Actress in a Musical.” She would follow that success by appearing as “Éponine” in the London production of “Les Misérables” before fulfilling her dream of opening a Broadway show. Not surprisingly, Noblezada was Corey Mitchell’s student at NWSA, the teacher whom she cited as her inspiration during a segment honoring teachers at this year’s Tony ceremony from Radio City Music Hall in NYC. Mitchell was the inaugural recipient of the “Tony Award for Excellence in Theatre Education” in 2015 and Eva’s teacher and stage director in numerous shows including “The Color Purple” and “Footloose,” for which she was nominated for the Jimmy Awards.

“Even as a shy and rather quiet sixth grader,” Mitchell remembers, “Eva possessed an inner spark that you couldn’t help but notice. I knew then that her seraphic voice and natural, unforced acting ability, along with her stunning beauty, would make her a star.” Eva is proud to claim her MexicanAmerican and Filipina descent, and confessed in a recent interview that, “Yoga, the gym, and a healthy diet saved me.” Playbill magazine praised her performance in “Miss Saigon” by saying, “Noblezada finds fresh layers to the tragic Kim, making her seem less like a victim of fate than one of circumstance.” The Hollywood Reporter said, “the love story, which is grounded with transfixing emotional transparency by the exquisite Eva Noblezada as Kim… her vocals have an expressive range and sweetness that cuts through all the noise and busy-ness that surrounds her. She’s a legitimate discovery.” On June 11, the Tony went to the 71-year-old Midler, who is a half-century older than co-nominee Noblezada. With live national television cameras focused on each nominee during the award announcement, it was Eva who first reacted in spontaneous shouts and applause for the winner. The future is bright for Noblezada, no longer a promising rookie but a much-heralded veteran who shows wisdom and maturity far beyond her relative youth. North Carolina residents look forward to your continued success. Congratulations, Eva.

The 2017 High Country Tour de Art, 9th Season By Cindy Michaud


igh Country artisans are sweeping out their studios and rearranging their winter and spring creations preparing for the 9th annual Tour de Art, when they throw open their doors to welcome visitors to a behind-the-scenes glimpse of their work spaces. Taking place on the fourth Saturday of every month until November, the tour is self-guided and encourages folks to meet the artists, ask questions and learn about process. New on the Tour will be the High Country Dulcimer Shop (8830 Hwy 105 south in Foscoe) where C.E. McKinney, or “Mr. Mac,” and his apprentice C.E. McKinnon will answer inquiries about their hand-built mountain and hammered dulcimers. Mr. Mac, at 87, has been building dulcimers for over 50 years and is open for business in a building partially constructed of his granddaddy’s log cabin. Each piece is signed and numbered and he is about to close in on 2,000 mountain dulcimers while the larger instrument, the hammered dulcimer, is numbering 854. As a student of electrical engineering, he chuckles when asked how he got started building the instrument, which is an icon of Appalachian mountain music. “I was bored,” he recalls. “I liked to read about frequencies and resonance, about radio speakers and TV repair. I also liked to build things. So I got it in my head that if I could build a mandolin I might make some money. As it turned out I had to learn to build a jig first and a dulcimer jig was less complicated. Somehow I never ended up building that mandolin, I got so sidetracked by dulcimers.” When asked if he could play a bit he laughed again. “I don’t play,” he explained. “I have a very good ear but I was mostly interested in choosing the wood, designing them and then assembly. In my thirties with a family to feed, I was too busy making money to take the time to learn.” While there is probably no instrument as authentic to Appalachian music as the dulcimer, there is also no question that the instrument commands respect as a piece of art. From the selection of wood to the choice of the sound hole, each piece is engineered by Mr. Mac to be the perfect weight, produce the exact oscillation, and project the necessary volume to meet his standards. “I like to put a little of ‘me’ in each piece,” he grins knowingly. While his price range starts around $350, he’s happy to discuss what went into the custom built dulcimer he made which sold for $4,600. Beware of asking a technical question concerning the gorgeous hammered dulcimers resting on handmade adjustable stands in his shop. This is where the engineering of lutherie and the history of stringed instruments converge, provoking a quasicomplex answer of scientific and historic proportions. Mr. Mac will take the questioner back to the eight-note octave of the harpsichord, which leads him to the “true resonating frequency” of the hammered dulcimer, which will prompt him to mention the out-of-scale piano, which “for some reason” insisted on adding four notes to the scale, “which just don’t belong there.” But not one to live in the past, he will, with a little nudging, share his plans for an innovative “base hammered dulcimer” currently in production. Whether one plays an instrument or not, it is easy to be seduced by the dulcimer. And Tour de Art is the perfect time to enter the world of Mr. Mac and his gregarious apprentice Mr. McKinnon. It’s a memorable introduction to Appalachia’s native instrument. And for more High Country art seduction leave time in your day to visit each of the other active studios and galleries on the Tour. You can download a map at www. or pick one up at any location below. Lunch along the route or save your appetite until you hit the 87 Ruffin Street Gallery next door to the Hampton General Store featuring NC BBQ and Brunswick stew. continued... CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Summer 2017 —


2017 Tour de Art Highlights Sally Nooney Gallery, 7137 Hwy 194 South. Working in acrylic, oil and fused glass, Nooney’s creativity is admittedly fueled by many subjects. Alta Vista Gallery, 2839 Broadstone Road. This warm and welcoming home is really a gallery filled with art that exudes our region’s personality. Maggie Black Pottery, 112 Clubhouse Drive (view from Hwy 105 South). Functional and decorative, Black’s pottery embodies nature found in the High Country. Cindy Michaud Art, 112 Clubhouse Drive. Color abounds in this working studio offering energetic interpretations of the mountains. Mike Hill, Art Purveyors and Framing, 112 Aldridge Park (view from Hwy 105 South). Whether you need graphics or a new frame, meeting Mike is part of the fun. Carlton Gallery, 10360 Hwy 105 South. Share Toni’s excitement in celebrating her 35th year in this casually elegant gallery housing a spirited collection of over 200 artists. www. Crystal Creek Gallery, 10244 Hwy 105 South. Fresh, edgy and young, Carly Moore is offering a unique curated variety in this brand new art spot. 87 Ruffin Street Gallery, Linville. Outsider art, folk art and some traditional “must haves,” Abigail Sheets has gathered the most eclectic collection. High Country Dulcimer Shop (8830 Hwy 105 south in Foscoe)

The Blowing Rock Music Festival “The Blowing Rock Music Festival celebrates one of the most historical landmarks in the Blue Ridge Mountains combined with the area’s finest music. We want to maintain the music heritage of the Appalachian Mountains and showcase the talented musicians that keep this music alive.” –The Harris Brothers, Event Hosts

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The Blowing Rock Music Festival takes place in one of the most beautiful settings of any concert in the country. The festival is held on the grounds of The Blowing Rock, some 4,000 feet above a sheer drop to the Johns River, a place of breathtaking views and magnificent geological outcroppings The park itself is one of North Carolina’s earliest scenic attractions. This year’s event takes place on Saturday, September 16. Enjoy Americana, Folk, Blues, Rock, Jazz, and Soul, rain or shine. Tickets go on sale July 15: $30 advance general admission; $45 on the day of the event; children 12 and under are $10.00; $45 advance reserve; VIP tents available. For complete details about where to purchase tickets and a look at the music lineup, go to

Summer Music at St. John’s GABRIEL OFIESH July 20 - 23 HARDINJEWELRY@GMAIL.COM | 828-898-4653

9 2 0 S h a w n e e h a w Av e n u e | B a n n e r E l k , N C 2 8 6 0 4




ARTIST INVITATIONAL THE NEXT 25 YEARS AUGUST 28 - OCTOBER 21 ARTIST GATHERING SEPT 2, 2-4PM | 828-898-5175 | 920 Shawneehaw Avenue, HWY 184. Banner Elk, NC

Photo by Scott Kallestad

St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church, a summer mission of Holy Cross Episcopal Church, has begun its annual Summer program of weekly Sunday Services, monthly Candlelight Contemplative Services and Concerts.   On a bluff overlooking the mountains, historic St. John’s is a place of peace and serenity where everyone is welcome. Sunday services led by the rector of Holy Cross, Father Allan McCaslin, are held at 9am with music being provided by talented church members and local musicians playing instruments that can range from the newly restored pump organ, to classical strings, to jazz saxophone.  The Candlelight  Contemplative Service held the first Tuesday of each month, beginning at 6:30 PM, is a time of prayer, reflection, and music. The Summer Concert Series held the first Sunday of each month is in full swing. The following upcoming concerts will include performances by ‘The Good Vibes Trio’ on July 2, an ensemble of Robert Falvo of the Hayes School of Music on vibraphone, professional bassist and vocalist Kim Frances, and vocalist Lauren Hayworth presenting swing and bossa nova tunes with some torch songs included. Classical guitarist Douglas James, also from the Hayes School of Music collaborates with well known vocalist, guitarist and lutenist Hazel Ketchum as the ‘Corde Cantanti Duo’ on August 6. They will take you back to the Elizabethan Court, then on to the Renaissance through modern folk tunes. Concluding the concert season September 3, Labor Day weekend, ‘The American Rogues‘ will bring you Celtic music as you have never heard it. They have garnered National and International fame for their energetic concerts on both large and small stages. They have also played around the world for armed forces everywhere and are known as the official band for the Navy Seals. You will be humming their tunes for days. At the conclusion of the concerts, a pot luck supper is held on the grounds giving concert goers an opportunity to meet our guest musicians. Concerts begin at 5pm and admission is $5.00.  

St. John’s is located on Herb Thomas Road in Valle Crucis. For more information  please contact Holy Cross at and click on the link for St. John’s, or call 828-963-4609. CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Summer 2017 —


Where the Music Is 2017

Welcome, one and all, to the cradle of old time, Bluegrass, and all the marvelous Americana sounds born of traditional music. Anywhere you go you are going to hear fine music from skilled and talented musicians. They’re picking on the stages, in the meadows and the front porches. Here are some of our favorite places…


g Linville Falls Winery: Located near both Linville Falls and the spectacular Linville Gorge, the steepest gorge east of the Mississippi River, Linville Falls Winery hosts music every Saturday and Sunday afternoon beginning at 2pm. 9557 Linville Falls Hwy (Hwy 221) 828-765-1400, g Banner Elk Winery: Saturdays and Sundays, for more information 828-898-9090, g Music in the Vineyard – Grandfather Vineyard and Winery hosts a summer full of live music at its tasting room on Sunday afternoons through October beginning at 1pm. The winery is located at 225 Vineyard Lane, off N.C. 105 between Boone and Banner Elk.


g Old Hampton Barbecue and The Tavern at the Old Hampton Store: Live music on a wide variety of dates. Located at 77 Ruffin Street, Linville. 828-733-5213. Go to Old Hampton Store Facebook page for the latest information. g Live Music Weekends: Every weekend, year round. Carolina BBQ, Newland. 828-737-0700. Go to for band listings by month. Live Bands on the Patio – Fridays and Saturdays throughout the summer, 6-10pm. Banner Elk Café, Banner Elk. 828-898-4040. g The Pedalin’ Pig Bbq Restaurant: 7-9pm at the Banner Elk location and various nights at the Boone location. Showcasing local talent. Banner Elk. 828-898-7500 Boone 828-355-9559. g Bayou Concert in the Courtyard: Tuesday evenings in Banner Elk, the Bayou Smokehouse and Grill features music on the lawn beginning at 6pm. Bayou Smokehouse and Grill, Banner Elk. 828-898-8952. g Jazz Brunch with Todd Wright & Friends: Every Sunday 11 AM-2:30pm, Canyons, Blowing Rock. 828-295-7661, g Live Music at Lost Province Brewery – Every Friday and Saturday evening, 7:30-10:30pm. 130 N. Depot Street, Boone. 828-265-3506, g Woodlands Barbeque Restaurant – nightly at 6pm, www. g Nick’s Restaurant & Pub – Friday night Karaoke starting at 8pm.



g 5506’ at Beech Mountain Ski Resort: Take the ski lift to the top—the skybar at the peak of the mountain offers live music on Saturdays at 2:30pm. Concerts sponsored by, Classic 100.7 WZJS and PULSE FM 95.3. 800.438.2093 g Summer Music Series at the Table at Crestwood: Every Thursday night through October, 6-9pm. The Inn at Crestwood, Blowing Rock. Reservations advised. 828-963-6646. g Music on the Lawn: Friday evenings through Oct 5, 5:30-8:30pm. Bring your own seating, outdoor bar and lawn menu available. Sorry no coolers, pets, or outside food or beverages. The Inn at Ragged Gardens, Blowing Rock, 828-295-9703 g Music on the Veranda: Sundays, 5-8pm. Bring your own chairs. Green Park Inn, Blowing Rock., 828-414-9230. g Symphony by the Lake: One Night Only, July 28. Dinner, fireworks, and the Symphony of the Mountains. Chetola Resort, Blowing Rock. $40 advance, $50 at the gate. More info and tickets: 828-295-7851. g Beech Alpen Pavilion Summer Concerts: Sundays, 5pm. Beech Alpen Inn, Beech Mountain. 828-387-2252, g Timberlake’s Restaurant at the Chetola Resort features live music at the fire pit by the lake on Fridays from 7-10pm and Saturdays from 6-9pm. 828-295-5505.


g St. John’s Summer Sunday Concerts: The St. John’s Summer Concerts are held the first Sunday  of each summer month, beginning in June. Concerts are at 5pm and cost $10.00 per person. Children’s admission is free.


g Music in the Valle: Valle Crucis Community Park Fridays 7pm, May27-Aug 12 and 6:30pm, Aug 19-Sept 9 g Music at the Riverwalk: Every Friday night, 6-9pm through August 18. Newland Riverwalk Park, below Lowes Foods parking lot. g Concerts in the Park, Banner Elk: Every Thursday through August 6:30pm, Tate Evans Town Park, next to Town Hall on Hwy 194.

g Backstreet Park Summer Concerts: 5:30-7:00pm select Fridays downtown West Jefferson on the Backstreet. Bring your own seating. g Concerts in the Park, Blowing Rock: Sundays at 4pm following Art in the Park. Bring your own seating. Memorial Park on Main. g Blowing Rock Town Concert Series: in Broyhill Park at 7pm Monday nights July 13-Aug10, g Todd Summer Music Series: 6pm in Cook Park in downtown Todd, select Saturdays starting June 24,


g An Appalachian Summer Festival: now through August 5. Annual cultural event includes music concerts. Boone, NC. Info and tickets: 800-841-2787. g Red White & Bluegrass Festival – July 1-4. Catawba Meadows Park, Morganton, NC. Schedule and tickets: www. g Ashe County Bluegrass & Old Time Fiddlers Convention: July 28-29. 48th annual event. Barn Dance, camping available, jams and competition. Ashe County Park, Jefferson, NC. For complete information, 336-846-2787, g FloydFest’17 “Freedom”: July 26-30. Floyd, VA. or complete information, g Virginia Highlands Festival: July 28-August 6. 69th annual event includes live music concerts. Abingdon, VA. g Bristol Rhythm and Roots Reunion: September 15-17 downtown Bristol, VA/TN. For tickets and more information g The Fourth Annual Blowing Rock Music Festival: September 16 hosted by local legends The Harris Brothers. The festival will feature the best in Americana, folk, blues, rock and jazz, Info and tickets: 828-295-7183, 800-295-7851, g Long Journey Home Musical Heritage Homecoming Tour: Johnson Country Tennessee August 31-September 3 g Wildcat Music Festival: Holston Presbytery Camp and Retreat Center, Banner Elk, NC, Saturday, August 12, 2pm – 10pm. For tickets and more information

Typical Mountain Boys Band performing at Old Hampton Store in Linville


g Fred’s Summer Sunday Sunset Concerts: The Gazebo at Fred’s General Mercantile, Beech Mountain 6:30pm Sundays starting July 12-Aug 2, events. g Live Music at the Original Store:Saturday and Sunday, Noon-2pm. The Mast Store, Valle Crucis. 828-963-6511,


g Jones House Concerts on the Lawn: Fridays at 5pm through August. Bring your own seating. Jones House Community Center, 604 W. King St., Boone, g Jones House Jams: Thursdays, 7:30pm.. Bring an instrument and join the jam. Jones House Community Center, 604 W. King Street, Boone., 828.268.6280. g Blowing Rock Art & History Museum (BRAHM): Sundays at 4pm, 159 Chestnut Street, Blowing Rock. Buy tickets in advance to guarantee admission. 828-295-9099 or go by the museum. g Crossnore Jam: Live Jam first Friday of every month 7pm, bring an instrument, Town Meeting House. g Wilkesboro Open Air Market: The third Friday of the month 4pm at 102 West Main St. g Joe Shannon’s Mountain Home Music: Celebrating Appalachain Culture, various dates and locations throughout the region. For information and tickets go to www.

*Before venturing out, please be sure to verify dates/times with each of these venues, as details may change due to weather, etc. CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Summer 2017 —


The Quilt Square Girls of Ashe County By Joe Tennis

West Jefferson’s Syndi Brooks and Renee Brooks are stitching together art along the roadsides of North Carolina. This pair of artists call themselves the “Quilt Square Girls.” And while they don’t spend much time making actual quilts, they do replicate quilt patterns—or create new ones—painting quilt squares on boards, largely for public display, and especially for barns. “I look at barn quilts the way you would look at a quilt; it pieces communities together,” says Syndi Brooks. “It’s one of the fastest-growing grassroots movements in the United States.” Locally, you’ll find quilt squares throughout the mountains of North Carolina, as well as neighboring Tennessee and Virginia. In the High Country, look for many around Sparta. “It’s huge,” Brooks says. “They have beautiful barn quilts there. They just have such nice, easily marked trails to follow.” The Ashe County Arts Council received a grant from the Blue Ridge Commission to help start a barn quilt trail. Today, you’ll find a variety of quilt-square loop tours and a downloadable map on the Ashe County Arts Council’s web page (ashecountyarts. org). “Right now, Ashe County has 150 documented, 8-by-8 barn quilts. But there are hundreds more on sheds and houses and gazebos,” adds Brooks. To help meet the demand for hand-painted barn quilt squares, the Brooks couple operates a shop called Quilt Square Girls in downtown West Jefferson. They paint squares in various sizes, up to 8 feet. “And we also teach classes in Barn Quilt Painting at Florence Thomas Art School here in West Jefferson,” says Brooks. Customers may pay anywhere from $80 to $1,000 for quilt squares. Many come wanting to replicate a family heirloom: an antique quilt. “And they’re always excited to be part of the planning,” Brooks explains. “They’re getting a hand in their piece. They love to go over the colors and the different shapes and what goes where.” Over the years, the Quilt Square Girls have painted pieces that have gone to Beech Mountain, Banner Elk, and along the Blue Ridge Parkway. They have helped tourism officials of Hendersonville develop a barn quilt trail. In all, they have shipped barn quilts to about 20 states, including Hawaii. And the pair of artists never get tired of this work. “We love the geometry of it,” says Brooks. “We love the history that it incorporates with the quilts. And we love the fact that our customers feel so strongly about it.” The Brooks plan to be in this line of art for many years to come. “In the past, I wondered if this was something that was flyby-night. But it really isn’t,” shares Brooks. “I just don’t think there’s a time limit on history. And, people want things that brighten their lives…to be part of the arts community.” The Quilt Square Girls shop is located at 5 East Second Street, West Jefferson, NC 28694. Find them online at or on Facebook.


Robbie Bell

Following the Barn Quilt Trails in North Carolina By Joe Tennis


any miles from the North Carolina High Country, a unique art movement began. A colorful quilt square, painted on wood and affixed to a barn in Ohio, paid tribute to a quilt-making mother who had recently passed away. This artistic tribute made the headlines, and soon after a barn quilt movement began sweeping the country. Since the mid-2000s, Tarheel tourists have seen this movement take hold throughout western North Carolina, including the counties of Avery, Watauga, and Ashe. The latter—the “Lost Province”—is sometimes called the “Barn Quilt Capital of North Carolina.” In and around Boone, the Watauga Barn Quilts began in 2007 as a project of Handmade in America, supported by grant funds from the Blue Ridge National Heritage Area. Quilts painted by families, groups, students and volunteers have adorned barns, homes, schools and businesses. And the links that tie from one landmark to another also tie to the past, sharing traditions of a rich Appalachian heritage. The Watauga Trail, in turn, links to the quilt trails in Ashe, Avery, Madison, Mitchell and Yancey counties across

North Carolina. For a barn-quilt trail brochure, visit the Watauga County Arts Council’s Blue Ridge ArtSpace, 377 Shadowline Drive, in Boone. You can also download the “Watauga County Barn Quilt Trail” brochure (www.watauga-art. com) to follow the path. Among the jewels to find: North of Boone, look for barn quilt squares called “Sunflower Variation” (6170 Highway 194-North), “Square Within a Square” (1870 River Road) and “Dahlia Variation” (North Hardin Park School). South of Boone, you can find “Carpenter’s Wheel” (near Mast General Store), “Double Vee” (near the Valle Crucis Conference Center) “Bear’s Paw” (at the Appalachian State University Sustainability Farm) and “Sunburst” (along Arnett Hollow Road). Go west of Boone, on the trail, to see shapes dubbed “Sawtooth Variation” (1857 NC Highway 194-South); “Le Moyne Star” (George Gap Road, past Skyline Telephone); plus “Water Wheel” and “Double After” (both at 1767 Mabel School Road). Also west of Boone, take a turn down Old U.S. 421 to see the “Ohio Star” (or “Sawtooth”) while a trip to 4181 U.S. Highway 421-North leads to “Mariner’s Compass,” another unique shape. In Ashe County, which boasts 150 documented barn quilts, loop trails follow

color codes (blue, orange, red, green, purple and yellow), allowing visitors to easily follow the way to see barns with symbols of heritage and community. Such trails are the work of the Ashe County Arts Council, which has united community members to design, paint and mount quilt block paintings on barns as part of the Ashe Arts Barn Quilt Project (see “Quilt Square Girls,” left). Heading west in the High Country, Yancey, Avery and Mitchell counties, as well as three other nearby counties, are home to over 200 known quilt blocks, including “Mountain Laurel” atop Beech Mountain, located at 3560 Beech Mountain Rd. in Avery County. You can download an assortment of Western North Carolina Barn Quilt Trail maps at http:// Some quilt-square tourists pack picnic lunches and cameras, following trails like a scavenger hunt. Their reward? Braving the back roads and byways of North Carolina while discovering dozens of colorful quilt squares, largely posted on majestic barns that rise from scenic fields like statues of a farmer’s pride.



"Synergy" 46x34 framed Available at Kevin Beck Studio 828-719-1712

Sally Nooney ARTIST STUDIO GALLERY Fine Art Paintings Glass Creations and Heirloom Jewelry Scenic Hwy 194 South Midway between Valle Crucis & Banner Elk Tuesday thru Saturday 10-5 828-963-7347 • • Commissions Invited! Frank Nooney Furniture Restoration, and Antiques at the Gallery, next door

Celebrating 29 years in the High Country


See more Kevin Beck artwork at Carlton Gallery Hwy. 105 in the Grandfather Community

Kevin Beck

Charleston Forge Is Made in America: Forging a High Country Business By Karen Sabo


o forge is to shape a heavy object by heating it in fire, and then using force to hammer it into the desired form. That formidable process applies not only to the beautiful, substantial, madein-America goods that come out of the factory in Watauga County’s Charleston Forge, but also to the creation and continuation of the company itself.   Art and Susan Barber are known in the High Country for founding and running Charleston Forge, a premiere, finequality furniture operation that has operated for three decades, and has employed hundreds of people. Their beautiful pieces are in homes, offices, and hotels all over

the world, and the new Starbucks in Boone will feature one of their community tables as a focal point. The Charleston Forge workshop is a marriage of modern equipment and ingenuity with centuriesold techniques involving heat, hammers, and human will. The road to their current success hasn’t always been smooth and easy, but they have come through the fires of challenge stronger than before.   Originally from Winston-Salem, the Barbers went to college in Boone and have been in business together nearly since that time. Their first business was a fireplace store, and through that, they learned that many foreign-made fireplace items weren’t as well made as they, and their customers, would have liked. That led to starting Charleston Forge, where they could have control over quality and make their items as durable, strong, and beautiful as they wanted.    The Barbers are pleased to have created jobs for people here in the High Country, and have actually retained their very first employee ever, who has now been working for them for 33 years. In considering why their employees stay loyal, Art said, “I think we have an uncanny ability to surround ourselves with people like us who have the same desire to please the customer and who are not afraid to

work to make that happen.” Susan credits Art with being the force behind the creativity, while she is more of a sensible, balancing influence. She says, “Art is the scrappy one. He’s the one who will figure out how to make something work one way or the other. And I tend to be a little more reserved than he is, but he has never ever been afraid to ask questions or ask for help. And that was a lot of what got us started and then continued our growth because he’d just pick up the phone and call somebody and learn about stuff.” Art agrees, saying, “I recognize the fact that I’m a dreamer and I tend to go off the deep end sometimes, but she’s always been the down to earth one who’d rationalize and so she waters the thing down a little bit. It works. She pulls in the reins sometimes and she’s right.”     They needed all of their skills and talents during the economic crash of 2008, when business slowed to a crawl. Charleston Forge had expanded to the point where they had numerous facilities, hundreds of employees, and were making mostly consumer pieces that people could suddenly no longer afford.  Art and Susan had to figure out how to restructure the business so it could survive. They learned many lessons during that continued...



difficult period, including that they didn’t need so many facilities or large overhead. Also, like many business owners, they were not necessarily ready to weather the sudden economic changes, nor ready to make drastic and immediate adjustments in systems they had built up slowly and gradually over many years. “We’re smaller and more flexible now,” said Art. “And we’ve also diversified. We’re doing a lot more furniture for hotels and restaurants whereas before our market was strictly residential...We’ll never be 250 people again like we were at one time. We don’t need to be. We’re on solid footing again and we learned so much from that recession that I don’t think we’ll ever have to go through the nightmare that we did before.”  Their business is strong now because of the Barbers’ willingness to do whatever was necessary to weather the recession, and that included bringing a new partner into the business:  Rick Grant.     The Barbers asked Grant to join them eight years ago, and describe him as a savvy businessman. The partnership has strengthened the company, and put it on healthy footing.  

Grant said the reason he became a partner in the business was because he was familiar with the great products and leadership at Charleston Forge, and so he wanted to help. “I love a challenge. I love the ‘Made in America’ story, I love creating jobs, and here’s two people that started an absolutely phenomenal company back in 1984—it stayed true to who they are and true to their values.”   Grant knew that his lack of sentiment about the business would be an asset in restructuring, and he admired Art and Susan’s eventual willingness to let go of aspects of the company they had built, even though it was a challenge. “I’m not emotionally attached; I want to do it like a business. What sells, what doesn’t sell... when you’re in a survival mode, you do certain things, when you’re in a growth mode you do other things, and so transitioning through that took a little massaging.” The Barbers and Grant credit their successful partnership to sharing similar values about working with integrity, and honoring people. Grant admired the Barbers, so when they teamed up, he told them he would try to do three things.

“Number one was to save the business. Number two was to try to teach them how to work on a business instead of always in a business. But the most important one was number three, and that was to see them smile again.” All three of them are smiling now, and business is going strong.   They urge people to get acquainted firsthand with their local operations. They have a consumer showroom at their facility on Industrial Park Drive in Boone, and from Mondays through Thursdays, people can schedule tours of the factory to watch the furniture-making process. Art said, “It never fails that once they see the product being made and all that goes into it, there’s never any question about the price. It is labor intensive, it’s hard work, and the people that come here appreciate what they see.”    Occasionally, they even let visitors try the hammer at a newly forming piece to see for themselves what kind of dedication, force, and care goes into creating their exquisite pieces. Bit by bit, the team at Charleston Forge makes tables, makes a small business, and makes a way of life.

Charleston Forge

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Labor Day Weekend is the Annual Musical Homecoming in Johnson County, TN By LouAnn Morehouse


t’s time for another round of memories and music this Labor Day, when folks in Johnson County welcome all who love Old Time music to their Musical Homecoming Weekend. Old Time is the granddaddy of music styles, the historical antecedent that gave rise to today’s Americana sound. It so happens that Johnson County, Tennessee, jammed up into that mountainous country between Virginia and North Carolina, put forth the people whose Old Time talents and traditions rose to national prominence in the early twentieth century. Native sons Tom Ashley, Fred Price, and Clint Howard, along with their friend, Doc Watson, were a major influence on musicians such as Bob Dylan and Jerry Garcia, and helped shape many of the music genres popular today. Although the Old Time masters are gone now, Johnson County still resonates with the sounds they brought to life. Sons and daughters carry on the tradition. People still dance and clap to the music; they still gather at the homeplace. And for the past couple of years, they have dedicated the Labor Day weekend to a fine celebration of it all, the Musical Heritage Homecoming.

The Homecoming is one part of a larger project, the “Long Journey Home,” which is a digital repository of narratives and photos, maps and remembrances of Johnson County’s role as “the place where ballads were born, stories shared, and many of the Old Time standards were written.” The website, longjourneyhome. net, is a great resource for learning about Old Time music, but there’s nothing like hearing and seeing for yourself. And attending the Homecoming is definitely the only way you’ll be able to eat a biscuit while sitting on the porch at Fred Price’s old place and listening to some hot licks just like they used to back in the day. This year the celebrating gets going with a dinner concert and dance in Mountain City on Thursday, August 31, at 5:00. It’s a popular event, so advance tickets are recommended: 423-727-8883. Then on Friday afternoon, September 1, the Buskers take over downtown Mountain City. They will provide a variety of musical performances to accompany the many food choices available from local restaurants. The celebration is in full swing by 10:00AM on Saturday, September 2, when the latest Long Journey Home mural is unveiled at the arts center at

Heritage Square. The murals, which commemorate the musical legends of Johnson County, enhance the downtown streetscape in Mountain City. Then it’s time to get in the car and start exploring the Musical Heritage Tour—where the music was played and where events took place that shaped the songs. At 4:00PM, be sure to wind up at Fred Price’s homeplace for an open jam that is likely to go on till all hours. Throughout the weekend there will be an art show at the library and a quilt show at First United Methodist. And on Sunday afternoon, September 3, at 2:00PM the Homecoming weekend winds up with a “Sunday Singin’” at Heritage Hall in Mountain City. Full details of the Homecoming weekend, including maps of the Music Heritage Tour, are at the website. Maps are also available from the Johnson County Welcome Center and the library.



SUMMER OF 79° any hotter and the golf’s on us! Play it COOL at NC’s mile high country club ... golf, tennis, pool and fun for the whole family. Book a Summer of 79° Stay & Play Golf Package at Beech Mountain Club, and if the official temperature of your day of play exceeds 79°, you’ll receive a free round of golf! Rates start at just $79 per person, per night. | 800.468.5506

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15th Annual

FREE KITES to kids while supplies last 800.468.5506 40 — Summer 2017 CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE

Photo © Todd Bush

Summertime Means Fun Time at Beech Mountain Ski Resort


eech Mountain Resort isn’t just for winter anymore. The ski resort is open four days a week through Labor Day, providing a variety of summer fun activities. Visitors can choose from scenic chairlift rides, disc golf, mountain biking lessons, downhill mountain biking, live music at the 5506’ Skybar and freshly brewed ales at the Beech Mountain Brewing Company. The chairlift rides offer dramatic scenery as you climb to the 5,506-foot summit of the highest ski area in Eastern America. A one-time pass is $10 or get an all-day ticket for $35. Reduced rates are available for youths. Once at the top, take in the panoramic view from the observation deck and grab something to eat (or drink) inside the glass roundhouse 5506’ Skybar. The disc golf course at Beech Mountain provides a unique experience. Soak in sweeping views of the Blue Ridge Mountains while playing North Carolina’s only chairlift-assisted course. The cost for an 18-hole round, including chairlift ticket, is $15. Downhill mountain biking has become a popular summer pastime. The resort offers six trails varying in difficulty from beginner to intermediate to advanced. There is no cost to ride the trails, but riders must purchase either a single-ride chairlift ticket ($10) or a day pass ($35). Mountain bike rentals and mountain bike lessons are available at Ski Beech Sports in the resort village. Other activities include Saturday afternoon outdoor concerts on the deck of the 5506’ Skybar and beer tastings at Beech Mountain Brewing Company in the resort village. Hours of operation are 12pm to 6pm. Thursdays; and 10am to 6pm. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. For more info, visit:, or call (800) 438-2093.

Fly a Kite a Mile High on Beech Mountain this Labor Day Weekend Brilliant colors fill the sky above Beech Mountain’s town meadow as the 15th annual Mile High Kite Festival takes flight Labor Day weekend. The festival runs Saturday, Sept. 2, and Sunday, Sept. 3 10am to 4pm. The family-friendly event encourages people of all ages to enjoy the simple pleasure of flying a kite. Beech Mountain’s elevation of more than 5,000 feet makes it easy for kites to climb more than a mile above sea level. Saturday is a laid-back, unhurried affair with an open field for kite flying. On Sunday afternoon, everyone is again invited to fly kites on the field, where they will be joined two kite clubs — the Richmond Air Force club and Charlotte’s Wings Across Carolina Kiting and Okra Society. Both clubs will present kiteflying demonstrations. “The festival is a way to bring in all types of people from all over, including residents and visitors, for a fun weekend,” says Lauren Mills of the Beech Mountain Chamber of Commerce, which sponsors the event. “It’s a wonderful time to be on the mountain.” On Sunday, the first 300 children receive free kites. The blank kites are ideal for personalizing and decorating. Multiple prizes will be awarded for the most original kites, kites flown the highest and best-decorated kites. Other children’s activities include rides, bounce houses and face painting, as well as a variety of food and craft vendors. On Saturday night, an all-ages street dance takes place in the Visitors Center parking lot across from the kite field. The free dance runs from 6pm to 9pm. Throughout the weekend, Beech Mountain Resort offers scenic chairlift rides. At the mountain’s summit, visitors enjoy panoramic views, hiking trails and a refreshment from the 5506’ Skybar. Admission to the festival is free. Nominal fee for parking. To plan your Labor Day weekend getaway just visit www. or call (800) 468-5506. CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Summer 2017 —


art, antiques, music & h

Summer in Blowing Rock! Art in the Park

Saturdays: July 15, Aug 12, Sept 9, Oct 7, 10am–5pm One Saturday each month throughout the summer and fall, the historic village of Blowing Rock comes alive with artists selling their wares along Park Avenue. Many of these artists have gathered here for generations to share their talent and work with visitors. At each show you’ll find incredible pottery, glass, wood, fiber, painting, photography, handcrafted jewelry and more. The quality of work exhibited draws thousands to the mountains each month. This year marks the 55th year of the “Art in the Park” festival series.  Under the direction of the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce, the festival strives to protect its rich heritage, upholding the highest standards of art and craft selection. Art in the Park’s high standards and professional jury attract artists from all over the Southeast to exhibit. Art in the Park is so much more than your typical craft show. There is truly something for everyone with pieces ranging from $10 to $10,000.  Each Art in the Park features more than 90 artists. Many of the artists are different from month-to-month, which means there is always something new to see.    It’s an ideal day trip—enjoy shopping through beautiful handmade crafts, followed by a nostalgic stroll through the Village of Blowing Rock. Admission is free, and free parking is available at parking decks on Wallingford St. and Chestnut St. Free trolley rides are available from the Tanger Shoppes on the Parkway and the Food Lion grocery on Highway 321. Learn more at

Blowing Rock Art & Antique Show

July 28-30 (Fri and Sat 10am–5pm, Sunday 11am–2pm) For the weekend of July 28-30, the galleries at the Blowing Rock Art & History Museum (BRAHM) will be uninstalled and 5,000 square feet of antique booths will take over. The items to be showcased include furniture, porcelain, silver, jewelry, and art. If you would like an inside scoop and the first bid on an item, there will be a Preview Party the evening of July 27. Tickets can be bought online or at the Museum and include admission to the three-day event. The Blowing Rock Art & Antiques Show was started in 2006 and has since grown to be the Museum’s largest event, bringing in dealers from all over the Southeast. All proceeds go directly to the museum, helping fund year-round programming, educational outreach, and museum exhibitions. This year you can enjoy a taste of the High Country. There will be a pop-up coffee shop with local roasters Hatchet Coffee and baked goods from other local shops. Tickets are available at


Symphony by the Lake at Chetola

Friday, July 28, 2017 Often stated to be one of the pinnacle events of the summer season in Blowing Rock, Symphony by the Lake is celebrating 30 years on Friday, July 28th. With a theme of “Oh the Places You’ll Go!” this event is sure to be adventuresome! More than 40 patron tents decorated to this theme will play host to private parties, there to enjoy good company and great music as the sun sets on beautiful Chetola Lake. Designs submitted have included Margaritaville, Hawaii, Paris, and some of the more common yet unexpected destinations in our area. This year’s Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce tent will be designed to reflect a Blowing Rock staple attraction – Moses Cone Memorial Park, to help bring awareness to their fundraising efforts. The evening will begin with the gates opening at 5:30 followed quickly by Todd Wright and Friends taking us away on a trip through Jazzland. The Symphony of the Mountains out of Kingsport TN will follow at 7:30. As a special treat, Emmett Cahill of the Irish singing group Celtic Thunder will join the orchestra as the soloist for the evening. Cahill has a large following so the addition to the already stellar performance is sure to result in a sold out event. Finally, the evening concludes with the spectacular fireworks finale that attendees have come to enjoy as much as the music. Tickets for the event are $40 in advance, $50 at the gate (if available–we do expect a sold out show!). Bring your chairs and a picnic or purchase a plate dinner at Chetola. Adult beverages will also be for sale or bring your own! No tables or tents—nothing to impede the view of those seated behind you. There are several dining options offered through Timberlake’s Restaurant. Limited Audiophile tickets are also available for the true music lover. Tickets include a parking pass, charcuterie basket with wine or beer, and a seat right in front of the orchestra. These seats are reserved as the “quiet area” where attendees sit up front and focus on listening to the music. Symphony by the Lake is presented by Hendrick Northlake Luxury Auto Mall and the Kennedy-Herterich Foundation. Numerous other sponsors also make the event a reality. Visit to purchase tickets, or learn how to reserve a patron tent.


Tour of Homes

Friday, July 28, 9 am – 5 pm The 59th Annual Blowing Rock Tour of Homes, sponsored by St. Mary of the Hills Episcopal Church, will showcase five exquisite homes. All profits from the tour will be donated to charitable organizations in the Boone and Blowing Rock area, such as The Hospitality House, OASIS, Habitat for Humanity, and/or The Children’s Council.  Tickets are available online at the church website:  Buy Tour of Homes Tickets

Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show

By Maurice D. Ewing In just a few short years, the Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show will be celebrating a century of horse showing in this revered mountain town. That day will be a thrilling time for the Horse Show, but it will also celebrate 126 years of Horse Sports in the High Country. The Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show has enjoyed a checkered history. The Lenoir News Topic carried an article on September 8, 1897 which referred to the “Tournament at Green Park.” “You ought to have seen it! It was decidedly the most picturesque pageant of the season. From the Hotel piazzas to the white Green Park letters on the opposing hillside it was one bright flutter of gayety.”

This event was a gymkhana consisting largely of games on horseback which can best be described as an equine fashion show for the amusement of the Green Park Hotel guests. In “the old days” there were two communities that made up what is now Blowing Rock. One was the familiar Village of Blowing Rock. But there was also the Village of Green Park that unlike today had its own community identity centered largely around the Green Park Hotel, which had an official post office in the lobby. In the early 1920s there was a fierce rivalry between the two villages. In celebration of that rivalry there was an organized horse race from Green Park to Blowing Rock and back. It was an exciting, intense and well attended event that was held for several years in the early

1920s. We are told there was no alcohol or gambling involved, but nobody believes that. The history of horse sports in Blowing Rock can also be traced to the turn of the century when Moses Cone, the successful merchant and textile pioneer, built his grand home not far from Main Street in Blowing Rock. His passion for engineering and construction led to the building of 25 miles of Carriage Roads and horse trails around and through his lush 3,000 acre estate. When Mrs. Cone invited the public to enjoy her property, the only way to explore all the “haints and hollers” of the Cone Estate was on foot, on horseback, or in a horse drawn carriage. That is still continued...



true today. As Blowing Rock continued to grow as a tourist destination, a horseback ride in the Cone Estate became a must do activity for summer visitors. This of course meant that more livery stables and horse rental operations sprang up to accommodate the tourists. Lloyd M. Tate, a horseman from Pinehurst, was one of those seasonal livery stable operators. In 1923, Mr. Tate held his first Blowing Rock Horse Show on Green Hill

Road just up the mountain behind the Green Park Hotel. This was a much tamer event than that early gymkhana or the rowdy horse race, but one thing led to another and the show took on a more formal atmosphere with rules and decorum better fitting an official sporting event. By the mid-1920s, Thomas A. Broyhill had purchased much of what we know today as the Mayview section of Blowing Rock. That was around 1,000

acres at the time. The horse show moved to a small, little used golf course on land owned by Mr. Broyhill—the intention being to make the horse show an attraction for guests of the nearby Mayview Manor Hotel. In 1934 Mr. Broyhill sold the “horse show grounds” to the Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show Association for the tidy sum of $1.00. The show is still held on that site today. The Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show has been held un-interrupted by recessions, depressions, foul weather or even World War II with the gas rationing that severely limited vacation travel. It has survived one national and regional crisis after another, and the show is stronger today in every respect than it has ever been before. The show, of course, is not only about horses and the traditions of riding in the Highlands; it’s also about supporting many charitable causes in and around Blowing Rock. Proceeds from the show have been used to support local organizations including the Blowing Rock Fire Department, Blowing Rock Rescue Squad, Watauga County Humane Society, the Blowing Rock Rotary Club and Horse Helpers of the High Country. A high priority is placed on encouraging youth interested in horsemanship, so the Foundation typically supports Appalachian State University’s Equestrian Team and other youth oriented riding programs. Also it should come as no surprise to anyone, that the Horse Show contributes generously, through the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation, to the preservation and maintenance of the Cone Estate’s Carriage Roads that inspired the popularity of recreational riding in Blowing Rock more than a century ago. In 2016, with the Show Grounds already carrying the L. M. Tate name which honors the horse show’s founder, the entire property was named the Broyhill Equestrian Preserve in recognition of Tom Broyhill’s original gift of the site. 2017 Horse Show Events: Hunter/Jumper Show Week 1: July 25-30 Hunter/Jumper Show Week 2: Aug. 1-6 General admission is $10/person per day (children 12 and under are free).


Be sure to visit The Blowing Rock

DON’T MISS Shagging @ The Blowing Rock - August 12th 4th Annual Music Festival - Sept. 16th

“Enjoy the Legend” 828.295.7111 • Rock Road, Blowing Rock NC • N o r t h C a r o l i n a’s O l d e s t Tr a v e l A t t r a c t i o n , S i n c e 1 9 3 3

You already know Sugar Mountain is the place for great winter sports. Isn’t it time you discovered Spring, Summer and Fall, too? Cool temperatures, scenic lift rides, hiking, cycling, public golf and tennis are calling you, and our fabulous accommodations deliver the High Country experience in beautiful settings central to the Blue Ridge Parkway and its myriad of colorful mountain towns. See why Sugar is a great choice for any season of the year. Book your stay today and ask about our unlimited Golf and Tennis packages. At Sugar Mountain, the only thing missing is you.

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SUMMER ART, READING AND MORE... The Art Cellar Gallery & Framemakers Celebrates 25th Season Join the Art Cellar for a full season of exhibitions, artist talks, book signings and other special events from June through October. All events are free and open to the public. Located near central Banner Elk, the gallery specializes in fine art, sculpture and other three-dimensional works in glass, clay, wood and stone. Owners Pam and Michael McKay also offer museumquality framing services, in-house professional art consultation and creative design solutions for homeowners and businesses. The Art Cellar Gallery & Framemakers is located at 920 Shawneehaw Ave., Banner Elk, or online at www. Turchin’s “Find Your Art” Summer Workshops The Turchin Center for Visual Arts (TCVA) is perhaps best known for its dynamic art exhibitions that are housed in the large brick and glass building on King Street. During the summer, the Turchin Center offers a variety of art workshops for kids and teens. For a complete list of summer workshops, visit tcva. org, or call 828-262-3017. The Turchin Center is located at 423 West King St., in Boone. Hours are 10 AM - 6 PM, Tues. - Thurs. and Saturday, and Noon - 8 PM, Friday.


BRAHM Summer Workshops The Blowing Rock Art & History Museum offers a wide range of workshops for artists of all ages, from a Kids’ Paper Sculpture Camp, to Precious Metal Clay Jewelry. Vist http:// for a full listing and details on each workshop. Bill Brown’s Sculpture Garden Party On July 15 and 16 gear up for fun at sculptor Bill Brown’s Sculpture Garden Party & Summer Studio Show. Explore the studio, partake in summer refreshments, enjoy the art, visit with old friends and make new ones! The event runs Saturday and Sunday, 10 AM – 6 PM at Studio Sculpture Garden & Gallery, Linville Falls NC. For more information, call 828.765.6226 or visit

Fine Art & Master Crafts Festival, Downtown Banner Elk On July 14-16 and August 1113, visit the grounds of the Historic Banner Elk Elementary School for an eclectic gathering of international and mountain fine artists and master crafters. Friday 1-6 PM, Saturday 10-5 PM, Sunday 10-4 PM. Admission is free. Learn more at

Alta Vista Gallery Celebrates 27 Years of Fine Art Alta Vista invites you to their Summer 2017 Gallery Receptions on the 4th Saturday of each month, 11 AM to 5 PM. Meet the artists and enjoy refreshments. The Gallery shows over 100 artists, in oil, acrylic, pastel, watercolor, and limited edition prints, as well as sculptures, stained-glass, art tiles, and Mangum Pottery. Alta Vista is located in a National Register of Historic Properties farmhouse at 2839 Broadstone Road, Valle Crucis, between the Mast Farm Inn and Mast Store Annex. www.altavistagallery. com, 828-963-5247.

MICA Presents Flights of Fancy Mica, a cooperative gallery of fine crafts located in downtown Bakersville, NC, showcases the work of its 13 members whose creative lives have been nurtured by the energy of the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains. On display and available for sale is a variety of functional and sculptural ceramics, glass, fiber, metal, and paintings. This summer, enjoy special artist exhibits and events, including Works in Black & White through July 24, and Flights of Fancy, an exhibit that’s all about BIRDS, BIRDS, and more

BIRDS. Flights of Fancy shows July 27 through October 17, with a reception on July 29 from 5 – 8 PM. And on Labor Day Weekend, September 2 – 4, migrate to Mica to see Flights of Fancy AND enjoy “bird-themed” treats. http://

Ashe County Studio Tour 2017 Summertime in the Mountains ...what better way to see the countryside than on a twoday Studio Tour, and to see the best Ashe County artists working in their own studios! On August 5-6 the Ashe County Arts Council will sponsor the Ashe County Studio Tour, a twoday, self-guided, free event in which Ashe County artists open their studios to the public. All art on the Ashe County Studio Tour is handmade, original work designed and produced by the artists in Ashe County. Tour maps are available at the Ashe Arts Center and there will

be Studio Tour signs along the roadways to help people find their destinations. The studios are open from 10 AM to 6 PM on Saturday, August 5 and noon until 5 PM on Sunday, August 6. For more information, contact the Ashe County Arts Council at 336-846-2787 or email jane@

“Toe River Valley” Exhibit in Mitchell and Yancey Counties The Toe River Arts Council will host two community wide exhibitions on August 19 in Burnsville and August 26 in Spruce Pine, North Carolina. “Toe River Valley” will run through September 23 at both galleries, and is a unique look at the Toe River and its surrounding countryside from the viewpoint of painters, photographers, and threedimensional artists.

BE Artists Gallery Opens Mid-Summer! A new group of artists have joined together to open a gallery of fine arts and crafts at the Historic Banner Elk School in downtown Banner Elk, NC. The Co-op offers for sale to the public hand-made objects of beauty and utility created by artists who live within a fifty-mile radius of Banner Elk. An application for consignment artists is available online at NC Mineral & Gem Festival Since the early 1950s, Spruce Pine, North Carolina has been the host of the NC Mineral & Gem Festival and welcomed visitors from around the world to shop for beautiful jewelry, gemstones, minerals, beads, crystals, fossils and more. Attend this year’s event August 3-6, and enjoy a free concert on Friday August 5th, 6 PM in downtown Spruce Pine. Learn more at

Summer at Sugar Mountain Resort Summit Crawl & Classic Car Cruise-In Fourth of July Sports Shop Sale Fireworks on Top of Sugar Mountain Weekend Scenic Chairlift Rides Hiking & Biking Trails Oktoberfest 800-SUGAR-MT CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Summer 2017 —


information, visit lungscreening, or call the ARHS Pulmonary Navigator at 828386-2039.

Free Events at the Banner Elk Book Exchange There’s more than books at the Book Exchange, the volunteer-run and guided community space at the Historic Banner Elk School. Bring a book and take a book. Plus, attend free talks by local experts, authors, and interesting people on all sorts of topics. View the full summer schedule at www. Banner House Museum Experience 19th century life in Banner Elk and the High Country in the home of Samuel Henry Banner, one of Banner Elk’s original settlers. The Museum welcomes visitors June 17 through October 7. On Wednesday through Saturday, 11 AM to 3 PM, knowledgeable docents guide guests through the home to illustrate the history, culture, and development of the local community and surrounding areas. Visit for a list of special events offered throughout the season, or call 828-898-3634. HEALTH & WELLNESS Healthcare System to Launch New Lung Cancer Screening Program Did you know that lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in the United States? In June 2017, Appalachian Regional Healthcare System (ARHS) launched a lung cancer screening program for patients who qualify. For more


High Country Health Fair & “Firehouse Chili Cookoff” On July 29, join health and public safety professionals and providers as they discuss what you can do to help protect the health and safety of you and your family, how you can rehab after having a medical problem, and other related subjects. The program will be held at the Linville Land Harbor Recreation Building, and begins at 4 PM; at 6 PM a prize winning “Firehouse” Chili Meal will be served. There will be music, and other surprises to enjoy. All proceeds to support the Crossnore Volunteer Fire Department. Save the Date: Hunger and Health Coalition’s Masquerade Ball The Hunger and Health Coalition is bringing back their Masquerade ball for year three! Save the date now and attend this fun event on Saturday, October 28, from 7 PM – 10:30 PM, at the Blowing Rock Country Club. Learn more at hungerandhealthcoalition. com. FOR THE PETS High Country Pet Fest Pet lovers mark your calendar for the 6th Annual High Country Pet Fest to be held July 22 and 23, at Historic Downtown Banner Elk Elementary School. The Annual High Country Pet Fest is a community-wide event that celebrates pets and the families who love them. The Banner

Elk TDA, The Avery County Chamber of Commerce and My Best Friend’s Barkery host the festival with proceeds from this event benefiting local animalrelated charities. Visit http:// for more information. Country Classic Evening at Avery County Humane Society A Country Classic Evening to benefit the Avery County Humane Society will be held in the Stables at Tynecastle on August 19 from 6 PM to 10 PM. There will be food, wine and beer, dancing, live music, and both a silent and a live auction. For additional info, visit www. or contact Joanie Byer at (828) 390-7863.

Celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Fur Ball with the Watauga Humane Society Looking for an event that is the cat’s meow? Mark your calendars for this year’s Fur Ball to benefit the Watauga Humane Society. On Saturday, September 23rd the Blowing Rock Country Club will be transformed into a speakeasy bathtub gin joint for dinner, drinks, dancing and a silent auction. This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Fur Ball and the roaring twenties theme promises to put the FUN back into fundraising!

Invitations will go out mid-July or tickets can be purchased online at wataugahumane. org. For more information or sponsorship opportunities, please contact Steve at whs.

Photo courtesy of


2017 Grandfather Highland Games Blaring bagpipes, astounding athletes and tons of tartans converge in Western North Carolina at the 62nd Annual Grandfather Mountain Highland Games, July 6-9. The Highland Games will be held at MacRae Meadows on Grandfather Mountain near Linville, NC. Visit or www.gmhg. org for more information. Summer in the Village of Sugar Mountain On Saturday, July 1, run, walk, or crawl from the base of Sugar Mountain Ski Resort to its summit as a participant in the first annual Summit Crawl competition. And meander through the line-up of classic vehicles during the Classic Car & Truck Cruise-in. Sit and relax with a cool beverage as you watch the 4th of July fireworks display at the top of Sugar Mountain just after 9 PM on July 4. The Summit Express lift will carry passengers to the mountain’s

peak and back down before and after the show. And you can ride the Summit Express sixpassenger lift to the mountain’s peak any weekend from July 1 through September 4. Daily from dawn until dusk through October 22, hike or mountain bike the miles of trails which meander throughout the Village of Sugar Mountain.

breathtaking views of scenic Grandfather Mountain while getting a great workout. Walkers will be able to participate on a condensed 3K course, non-timed. The race begins at 8 AM. Learn more and register at www.racingtoes. com

Wildcat Music Festival and 5K Trail Run The Wildcat 5K Trail Run/ Hike starts at 9 AM on Saturday, August 12 at the Lake Lyons Pavilion, located at the Lake Lyons entrance to the camp on Hickory Nut Gap Rd. The course is a strenuous 3.1 miles across various terrains through the camp past many of the most iconic features of the camp such as The Treehouse, Gilmer Woods, Rustic Campsites, Worship Point, and Wildcat Lake. Participants are invited to register online at or see for details. Register before July 15 for a free event tee-shirt. The Wildcat Music Festival is a family friendly event staged on the banks of Wildcat Lake that features bands, food vendors, and activities. Music and festivities go from 2 - 10 PM.

Visit Your Farmers Markets

1st Annual 7K Run/Walk in Scenic Seven Devils, NC “The Hawk” is a new 7K race taking place at Hawksnest Resort on September 16th. The course is a 7K loop with the start/finish line at Hawksnest parking lot. This is a unique opportunity to experience


Avery County Farmers Market: Every Thurs., 4:30-7 On the Green at the Historic BE School Blowing Rock Farmers Market: Every Thurs. through MidOctober, 4-6 Park Avenue Abingdon Farmers Market: 3rd Sat. in April - Thanksgiving; Tuesday 3-6 Sat. 8-1 Corner of Cummings & Remsburg Dr. Abingdon, VA Ashe Country Farmers Market: Sat. rain or shine, 8-1, and on Wed. July 5-Sept., 8-1 Backstreet in downtown West Jefferson Johnson County Farmers Market: Sat. 9-12 in Mountain City, TN 110 Court St. Morganton Farmers Market: Sat. 300 Beach St. 8-12 Wed. 111 N. Green St. 11-3



Watauga Farmers’ Market (check out the story in this issue)

High Country Food Hub Online Marketplace is Live This spring, the Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture (BRWIA), in partnership with the Watauga County Cooperative Extension launched their new High Country Food Hub’s online marketplace, which provides a weekly shopping opportunity for purchasing local products from the Food Hub. Over 200 local products are currently available for purchase including bread, eggs, goat cheese, pasture raised meats, stone-milled grits, honey, pasta, potatoes, pumpkins, dried apples, granola, homegrown popcorn, caramel sauce, handmade soaps and worm castings. Online shopping is available from noon on Friday until 10 PM on Monday. Custom orders are packaged and ready for pick up on Wednesdays from 11:30 - 5:30. Located at 252 Poplar Grove Rd. in Boone, the Food Hub is a central aggregation, storage, distribution and marketing facility for locally-grown food and other value-added products. For more information, go to


Caldwell Blackberry Festival Enjoy blackberries in ways you never thought possible at this year’s Blackberry Festival in downtown Lenoir, NC. From July 6-9, sample cuisine, drinks, music, dancing, parades, pageants and more, all in honor of the humble blackberry. For more information, contact the Caldwell County Chamber of Commerce, or visit Sculpture Garden Party July 15 & 16, Sat & Sun 10-6

featuring regional sculptors works in clay, stainless, stone, steel, glass


828.765.6226 | | Linville Falls, NC New Dimension for Landscape & Interior | Open Tues–Sat

Blue Ridge Explorers: Add Some Sparkle to Summer Nights By Tamara Seymour


ong before fireworks and laser light shows, nature’s original spectacle of twinkling lights illuminated the night sky. The firefly, or lightning bug, is actually a beetle that uses internal chemical processes to dazzle us with brilliant displays on dark evenings. We call this innate ability for animals to produce light bioluminescence, and fireflies with their glowing abdomens are one of the most vivid examples of this natural phenomenon. Other creatures, such as jellyfish, plankton, and snails as well as some fungi, are also capable of bioluminescing. The light these organisms produce is known as “cold’ light, which means that the particles of light emitted produce no heat—100 percent of the energy created is in the form of light. A firefly’s flashing patterns are involved with mating—specific patterns help the males and females attract and recognize one another, and the patterns, light color, and mating times vary by species. Temperature and soil moisture also help determine when mating season begins and ends. Many of the fireflies we see here in the High Country are “big dipper” fireflies (Photinus pyralis), also known as the common eastern firefly, or the pyralis firefly. But head west into the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and you’ll find a very special beetle: the native “synchronous firefly” (Photinus carolinus). These bizarre bugs put on a performance unlike any other, with thousands of fireflies flashing their lanterns in a synchronized fashion. While the primary mating season of the synchronous firefly generally ends by mid to late June, it’s never too soon to start planning for next year’s show—viewing synchronous fireflies has become so popular that the park regulates the number of spectators through a lottery system. Learn more about the lottery and the “Firefly Shuttle,” which transports visitors to the firefly viewing area, at Here in our neck of the woods, there’s still plenty of time to see some flicker. One of the best viewing spots is near an open field, pasture, garden or yard with a pond, stream or other water source nearby (fireflies prefer moist environments). You also

want to be in a dark area far away from street lights and parking lots. Find the right spot and you’ll get to enjoy nature’s background music—crickets, spring peepers, katydids, owls—setting some rhythms to the shimmering lights. This summer, add firefly viewing to your list of outdoor events. Grab a blanket, pack a late picnic, head to a dark destination, and be dazzled by Mother Nature’s original light show. Note: In days past, collecting fireflies in a jar was a summer ritual, especially for kids. However, capturing fireflies and containing them can actually stress out the insects and lead to their death. It’s best to handle these insects gently to observe them up close, and then release them back into the night sky. Tamara Seymour is a N.C. Certified Environmental Educator and Blue Ridge Naturalist. She is the publisher of Carolina Explorers magazine, a family publication all about the nature of North Carolina. You can reach Tamara at Inset Photograph: Photinus pyralis firefly in flight: art farmer

Large Photograph: Firefly at night: CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Summer 2017 —


The High Country: A Bucket List Too Big By Randy Johnson


ll kinds of mountain vacation spots compete for the attention of travelers. The most distant and exotic destinations are the places you always hear about when travel writers exhort us to create a “lifetime bucket list” of adventure and then get serious making memories before it’s too late. I understand that advice, but pause for a moment. There’s a time in everyone’s life when it makes sense to spend big bucks and fly overseas or drive for days to get out West. Nevertheless, whether you live in the High Country of northwestern North Carolina or are visiting from almost anywhere else—don’t lose sight of the bang you get for your “bucket” in a close-to-home mountain paradise like the one we have right here. I’m not saying “be happy with what ya got.” “Biggest, best, most,” and all the other superlatives claimed by those faraway places, fit easily at home in the High Country. Start with eastern America’s highest mountains. Draw a big triangle on a map and see what I mean. Go west from Mount Mitchell to Roan Mountain, then north to Mount Rogers just over the line


in Virginia, and back south past Grandfather and Linville Gorge to Mitchell again. Even a lifetime of summers pales beside the bucket list of outdoor options found hiding in the huge slice of worldclass summits we call home. By necessity, I’m gonna breeze through a lot of possibilities to get you thinking, so start with high and cool. Hiking leads that list, especially in the chilly evergreen forests of Mount Mitchell State Park—the East’s highest peak at 6,684 feet. Grandfather Mountain State Park wins for alpine grandeur—and ladder-climbing hikes that are not for the faint of heart. Lower on Grandfather, the Parkway claims easier but awesome walks, including the Mountains-to-Sea Trail, North Carolina’s emerging trail of national renown. On Roan Mountain and its adjacent highlands, evergreens alternate with “Sound of Music” alpine meadows where breezes ruffle your hair and acres of surrounding grasses. And it’s the Appalachian Trail you hike across these meadows, a global icon of the trail experience. Best of all, at each summit, and lofty Mount Jefferson State Natural Area in

Ashe County, a motor road permits the ease of a drive to the top of each mountain. Each has easy hikes for beginners and families, too—along with Grandfather’s famous Mile-High Swinging Bridge and great family-friendly nature education and programming. Oh, I almost forgot—these are some of the most scenic and ecologically significant natural environments in the entire Appalachians, places of national, even global importance. “World-class” is not an exaggeration in the High Country. Luckily, there are great outdoor shops and outfitters in our area, ready to supply you with gear and even the guides, for everything from hikes on the peaks, or caving far below them. What goes up must come down, and in the temperate rainforest of our area, that means crystal water flows down, nurturing nature and all kinds of other sights and sports. Don’t miss Linville Gorge for the water-cut deepest canyon in the East, one of a handful of wild areas that was federally designated as wilderness in the original Wilderness Act of 1964. At the Parkway’s Linville Falls, you get an easy taste of how the chasm was


carved. Speaking of cliffs and crags, rock climbing in the Gorge rivals that found anywhere in the East, and again area outfitters have all the gear and guidance you need to explore and do it safely. Don’t forget the region’s magnificent waterways. River tubing, whitewater rafting, canoeing, kayaking, paddle-boarding and fishing, are all premier ways to while away a lazy day or get your pulse racing. Rivers range from big water on the Nolichucky, Watauga, and Wilson Creek, to the pastoral scenery and state park facilities of the New River in Ashe County— the world’s second oldest river, a National Wild and Scenic River and one of the nation’s few heritage rivers. Many local outfitters offer water activities on these streams. Or choose a lake instead. Rent a boat at Price Lake on the Blue Ridge Parkway and explore a high altitude golden pond. Not far west of Boone, Watauga Lake boasts its own summer lake culture fueled by shoreline marinas, boat rentals, and places to stay and dine. Local waters are cool, but so is the weather, and that means tennis, golf, and mountain biking are High Country summer passions, far above the baking Pied-

mont. Factor in top notch facilities for each, and the combination of cool and high quality can’t be beat. Choice tennis courts and golf courses abound, with a few of our very best golf tracks designed by legends of the game and accessible to the public. Summer facilities at the High Country’s winter resorts are as attractive here as they are at ski resorts in the west and north. That starts with accommodations. If you want cool weather and great views, book a cabin or condo on a mile-high mountaintop. At both Beech and Sugar Mountain Resorts, tennis and golf are on site, with Beech guaranteeing a round in the seventies or you get your greens fee back. Though no longer home to a ski or golf resort, the lofty town of Seven Devils has one of the biggest zip line resorts in the East, Hawksnest Snow Tubing and Zipline. And there are also town tennis courts and the increasingly popular trail to Otter Falls. Don’t forget the area’s other zipline aerial adventure parks in our area. Both Beech and Sugar winter resorts also offer mountain biking and scenic

chairlift rides, but in Boone, mountain bikers have Rocky Knob Park, a dedicated biking park that’s a bonafide regional draw. There’s the easy Boone Greenway if you’re not up for that. Better yet, miles of scenic local roads can claim they once challenged the likes of Lance Armstrong, and today rural byways play host to a number of major regional bike events and races. In short, and in truth, if you’re here in the High Country this summer, your bucket list of outdoor activities is far bigger than even the well-informed traveler may realize. If you don’t get started soon, even a lifetime of summers may leave you wondering how time and youth got away from you. Randy Johnson has spent his lifetime pursuing the High Country’s secrets. His 2016 book, Grandfather Mountain: The History and Guide to an Appalachian Icon, tells the story of the mountain and the High Country. It’s a finalist for the 2017 Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards in travel.



Set Your Sights On Us On 67 acres of rural rolling terrain, among towering pines, red maples, and mighty oaks, and surrounded by the incredible Blue Ridge vistas in the heart of the gated Blue Ridge Mountain Club, lies Chetola Sporting Reserve. • • • • • •

Private - Exclusive Club Membership Orvis Endorsed Lodge & Guides NRA Certified Instruction Beretta and Caeser Guerini Shotguns 5 Stand Clay Station 13 Station Sporting Clay Course

• • • • • •

Pistol & Rifle Range Archery Range Float and Wade Trip Fly Fishing Adventures Public and Private Waters Private Events Corporate Meetings

Reserve Your Exclusive Membership Today! 828.264.6200 | 54 — Summer 2017 CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE

L to R: Kent Tarbutton, Jeremy Tarbutton, Bryan Moore, Morgan Tarbutton, Susan Metts, Grayson Jones, Chuck Melman, Greg Tarbutton | Photos by Scott Pearson

Chetola’s New Sporting Reserve: A Playground for Outdoor Enthusiasts


ust 10 minutes from Boone and Blowing Rock is an expansive piece of forest where most people have never ventured. The Blue Ridge Mountain Club (BRMC), a private community encompassing 6,200 acres, and graced with 50-mile mountain views in nearly every direction, is known for its high quality homes, 40 miles of hiking and ATV trails, and a budding social center that includes a clubhouse, grill, great lawn and fitness center. Nestled within the BRMC is a 67acre tract of rolling hills and mixed forest that recently has been designated as the Chetola Sporting Reserve at Blue Ridge Mountain Club. This new destination for sporting enthusiasts is the brainchild of Chetola Resort owners Kent and Greg Tarbutton, in collaboration with the Blue Ridge Mountain Club, Bob Timberlake, and a support team of organizations and individuals who have recently brought the unique sporting reserve concept to life. “We wanted to provide a recreational

setting for our guests, including international visitors, where they could truly experience the amazing Blue Ridge mountain surroundings, not just take in the views,” says Kent Tarbutton. A variety of hands-on sporting adventures are the focus of the reserve, and include clay shooting, archery, fly fishing, and a pistol and rifle range. The majority of Reserve is forested, with several trails for hiking. The Reserve is also a wildlife preserve, where species are protected and hunting is not allowed. A portion of the Reserve where the clubhouse, parking area, and clay shooting course have been built was formerly a Christmas tree farm, and is slowly repopulating with a variety of native vegetation. “We wanted the Reserve to be as natural as we could possibly make it and create an environment for members and guests to get to know North Carolina’s flora and fauna,” says Tarbutton. “We’ve worked with the N.C Wildlife Resources Commission to restore parts of the prop-

By Tamara Seymour

erty to a natural high-elevation forest setting, being sure to keep trees next to the streams, and replanting native trees and wildflowers.” The 1,784-square-foot clubhouse has an outdoorsy feel, as well, and hunting memorabilia decorates the walls throughout. A large stone fireplace is at the heart of the great room, which is outfitted with Bob Timberlake’s elegantly rustic furniture, artwork and accessories. The clubhouse and Reserve facilities can be enjoyed by members year-round, and are also used for corporate and executive retreats, and bridal party outings. Scheduled for completion later this year, but already in operation, the Sporting Reserve is currently available to Chetola Sporting Club members, select Chetola Resort guests, Blue Ridge Mountain Club residents, and special event attendees. A limited number of exclusive club memberships are still available. To inquire, call 828-264-6200, or visit CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Summer 2017 —


Our opening is within range Chetola Sporting Reserve

An Outdoorsman’s Dream Park

Congratulations on your opening. We’re proud you’re a part of the Blue Ridge Mountain Club community.

Chetola at Life at Blue Ridge Mountain Club may Sporting begin with oneReserve of our gorgeous homes, but that’s really a fraction of what Blueonly Ridge Mountain Club you’ll enjoy when you live in the best recreational community Spring 2017 in the High Country. Beginning with our Sporting Reserve quickly by aClub clubhouse, grill room Life and at Blue Ridgefollowed Mountain may begin with oneand of our gorgeous mountain-facing tnessreally center, BRMC is slated to have some homes, butfithat’s only a fraction of what you’ll enjoy when you of the finest amenities side of the Blue community. Ridge Mountains. live in thsthis majestic mountain Beginning with our Sporting Reserve opening in 2017 and quickly followed by a clubhouse, Wegrill currently havemountain-facing homesites available from the low $80’s, room and fitness center, BRMC is slated to have plus exquisite condominiums and homes from To Mountains. some of the finest amenities this side ofthe the $430’s. Blue Ridge learn more, book a Discovery Tour by calling (828) 414-3946. We currently have homesites available from the low $80’s, condominiums from $175, plus cottages, custom and move-in ready homes starting in the low $500’s. To learn more, book a Discovery Tour by calling (828) 414-3946. | 828-414-3946

Sales Office: 1116 Main Street in downtown Blowing Rock, NC

Find your forever.

Obtain the Property Report required by Federal Law before signing anything. All information is believed to be accurate but is not warranted. This information shall not constitute a valid offer in any state where prior registration is required. This information and features and information described and depicted herein is based on proposed development plans, which are subject to change without notice. Actual development may or may not be as currently proposed. No guarantee is made that the features, amenities, or facilities depicted by an artist’s rendering or otherwise described herein will be built, or, if built will be the same type, size, or nature as depicted or described. © 2015 Blowing Rock Resort Venture, LLC. | 828-414-3946

Sales Office: 1116 Main Street in downtown Blowing Rock, NC


— Summer 2017 CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE1 BRC_16695535_June_Chetola_Ad.indd

Find your forever. 6/14/17 4:02 PM

Obtain the Property Report required by Federal Law before signing anything. All information is believed to be accurate but is not warranted. This information shall not constitute a valid offer in any state where prior registration is required. This information and features and information described and depicted herein is based on proposed development plans, which are subject to change without notice. Actual development may or may not be as currently proposed. No guarantee is made that the features, amenities, or facilities depicted by an artist’s rendering or otherwise described herein will be built, or, if built will be the same type, size, or nature as depicted or described. © 2015 Blowing Rock Resort Venture, LLC.

Fred’s General


Everything store Everythingaa general general store usedtoto be be ......and more! used and more Camelbak • Sherpani • Columbia Woolrich • Columbia Merrell •• Wolverine Merrell Carhartt••Croakies HiTec Wigwam • Wigwam SweeTea • Life is Good Sherpani • Teva Teva • White Sierra Crocs • Life Is Good While at Freds ... While Fred’s ... StopAt in and Visit Stop in and visit

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The Wildbird Supply Company & Fred’s Backside Deli & Fred’s Backside Deli Brome • Droll Yankees • Opus Aspects • Perky Pet • Parasol 27th Anniversary Locally crafted houses & feeders Crafts themore! Green and on so much

Aug. 2 • 9 am-4 pm

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America’s highest town

828-387-4838 (828) 387-4838 501 Beech Mountain Parkway 501 Beech Beech Mountain, Mountain Parkway NC Beech Mountain, NC

Honey, Books, Magazines, Souvenirs, Friendly Service, Toys, Patio Dining, Hardware

, and Much More

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SUMMER MUSIC SERIES Through October, Every Thursday Night, 6-9pm Live Music | Lawn Games | Seafood Boil Local Handcrafted Beers Showcased Each Week Magnificent Sunsets over Grandfather Mountain


THE INN AT CRESTWOOD RESTAURANT & SPA 3236 Shulls Mill Road, Boone NC 28607 828.963.6646 |



Grandfather Trout Farm

Appalachian Angler



You may bring your own or use our equipment. All bait and tackle are furnished at no charge. We will supply you with a bucket, towel, net and the gear for all your fishing needs. Don't worry if you’ve never fished before, we'll be happy to help you get started.


For some, cleaning their catch is fun, and you may do so, or we will clean them for you. We can filet or clean your trout whole, then double bag and ice down your catch.


Hwy. 105, 10 Miles South of Boone

(across from entrance to Seven Devils)

Pioneers in Southeastern Flyfishing Since 1988 Worldwide Outfitters & Guide Service Outfitting Float & Wade Trips on Local Streams & Tailwaters Guides • Fly-Fishing School • Fly-Tying Hwy. 105, Boone • 828-963-5050 174 Old Shulls Mill Rd / Hwy 105 Between Boone & Foscoe

“The only Orvis endorsed fly shop in the high country”

Check out our new merchandise & product lines. Gifts & Gear, Full Line Fly Shop,Guided Float Trips, Fly Fishing School, Fly Tying Classes & More. 8857 Hwy 105 | Between Boone & Banner Elk | 828-963-6556

Rod, Reels, Flies, Wading & Footwear, Apparel and Fly Fishing Gifts Guided Trips, Casting Schools, Fly Tying Classes Open 7 day a week in Downtown Linville 4210 Mitchell Ave., Linville, NC 28646, 828-733-2181



Observation By Andrew Corpening


ne of the most important but overlooked aspects of flyfishing is observation. Many people get to the trout stream, wade right in, and start casting. This can be a major mistake that can hamper your success. Taking a few moments to study the stream can be as important as having the right fly. The first thing to look for before entering the stream is whether you need to get in the water at all. Newcomers to fly-fishing seem to think that they have to wade out to the middle of the stream before they start fishing. This is a mistake. Whenever possible stay out of the water. The action of moving through the water can spook the fish and make it nearly impossible to catch them. This is not to say that you should never get in the river. Due to the nature of casting a fly rod there are times that you will need to be in the water to achieve the space for the back cast, or to reach where the trout are holding. Insect activity is the second thing you need to look for when you first get to the stream. Notice if the trout are feeding on the surface. This is called rising. If you do see surface activity, try to see what insects they are eating. When you see the insect, choose a fly that most closely resembles the real thing and start fishing. If you cannot see the insect but the trout are feeding on the surface it means one of two things. The first is that the insect is so small that you cannot see it or, second, it is an insect that is floating in the surface film of the water. If you see any small insects flying around, choose a dry fly that is close to the same size and color. It is not an exaggeration that the trout may be feeding on something as small as the gnats flying around your face. If your observations indicate that there are no insects, even small ones

landing on the water, then the trout are probably feeding on insects in the surface film. To make this clearer, you need to understand a little about the life span of aquatic insects. These insects spend most of their lives under water as nymphs. Nymphs swim or crawl under the water for most of their life. At some point something causes them to come to the surface of the water and start to hatch. This hatch involves the casing, or husk, of the nymph splitting open and a winged insect emerging. The winged insect, after its wings dry, flies off to mate. It deposits its eggs back on the water and then dies. While these insects are in the surface film splitting open and drying their wings, they are extremely likely to become trout food. A good fly to use in this situation is a parachute pattern. This fly sinks into the surface film and appears to the trout as an emerging insect. You may have to experiment some to get the right size and color, but it is a go-to fly for surface feeding when you do not see any insects. Another good reason to spend some time observing the trout stream is to determine where the trout are suspended in the water column or “holding.” If it is your home water that you fish regularly, you probably know where the trout will be. If you see fish feeding it is obvious where they are. But if you are on new water, or there is no surface feeding (90% of the trout’s diet is underwater), it is extremely important to be able to “read” the water. Reading the water means knowing where the trout are likely holding. Where the trout are in the stream is dictated by a combination of three different factors; oxygen, food, and ease. The trout seeks a location facing upstream where the current is forcing water through their gills for oxygen, floating insects to them for food, and is not so strong that they have to work too hard to stay in position.

If these three things are present it is highly likely that a trout will be there. There have been full-length books written about reading trout streams, but there are a few key things to look for. Any obstacle that breaks the current can provide the location that fits the three needs of the trout. Look for boulders in the stream. Trout can be behind the boulder out of the stronger current where they can swim to eat an insect flowing over or to the sides of the rock. Due to the hydraulics of the water encountering a boulder and being slowed, there can also be a spot immediately up stream of the rock with slower current. This spot can also hold trout. Another good spot to find trout are riffles. Riffles are the areas where you see rolling water instead of a flat surface. Uneven sized rocks on the bottom of the stream cause the riffles. These rocks on the bottom can shelter trout in numerous locations. Thoroughly fish a riffle before moving to a new spot. Seams are also a good place to find trout. A seam is where fast water encounters slower current. The trout will hold at the seam in the slower water, but move out to take food flowing by in the faster current. Even though trout usually have to face upstream to be in their comfort zone, there is one situation where this is not true. This occurs when there is an eddy. An eddy happens when the bank or other obstacle causes the water to swirl in a circle and flow back upstream. In this situation a trout could be holding against the bank facing downstream. Some of the largest trout sometimes hold in an eddy. With these things in mind, take some time to observe what is going on the next time you get to the stream. The few minutes used to observe can mean a lot to your success in fooling the trout.






mountain notes M O U N TA I N N OT E S F R O M T H E G R A N D FAT H E R M O U N TA I N S T E WA R D S H I P F O U N D AT I O N

Grandfather Mountain: 2017 Special Events

Cougars, elk, bagpipes, artists and raptors—it’s 2017 at Grandfather Mountain. With a mission to inspire conservation of the natural world by helping guests explore, understand and value the wonders of Grandfather Mountain, the Linville, N.C.-based nature preserve and travel attraction is preparing for an eventful year. The summertime completion of the park’s renovated cougar habitat will allow the mountain to showcase some of its newest residents, Logan and Trinity, a recently rescued sibling duo of Western cougars. Meanwhile, construction on the mountain’s forthcoming elk habitat is slated for completion in autumn. On top of that, Grandfather has released its 2017 schedule of special events, featuring mountains of programs designed to educate and entertain.

Grandfather Presents: Ryan Kirby July 27, 6:00-8:00 p.m. It takes a trained eye to recreate the way sunlight bounces off a deer antler, or to perfectly place a thousand feathers as a tom turkey lunges forward into a thunderous gobble. For Kirby, the training takes place on his hunting adventures – each morning in the field used as a time to watch, listen and learn. Join Kirby, frequent cover artist for Outdoor and Field and Stream magazines, as he shares ways to experience the natural world. $20 General/Free for Bridge Club Members

62nd Grandfather Mountain Highland Games July 6-9 Blaring bagpipes, astounding athletes, delicate dancers, rocking Celtic music and a spectacular highland setting make this colorful celebration of Scottish culture one of the most highly acclaimed highland games in the country. Admission is charged for this event, and more information (including tickets) can be found at

Animal Enrichment Day August 2, 10:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Enrichment is an integral part of how Grandfather Mountain cares for its habitat animals every day. An enrichment is a special treat, new toy or even an unfamiliar scent given to the animals to break up their routines and help keep them active and intellectually stimulated. Visitors can enjoy watching enrichment demonstrations, talk directly with keepers and participate in family-oriented games and crafts. This event is included in the price of admission to the park.

From Board Roads to the Swinging Bridge: The History of Grandfather Mountain Field Course July 22 Michael Hardy, 2010 NC Historian of the Year Participants of this 6-hour program will learn the unique history of Grandfather Mountain. This course will include both time indoors, and exploration outdoors. Discover sites that highlight the work of men and women of long ago. $40 General/$20 Bridge Club Members CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Summer 2017 —


Grandfather’s Animals in Art: Wildlife Drawing Field Course August 19 Learn how to accurately draw animals in one of our country’s most wildlife-rich habitats, Grandfather Mountain. Wildlife artist Ryan Kirby leads a 6-hour course on drawing wildlife anatomy, with actual animals as models! Learn the basic fundamentals and unique tricks to accurately depict animals, using Grandfather’s most prized wild creatures as reference. $40 General/$20 Bridge Club Members Grandfather Mountain Amateur & Professional Camera Clinic August 19-20 Top photographers gather at Grandfather Mountain to present on the nuts and bolts of making good photographs. This event is free to working members of the press, with an additional cost for non-press professionals and amateurs. Online registration begins July 19 at Grandfather Presents: Tom Earnhardt August 24, 6:00-8:00 p.m. Join the host of public television’s “Exploring North Carolina”, Tom Earnhardt, for a heart-warming evening. Earnhardt, the consummate outdoorsman, believes all plant and animal life depend on each other, whether it’s a big buck roaming northeastern North Carolina or a salamander slithering over rocks in Hazel Creek in the Smokey Mountains. $20 General/Free for Bridge Club Members Grandfather Mountain Kidfest September 9 11:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Families are invited to visit Grandfather Mountain for a mountain-wide scavenger hunt. Participants can follow the clues to locations within the park, where they’ll learn about the creatures that live on Grandfather Mountain. Those who complete all the necessary steps will win the game – and prizes! This event is included in the price of admission to the park. And Much More… For a full schedule of events, including daily programs, special programs and night walks, visit www.grandfather. com, or call (828) 733-2013. The not-for-profit Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation strives to inspire conservation of the natural world by helping guests explore, understand and value the wonders of Grandfather Mountain. For more information, call (800) 4687325, or visit to plan a trip.

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“In support of the Blue Ridge Parkway, we create a sense of community and spirit of stewardship to address the challenges faced by this national treasure. With your help, we ensure cultural and historical preservation, natural resource protection, and educational outreach now and for future generations.” There’s a buzz of activity at Moses H. Cone Memorial Park and neighboring Julian Price Memorial Park this summer. Several projects, made possible by support from individuals and community organizations, are underway at these popular recreation and heritage areas on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Moses H. Cone Memorial Park

The Denim Ball The annual fundraiser for Moses H. Cone Memorial Park is set for Friday, August 4, at Chetola Resort at Blowing Rock, and you can help the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation get ready for the big night! Here are three ways to show your support: Donate Auction Items: The event features art, jewelry, vacation packages, gift certificates, antiques, and more during our silent auction. Businesses and individuals who donate to the auction will be acknowledged in the evening’s program. To donate, contact Mandy Gee at or (866) 308-2773, ext. 364. Invite a Group: What’s a party without your closest friends? Bring them along, so they can also play a role in preserving a piece of High Country history. Buy tickets: Be sure to purchase your tickets soon for this fantastic event by the lake. Last year, tickets sold out in advance, so don’t wait!

Julian Price Memorial Park Camping is a wonderful way to enjoy the High Country, but access to a shower can make the experience that much better. The Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation is building a new shower facility at Price Park Campground, milepost 297. The addition of the six-stall structure makes this spot only the second campground on the Parkway to feature showers. The other is Mount Pisgah. To learn more about these and other projects, visit or call (866) 308-2773.

Thanks to generous funding, work began in the spring to replace the flat roof of Flat Top Manor at Moses H. Cone Memorial Park, milepost 294. The roof was failing and resulted in water damage to the porch ceiling, columns, and interior of the manor. This project is one of many planned by the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation to repair and rehabilitate features of the historical estate. A $3 million fundraising campaign began in 2016. Another key feature of the park is also getting a face lift, thanks to the hard work of an American Conservation Experience youth crew. A team will spend several weeks restoring the historic carriage trails to their original width and at the same time restore the landscape design intent of Moses H. Cone, who saw that each portion of the carriage roads was aligned and oriented to maximize views and vistas. Visitors may find sections of the trails closed for brief periods as the crew clears encroaching vegetation and makes important repairs to drainage culverts. CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Summer 2017 —




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“Randy Johnson’s one-ofa-kind updated descriptions and vivid color photographs will give you a glimpse of what awaits you out on the trail—and help you plan the perfect Parkway trip.”

—Carolyn W. Ward, PhD, CEO, Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation

The Blue Ridge Parkway’s Evolving, Enticing Trails By Randy Johnson


ifteen years after writing Hiking the Blue Ridge Parkway, I recently set out to update the book in a new full color 3rd edition, published just a few weeks ago. Any hiker wants the latest guide—but in this case, the updating process truly impressed me with how much has changed on the Parkway. An explosion of new improvements have been planned, or are underway for Parkway lands and facilities—thanks largely to the great work of the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation (and other groups like the Friends of the Blue Ridge Parkway). Without funding from the Parkway Foundation, the current backlog of unfunded national park needs would seriously hamper maintaining, much less improving, “America’s Most Scenic Road.” Dozens and dozens of Foundation efforts over recent years—and upcoming improvements ranging from restoring Cone Manor House to renovating restrooms with new showers at Cone Park—are making a huge difference for everyone who travels the road. Hiking the Blue Ridge Parkway celebrates new facilities and programs provided by the Foundation, one of the country’s most effective non-profit organizations. One of the most exciting new developments includes the Foundation’s

TRACK Trail program that has added wonderful interpretive brochures to many hikes, creating active, educational opportunities to enjoy nature, especially for parents and kids. In many spots along the Parkway—and in more than 130 places in states across the country—TRACK Trails entice us all to get out, get fit, and learn about the natural world. The list of these trails in our area includes a hike on the Boone Fork Trail, walks at the Orchard at Altapass near Little Switzerland, and outings on trails in local state parks, including Grandfather Mountain, New River, Elk Knob, and the Mount Jefferson State Natural Area. Some of these trails aren’t just for hiking; at Rocky Knob bike park in Boone, and on Price Lake near Blowing Rock, TRACK Trails actually feature biking and boating. Rent kayaks at Price Lake and take the family on a water trail! Visit for more information. In place after place along the Parkway, spiffed up facilities, new signs, improved trails, even the new bridge over Boone Fork on the Mountains-to-Sea Trail in Price Park, are part of the Foundation’s work. That includes operating the summer-long parade of entertainment at the Blue Ridge Music Center (Milepost 213) and even restoration of historic structures like Cone Manor. In the High Country this summer, we can support renovation

of the Cone mansion at the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation’s August 4th Denim Ball. Visit for more information. Sadly, many of the Parkway’s original concessions, such as Doughton Park’s Bluffs Lodge, its coffee shop, and visitor gift shop have fallen into disrepair and been shuttered in recent years. The Foundation is reversing that trend. This summer, the visitor contact station in Doughton Park (Milepost 241.1) will be open again, and Eastern National will operate a gift shop that supports our national parks (among their other outlets at Linville Falls, Linn Cove Viaduct Visitor Center, and Parkway Craft Center). Last year, the widely publicized 100th anniversary of the National Park Service made it clear how valuable “America’s best idea” is for the entire world. As the new edition of Hiking the Blue Ridge Parkway comes out this summer, Americans’ increasing activism in support of parks is a growing part of the Parkway story. Randy Johnson’s smaller Parkway book, Best Easy Day Hikes Blue Ridge Parkway, is also just out in a brand new 3rd edition featuring easier hikes for families and the less energetic. His 2016 book Grandfather Mountain: The History and Guide to an Appalachian Icon was a finalist for the Thomas Wolfe Memorial Literary Award. Johnson’s books are available at the Mast Stores, Footsloggers, Grandfather Mountain, Mountain Dog and Friends, Parkway gift shops, and online. CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Summer 2017 —



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g A hummingbird’s wings will beat about 70 times per second, but up to 200 times per second when diving; they can fly an average of 25-30 miles per hour, and their wings will rotate in a full circle. g A hummingbird’s heart beats up to 1,260 times per minute, and it takes around 250 breaths per minute. g Hummingbirds are on average 8.5 centimeters long from the tip of the beak to the tip of the tail, and can weigh anywhere from 2 to 20 grams (i.e. a penny weighs 2.5 grams). A baby is generally smaller than a penny at birth. g Female hummingbirds are usually larger than male hummingbirds. g Most hummingbirds die in the first year of life. However, the average life span is about 5 years, and they can live more than 10 years. g Hummingbirds need to eat on average 7 times per hour for about 30-60 seconds, and will visit an average of 1,000 flowers per day for nectar. g Hummingbirds do not drink through their beaks like a straw – they have tiny hairs on the tip of the tongue to help lap up nectar. g Hummingbirds pollinate flowers by rubbing their forehead and face in each flower as they get the nectar. Many plants depend on hummingbirds for pollination. g When hummingbirds sleep at night, they go into a hibernation-like state called torpor to conserve energy. During torpor, a hummingbird’s heart rate can drop to as few as 50 beats per minute, and its body temperature reduced to as low at 70 degrees Fahrenheit. g Ruby-throated hummingbirds have been known to travel 500 miles over the Gulf of Mexico to their breeding grounds. It is estimated that it takes about 20 hours. Edi Crosby’s expertise came from her love of birds and her research to open WingN’It Wild Bird & Gift Store in Banner Elk in 2012. The love of family caused her and Ric to move in 2016 to be nearer to family in Las Vegas. “We certainly miss our life and times in the N.C. mountains! You will all be in our hearts forever.”


In Awe of Ruby-Throated Hummingbirds By Edi Crosby

Photo courtesty of the US Fish and Wildlife Service

Do the hummers in your yard look familiar? If you think the same rubythroated hummingbirds come to your feeders and flowers every year, you might be right! The ruby-throated hummingbird is the only hummingbird species that nests here in our region. Banding research shows that ruby-throated hummers, as well as other hummingbird species, are likely to return to the area where they hatched. This is just one of the many wonders of our hummingbird friends. Hummingbirds are wonderful little creatures and each one seems to have its own personality. The hummingbird is the smallest bird in the world, and the only bird able to fly both forward and backward. The maneuvers they make in midair are incredible, and they are known the world over for their flying acrobatics—dashing, darting, and hovering like helicopters. Strategic placement of hummingbird nests is required, well off the ground, to prevent predators like ants, snakes and predatory birds. Nests also need to be sheltered from rain and sun; higher altitudes are ideal. To build their nests, female ruby-throated hummers use soft material like moss, lichens, cotton fluffs, bits of willows, and other soft plant pieces. They glue it all together with spider webs that allow the nest to be flexible and stretch as the babies grow. Most nests are about the size of a walnut shell and the diameter of a quarter. The eggs inside the tiny structure look like mini white jelly beans. Hummers usually lay two eggs, each on a different day. Even though the eggs are laid on different days, both will usually hatch on the same day. The female hummingbird is the sole caretaker for these littles eggs; the male hummingbird does not assist with any of the “childcare.” If a male hummingbird comes around while the female is nesting, she will consider his brightly colored feathers a threat that will attract predators and chase him away. Once the eggs hatch and the nestlings are at three weeks of age, the little babies look more like

adult hummingbirds, and will fly away, never to return back to the nest. Hummingbird behavior can seem quite comical. They are not very social and live solitary lives, coming together only to mate or grudgingly share a hummingbird feeder. Hummingbirds divide themselves by territories, and male hummers will aggressively protect their territories by spending a lot of time chasing other birds away. Each territory is chosen based on the natural food sources, including nectar, and water available. Many male hummingbirds’ territories are about a quarter-acre in size. Females define their territories by the nests they build. Both male and female hummingbirds fiercely protect these areas, and will chirp warnings as they head toward each other. They have been known to body slam one another in mid-air, and even lock their bills together while spinning in a circle until they hit the ground. To avoid territory disputes and hummingbird injuries, put out multiple hummingbird feeders, either spaced far apart, or all bunched together. This will prevent one hummingbird from guarding them all and chasing off the other hummingbirds. Be sure to refill your feeders with fresh nectar on a regular basis, ideally every few days. Hummingbirds do not become attached to humans, although they will physically get very close to people – they are simply curious to see if you have any food, especially if you’re wearing colorful clothes.

Hummingbirds are very clean and will groom themselves quite often. They use their bills and claws to preen themselves. On the back of their body near their tail, they have an oil gland. They use this oil to cover their wings to help keep them clean. Hummingbirds also love baths, and will fly through misting water, play in a shallow birdbath or fountain, or rub themselves against wet leaves after a rain. They flutter their wings and tails in the water while splashing the water all over their bodies, or will fly through falling water droplets to get as wet as possible. After a bath, a hummingbird will carefully preen every last feather until they are dry. Many times they will take a sunbath by pointing their faces toward the sun, and stretching their neck and wings to soak up as many rays as possible. Compared to other birds, a hummingbird’s brain is the largest relative to body size. They have terrific memory, knowing every flower in a territory and how long it will take each flower to refill with nectar. Hummingbirds remember year after year where feeders are located, both at nesting and wintering sites and along their migration path. They may even be able to identify who is responsible for filling the feeders. Our ruby-throated hummingbirds are a joy to observe, providing hour upon hour of “entertainment.” The price of admission? A little sugar water and the right location! CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Summer 2017 —


The “Magic” of Summer in the High Country By Kelly Melang


ummer usually brings mountain top greenery, flowers, butterflies and magic. Many in the High Country create a summertime memory around a fairy garden, some created just for the family, others for the community. The first known fairy gardens debuted in the United States in 1893, usually created around a bonsai dish giving the pretense of a miniature world. Popularity took off after the Japanese exhibit of fairy gardens at the Chicago World’s Fair, growing after the New York Times published an article on the magical creations. Fairy Gardens are a pretty basic garden structure, the magic making them complex. Start with a container or use an everyday object: an antique pot, flower box, a basket, a large shell, or even a teacup! Plot out your fairy garden on paper or draw your plan with a stick in the dirt. Create rolling hills with soil, build up the sides with terracing from local rocks, gather sticks for fencing around your house, perhaps even adding in a miniature pond. Terry Brewer of Mountaineer Landscaping believes in magic. “I love fairy gardens – they get children to use their imagination again,” says Brewer. “These were gardens I planted as a child, and now I get to watch my customers bring in their grandchildren to create magic together.” Brewer adds that Mountaineer Landscaping now stocks themed lines of fairy accessories, such as houses, tables and chairs, and other items. “You can feel the magic in the center as children go through picking containers, picking plants… finally adding tables, chairs and


other shiny objects.” You may also want to think outside the box—use a bird house for your fairy dwelling, or create your own home using a jar and cover it with river stones, moss, or sticks. Plants that attract hummingbirds and butterflies naturally attract fairies, such as thyme, lilac, lavender, and honeysuckle. Add a little bit of shade for your fairies with a sunflower, or possibly a bonsai tree. Robyn Fletcher of Gardens of the Blue Ridge recommends planting fairy wand, a perennial shade plant that can tolerate morning sun. “This is a beautiful woodland plant, light green with a white stalk and a white spike, that blooms late spring and summer, drawing butterflies, and of course fairies.” Brewer shares a great idea for those creating gardens with young people. “Think of succulents as a possibility for your garden if you have small children. Flowering plants require more time and care than succulents; small children don’t have that desire of keeping flowering plants, so succulents are a great alternative.” Keep most of the garden in a planned design, one small spot for wildflowers, or unkempt as the wee folk enjoy a place to have fun. Every fairy garden requires some type of water source. If you have a stream in close proximity, then you have nothing to worry about; if not, always remember to add gravel to the bottom of your pot when building your garden to serve as an irrigation and filtration system when watering. A path to the new home could be comprised of river rocks, moss from the woods, and a few shells—places for fairies to rest. Most plants in the garden should

be the same height or smaller than the dwellings in your garden. Several communities have their own Fairylands, magical summertime places for children local to the area, or for those visiting. Beech Mountain has a large Fairyland located off of Upper Pond Creek Trail next to Pond Creek, where a small stream feeds the creek. Children love looking at all the trinkets left from days and years gone by. Here a hollowed out log has been used as a dwelling, and local children have painted the inside bright colors, adding glitter, and of course small bells (as fairies always love the tinkling of bells). Small houses for the fairies, bridges over the stream, bright and shiny objects, and the occasional miniature fairy or animal makes the little town complete. The Fairyland is kept up by a community of volunteers making sure things don’t get swept away during a rainstorm, or rearranged during day camps. Other visitors often leave their treasured objects behind. A visit to this magical wonderland is a wonderful way to create memories with children while hiking Pond Creek on Beech Mountain. Whether you decide to visit the fairies in a local Fairyland or create your own, there’s always magic in making memories with children. For more information, and accessories to create your fairy garden, visit Mountaineer Landscaping on Highway 105 at the foot of Grandfather Mountain, or pick up your fairy wand from Gardens of the Blue Ridge, located in Newland. Say yes to magic and you never know… you, too, may witness some of the wee folk.

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Alternatives to Invasive Landscape Plants By Robert N. Oelberg ASLA PA


lobal environmental problems are daunting. Air pollution, extreme weather, deforestation, species extinction, soil degradation, and the list goes on. If you’ve ever wanted to do your part to improve the planet, but aren’t sure where to start, read on. This article is about how you can make a real impact, and it’s as simple as shopping. More specifically, shopping smart. A stubborn environmental challenge that would have fit right in with the list above is invasive plants. You can make a positive impact on our Carolina mountain environment. Simply avoid buying and installing invasive plants in your home landscape. Surprisingly, and sadly, and for reasons that are too complex for this short article, most landscape nurseries sell several landscape plants that are well understood to be invasive. The brief explanation for this state of affairs: there’s market demand for the invasive plants. Most homeowners just don’t understand when they’re buying invasives.


Invasive Chinese silvergrass (Miscanthus sinensis)

Marshall Ellis, Mountain Region Biologist for the NC Division of Parks and Recreation explains the problem with invasive species. “Invasives out-compete natives for light, water, and nutrients, and the inevitable result is a homogenized landscape at all sorts of scales. This causes local collapses of biodiversity (both plant and animal) and reduces the local landscape’s resilience in the event of disturbance.” Regarding the “homogenized landscape” Marshall goes on to use the well-known example of kudzu. If you’ve noticed an infestation of kudzu driving up the mountain, then you know firsthand: it’s the only thing that grows there. If any of this seems touchy feely, consider the economic impacts (and there are numerous studies documenting those impacts). According to Ellis, there’s a general consensus that in the U.S. the adverse impact of invasive plants and animals is more than $100 billion annually. Chinese silvergrass (Miscanthus sinensis) is a tall ornamental grass that’s a landscape mainstay. Ellis identified it as a threat to the state parks, and you may

have noticed this growing along I-40 on the way to Asheville (it wasn’t planted there). Ellis suggests that there are usually numerous native, non-invasive species to replace the noxious invasives. For Chinese silvergrass he suggests Indiangrass (Sorghastrum nutans). Other appealing tall ornamental grasses to consider include switch grass (Panicum virgatum), little bluestem (Schizachirium scoparium) and Muhly grass (Muhlenbergia capillaris), all of which are native. Japanese meadowsweet (Spiraea japonica) is also on Ellis’ ‘do not plant’ list. It’s valued by homeowners for its resilience in the landscape, easy care and long bloom season. Consider one of the following native shrubs, which share the same desirable attributes: summersweet (Clethra alnifolia), Virginia sweetspire (Itea virginica) and arrowwood (Viburnum dentatum). Park superintendent Sue McBean of Grandfather Mountain State Park wishes she could get rid of a patch of periwinkle (Vinca minor) growing near the trailhead of Profile Trail. Periwinkle is a time-

Switch grass (Panicum virgatum), a great alternative

honored garden favorite and flowering groundcover. It’s valued for being carefree, evergreen and a harbinger of spring. Introduced from Europe in the 1700s, it escapes homesites and grows vigorously to form dense mats in surrounding woodlands, displacing native herbaceous and woody plant species. For native, noninvasive replacements, consider greenand-gold (Chrysogonum virginianum), moss phlox (Phlox subulata) and creeping phlox (Phlox stolonifera). National Park Service (NPS) staffer Bob Cherry is a wildlife biologist for the Blue Ridge Parkway. One of the worst threats he sees from nursery-origin plants to the Parkway is Oriental bittersweet (Celastris orbiculatus). This climbing vine is treasured for holiday décor, but it has a bad habit of girdling and eventually killing host trees, beyond merely displacing indigenous plants. As attractive native alternatives, consider planting the climbing vines Virginia creeper (Parthenocissus quinquefolia), American wisteria (Wisteria frutescens) or trumpet honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens).

Another NPS scientist is Chris Ulrey, PhD. He’s a plant ecologist for the Blue Ridge Parkway, and has conducted surveys to understand the distribution of invasive plants along the Parkway. What’s become clear is that the infestation of invasives on Parkway property is much greater next to developed areas (towns and subdivisions) than it is adjacent to natural areas, such as forest service lands. This strongly suggests that the invasives are escaping from adjoining landscapes. According to Ulrey, another of the worst nursery origin invasives on Parkway land, in addition to those already mentioned, includes princess tree (Paulownia tomentosa). It’s valued for its extraordinary flowers and fast growth rate. The NCSU Going Native website ( encourages the following native substitutes for princess tree: serviceberry (Amelanchier arborea), Carolina silverbell (Halesia tetraptera) and cucumber tree (Magnolia acuminata). Paige Patterson, horticulture agent with the Watauga County Cooperative Extension service, sees all of the above-

mentioned nursery origin invasives in unwanted locales throughout the county. She notes that Japanese barberry has become a big problem for livestock producers. Anecdotally, it has taken some farmers three applications of herbicide to control invasive barberry in their pastures. Japanese barberry is popular with gardeners and landscapers for easy care and dependable and persistent red foliage. A great native alternative to barberry, ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius), is up to the task. Consider using one of these ninebark cultivars: Diablo, Center Glow, Coppertina or Little Devil. The choice is yours to make. Superintendent McBean puts it in very simple terms. “The decisions that we make every day do make a difference. Whether the impact is small or large, it is lasting. Using native plants in our own landscapes encourages a whole and more complete ecosystem throughout the entire community.” Photos Courtesy of JC Raulston Arboretum at NC State University. CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Summer 2017 —


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Come Explore Caldwell County...

Visit our historic downtowns, our serene outdoor destinations, and experience the most public sculptures per capita in the US. Upcoming Events in Caldwell County: Friday After 5 Summer Music Madness Lenoir Downtown Cruise-In

Happy Valley Fiddlers Convention

Tucker’s Barn - Singer & Songwriter’s Series

32nd Annual Sculpture Celebration

Every Friday, June - August 7 pm - 11 pm An outdoor concert series Downtown Lenoir, NC

Every first Thursday, April - September 7 pm - 9 pm A Blue Ridge Music Trails event 1841 Cafe, in Lenoir

First Saturday of the month, April - October, 4 pm - 8 pm Much to do for enthusiasts, spectators, and families! Downtown Lenoir, NC

Carolina Tattoo & Arts Gathering

September 1 - 3 The largest tattoo and arts gathering in Western NC. Carolina Distillery, in Lenoir

September 1 - 3 Meet old friends, make new ones, and enjoy traditional music among the hills and hollows. Lenoir, NC September 9, 9 am - 4 pm 70 + sculptors, 200 + sculptures, live music, and children’s art activities. Broyhill Walking Park, Lenoir

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Holston Camp and Retreat Center: A Place for All Ages By LouAnn Morehouse


icture it: forested hills sloping down to dense undergrowth that gives way to a shoreline of perfectly still water. There’s something about a mountain lake that just begs to be a setting for a camp. That’s what happened to Wildcat Lake back in 1955, when the Presbyterian Church’s Holston Presbytery opened Holston Camp across the lake from Grandfather Home for Children. The beautiful setting, just outside the town of Banner Elk, NC, actually came into being because a dynamic Presbyterian minister, Edgar Tufts, took a personal interest in the well being of his parishioners. Famous for his many civic improvements, among them LeesMcRae College and the Grandfather Home for Children, Tufts’ story deserves its own article, but suffice it to say that Wildcat Lake was yet another of his successful projects. Concerned that the water in the village of Banner Elk was unhygienic, he generated the interest, funds, and will to create a reservoir lake. The lake filled from the pristine creeks flowing down from nearby steep ridges, sufficient to provide the town with a healthy supply. As it still does, to some

degree, even today. But it is best known as a wonderful place for swimming and paddle-boating, a gem of a lake in a pristine mountain setting. In the more than sixty years since Holston Camp was founded on the shores of Wildcat Lake, it has been a place of memorable moments for generations of children. They have come to Day camps and Resident camps, returning for years, and sending their children as per tradition. The idyllic setting has also been the backdrop for family gatherings such as reunions and weddings, a host of meetings, and retreats. A few years back, the camp became Holston Camp and Retreat Center to reflect its expanded services. In June 2015, a new director, Jim Austin, came on board, replacing the retiring Craig Bell, who had been in charge for twenty years. Austin brings his education in the fine arts and experiences in marketing to the job, as well as revered family ties to the area. Austin says the presbytery board hired him with a “mandate to make the camp financially stable by 2020.” The impetus comes in recognition of the fact that the costs of maintaining the camp are rising. Austin shares the opinion of the

presbytery that there are many ways to keep the camp viable. The residential and day camps remain as popular as ever, and there are always new programs to involve the campers. He says he’s looking forward to the return of the campers as he gleefully demonstrates a clever small fishing rod that he’s ordered for fly-fishing forays with the kids. He’s also bringing back the Wildcat Music Festival for a second year. Taking place on the August 12 weekend, there’s a full lineup of Americana musicians performing all afternoon and evening. Tickets are $10 per person, and it’s a bring-your-own-chair event. All the details are available from http://www. Beyond those options, Austin says there’s the plan to move forward with building cabins or cottages on Holston Camp grounds, and expanding the camp’s ability to host families and groups. In the meantime, there’s a summer happening, and Holston Camp and Retreat Center is in the middle of things. As Jim Austin and his legions of camp followers intend to be for ages to come.



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Valle Crucis Mission Memories: Community through Service, Fellowship and Hoedowns By Keith Martin Over four decades ago, a wonderful, unique and rewarding program took place in the High Country that local residents and participants still remember with great fondness. Some wonder if such an experience should be replicated today. In 1974, Bishop Matthew George Henry of the Episcopal Diocese of Western North Carolina conceived the idea of the Valle Crucis Mission School Summer Youth Program. Helen Whitener (now Tester), a mid-20s dynamo from Hickory, was charged with the task of creating the program, and became one of four directors during its 12-year period of existence from 1974-86, along with Julie Epps Gurganis, Ellen Scruggs and Ginny Walters Brien. According to Helen Tester, the program had three initial goals: to teach youth to live and work together in Christian community; to learn about life in Appalachia from the people of the Valle; and to learn practical skills by working with local farmers. Julie Epps Gurganis still lives in the High Country, and remembers that, “Our hoes were provided by the National Episcopal Church through the Presiding Bishop’s Fund for World Relief. To

learn about rural Appalachia, we worked and ate lunch alongside the farmers in exchange for food. We piled into a pickup truck and I remember riding through the mountains enjoying the crisp morning air before hoeing tobacco, putting up hay, harvesting gardens and gleaning row crops before being rewarded with great food and warm fellowship around the table—both on farms and in the Mission School dining hall.” Gurganis says that in exchange for lodging at the Mission School, the group would mow the grass, clean buildings, serve food, and other odd jobs. “Participating in the parish family at Church of the Holy Cross was important to us, and I still have song sheets from our time there. We were plugged into a four-county program to help elderly folks and others in need of assistance to weed gardens, clean windows, or whatever might be helpful; sometimes we just visited,” recalls Gurganis. “In our free time, usually on weekends, we played music and sang, square danced, went to festivals, hiked the Appalachian Trail, waded creeks and climbed Bishop Falls, visited local artisans and educators, played volleyball and other

outdoor games, and hosted barn dances, among other fun outings.” Tester shares her most memorable moments. “A highlight of the week was the Red Barn Square Dance. The music was great and those in our group who played guitar or another instrument often joined whatever band was playing. Welch (Tester) called the dances and the whole community would turn out. That old barn floor would shake with the stomping of feet as he called the ‘shoe fly’ swing. I can still hear his voice as he’d call at the end, ‘Swing ‘em boys. Swing ‘em girls. Swing ‘em home!’”  Gurganis adds, “We learned to honor the lives and traditions of Appalachian farmers, craftspeople and our neighbors. Anyone open to being in community with the people surrounding Valle Crucis can learn, yet we always received more than we gave.” Sherry Rickard Aasen now lives in Pittsburgh but spent the summers of ’74 and ’75 in the program, in addition to weekends during her college years. Like most of the folks contacted for this article, her “observations are colored by continued... CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Summer 2017 —


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my youth and hazy from the years that have passed. We called ourselves the ‘farmhouse gang.’ I thought my being there was just an opportunity presented by being in the Episcopal Young Churchmen, but years later, I came to understand that the program was intended to provide guidance to teenage youth, some of whom were at risk. I was oblivious and happy.” Aasen adds, “It seemed to me that local families needed help because their grown offspring generally went off to find work because the income from the farms was insufficient.” She said she learned to plow tobacco fields “with an old wooden and metal plow pulled by Bill, the mule, figuring out how to make a ‘tsk, tsking’ sound with my tongue and cheek to get him to move!” She also learned to put in studs, drywall, tape and spackle, and “paint, paint, paint… learning to be pretty handy and confident.” Aasen remembers helping out in the kitchen, “especially making brown apple betty with graham crackers, apples, and cinnamon. There was a couple that worked at the mission school who were like parents to me; I felt loved and comfortable in that kitchen.” She shares another memory when she felt less ‘comfortable’…“We had to watch for snakes that liked to bake on the hot stones, or slither down the stream to the cool areas. Once there was a copperhead wrapped around the curtain rod in the dining room; I was fascinated when someone got a broom and pillow case to entice that snake down and into the sack.” Aasen agrees that the hoedowns were a good way to form community. “I learned to play the spoons there, and how to clog. There was also hand-churned ice cream and we girls sewed our own red and white checked outfits.” Former participant Shay Taylor lives in Baltimore and remembers that several of the youth used to wake up early. “We’d feed the pigs and talk, then Wes Byerly usually made biscuits for everyone to enjoy with breakfast. One torturously hot summer day, a group of us went to make hay and, like banditos, we wore bandanas over our faces to protect our lungs from the dust. I learned a lot about hard work that day—in particular, trying to get the hay in before it rains would come. I also discovered that ‘making hay while the sun shines’ has to do with responsibility and goals, rather than with fun and goofing off!” Taylor recalls that after a day of hard work, they would hike up the mountain to the pool near the waterfall. “I jumped from the rocks into icy water that shocked my system so that I couldn’t catch my breath. It was all like that: a summer of learning experiences and of extremes, of great joy and such heartbreak at summer’s end… I thought I might never be happy again. But I was wrong, and that taught me about my own strength.” Ellen Scruggs Sheppard worked in the program in 1977 before becoming director until 1980. “To live in Christian community was a goal; we worshipped together, prayed together, shared our lives with each other. I hope that the kids learned as much as I did. I’ve used the ‘model of service to others’ when directing EYC events at my home parish. To this day, the music learned while playing at the circle dances in the apple barn is most important to me. I continue to play at church, for weddings and other gatherings.” When summarizing, Sheppard said it best: “Valle Crucis lives on in me!”

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A Living Legend’s Glory Days: The Life and Times of Junior Johnson By Jim Leggett


ounging in Junior Johnson’s French provincial style Quail Hollow mansion in Charlotte, we’re swapping tales of nocturnal whisky making, revenue agents and legendary car chases, not unlike the unrepentant Tennessee moonshine runner Luke Doolin, played by Robert Mitchum, so truthfully staged in the 1958 movie classic Thunder Road. Considered by many to be the most realistic film on bootlegging, its action packed final car chase is one of the most accurate ever screened. Mitchum not only acted in the film, he wrote the story and co-wrote the identically titled theme song:    And there was thunder, thunder over Thunder Road Thunder was his engine and white lighting was his load And there was moonshine, moonshine to quench the devil’s thirst The law they swore to get him, but the devil got him first… As the storytelling continues, Junior speaks of countless heart-stopping escapades up Wilkesboro way. Farmhouse windows rattled, trees trembled, the very ground shook in the wake of snarling car exhaust and roars akin to distant thunder echoed around the foothills.  “Earthquake!” some proclaimed. Others knew it was young Junior perfecting “bootlegger turns” or “about face” in his daddy’s hopped up Ford, “the law” hot on his tail. No one dreamed this country boy would hone his driving skills to fame and fortune in stock car racing.  Vanished times when trippers tinkered with their cars, experimented with making engines go faster, challenging one another for bragging rights, doing 90 miles an hour on back roads, delivering moonshine… or weekends at rural dirt track ovals, just for the fun of it! The Starting Line Junior’s parents Robert Glen Johnson, Senior (who spent a third of his life in jail) and Lora Belle Money lived in Ingle Hollow in the western part of the state. By the time Robert Glen Johnson “Junior” was born on June 28, 1931, the Johnson family had a reputation for making good whiskey. Newspaper photos from 1935 captured a raid on the Johnson home showing boxes, barrels and jars of illicit moonshine piled high; it was the biggest bust of bootleg booze ever. “I think that record still stands!” Junior impishly grins. “Our house was plum full of likker when the law showed up. My daddy had 7,100 gallons of whiskey stashed everywhere. They laid planks on the stairs to slide them whiskey boxes out. So, me and my brothers Fred and L. P., we rode astride them boxes down the planks shouting ‘Get outta here! That’s our daddy’s whiskey!’”  By age 14 Junior was  varooming over tree-lined back roads with more twists than a politician’s tongue.  Already he was the fastest driving “tripper” anyone knew, and running Johnson’s jars of top notch whiskey to Atlanta, Spartanburg, Memphis, Charlotte and beyond.  CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Summer 2017 —


Race Car ace Junior Johnson - NASCAR Hall of Fame

Raid at Johnson Home, 1935 - biggest haul of illicit liquor in history

Junior Johnson at Piedmont Distillery with # 3 - 1939 Ford coup - moonshiner’s all-time favorite “white lighting” runner. Photo by Jim Leggett


Scots/Irish Heritage “The light music of whiskey falling into a glass – an agreeable interlude. — James Joyce Moonshine was to the Johnson family what wine was to the Rothschilds. Small wonder since his grandparents hailed from Scotland and Ireland, homelands to the world’s most treasured whiskies. Immigrating to America during the Irish potato famine (1845-1852) the Johnsons settled in Wilkes County, already the “Moonshine Capitol of America.” A region fretted with sweet springs, clear streams, and abundant creeks, it was heaven-made for clandestine distilling likker. Junior, now 86, says, “I’ve always felt our Scottish heritage taught us the ways of making quality whiskey.”  His father ran his spirits at 100 proof. Others watered theirs down to get more volume. “My daddy was a stickler for good ‘shine. Always sold the finest we could make.” However, it’s Junior’s legendary straight Midnight Moon I’m most curious about. In 2007, Junior teamed with Piedmont Distillers of Madison, North Carolina, where he introduced the company’s second moonshine product, “Midnight Moon Moonshine,” derived from a Johnson family recipe. “At Piedmont we still use 100 percent pure corn, distilled at four different proofs, according to our final product.” Pouring a generous nip, I nose the aroma; hint of corn. Taste and chew; smooth palate, not too fiery. Distinctly warming, mild flavor going down—as if to say, take note! Worthy of discerning connoisseurs, here’s a tribute to old-time moonshining. Heart-stopping Car Chases Mischievous glint warming his eye again, Junior reveals how his trademark Bootlegger U-turn got him out of countless police road blocks. “I’d drop into second gear, slow down to 15-20 miles an hour... then I’d throw the wheel hard left all the way, floor the gas pedal, making a controlled side-slip— 180-degrees—wheels still spinnin’, car facing now the opposite direction…best way of losing the law. You had to practice that turn, me running full speed, 20 cases of ’shine hid in them cars.” He smiles warmly, pleased at the happy memory. “One case was always jammed in at my right hip…helped keep me in my seat when throwing the car around…we didn’t have seat belts back then!” Junior tells me it was Californians, not North Carolinians, who built the fastest cars back then. “West coast drivers were way ahead with hot rods, already using Edelbrock intakes, high performance carburetors, bored out cylinders, enlarged valve ports… so we copied a lot from those boys.”  California speedsters also dropped powerful twin-carbureted Cadillac V-8 engines under the hoods of sedate 1950s Mercury, Ford and Chevy sedans. “I was always on the lookout for wrecked ambulances, salvaging their big V-8 motors,” adds Junior.                  Like many moonshine drivers, Junior took up professional stock car racing, and his courage, determination, and willingness to take risks made him a legend on the track. By the early ‘50s, Junior had quit hauling moonshine, and hefty car manufacturer sponsorship offers came his way.  Then, just as he was making a name for himself as a champion driver, he got arrested. Nailed while firing up his father’s still. His dad had asked Junior to handle the chore since his brother L.P. was sick that morning.

Folks figured the law was so mad they never could catch him; but they were out to get him any way they could. Or, did someone turn him in? “Hell, you couldn’t trust anybody back then, and I mean nobody,” Junior sighs. Fans point out he never got caught running moonshine, he was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. Convicted for moonshining in 1956, he was only 21; he served 11 months and three days of a two-year sentence.  NASCAR fan President Jimmy Carter initiated a Presidential Pardon, signed into law by President Ronald Reagan in 1986, eventually restoring Junior’s right to vote. A Still of His Own Junior also raised chickens, and later Black Angus cattle, on his 180-acre farm before partnering with fellow corn whisky enthusiast Joe Michalek in 2007 and becoming part owner of Piedmont Distillery—the first craft distillery in the state to sell moonshine legally. Located in a less than impressive former car dealership at the edge of town, I followed Junior into the busy bottling room. Conversation ceased—no sense battling clinking production lines as mason jars by the hundreds stop, fill, move down the line; then get cap-screwed, labeled, placed  in stout cardboard boxes, and piled high on shipping pallets. I noted pallets labeled for shipment to Alaska, Montana, and Florida— Midnight Moon “Distilled from Corn” is well travelled! Out back, Junior points to an old copper still, original to a distillery closed down during Prohibition. It’s covered in dust, cobwebs and bird droppings, looking forlorn, as if sad not to be working. Nearby stands Junior’s brand new still, a shiny affair, probably 30 feet tall and waiting to be installed to handle Piedmont’s ever growing demands.  Ready to head home Junior asks his foreman for a box or two of whiskey to take back to friends as seasonal gifts. Not a chance; every last bottle, every drop, is on back order. Junior turns to me, “One hell of thing… a man can’t even get his own ‘shine, at his own still!”

Race Fame Early in life Junior Johnson’s bootlegging car chases made him the fastest man on four wheels. During the 1950s and 1960s he won 50 NASCAR races, including the 1960 Daytona 500, before retiring in 1966. In the 1970s and 1980s, he became a racing team owner sponsoring NASCAR champions, including six-time Winston Cup Series wins with Cale Yarborough and Darrell Waltrip. Johnson was named one of NASCAR’s greatest drivers in 1991; by his retirement in 1995, he had helped launch the Winston Cup championship series and had been inducted into the North Carolina Auto Racing, Stock Car, and International Motorsports halls of fame. Junior Johnson was inducted into NASCAR’s Hall of Fame in 2010.

Moonshine and Thunder, The Junior Johnson Story Moonshine and Thunder, The Junior Johnson Story recounts early years of moonshine and racing in the mountains of North Carolina and the evolution of this tradition into the birth of NASCAR . Set and performed in Wilkes County, renowned as the moonshine capital of the world, the show chronicles Junior Johnson’s adventures from running ‘shine on the backroads to his first big win on a “super speedway” at the Daytona 500 in 1960. The story spans the 1930s and into the 1940s during the Great Depression. Jobs were scarce everywhere and Scotch-Irish folk of the North Carolina mountains, private people accustomed to their independence, saw no reason to change regardless of the government monopoly on liquor sales. With little opportunity to support their families, they built stills and drove fast cars to deliver illegal whiskey, often with government revenuers in hot pursuit. The show features old cars, a vintage truck, exciting live and filmed scenes, actual racing footage, and commentary courtesy of The NASCAR Archives and Mike Staley. Moonshine and Thunder, The Junior Johnson Story will be performed at the Forest Edge Amphitheatre in Fort Hamby Park at W. Kerr Scott Lake.  The 2017 show dates are September

Original still used by Tennessee moonshiners currently displayed at SHORT MOUNTAIN DISTILLERY, Woodbury, Tennessee. Photo by Jim Leggett

14, 15, 16, 21, 22, 23, and 28, 29, and 30. Visit for more info.

Scottish Travel Writer Jim Leggett spent his youth riding motorcycles through the Trossachs and wild highlands of his native land. His passions include steamships, motorcycles, open-cockpit flying and good whiskey – in moderation. Jim is a regular contributor to Whiskey Magazine (UK). CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Summer 2017 —



≈ and ≈ The Junior Johnson Story

Show dates: September

14, 15, 16, 21, 22, 23, 28, 29, 30

Fort Hamby Park - Forest’s Edge Amphitheater

W. Kerr Scott Dam and Reservoir Info:










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Cratis D. Williams (1911-1985): Mr. Appalachia By Jim Casada


his piece is being written in a room where I’m surrounded by books, thousands upon thousands of them, along with pamphlets, brochures, vintage post cards, old photographs, and other printed ephemera. An appreciable portion of my sprawling, out-of-control library comprises material on the southern Appalachians, and seldom does a day pass when I don’t go to the shelves and pull out volumes to check some half-remembered piece of High Country history. With the possible exception of Joseph Hall and Michael Montgomery’s Dictionary of Smoky Mountain English, the most frequently consulted work is a doctoral dissertation. This may seem strange, because arguably the feature commonly associated with such hi-falutin’ academic efforts is that they can serve as an ideal antidote for insomnia. However, such is decidedly not the case with Cratis Dearl Williams’ monumental effort, “The Southern Mountaineer in Fact and Fiction.” Written by Williams to complete requirements for his Ph. D. studies at New York University, this is not a published work but rather a massive three-volume, bound version of the original typescript of the dissertation. It runs to a whopping 1,661 pages and is a veritable gold mine of information on printed sources dealing with the southern Appalachian high country up to the point of its publication in 1961. The man who undertook this massive and important project was a staunch son of eastern Kentucky who overcame obstacles throughout his life en route to becoming the widely and rightly heralded “father of Appalachian studies” lovingly known as “Mr. Appalachia.” Williams was born into poverty in the raw, rugged hills of eastern Kentucky’s Caines Creek area in Lawrence County.


He was the first person from his community to finish high school, and as a boarding student at Louisa School in his high school years he was teased, taunted, and bullied for his distinct mountain accent, small stature, and simply because he was different in a backwoodsy way. Yet that runty body housed a splendid mind, rare grit, and a dogged determination not only to succeed but to preserve and perpetuate the mountain way of life. While still in his teens Cratis (he loved to tell folks the “a” in his first name was pronounced precisely the same way as the “A” in Appalachian) published a nicely crafted essay which came straight from the heart, “Why a Mountain Boy Should Be Proud.” His life exemplified not only that pride but singular dedication to teaching mountain culture. Williams was, among other things, a linguist, collector of traditional mountain ballads, authority on myriad aspects of mountain ways (including the fine art of distilling), accomplished public speaker, and singer. Most of all though, he was a prophet and professor spreading the word about the importance of Appalachian culture and the region’s people. A prolific writer, he chronicled his early years in a delightful little book published posthumously, I Become a Teacher (1995). It is a bittersweet memoir of one-room school life from his elementary school beginnings through completion of high school, launching a teaching career, and simultaneously working towards earning college diplomas first at Cumberland College and then at the University of Kentucky, where he obtained his A. B. and M. A. degrees. By 1942, after traveling a somewhat rocky road that found the wolf of poverty regularly howling at his door, a stint in industry, and running afoul of the local politics which so often bedeviled educational progress in rural Appalachian communities, he joined the faculty at

what was then Appalachian State Teachers College. Initially Cratis was part of the English Department in the Demonstration High School connected to the college, but after four years he became a teacher of English, dramatics and speech at Appalachian. All during this period he was working on research for his doctoral dissertation, a project which spread out over almost a decade during summers and one period of leave (what amounted to a sabbatical). In 1958, with his doctoral course work completed and dissertation in its final stages, Cratis became dean of the graduate school at Appalachian State. It was a position he would hold for sixteen and a half years before serving first as the institution’s acting vice chancellor for academic affairs in 1974 and acting chancellor in 1975. Williams retired in 1976 but continued to be associated with the university as a part-time special assistant to the chancellor. Its graduate school would be named for him. Somehow, despite carrying a heavy teaching load, serving on the boards of a number of scholarly journals, and holding leadership positions in various teachers’ organizations, Williams always found time for scholarly endeavor. His tightly written, well-researched essays appeared in numerous scholarly journals, and a selection of those dealing with linguistics was posthumously published as Southern Mountain Speech (1992). It is a “must read” for anyone deeply interested in the quaint, expressive, and often delightful ways of the traditional manner of High Country expression. Another posthumous publication was Tales from Sacred Wind: Coming of Age in Appalachia (2003). Upon his retirement, Williams was honored with a symposium devoted to Appalachian Studies, something he had been promoting well beyond Appalachian State University through creation

of a regional consortium. The proceedings of that gathering were published as An Appalachian Symposium: Essays Written in Honor of Cratis D. Williams (1977). A later publication, The Cratis Williams Symposium Proceedings: A Memorial and Examination of the State of Regional Studies in Appalachia (1990), likewise honored his memory and accomplishments. Williams’ influence was felt in many ways, and it is not a stretch to say that Appalachian Studies as they exist today owe more to him than any single individual. He was intensely proud of his heritage, deeply committed to its preservation, and as he once stated, found it “enormously comfortable to be myself.” He recognized that there was so much of lasting value in the mountain way of life, and devoted a fruitful career to making sure others appreciated that value. Where so many others of his generation and the one succeeding it traveled the so-called “Hillbilly Highway” to the car

factories and industry of the upper Midwest, an exodus immortalized by another eastern Kentuckian, Dwight Yoakum, in the song “Readin’, Ritin’, and Route 23,” Cratis stayed at home and figured enormously in enhancing appreciation of the entire southern Appalachian region. Late in his career, recognition of the importance of his work began to garner him richly deserved honors. In 1972 the Western North Carolina Historical Association named him recipient of its annual award heralding contributions to the history and folk traditions of the region. The following year the University of North Carolina’s Board of Governors presented him the O. Max Gardner Award “for distinguished contributions to the welfare of the human race.” In 1975 the North Carolina Folklore Society recognized Williams as “Master Folklorist of Appalachia,” and there were other awards and honorary degrees from Cumberland and Berea colleges, Marshall and Morehead State universities,

and the College of Idaho. He died the day before he was to receive yet another honorary doctorate, from his own beloved Appalachian State University. Today Williams name is largely forgotten except in the ranks of serious students of Appalachia, but every college course offered in the field, every scholarly paper delivered on some aspect of the mountain way of life, each new publication in the field, and every individual who cherishes their High Country roots owes debts of gratitude to a man who devoted his life to the people and folkways he loved. He will always be “Mr. Appalachia,” and one has to believe this consummate teacher and man of the hills would have taken quiet pride in the moniker.



Aaah, summer - that long anticipated stretch of lazy, lingering days, free of responsibility and rife with possibility. It’s a time to hunt for insects, master handstands, practice swimming strokes, conquer trees, explore nooks and crannies, and make new friends.

Jump on the West Jefferson Caboose!


By Wesley Barker


est Jefferson, NC was originally formed/ incorporated in 1915 around the railroad which ran through the area from Abingdon, VA to Todd, NC. This railroad began as a logging line and later transitioned into more of a goods and pedestrian carrying line. The Norfolk Western train line, known locally as the “Virginia Creeper,” continued its run until 1977 through West Jefferson. Many people, other than our locals, do not realize this is how West Jefferson came into existence. The railroad has long been an important facet of our history with local artists, murals and more depicting scenery involving the train throughout Ashe County. Following West Jefferson’s centennial celebration in 2015, a group of folks, now known as the “Caboose Committee,” began a conversation to get a piece of history back to West Jefferson: a train caboose from the railroad line that once ran through the area! So here we are in 2017, 40 years after the train ended its run, and something happened in recent months; a caboose, which was part of the Norfolk Western rail line, was found in Bristol, VA. In its original condition, the caboose seemed to be a dream come true to the folks who have worked tirelessly to find a piece of history. The only dilemma: moving a caboose isn’t easy and it would cost nearly $30,000 to purchase and deliver the caboose to West Jefferson. The Caboose Committee brainstormed and organized further and began an effort, with help from the Ashe County Historical Society, to “bring a caboose to West Jefferson.” Their efforts paid off as the money was quickly raised through various private, organizational, and governmental donors. The installment of the caboose began in late June 2017, with final completion slated for late summer. A caboose in West Jefferson signifies our heritage and history and is likely to be another huge draw for visitors and train enthusiasts. To learn more, and follow the progress of the caboose installation, visit the “All Aboard the West Jefferson Caboose” Facebook page at


—Darell Hammond

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Overmountain Discoveries By Mike Hill


isitors to the North Carolina High Country often fail to realize just how much American history unfolded in and near these mountains. Crossing the North Carolina state line into Carter County, Tennessee, the Overmountain Victory Trail (OVT) Commemorative Motor Route leads to many points of historical significance and culinary delights. While the saga of the Overmountain Men is largely overlooked in modern day common core history texts, the fact remains that these early settlers of Appalachia were a pivotal force in the quest for American independence. Credited for turning the tide of the American revolution and setting the stage for victory, these frontiersmen from west of the Appalachian Mountains were present at multiple engagements in the war’s southern campaign, but they are best known for their role in the American victory at the Battle of Kings Mountain in 1780. Taking what I like to call a “Daycation” (a short trip in which you leave and return home on the same day) along the OVT Motor Route was just the ticket for a sunny Saturday. Our morning began early, taking highway 19E toward Roan Mountain. Just before crossing the state line into Tennessee, we made a quick stop off the highway on Buck Mountain Road at Hump Mountain Apple House, a longrunning roadside produce stand. We then continued into Tennessee another short four miles in search of breakfast, and found Smoky Mountain Bakers in Roan Mountain. Widely known for their wood-fired brick oven pizzas and artisan breads, award winning bakers Tim & Crystal Decker also serve a fantastic artisan breakfast. After breakfast, our Daycation took us a short 9/10 mile to Highway 143, where we were able to get out of the car and actually touch the historic Shelving Rock. This was the location of the first

encampment of the Overmountain Men following their muster at the Watauga Settlement, where they kept their powder dry in this shallow cave. Highway 143 continues past Shelving Rock into Roan Mountain State Park, which hosts a variety of summer outdoor activities including hiking, mountain biking, camping, fishing, and swimming. At an elevation of 2,972 feet (906 m), the heated outdoor swimming pool here is at the highest elevation of any swimming pool within the Tennessee State Park System. The park is also home to rhododendron gardens that are located in a Canadian temperate zone. Each year, thousands of people flock to the mountain during peak bloom period in early summer, and an annual Rhododendron Festival is held. Leaving the state park, we followed the OVT Motor Route along scenic Old Railroad Grade Road to the historic Blevins Bridge, which was built in the 1880s for the narrow gauge East Tennessee and Western North Carolina Railroad. It was later converted for automobile use in the 1950s, when rail service to Roan Mountain ended. Continuing up the OVT Motor Route, we stopped in Hampton Tennessee for a hike from the Appalachian Trail trailhead up to Laurel Falls, which is located along the Appalachian Trail between Hampton and Dennis Cove. Although the U.S. Forest Service parking area was completely full, a hospitable local resident allowed us to park in his yard near the trailhead. Also known as Laurel Fork Falls, this large waterfall can also be reached from the trailhead in Dennis Cove. The Hampton Trail to the falls is much longer than the trail from Dennis Cove, but it is mostly level with a few climbs. It took about an hour of walking to reach Laurel Falls from Hampton but it was a nice hike. Leaving Hampton, we returned again to the OVT Motor Route, travelling five miles to Broad Street, where we

Total round trip drive time: 2 hours, 56 minutes.




stopped briefly at the Carter Mansion. Built between 1775 and 1780 at a time when King George the III of England forbade the colonists to settle west of the Appalachian Mountains, the structure is the oldest frame house in the state of Tennessee, in addition to being the first with glass windows. Carter was significant to the military, business and political growth of this region and our nation. When the Watauga Association was formed in 1772, he acted as Chairman of the Court. The signing of the Watauga Petition was unprecedented for this era, for it represented the first democratic government of free American–born men west of the Appalachian Mountains. Next on our trip came a late lunch at the historic Ridgewood Diner in Piney Flats. People tend to be particular about their Barbeque. Although debating the virtues of Mountain versus Lexington, Memphis, Saint Louis and other styles will always happen, no Carter County Daycation would be complete without sampling the unique “Tennessee-style” barbeque at the legendary Ridgewood. Tucked away in Bullock Hollow since the mid-1950s, Ridgewood’s style is best described as a combination of Memphis and Appalachia. Their signature hams (sourced locally from nearby Bristol, Tennessee) are hickory smoked for nine hours, then rubbed with spices and chilled overnight. The next morning, the hams are shaved into thin slices which are then warmed on a flat-top grill out front, and glazed with a secret recipe barbecue sauce known only by two members of the founding Proffitt family. After lunch, we back-tracked to Elizabethton, picked up the OVT Motor Route and travelled to the Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area. Located at the convergence of the Doe and Watauga Rivers, Sycamore Shoals was the site of the Transylvania Purchase—the largest private land deal in American history. This purchase of 20 million acres of land marked the beginning of the westward expansion, and gave all the lands of the Cumberland Watershed extending to the Kentucky River to the settlers. Home of the first permanent settlement outside the original 13 colonies, and the first majority-rule system of American democracy, the Watauga Settlement at Sycamore Shoals (in what was then North Carolina, and now Elizabeth-


ton, TN) was home to prominent military officials, legislators, and members of the Constitutional Convention. In 1780, 1,100 men gathered at Sycamore Shoals before making a 14-day march to Kings Mountain, South Carolina, where they confronted and defeated Major Patrick Ferguson’s British militia. The Sycamore Shoals Historic Area features a walking trail, a local history museum, an outdoor amphitheater and the North American Butterfly Garden & Monarch Way Station. During the last three weeks of July each year, “Liberty! The Saga of Sycamore Shoals,” a two-act outdoor drama is produced at Sycamore Shoals State Historic Area. Liberty! depicts the settlement of Northeast Tennessee in the 18th century that unfolded all along the route of our Daycation. On June 9, 2009, Governor Phil Bredesen signed a House Joint Resolution proclaiming this production the “Official Outdoor Drama of the State of Tennessee.” Presented by local performers against the backdrop of Fort Watauga, we got to experience the American Revolution through the eyes of the Overmountain Men, complete with indian uprisings, dubious trade negotiations and modern day pyrotechnics. Each Thursday, Friday and Saturday night, audiences watch as these early settlers form an independent government, make treaties with the Cherokee, defend their homes, and fight the British army at the epic battle of Kings Mountain. Narrated by Landon and Elizabeth Carter, the Liberty! saga introduced us to a host of historically significant figures from the founding of our nation that have often been forgotten, including John Sevier (who went on to become Tennessee’s first governor), Bonnie Kate, The Carters, Dragging Canoe, Mary Patton and many others. At the end of the Liberty! performance, we were treated to a meet and greet with the performers. We then made our way back to old Downtown Elizabethton where the soft blue neon glow of Jiggy Ray’s Downtown Pizzaria beckoned us for a late dinner. In this unexpected gem hidden within the downtown Elizabethton antique district, we had a house specialty known as the Jiggy-rita, made a couple selections from their menu of craft beers, and listened to a live blues band called Thursday Night Porch Choir—the perfect way to end our Daycation festivities.



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Edgar Tufts Used “Rocks by the Ton” By Carol Lowe Timblin


he Reverend Edgar Tufts faced no shortage of building supplies when he started the Banner Elk Presbyterian Church and Lees-McRae Institute around the turn of the twentieth century.  All he had to do was look around and see the huge trees in the forest and the boulders in the rivers and on the mountainsides.  The first structures were made of wood, but later buildings were built of rock. Church historian Claire Fortune notes that native stone had traditionally been used in chimneys and foundations, but a building made entirely of rock was a new concept. Two years under construction, the church was completed in 1914. Large puddingstone rocks (natural conglomerates made of small pebbles held together with a matrix of sand that form in rivers) were used in the walls at the front doors. A logger donated a huge stone he found in the woods for a pulpit. The sanctuary’s interior featured wood paneling, brass-trimmed light fixtures, and stained glass windows, a first in the area. “Men and older boys would haul loads of big rocks in their wagons, which were often pulled by oxen,” Fortune states. “Children, including those who lived at Grandfather Home, carried water and collected piles of small rocks to be used in the cement. The children… also found


creative ways to earn and save pennies for purchasing two small stained glass windows, which were built into the front wall of the sanctuary. Each week women brought brimming picnic baskets of food and generously contributed their energy and talents to help with the many tasks required.” Pleased with the new rock church, Rev. Tufts set out to build similar structures on the adjacent campus. “Rocks by the ton” became something of a promotional slogan for the Presbyterian minister who first came to Banner Elk as a young intern from Union Theological Seminary in the late 1800s. He sent letter after letter to potential benefactors and gave talks to groups asking them to support the college, actually an institute for girls in the beginning. A gift of $4 would buy one ton of rock in those days! President Woodrow Wilson, the son of a Presbyterian minister, was one of the first donors. The designer of the stone buildings on the Lees-McRae campus is unknown, as are the names of the local masons who carefully laid the rock so the mortar would not show. Some believe the stone buildings were patterned after the Craftsman style of architecture that was so popular during the Twenties. Perhaps Tufts had visited the famous Grove Park Inn in Asheville? Constructed of huge boulders from Sunset Mountain and

opened in 1913, the health resort had gigantic fireplaces, slate flooring, and paneling in the lobby, which featured Roycrofters’ Arts and Crafts furniture. The first rock building on campus, constructed in 1920, is today known simply as “The Rock House.” It was a gift from the Hall sisters—Miss Sue, a teacher at the college, and her sisters Miss Jessie and Miss Jane—who lived in Wilmington but had a summer home in Banner Elk (today a guest cottage). The Rock House was used as a gift shop, summer tea room, biology lab, and meeting space over the years, but today it serves as the office of President Barry M. Buxton. The next rock building to be constructed on the campus was the North Carolina Building, used primarily for classrooms and the first of three buildings planned by Tufts. Sadly, on the day of its completion – January 6, 1923 – he passed away, and the bell tolled for the first time in his honor. (The stone steps and fountain in front of the building, added later, were restored by the Class of 1959 a few years ago.) Tufts Tower, built of native stone as a water tower, was completed in 1924 and today serves as a bell tower. Edgar Hall Tufts, the founder’s son, became president of the college upon his father’s death. He remained at the helm until 1942, leading the institution and building the campus for 19

Photos courtesy of Robert E. Tufts

years. Tennessee Residence Hall, constructed of stone from that state, was completed in 1925, with space for a library on the first floor. After a devastating fire in 1943, the building was rebuilt. Virginia Residence Hall, completed in 1927, featured a large swimming pool in the basement, administrative offices on the first floor, and bedrooms on the second and third floors. Eventually, the college laundry and telephone switchboard replaced the pool.  Each of the twin buildings, which flank the North Carolina Building on either side, featured a large stone fireplace, wood paneling, and slate flooring. In 1932, the four-story Grace Hartley Memorial Hospital, built in a different masonry style, was completed. When Cannon Memorial Hospital replaced the building in 1961, it was renamed Tate Residence Hall in honor of Dr. W. C. Tate, who led the hospital for many years and served as the college president (1942-1950). Several other buildings were added to the campus during Edgar Hall Tufts’ presidency. In 1935, the two-story Practice House was built and later converted into a faculty residence. It featured a large stone fireplace, slate flooring, wood paneling, and wrought-iron fixtures handcrafted by Daniel Boone VI.   Under Deborah Buxton’s direction, the house underwent a total renovation, and she received a Gertrude S. Carraway Award of

Merit from Preservation North Carolina in 2012. Today it serves as a guest cottage. Boone’s metalwork, as well as slate, stone, and wood paneling, were also used in the old Pinnacle Inn Dining Room, which the college transformed into a dining room for summer guests every year. (Alums and many others would like to see it restored someday.) Cannon Honors Cottage was built for President Tufts in 1938, and Reynolds Gymnasium was also added during his tenure.  The main campus in the heart of Banner Elk has continued to grow steadily over the years.  Under Dr. Tate’s leadership, Baldwin and Bentley Residence Halls were added.  The Alumni House and the A.C. Chaffee Administration Building were built under President Fletcher Nelson; the James C. Carson Library (now the Dottie M. Shelton Learning Commons) and Cannon Student Center under President H.C. Evans; and the Daniel and Dianna May Wildlife Center, May School of Nursing and Allied Health, Lauritsen Technical Theatre and Design Studio, and Robb Center for Career Exploration under Dr. Barry Buxton, the current president.  The Historic Cheese House, built of wood by the Shawneehaw Cheese Cooperative Company beside the Mill Pond in 1917, was converted into the Lees-McRae College Welcome Center in 2010.    “The native stone buildings reflect

the college motto ‘In the Mountains, Of the Mountains, and For the Mountains,’” says Blaine Hansen, vice president of strategic planning and effectiveness at LMC. “By maintaining these buildings and adapting their use, the college hopes that each student is connected to this place, but also understands the importance of protecting historic resources.” Carol Lowe Timblin is a Banner Elk native and proud graduate of Lees-McRae College.



Book Nook By Elizabeth Baird Hardy, LouAnn Morehouse, and Tom McAuliffe

The Unquiet Grave by Sharyn McCrumb Simon & Schuster 2017 Sharyn McCrumb, author of bestselling and award-winning novels that weave together actual history with human narrative, is known for unearthing forgotten tragedies, for giving voices to people on the edges of history. Whether she is recounting the Battle of King’s Mountain from the perspective of the mistress of British commander Major Patrick Ferguson, or allowing Frankie Silver to tell her own story of the murder for which she was hanged in 1833, McCrumb often speaks for the dead. In her newest novel, The Unquiet Grave, McCrumb tells the story of Zona Heaster, the legendary Greenbrier Ghost, whose testimony from beyond the grave led directly to the trial and conviction of the abusive husband who killed her. Zona was a young bride in Greenbrier County, West Virginia, when her body was found at the bottom of the stairs in her home. Her new husband, a blacksmith with a shady past, insisted upon preparing her body for burial. He took care to clothe


Welcome, pull up a chair. A proper shelf of reading materials has collected since we last had a look at the books in the nook. Our featured book includes a comprehensive review of Sharon McCrumb’s latest novel, An Unquiet Grave. Following are two memoirs, a biography, and a guidebook. All are regional writers, and they are an interesting lot.

her in a dress with a high collar, a collar that covered her neck. The legend surrounding her post-mortem appearances continues to be interwoven with the culture of West Virginia. The novel does more than simply recount the folklore surrounding Zona’s life and afterlife. By using Zona’s mother, Mary Jane Heaster, as a narrative voice, McCrumb is able to beautifully tease out the nuances of the tale, while allowing the reader, who already knows Zona’s fate, to experience each misstep by the doomed girl and each twinge of doubt by her concerned mother. In addition, McCrumb also creates a real person from pieces of court documents and census records. Mary Jane speaks with a voice that is authentic and as compelling as that of her daughter, whom she recounted seeing shortly after her death, entreating her mother to seek justice. Mary Jane’s reports of her daughter’s request led to the exhumation of the body and to a full autopsy, an autopsy that revealed the marks on her throat, marks that matched her husband’s hands. As she allows Mary Jane to tell her own story, McCrumb carefully crafts a narrative that carries the reader through actual events that are as extraordinary as some of the most outlandish fiction. Interwoven with Mary Jane’s account are the recollections of one of the lawyers who represented Zona’s husband at trial. Over thirty years after a ghost lost his case for him, James P.D. Gardner, an inmate at a West Virginia insane asylum, recounts his side of the story to his doctor. His own life, as an African- American lawyer in the decades following the

Civil War, is, in its own way, as extraordinary as the ghost story he once faced in the courtroom, in a case that still haunts him years later. As he tells his version of the events to a young doctor who is hopeful the new “talking cure” will help the depressed elderly lawyer, Gardner paints a complex and vivid picture of a life touched with remarkable achievements, heartbreaking loss, and, just once, a bit of the supernatural. These alternating voices are, on the surface, very different: in race, gender, and social status. Yet, they both characterize individuals struggling to find their place in a world that does not always make sense, and struggling to know when and how to speak out to ensure justice is done. From records and reports, McCrumb stiches together two sides of a beautiful, complex quilt, telling one story with two different faces. With her characteristically thorough research and commitment to accuracy and authenticity, McCrumb has unearthed a host of details about the central figures in the case, and about those history has nearly forgotten, including people whose own tragedies eclipsed the fate of one girl whose death her mother would not let go unavenged. These gems from the past sparkle throughout the narrative as it deftly slips from Mary Jane to Mr. Gardner, to other supporting figures in this remarkable drama, reminding the reader that this is a true story, with actual events and real people. In crafting this story, though, McCrumb has gone beyond constructing a historical timeline; she has so well acquainted herself with these long-dead people that the voices she gives them ring with authenticity, even as they echo literature from Emily Bronte to William Shakespeare. The sharp-eyed reader will quickly catch the subtle allusions and the care-

b ook reviews

fully intertwined symbols; the historically minded reader will marvel at the care and perseverance required to unearth this thrilling story from the less-thanthrilling tomes piled up in archives; the reader hoping for the supernatural will not be disappointed. But every reader will be entranced, and perhaps unnerved, by The Unquiet Grave. For more on Sharyn McCrumb’s work and upcoming appearances, go to –Elizabeth Baird Hardy He Gave Me Barn Cats by Maria Santomasso-Hyde Dancing Lemur Press, Pikeville NC 2017 This memoir is a first book by the author, who is also an artist and owner of Altavista Gallery in Valle Crucis. In it, Ms. Hyde has chronicled a difficult passage in her life, one that included the final months, days, and passing of her beloved mother. Despite its gravity, the story is rich with the daily details of living well and joyfully. Ms. Hyde sees with an artist’s eye; her descriptions of landscape and weather, animals and people are well rendered. Cats, in particular, figure large in the story. In her Amazon review of this book, a friend described it as being “about the heart-wrenching, spirit-busting journey back to a place where—if but for only a moment at first—joy is once again experienced.” Ms. Hyde includes questions for discussion groups who read this book. –LouAnn Morehouse

Fly Baby; the Story of an American Girl by Kimberly Jochl Wilfred Lee Books Village of Sugar Mountain, NC 2017 The smiling woman on the back cover of this memoir is likely a familiar face to many in the High Country. Kimberly Jochl has been an active member of the community since she first set skis on the slopes of Sugar Mountain. And active is definitely the verb to describe her, as she is an athletic champion and advocate for skiing, cycling and outdoor sports. For this, her first book, Ms. Jochl’s engaging and often funny personality flows along the page as she describes the life of an dedicated young athlete who becomes a successful, fulfilled adult. Her candid observations of the paths she took give her story an approachable, “I’m just like you” quality. Fly Baby would make an excellent read for anyone poised to embark upon a career as a professional athlete. –LouAnn Morehouse

Still & Barrel: Craft Spirits in the Old North State by John Francis Trump. John F. Blair, Publisher Winston-Salem, NC 2017 More than a mere guidebook, Mr. Trump’s profiles of the thirty-six— count’em—distilleries in North Carolina makes for great reading regardless of your drinking habits. There’s plenty of liquor making history in the state, and Mr. Trump has put his journalist skills to good use recording the memories in his book. Moonshining in North Carolina has gone on for so long and has produced such legendary products that it comes as something of a shock to learn the state was the first in the South to

join the Prohibition movement, banning all alcohol eleven years before the Eighteenth Amendment ended it for the rest of the country. And Prohibition lasted longer here, too. However, from what Mr. Trump’s research reveals, we’ve come out of the drought at last. And in very fine form indeed. –LouAnn Morehouse

A Voice in His Time: A Biography of Charles Harvey Crutchfield by Jerry Shinn Lorimar Press, Davidson, NC 2016 If you’re old enough to remember the beginnings of commercial radio, or came along a generation later just as television changed our view of the world, you’ll find something to love in the real-life fairy tale that belongs to Charles ‘Chock’ Crutchfield. And if you ever tuned into Charlotte’s WBT Radio and TV, Shinn’s thorough narrative will resonate further still. From a self-taught copy boy in Spartanburg’s first broadcast station, to the innovator that made WBTRadio the flagship station of the south, Crutchfield’s path traversed the Great Depression, a World War, the Cold War, and Watergate, where he had a front row seat to more social and political upheaval than Forest Gump. But whenever ‘Chock’ could get away he’d bring his wife PeeWee and their two children to the mountains. The late Hugh Morton thought so much of the communications pioneer he dedicated one of his Grandfather Mountain easements in Crutchfield’s name. Jerry Shinn does a great job in presenting Crutchfield as the guy at the wheel as technology interfaces with a rapidly changing society. –Tom McAuliffe



Fostering Hope: Crossnore School And Children’s Home By Elizabeth Baird Hardy


or the past century, the Crossnore School and Children’s Home has worked tirelessly to bring help and hope to children and families. Along the way, this remarkable resource has also helped the community, even as it grows and evolves to meet new challenges. One of the most important roles Crossnore plays is recruiting and equipping foster families and connecting those families with the children who so desperately need them. With campuses in both Crossnore and Winston-Salem, this vital foster program will continue to grow to help children receive the best possible care and support, whether they come directly from the community or through residential programs. In this process, however, help is needed from individuals and families willing to foster. Finding foster families for the children who are waiting for them is a “dire need,” according to Sandy Sauer, Director of Foster Care and Adoptions for Crossnore. To meet that need and to uphold its commitment to keep sibling groups together whenever possible, Crossnore has developed an excellent process to find and train foster parents, many of whom go on to become adoptive parents. Across the state, there are 11,000 kids in foster care, reports Crossnore School and Children’s Home Chief Executive Officer Brett Loftis, who stresses that 4,000 more foster parents are needed to help with this epidemic concern. Contrary to some popular misconceptions, becoming a foster parent does not have to be a stressful experience. In


fact, Crossnore makes every effort to create a smooth process while ensuring the foster parents it licenses are both wellsuited for the unique challenges of foster parenting and thoroughly equipped with necessary training and support to shape positive experiences for both children and those who choose to foster them. Though potential foster parents and their homes must meet standards that require background checks, fingerprinting, and home safety inspections, Crossnore works to make the process a positive one. In fact, all costs for becoming licensed as a foster parent are covered or reimbursed by Crossnore, an advantage not provided by other agencies, and parents who choose to adopt children through foster care also do so free of charges and fees. Of course, foster parents also receive a stipend to offset their expenses. While approximately 30 percent of all children in foster care are eventually returned to the care of a family member, the majority will remain in the system unless they are adopted. There are 2,500 children in North Carolina waiting to be adopted. Foster parents may choose to adopt children who have been placed with them, but they are not obligated to do so. “What I love about foster to adopt is there is no pressure,” says Sauer, who explains that when a foster child becomes eligible for adoption, the foster parents may or may not choose to adopt, and licensed foster parents are not required to accept a placement. “Mutual Selection” in the process means that the focus is on finding the best possible situation for both parents and children. In

fact, although the state only requires a minimum of three months of foster care before adoption is considered, Crossnore requires six months to ensure the best matches. Loftis points out that having more licensed foster parents helps with finding those great matches, and locations in both Crossnore and WinstonSalem allow opportunities to place children near resources like specific educational programs while also being able to meet the needs of children from Greensboro to Cherokee. There is a desperate need for more couples and individuals to become licensed as foster parents, and children of all ages, individuals and sibling groups, urgently need to be placed. It is especially challenging to place siblings, as Crossnore is dedicated to doing. The demand for a place where siblings can remain together is one reason why Crossnore always has a very long waiting list. The average age of a foster child at Crossnore is 11, and 40 percent of children in foster care are aged six and under. “Children are here through no fault of their own,” Sauer states. “Everyone thinks that someone else” will volunteer to foster, but “that somebody might be you.” While licensed foster parents must be over 21, they can be married, partnered, or single, childless, older, and of any ethnicity, gender, or faith. The excellent training provided through Crossnore’s ten-week pre-service class prepares potential foster parents to appropriately care for children who have undergone a variety of traumatic experiences and helps identify solid matches for foster placement. Once children are placed, they and their foster families continue receiving support and access to Crossnore’s extensive resources. Becoming a foster parent is not easy, but neither is being a conventional parent, Loftis points out. “People underestimate what a blessing a child is, but you learn more from these children than they learn from you.” In addition, he points out that fostering and adoption are a form of ministry; after all, “that is how we enter God’s family, through adoption.” To learn more about meeting the critical need for foster parents (or to simply ask questions) contact Kelly Riley, Foster Care Licensing Specialist and Trainer, at (336) 721-7600 or


With the dramatic rise in the number of children in foster care in North Carolina, it's time for all of us to answer the call to solve this problem. Crossnore School & Children's Home is dedicated to growing healthy futures for children and families by providing a Christian sanctuary of hope and healing.

Call us today


to find out how you can support children in foster care.

CROSSNORE school & children’s home

Crossnore Campus: PO Box 249 | Crossnore, NC 28616 | (828) 733-4305 Winston-Salem Campus: 1001 Reynolda Road | Winston-Salem, NC 27104 | (336) 721-7600 |

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CAROLINA MOUNTAIN6/20/2017 LIFE Summer 2017 — 8:17:33 AM

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• Cool summers and gorgeous autumn scenery • Artisan-crafted homes in a secure, gated community • Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains • A traditional private club with modern amenities • Convenient to Boone, Blowing Rock and Banner Elk • Views of Grandfather Mountain throughout • World-class dining, golf, tennis, fitness, recreation Residency is not required for membership! * 828.963.2137 * CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Summer 2017 —


The Summit Group specializes in real estate in The High Country of Western North Carolina. We have lived in this Blue Ridge Mountain community for many years and know first hand the beauty and charm that has been drawing families here for generations. Finding your perfect home, second home, or mountain property will be a pleasure as we are a turnkey company that will handle every detail of your real estate transaction. We encourage you to sit back, relax and enjoy the comforts of your new home.

415 Shawneehaw Ave. Banner Elk, North Carolina (beside the red caboose) 828-898-3500 104 — Summer 2017 CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE

Life Elevated: The Lodges at Eagles Nest By Steve York


emember summer camp as a kid? Being out in nature, surrounded by its wonders; breathing fresh air, soaking up warm sunny days and crisp summer nights; having an endless supply of outdoor recreational activities to fill your day and work up a hearty supper appetite; then relaxing as you bathe beneath a perfect twilight sunset; later to linger under a vast heavenly canopy of stars and moonlight before settling into a sound and serene night’s sleep? And, if your summer camp was set in the Blue Ridge Mountains, well… it was simply perfect. You had all that other stuff, plus breathtaking rolling mountain range vistas, wildlife behind every bush and nesting in treetops, and the sounds of fresh flowing streams and waterfalls sometimes only a short stroll away from your rustic wooden dwelling. You’d gather with friends around a campfire, sing songs, cook something special over a blazing fire, laugh, tell stories and drink in the best of life. You’d left the noise and busy chores of the city behind and escaped to an almost magical retreat that inspired, refreshed and renewed your very inner core. That was summer camp in the mountains. That was the experience you treasured, that you looked forward to and that would create lasting memories of joy without boundaries. That same experience is what inspired The Lodges at Eagles Nest in Banner Elk over a decade ago, and what continues to inspire it today. As Jeremy Handysides of the Waterfront Group (new property developers) emphasizes, “Instead of trying to clear away nature and overlay just another neighborhood into a mountain forest, the vision of Eagles Nest has always been to let nature dictate the development’s design

and luxury amenities to blend with and complement our natural, rugged mountain setting. “It’s like the most idyllic summer camp you could imagine created especially for adults and families,” notes Jeremy. “The whole lifestyle theme here is about maximizing the outdoor summer camp experience within a distinctive upscale development that blends seamlessly within this majestic setting, which rises up over 5,000 feet to the side of Beech Mountain. There’s no end of things to do or places to do them.” Residents and guests can enjoy horseback riding from the equestrian center, ATV adventures along specially designed trails, cookouts and gatherings in a rustic, yet amenitypacked barbeque pavilion, an outdoor amphitheater featuring live music and special events, and “our awesome Tee Pee Village for when you want to really commune with nature…you have all the comforts of home, plus acres of outdoor sporting, hiking, camping and outdoor

exploration,” says Jeremy. He adds that down by the river is their exclusive Eagles Nest River Club, a gated, membersonly club set alongside 2,000 feet of Elk River frontage. “Our River Club features a full bar, live music stage, bait and tackle shop, and the best trophy trout fishing waterway on the East Coast.” Both rental cabins and the Double Eagle Lodge are available to visitors and those wanting to explore the property in search of a mountain retreat. And their impressive new Eagles Nest Real Estate office is now conveniently located at the base of Beech Mountain at the Hwy 194/184 intersection just beyond LeesMcRae College. More information is available from that office and at www.





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Avery County Transportation: Empowering Residents to Live Independently

Avery County Transportation (ACT) is a county agency that has coordinated and provided general public transportation for Avery County Residents since 1981. Their mission is to provide safe, reliable, cost-effective transportation and mobility options that empower residents to live independently with a freedom of choice. “Avery Transportation’s services are very important to our community, especially when someone is between a rock and a hard place. Whether it is just getting groceries for the week or making it to their doctor’s appointment, their services are the most used in our county,” says Avery County resident Rachel Deal. “They do an excellent job.” Anyone is welcome to ride, and will be picked up at their location of choice. Please contact ACT at least 24 hours ahead of time for in-county trips and at least one week ahead of time for a medical out of county trip. To reserve transportation, call 828-733-0005 or visit “As a legally blind senior who lives alone, Avery County Transportation makes it possible for me and many other disadvantaged people to live a more normal life. They are unfailingly helpful, cooperative and flexible in helping me meet the changing demands of daily life.  A major benefit is their doorto-door service at a minimal cost, even for out-of-county medical appointments.  ACT can truly be considered a major asset to our community.” - Ray Cowart



Appalachian Home Care: Receive Care in Comfort

Appalachian Home Care was started in 2003 with the desire to provide the very best home care services available, professionally and compassionately. Located in Banner Elk, Appalachian Home Care serves eight surrounding counties, including Watauga, Avery, Mitchell, Ashe, Burke, Yancey, Wilkes and Alleghany. Whether you or a family member are visiting for the season, leaving the hospital or experiencing a life change medically, Appalachian Home Care can work with you to understand your unique situation and give the right amount of care. The agency works hand in hand with other health care providers in the community to ensure seamless support. Appalachian Home Care is licensed by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services to provide in-home aide and nursing services, and accepts North Carolina Medicaid, private insurance, and private pay. Learn more about Appalachian Home Care at, or call (828) 963-8233. “Our goal is to enable your stay in the home, for as long as possible, as comfortably as possible and with the highest quality health care possible.”

A Dream Come True from the Root Down The Grandfather Center at Tynecastle became the new home last May for an Avery County couple. For Brenna and Chad Carpenter, the establishment of their Root Down Hair Studio was the culmination of years in the business of beauty and hair care. The Carpenters completely renovated the large open space, with high ceilings and a free form flow that reflects the spirit behind Root Down. “Our name was born from the love of hair, nature, and our intention to place our family roots in this area,” Chad explains. A former business developmental coach and color educator at L’Oreal USA, and educator for American Crew and Davines, Chad specializes in hair color and hair cutting for men and women. After 15 years working in Boone, the Carpenters, who are raising their children in nearby Banner Elk, are calling their new venture a homecoming of sorts. For the young couple, their craft is much more than the act of cutting hair. “At Root Down we do everything with Meraki,” Chad says. “This is a word modern Greeks often use to describe what happens when you leave a piece of yourself—soul, creativity, or love—behind in your work. Our goal is to let that love show in the hair we create.” In Root Down Hair Studio, the Carpenters plan is to build their personal brand closer to home. It’s an eight-year vision of “bringing to life a sustainable salon, with emphasis on teaching re-purposing, and offering an unparalleled client experience,” Chad adds. Wife and partner Brenna has four years of industry experience. She shares a similar color certification with Davines, and is certified in tape in extensions by Aqua. Brenna specializes in facial waxing, and according to Chad “is always continuing to push herself and grow within our industry. Things are constantly changing and Brenna realizes that in order to offer her clients the best services possible, education is the key. Root Down’s team of skilled artists will always continuously train in their areas of expertise.” In addition to cuts and coloring, Root Down offers waxing, make-up and colorization consulting, specialty classes for customers, specialized color techniques and color corrections. Call them at 828-898-2005 for appointments and information on their wide array of services. And you can follow them on Facebook at Root Down Hair Salon.  



SCOREads_1/4_HispanicMen_Layout 1 9/22/11 1:27 PM Page 2

LO C A L B U S I N E S S N E W S Encore Luxury Travel & Linda Sheppard Fine Art Join the globe-trotting mother and daughter duo Wendy Snider and Linda Sheppard as they celebrate the grand opening of their new Travel Lounge and Fine Art Gallery in Banner Elk, NC. Encore Luxury Travel is a full service agency specializing in complex itineraries that take travelers all over the world. Travel Consultant Wendy Snider will help you plan your next international wine tour, destination wedding, honeymoon or other special getaway. Visit for more information. Request a local summer calendar of travel events and artist talks by calling 828-719-6955 or email   Linda Sheppard is an experienced professional artist and instructor who captures life’s journeys through personal world travel, and accepts commissions in fine art to capture your own memorable travel experiences. She also offers private group events and artist talks. Visit  to view the artist’s portfolio.   Attend their Grand Opening  June 30-July 1  from 11-6, attend an event or make an appointment to visit their new space by calling 828-719-6955. Encore Travel and Linda Sheppard Fine Art are located at 2780 Tynecastle Hwy in Banner Elk, NC.

VOLUNTEER Your expertise. Your skills. Your passion. Join SCORE to help small businesses succeed through: Small Business Advice Local Workshops Online Mentoring Visit us at now to find out how you can volunteer. Or call 1-800-634-0245.


This material is based on work supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) under cooperative agreement number SBAHQ-07-S-0001. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA.


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for air sealing, duct sealing, insulation, even building an ENERGY STAR® home. Visit our website for a list of home energy auditors and contractors who work in our area. Energy Advisor This FREE, online tool provides custom advice on how you can reduce your electric bills based on your home and how you use energy.

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AVERY COUNTY TRANSPORTATION 34 Pershing St, Newland NC 28657 828-733-0005 • Fax: 828-733-8280



• Open Mon–Fri 8:00–4:30 (excludes holidays) • All Routes are open to the public • Trained Drivers to help with elderly and disabled riders • Trips to Medical appointments available outside of the county • ADA compliant vans available • Service animals are welcome • Veterans ride for free • Weekly in-county routes • Monthly out of county shopping trips • Affordable Transportation Fares • Available to all Avery County Residents • Services also provided through community agencies Like us on Facebook at

High Country Nonprofit Helps Local Businesses SCORE Success


sheville SCORE, Counselors to America’s Small Business, is part of a national nonprofit association dedicated to entrepreneur education and the formation, growth and success of the nation’s small businesses. High Country SCORE is a branch of the Asheville Chapter and provides free business counseling and mentoring services to small businesses and individuals in the counties of Avery, Watauga, Ashe, Wilke, Alleghany, Catawba, as well as eastern Tennessee and southern Virginia. Herman Metzler heads up the SCORE office in Boone. According to Herman he and a group of four SCORE volunteers receive many referrals from local Chambers of Commerce, banks and government agencies to assist their customers. “Much of our time is dedicated to helping people who want to start a small business, or those already in business who are seeking advice on how to expand.” High Country SCORE also provides workshops and seminars on a variety of topics to small business operators. “All of our services are provided without charge and everything we discuss with our customers is in complete confidence.” If you’re an individual or small business in the area who would like to learn more about SCORE, or are interested in becoming a SCORE mentor and helping us expand our local services, please contact Herman Metzler at 919-280-6123, or by email at General information is available at our website

GIVING “The High Country Branch of SCORE in Boone salutes Carolina Mountain Life on their 20th Anniversary and celebration of producing an exceptional magazine. Publisher Babette McAuliffe’s success comes from her tireless hard work, creativity and ability to adapt to changing times and trends. The ongoing business it has generated for local businesses is reflected in the large number of advertisers that have been with her for years. The magazine continues to be a delightful source of information that local residents and visitors to our area have come to rely on.”



The High Country’s Dog & Cat Destination High Quality Foods, Treats, Raw Diets Food & Nutrition Consultation Wellness & Health Products Real Estate Closings and Legal Representation in the High Country John B. “Jak” Reeves+ • Tamara C. DiVenere Anné C. Wright • Jeffrey J. Walker*+ • Glenn S. Kern 280 Queen Street, Boone, NC 28607 • 828-268-9640 • 800-451-4299 202 East Main Street, West Jefferson, NC 28694 • 336-246-7172

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And Everything In Between...”


Regrets? I’ve Had a Few... By Tricia Wilson


o you have any regrets? Most of us do. Bronnie Ware, an Australian nurse and counselor worked in palliative care for many years. Most of her patients were older, terminally ill, and knew the end of life was approaching. Her work involved counseling and trying to relieve physical, mental, and emotional pain that surfaces when death is imminent. In her therapy work, Bronnie began asking her patients about their regrets in life, and what they would have done differently. Five common regrets stood out above all others. The men and women Bronnie interviewed are gone now, but their insights prove invaluable advice for the living. For that reason, Bronnie Ware decided to share the honest and courageous insights that her patients had shared with her. A common revelation emerging from Bronnie’s study is that when we are healthy, we take our lives for granted. Health affords us freedom and choices that few can appreciate until we no longer have them. While Bronnie’s hospice patients were helpless in the face of their regrets, we still have time to do something about our life choices, before they become regrets about which nothing can be done. Here are the five most common regrets Bronnie noted: 5) “I wish I had pursued my own dreams and aspirations, and not the life others expected of me.” This was by far the most commonly-shared regret. It appears that our unfulfilled dreams haunt us, silently stalking us to the very end. If you’re afraid of what people will say about your choices, just remember, their voices matter little in your dying days. 4) “I wish I hadn’t worked so much.” Every male patient with whom Bronnie spoke expressed this regret. As the “breadwinners” of their generation, the older men now focused on all the time each had missed with his wife and children. When asked what they would have done differently if given another chance,

their reply was surprising: Most believed that if they had simplified their lifestyle and made better choices, they would not have needed all that money for which they worked so hard all their lives. It became clear in those final days that it’s much more important to create more space and time in their lives to be with the people who mean to most to them. 3) “I wish I’d had the courage to speak my mind and tell others how I really feel.” Many of the patients interviewed stated they had suppressed their feelings and stayed quiet many times to keep peace with others – even when doing so led to festering bad feelings and bitterness. There is a common misconception that confrontation is bad for relationships and can create division. In reality, when confrontation is honest, kindly spoken and constructive, it can deepen mutual respect and take relationships to a higher level. By speaking our minds, we express our truths and that reduces the build-up and storing of bitterness, which is ultimately hurtful to us. 2) “I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.” Everyone misses their friends when they’re dying. When health and youth have faded, and death is looming, people realize that some friendships hold more value than all their wealth and achievements. Bronnie observed, “It all comes down to love and relationships in the end.” Knowing this now, what will you do differently? 1) “I wish I had let myself be happier.” Perhaps the most humbling regret of all, these patients recognized that happiness wasn’t something to be chased and acquired through wealth, social acceptance, and other “trappings” of a prosperous life. Learning to relax, to live in the moment and appreciate the good things in your own life – that’s the path to true happiness. Happiness is a choice, and not a random occurrence. Can one live without regrets? Perhaps not, but the life lessons shared by these dying patients make it clear how important it is to live with as few regrets as possible. One of my favorite characters in a 1980 Australian film, Breaker


Morant, had a saying: “Live each day as if it will be your last, and one day you will surely be right.” If you are reading this article, you’re alive. Hopefully, you’re reasonably healthy, and you still have many choices before you as to how to live your life. Procrastinate less, pursue your true dreams, hopes and aspirations. Focus on and give of yourself to those people and activities in life that truly make you happy, and don’t fret about what others think of you or try to conform to their expectations. Call up an old friend today and reconnect. It’s never too late . . . or is it? That failure to act could be quite regrettable. Share this article and discuss it with those people you care about. I wish you abundant joy throughout the days and relationships in your life! Tricia Wilson is an attorney in Linville. Her law firm is the Appalachian Elder Law Center, and she focuses her practice in elder law, asset protection planning, trusts and estate planning, estate administration, planning for children and adults with special needs and adult guardianships. Disclaimer: The information contained in this article or accessed on the publisher’s web site is intended to provide information of general interest to the public, and is not intended to offer legal advice about specific situations or problems and is not a source of advertising, solicitation or legal advice. The author does not intend to create an attorney-client relationship by offering this information, and anyone’s review of this content shall not be deemed to create an attorneyclient relationship. You should contact a lawyer if you have a legal matter requiring attention.





Millennial, Generation X, or Baby Boomer: Become Financially Self-Aware By Katherine S. Newton, CFP®, ChFCTM Regardless of your age and goals, there’s a good chance you have heard some version of the following: Most Millennials and Generation Xers (20s to early 50s) do not save enough money for retirement. Retirees in general spend more money than they should if they expect their savings to last for their lifetimes. These are both serious life problems.  And the solutions would seem simple: Spend less and, if you are not yet retired, save more.  But how much less or how much more? Millennials and Generation Xers should save 15% to 25% in some cases, according to many finance articles. For retirees, the “4% rule” is often cited as the limit on distributions that retirees should take from their portfolios. But the reality is that none of the solutions proffered in the press are specific or customized to the person or persons who need the advice. And none of these solutions begin at the beginning, which is the only place to start when making a plan to reach a goal.  So where is the beginning? Here is a clue: Can you say out loud right now, rounded to the nearest $500, how much money you currently spend each month? And do you know what your other annual expenditures are (for example: vacations, property taxes, or insurance premiums) in addition to your monthly spending? If you can, then you are in a very elite group of the financially self-aware. If you don’t know this number quickly, don’t despair because you are not alone. But knowing this important fact about yourself is the beginning point, the central number to understand, for reaching any of your financial goals. There are only two ways that I know to learn this number if you don’t already know it: Get out the old-fashioned checkbook and go through your expenses for at least six months; or… Run a schedule from your current personal accounting software, whether you use Quicken, QuickBooks, Mint, or your bank’s website, of your expenses for at least six months. Categorize your expenses and sort them into discretionary and non-discretionary columns (I, as most Certified Financial Planners™, can give you tools for help in doing this exercise). It’s important to note that you are not creating a budget with this exercise. Do not edit, critique, or judge what you find. You will use the information as it stands. And with a concise understanding of what you spend, you will be ready to begin making a meaningful plan to meet your goals.  Bottom Line: Knowing exactly what you currently spend is necessary to moving forward financially. Let us know if we can help.

Katherine Newton, a 30-year veteran of the financial services industry and Certified Financial Planner™, crafts protectorates for her clients’ wealth so they have confidence to pursue what’s most important in their lives. You can reach Katherine at her company Waite Financial in Hickory at 828.322.9595 or by email at katherine@ Registered branch address: P.O. Box 1177, 428 4th Ave., NW, Hickory, NC 28603, 28601. The views are those of Katherine Newton and should not be considered as investment advice or to predict future performance. Past performance does not guarantee future results. All information is believed to be from reliable sources. However, we make no representations as to its completeness or accuracy. Please note that neither Cetera Advisor Networks, LLC, Carroll Financial Associates or any of their agents or representatives give legal or tax advice. For complete details, consult with your tax advisor or attorney. Investors should consider their investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses associated with municipal fund securities before investing. This information is found in the issuer’s official statement and should be read carefully before investing. Registered Representative offering securities through Cetera Advisor Networks, LLC. Member FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through Carroll Financial Associates Inc., a Registered Investment Advisor. Waite Financial, Cetera Advisor Networks, and Carroll Financial Associates are unaffiliated.

personally invested

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Katherine S. Newton, CFP®, ChFC Waite Financial 428 4th Ave, NW  Hickory, NC 28601 8 2 8 . 3 2 2 .9 5 9 5  866.716.8663 (fax) katherine@  Registered Representative of and Securities and Investment Advisory Services offered through Cetera Advisor Networks, member FINRA/SIPC. Waite Financial and Cetera Advisor Networks are unaffiliated.



The most Incredible Toy Store in the High Country! CAFE & BAKERY

Mon-Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 1-5pm Hwy 321 South between Boone and Blowing Rock 828 264 1422


(Served on our homemade bread)

Pies • Cakes • Tarts Shepherd’s Pie Steak & Ale Pie Chicken Pot Pie English Specialties (On request)


• Custom Window Treatments & Bedding • Draperies, Balloon & Roman Shades, • Duvet Covers, Dust Ruffles & Pillows • Upholstery Hunter Douglas • Designer Fabrics Window Fashions

Serving Dinner Twice Monthly Call or Check our Website for Dates & Menu

828.963.8228 Fabulous British Chef/Owner

Dominic & Meryle Geraghty



Open Tuesday-Saturday 10am-4:30pm 9872 Hwy. 105 S. in Foscoe (Across from Mountain Lumber)

10543 NC Hwy. 105 South, Suite #2, Banner Elk, NC 28604 / 828-963-8110

Estimates gladly given Pilar Harding, Owner

Andrews & Andrews Insurance 1910 Millers Gap Hwy Newland, NC 828-737-0679 Melba Andrews/Agent

Furniture • Appliances Small Household Items • Books Clothing & Accessories 1/2 Off on clothing every Saturday! Donations welcomed. Pick up available for furniture and appliances Thank you for your continued support

828-262-5029 877 West King Street, Boone NC Open Mon-Sat, 9am-5pm SPONSORED BY RESORT AREA MINISTRIES


Acupuncture • Acupressure • Reflexology Aromatherapy • Massage Therapy Qigong • Reiki • Classes

Aromatherapy Store Natural Remedies Products for People & Pets

Ashi Therapy Ashi Aromatics, Inc Holistic Healing Center 828.898.5555 • Banner Elk







Since 2010

We Care About the Health of Your Pet• • High Quality Dog & Cat Food • Raw Diet & Freeze-Dried Pet Foods • USA Made Treats & Home-Baked Treats • Featuring alternative supplements for your pets dietary and health needs • Toys, collars, leashes, and more 176 Shawneehaw Ave. Downtown Banner Elk NC (across from the old Banner Elk Elementary School)

828.898.5625 |

At My Best Friend’s Barkery, we pride ourselves on carrying healthy foods for your dogs and cats.

PET FEST Sat. July 22, 10am-5pm and Sun. July 23, 10am-4pm On the lawn of the Historic Banner Elk Elementary School Businesses & Artists educating pet owners on the care of their pets Win great prizes! Dog show categories include smallest, largest, ear-ristible, best tail wagger. Vaccine Clinic Saturday starting at 8am. Pony Rides by High Country Horse Helpers For info on being a vendor, or attending, call 828-898-5625

The Tricia Wilson Law Firm Is Pleased To Announce A Firm Name Change To More Accurately Reflect Professional Growth & The Establishment Of Our Practice Concentration:



This year, Appalachian Voices is celebrating two decades of bringing people together to stand up for the mountains, for rivers and drinking water, for farms, forests and wildlife, and for healthy communities across Appalachia. Join us as we begin our next 20 years. (New members: take advantage of our special “$20 for 20” membership discount!)

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Women’s Services at The Rehabilitation Center By Koren Gillespie


ost people have heard the phrase, it’s not easy being a woman. And, this adage is true. The female body goes through a lot of changes and experiences—especially after childbirth, or as it ages. Many women can face a variety of issues including pelvic pain, incontinence (bladder leaking), or osteoporosis. Fortunately, these problems or concerns can be addressed here in the High Country through outpatient services at The Rehabilitation Center of Appalachian Regional Healthcare System (ARHS). The Rehabilitation Center offers programs specific to women in the following areas: • Pelvic pain • Pre and post-partum pelvic disorders • Post-natal complications (C-section or vaginal delivery) • Post-hysterectomy complications • Urinary and/or bowel incontinence • Postural dysfunction • Fitness retraining and education • Arthritis • Osteoporosis • Fibromyalgia • Other chronic pain disorders

No matter your age, if you’re experiencing any of the above conditions, be sure to ask your healthcare provider about therapy services. Often times younger women are more likely to seek out a referral versus older women.

Incontinence, muscle weakness, fatigue, or pain may quickly be blamed on “old age” and dismissed as issues you “just have to live with” because they are believed to be a part of the normal aging process. In truth, these symptoms can often be improved or even eliminated with rehabilitation. At The Rehabilitation Center, successful participation and completion of a personalized program can empower women to improve their quality of life. They will learn self-management strategies to reduce pain and improve functional ability. This knowledge will enable them to participate in or have a better enjoyment of work, home, and social activities. For example, The Rehabilitation Center treated one woman who was able to return to work without pelvic pain or limitations to her lifestyle. They’ve also received feedback from several other women who are now able to care for their grandchildren or go shopping without any instances of incontinence. Once referred, participants will meet with a Physical or Occupational Therapist at The Rehabilitation Center for an initial evaluation. They will go over areas of concern and establish a personalized treatment plan. Once the most effective and efficient care plan is in place, patients will begin services. Visits may range from a one-time session to simply educate a patient in self-management

HEALTH strategies, to several sessions dealing with pain reduction and/or improved strength, posture, or balance. Most patients complete their treatment plans within one to two months, but treatment time will vary based on an individual’s goals and needs. The Rehabilitation Center has a highly skilled staff coupled with stateof-the-art technology resources to ensure patients receive the best treatment possible. All therapists are highly trained in a variety of clinical and specialty areas. This roster includes at least two team members who have been specifically trained in women’s health therapy services. The therapists work to help women achieve their goals and be able to fully enjoy their lives. To learn more about the staff, visit Is therapy an option for you or a loved one? Be sure to inquire with your regular doctor (family or specialist), Physician’s Assistant, or Nurse Practitioner— whether they are local or out-of-town. Rehabilitation services through ARHS are offered in two convenient offices. For more information, call 828-268-9043 (Watauga County) or 828-737-7520 (Avery County). Locations are at 232 Boone Heights Drive, Suite A in Boone, and at 434 Hospital Drive in Linville.

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Feed Your Skin for a Youthful Summer Glow! By Samantha Stephens


id you realize that your skin is the largest organ in your whole body? It acts as a sensor, filter, and barrier between the world around us and our insides. An alarming 60 percent of whatever comes in direct contact with the skin is absorbed into your bloodstream. What you apply to your skin via perfumes, lotions, ointments, cleaning supplies and anything else that you touch is likely to be absorbed into your body. Considering this, wouldn’t it be a good idea to investigate your facial, bath and skin products before you apply them? With so many skincare products on the market, it’s hard to have the confidence necessary to make an informed decision on what is best. For me, a general rule of thumb is to feed my skin with ingredients that I’m ok with ingesting internally. By sticking to this principle, I can reduce the toxic load on my body. When applying natural, healthy foods to our skin, we can be assured that we are feeding it with easy to digest, valuable nutrients and vitamins that it needs to fight free radicals, disease and aging. Yogurt is full of beneficial bacteria called probiotics. When probiotics are applied to the skin, they fight bad bacteria that cause clogged pores, acne and rashes. Yogurt also contains lactic acid, which breaks down dead skin cells on the surface, yielding a new layer of fresh skin from below. Milk fats from yogurt nourish and moisturize while vitamins A and D strengthen and support the epidermis, dermis and hypodermis layers of the skin. All you need to do is apply yogurt directly to your freshly cleansed skin, let dry for about 30 minutes and rinse. If you are feeling adventurous, add one or more of the ingredients below to


make your own, unique version of a nutritious, yogurt face mask. Raw Honey is excellent as a standalone moisturizer, healer, and vitamin rich supplement for your skin. It can be directly applied to freshly washed and exfoliated skin and left for 10-15 minutes. Rinse with cool water and pat dry. The enzymes found in raw honey will gently exfoliate, nourish and help your skin retain moisture. This lessens the appearance of wrinkles and combats dry skin. Raw honey is also extremely effective for treating wounds. It kills harmful bacteria and fungus, provides a protective, moisturizing barrier between the wound and the dressing, and supplies a multitude of valuable nutrients to speed wound healing. You might also consider using honey in place of sugar in your meal preparations for a nutritional boost to your whole system. The application of fermented foods to the skin is a surprisingly easy and effective way to create dramatic results in very little time. Rich in fruit enzymes, vitamins and probiotics, fermented foods feed your skin precisely at the point of need. Try fermenting berries such as blueberries, strawberries or cranberries with a little freshly squeezed orange, lemon or lime juice and raw honey and use as a mask for a powerful addition to your skincare regime. Here’s how: Fill a pint jar half full of fresh cranberries, the juice of one small orange and lemon or lime, a dash of ground clove and cinnamon. Add 1 T of whey and cover with raw honey, leaving 1/2 inch of head space. Secure a piece of cheese cloth in place of the lid and let ferment in a 70-80 degree dark location for at least 2 weeks. Cap with a lid, refrigerate and keep for up to 3 months. When ready to use, blend until smooth. Apply to your

face as a mask, or eat as a side to your favorite roasted veggies or meat. This recipe is full of fruit enzymes, probiotics, and vitamin C that will rival any top of the line skin care product on the market. And because it is so fresh, the potency is unmatched! If you are looking to calm irritated skin, oatmeal is a great choice. It is an excellent option for sensitive skin because it soothes irritations and inflammation. It also gently exfoliates and hydrates the skin cells. Use finely ground oatmeal alone with purified water or add yogurt, dry milk powder, honey and/or essential oils for added benefits. Consider adding a few drops of Neem or Tea tree oil for acne prone skin, or lavender, rose, frankincense, and/or helichrysum oils for sun-damaged or aging skin. Oatmeal is also very helpful in soothing our bodies from the inside out. For a delicious, nutritious and easy breakfast, soak old fashioned oats overnight in a little water with ground flaxseed, chia seed and hemp seeds. Eat the next day at room temperature topped with raw honey and ground cinnamon. This is a fiber rich, energy generating breakfast that has healthy fats and vitamins that will fuel you all day! Lemons are full of ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) and other powerful enzymes that will lighten, exfoliate and nourish your skin. Lemon is also an antiseptic, offering anti-bacterial and astringent properties that cleanse and purify. The production of collagen, the material that gives your skin its firm shape, is critically dependent upon a steady supply of Vitamin C. Collagen is naturally depleted with age, sun exposure and free radicals, so in order to maintain a healthy, vibrant and youthful appearance, it’s essential to promote its production through the

HEALTH direct application of Vitamin C to the skin and in your diet! Follow these simple instructions: Dip a sterile cotton ball in lemon juice (freshly squeezed is best) and swipe over your face, neck, décolleté, and anywhere else on your body that you want bright and smooth skin. Allow the lemon juice to remain on your skin for as long as you can stand it, up to 60 minutes if possible. This will allow the Vitamin C to completely absorb into the deepest layers of your skin to do its magic! When ready, rinse with cool water and moisturize. Avoid sun exposure for at least 12 hours. Braggs (with the “mother”) apple cider vinegar (ACV) is a cure all for many ailments, both internal and external. I have found ACV to be one of the best methods of toning and exfoliating the skin’s surface of dead skin cells. It’s rich in probiotics, enzymes and a multitude of vitamins. ACV also boasts a pH level that is almost identical to ideal skin. Use only on unbroken skin and add the ACV, diluted with up to 50 percent water, to a sterile cotton ball or washrag and swab your face, neck, décolleté and any other areas that you want to balance and purify. Leave on for a minimum of 5 minutes and up to 20 minutes. You may experience a tingling or slight burning sensation. This is the action of the enzymes eating away at your expired skin cells, which is good! Finish with a cool water rinse and moisturizer. Unrefined, virgin coconut oil is a great choice with this protocol. A few other noteworthy foods that can be effectively applied to the skin: Garlic has impressive antiviral, antibacterial and anti-fungal properties. Use a small slice of fresh garlic to spot treat blemishes.

Coconut oil is a great moisturizer that absorbs quickly and supplies your skin with the antioxidant Vitamin E. Egg whites can be mixed with a little lemon or vinegar and applied to the skin as an astringent. It will tighten and lift wrinkly skin, shrink pores, reduce oils that clog pores and combat eye puffiness. So now you have many options for feeding both your insides and your outsides with nutrients that will directly and effectively benefit your skin. With this information, you are far ahead of the curve when treating and caring for your skin at home with affordable, easy to use natural and effective products. I hope you enjoy exploring all the possibilities! Feel free to email me with your questions and comments. Samantha Stephens is a nutritionist, food scientist and herbalist who loves spending time outside foraging for wild foods while appreciating the abundance of God’s creation. Samantha can be contacted at cmlmag3@

Don’t Forget about Vit. D It is most effectively produced in your body rather than provided through your diet. How? Vitamin D is an essential hormone that is produced in the skin when your skin is exposed to sunlight. With summer upon us, it’s easy to spend at least an hour a day outside in the sun. Early morning and late afternoon is best. Vitamin D is essential to both bone and brain health. It reduces depression and facilitates calcium and phosphorus absorption, which supports strong bones and teeth. Vitamin D also fights illnesses such as cancer, diabetes, heart disease and multiple sclerosis.




The Essence of Aromatherapy By Scottie Gilbert


he origins of aromatherapy as a healing art are traced back to many ancient civilizations. Even in the mountains of North Carolina, we have a distinct herbal knowledge due to the unique ecosystem and history of the Appalachians. For instance, it is thought that native fragrant plants like magnolia, cedar and mint were steamed or smoked in spiritual and medicinal rituals of the Cherokee and Catawba tribes. Many of these traditions were passed down and are still used today for healing purposes. However, it wasn’t until the term “aromatherapy” was coined in the early 20th century that the modern use of medicinal essential oils really took off and was revived here again for the benefit of the growing population in the states, as well as the High Country. “Aromatherapy is both an art and a science, which is based on the use of both essential oils and carrier base oils that are extracted from certain plants and then used for therapeutic purposes to promote wellbeing,” explains Kelly and Marco Azzaro, founders of Ashi Therapy in Banner Elk. Conditions and ailments that aromatherapy can alleviate are very close to ones also treated using modern herbalism, but


differ in the way they are received. It is known that the brain’s limbic system, the primitive brain, responds to certain fragrances by influencing memories, emotions, hormones, and basic survival mechanisms. Scientists studying aromacology believe a fragrance can alter brain waves that aid healing. “It is best known for its use in stress relief, improving quality of sleep, everyday aches and pains (muscular and joints, headaches), skin care and minor wound care,” Kelly points out. Beginning aromatherapy at home can be overwhelming, but with a little prior research, an introductory course, or a consultation appointment with a certified aromatherapist, you may benefit from a few simple tricks that go a long way. It is important that proper safety procedures, particularly knowledge of equipment and contraindications (instances in which a medicine or procedure is unsafe for a particular person or when paired with another medicine), are learned before diving into such an expansive discipline. For example, some oils are stronger than others; oils such as oregano, hyssop, and savory should never be used by pregnant women or children due to potentially dangerous compounds. In addition, topical application should always be

diluted with a carrier oil and patch tested on a small area of skin. Searching for and using the right oils is crucial to safe aromatherapy practice. “100% pure essential oil” should be labeled on the bottle (as opposed to fragrance or synthetic oils) and organic is best when possible. “There are many reputable essential oil companies that have been around for over 20 years that work from a place of sustainability in regards to respecting the plants and environment,” says Kelly. Some of these products can be found locally, helping to support our small businesses. A few useful oils to have on hand that won’t break your budget are lavender, lemon, tea tree, geranium, and rosemary. Lavender has been known to fight infection, insomnia, headaches and mood related disorders. Lemon may help with mood and may even kill parasites, making it a great addition to homemade cleaners. Tea tree, while it does have a pleasant scent, is mostly used topically and has been shown to be antifungal, antibacterial, and can also repel some insects. Geranium is useful in balancing mind and body. Rosemary aromas may be used in times of transition, while it also may relieve pain, stimulate circulation, and aid memory. These oils, especially if applied topically, must be diluted in a carrier oil to avoid irritation or a negative reaction. Common carrier oils like almond, jojoba, grape seed and coconut oils are available at many health food stores and even some grocery stores. Always look for unrefined, virgin, and organic to avoid any negative reactions as well. Once you have your oils, there are several mediums to receive the benefits. An electric aromatic diffuser is a quick way to change a home’s atmosphere, as well as a nonelectric diffuser using a candle for heat, or even a reed diffuser (using sticks or skewers to move the oils up and into the air). A budget-friendly version is to add a few drops of essential oil to a pot of water that is steaming on the stove and you will notice how quickly it can affect a room’s mood. You may want to try a few drops of

uplifting bergamot for a calm dinner party or invigorating pine for a more fast-paced get together. Peppermint is good for attention and has been used in office diffusers by many businesses to promote productivity. But perhaps the easiest way to experience the effects of an aroma is by sipping a hot cup of herbal tea. Simply inhaling the aromas can be quite relaxing. Topical application may be better suited for bodily ailments as the healing properties have direct access to your bloodstream. Steams, scrubs, masks, salves, and moisturizers are prevalent mediums for topical aromatherapy. This is where prior research really comes in handy. There is a wide range of skin types and certain oils may affect dry or oily skin differently. Problem skin is likely more sensitive and should be treated with caution. However, facial steaming, especially with rosemary or lavender, is typically a safe practice for most skin types. Positioning your face about 12 inches away from a steaming pot of water with a towel over your head is an economical way to steam at home. Keep eyes closed and stay covered for only a few minutes at a time. In addition, pets may also benefit. Ashi Therapy offers classes and appointments in animal aromatherapy for your furry friends. “Not all animals can tolerate the use or exposure to essential oils, including cats, birds, fish, and reptiles, and caution must be used around smaller mammals,” they explain. If you would like to try it, seek instruction beforehand. When used safely and as directed, aromatherapy can be a pleasant way to learn more about mind and body wellness. Ashi Therapy is a holistic healing center located in Banner Elk, NC nestled within the Blue Ridge Mountains. They offer over 25 years of professional experience in Traditional Chinese Medicine, acupuncture, Qigong (therapy and instruction) massage, cupping and aromatherapy services. Ashi Therapy specializes in stress relief and pain management, smoking cessation and lifestyle wellness. |

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Sheep’s Sorrel

By Samantha Stephens


re you ready to dive into some summertime weeds? Most of the population labors over eliminating these God-given powerhouses of healing nutrition, but I’m going to offer you some good reasons to take a second look.

Queen Anne’s Lace




Sheep’s Sorrel and Wood Sorrel Sheep’s Sorrel is one of my favorite wild foods. It is popular in France, Italy, Egypt, and the Caribbean, but few know about it here in the United States. Sorrel is one that I usually munch on while exploring the outdoors and gardening. I love to gather enough to bring home and add to my salads, smoothies, and fermented beverages. Sorrel should not be consumed in very large quantities, but that would be difficult to do. It is well understood that a handful every few days is completely safe and quite beneficial to your health. So what does it taste like? My first thought is lemon but also like a granny smith apple. Try adding it to fruit salad or create a lemony butter sauce with it to go over fish or chicken. Sorrel has many positive health benefits. It lowers blood pressure and improves eyesight, circulation and energy levels. It also has been known to prevent and treat cancer, and is one of the few ingredients in the famous “Essiac tea” that was created in the late 1800s to successfully shrink cancerous tumors. Sorrel is a detoxifier and diuretic; it has anti-aging effects, and is loaded with antioxidants, flavonoids, vitamins C and A, and minerals such as calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc. The high level of antioxidants contained in sorrel also specifically benefits digestion and overall health.

Queen Anne’s Lace (“Wild Carrot”) Queen Anne’s lace has a very distinctive carrot fragrance and flavor. This is one way to accurately identify the plant. It is white and lacy, with a delicate flower head that has tiny, individual stems with small clusters of flowers on the ends. You will find one single red/purplish dot in the middle of the flower head that distinguishes it from other flowers. Its leaves are feathery and thin. The roots can be used in soups or tea; the leaves add a spicy flavor to salads and soups; and the flowers can be added to salads, or fried in a little coconut oil, then sprinkled with garlic salt or cinnamon sugar for an addictive wild treat! When the flowers go to seed, the umbel will collapse inward and turn brown. Wait for a sunny, warm day, and collect the seeds to bring inside and air dry. These seeds can be used as a salt substitute or wild seasoning for salad dressings, sauces, soups and salads. We store them in a ball jar and use all winter to remember the glory of the Wild Carrot in summertime. Queen Anne’s lace is full of vitamins A and C, quercetin, and an impressive list of minerals and amino acids. It has antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and cancer-preventive properties, and on top of that, it’s considered an aphrodisiac!

Yarrow Yarrow is known in the world of wild and medicinal foods as a “wild pharmacy” all by itself. This means that it possesses so many valuable qualities that are all so broad in range, it can stand alone as your go-to for almost any basic herbal need. Here we discuss just a few of yarrow’s benefits. First of all, it’s styptic, which means when applied topically, either fresh or dried, it stops bleeding almost immediately. That’s how it earned its nickname, “Carpenter’s Herb.” It reduces fever when used in a bath by driving out the heat from your body. Yarrow can also be used as a tea to promote sweating and blood circulation. It is incredibly healing when used topically, either fresh or in an herbal oil, salve or tincture. The root is an analgesic; just macerate the fresh root and apply topically to numb pain. Although yarrow is not the tastiest wild food, it’s very nutritious. Eating this bitter herb actually stimulates the liver and the natural detoxification process in your lymphatic system. Yarrow can be found almost anywhere there is plenty of sunshine and decent soil. Similar to Queen Anne’s lace, it is tall with feathery leaves and a cluster of white flowers. The visible difference between yarrow and Queen Anne’s lace is that yarrow’s flower head is very dense and compact. The flowers are almost heavy compared to Queen Anne’s lace. It also has a very distinct smell that is not at all like carrot, but rather like spicy honey. Elderflower, or Elderberry This plant is loaded with antioxidants that fight free radicals that cause disease. It also contains dense concentrations of bioflavonoids, Vitamin C, anthocyanins, antioxidants, and high levels of

many essential minerals. Both the flower and the berries are used as a superb natural remedy for preventing and treating many viral and bacterial infections. Ever heard of Sambucus? It’s a product found in most drug stores as a remedy for coughs and viruses. That’s elderberry! I enjoy fermenting the flowers with raw honey and fresh lemons to make a delicious and nutritious sparkling beverage. When the flowers turn to berries, let them ripen until dark purple, harvest and use immediately, freeze, or dry. These berries cannot be consumed raw; instead, simmer them in water, sweeten to taste with sugar or honey, and top your pancakes or waffles with them. Elderberries can also be made into jelly, wine or cough syrup.

knows wild foods well. Take photos for reference, and use identification books, like a Peterson’s Field Guide. Bring along a canvas bag or basket to take home all your goodies. Carefully gather only what you plan to use immediately, and always leave plenty behind for others and for continual growth. Wash your herbs carefully with well or spring water before use. Disclaimer: Never attempt to identify and harvest wild foods without an expert, or without plenty of experience and a complete field guide. Samantha Stephens is a nutritionist, food scientist and herbalist who loves spending time outside foraging for wild foods while appreciating the abundance of God’s creation. Samantha can be contacted at cmlmag3@

Hopefully this Be Wild topic has stimulated your interest in learning more about all the wild and free foods that so abundantly grow literally at our feet. I encourage you to try slowing down and taking some time to explore the outdoors. Become familiar with your surroundings so that if you study wild foods, you can more easily find what you’re looking for when you forage. And remember to follow these guidelines while foraging: Choose the right location. When wild harvesting, gather plants that are at least 50 feet back from the edge of the road; never gather where domesticated animals linger, near telephone lines (pesticides are usually sprayed there), or under roof drip lines (roofing materials leach toxic material). Do not harvest near old, lead-painted buildings, industrial sites, or other areas at risk for soil contamination. Know your plants. The best way to learn how to accurately identify wild plants is to forage with an expert who CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Summer 2017 —


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The Ten Grand Crus of Beaujolais: Respect at Last for the Gorgeous Gamay Grape By Ren Manning


f wines could be personified, Beaujolais would be Rodney Dangerfield. Colored by the “Nouveau” style, Beaujolais has gotten little or no respect for years. Oceans of insipid Gamay grape juice, barely fermented and rushed at warp speed from crush pad to fermenting tank to store just before Thanksgiving, this well-known tutti-frutti bananascented “wine” is still snatched up by millions of enthusiasts everywhere and quaffed by consumers who expect little and get just what they deserve. While this has put significant pocket change in the pockets of the producers and grape growers, who seem to always be figuratively as well as literally scraping the bottom of the barrel, it has done severe disservice to the reputation of the Gamay grape, which is the red variety of Beaujolais. Non-nouveau “Beaujolais” and the higher quality “Beaujolais Villages” offer some decent bistro wines in their respective quality categories, but they are of mediocre quality at best. There are, however, some exciting diamonds in the Beaujolais rough located in the hilly, rocky northern part of the region. The vineyards there sit atop different soils and sub-soil rock structures, pose their vines at a different, better aspect to the sun and offer higher altitude

and better drainage and shelter from the elements. Over time, they have constantly produced better grapes, which produced different, and better, wines. These unique areas were recognized by “the authorities” and demarcated as appellations, standing apart from the rest of Beaujolais at the top of the quality strata. These appellations, now counting 10 in number and named for their primary villages, are known as “crus” and are now home to the best vineyards and most proud, dedicated and innovative winemakers in the region. At their best, cru Beaujolais are the ultimate in vivid flavors, intense bouquets, elegance and almost indescribable lightness. The flavors run the gamut from black cherry and raspberry with a peppery and spicy finish; the aromas are floral, suggesting violets and rose petals with some peach nuances. These are unquestionably THE most versatile wines on the planet! Looking for a summer wine? Served slightly chilled, they pair fabulously with chicken, veal, pork and even fish, such as salmon and tuna. Something to go with cooler weather comfort food? They also provide outstanding accompaniment for meat dishes. Something for large groups? They are the perfect choice for a group of diners enjoying varied meals because cru Beaujolais goes with everything but corn flakes. Wines from these 10 villages are labeled only by the names of the village cru where the grapes are grown and the wines are made, plus the name of a vineyard if all the grapes come from that vineyard. You will likely not find the name of the general region, “Beaujolais,” anywhere on the label, so you will need to know the names of the 10 crus if you

want to get the really good stuff. Here you go, from north to south: St-Amour. Good luck finding any of this juice, as its name attracts celebrants of anniversaries, Valentine’s Day, and birthdays. Pity that so much of this is bought just because of the name! Juliénas. Named for Julius Caesar, these wines feature strong structure, power and longevity from granite and volcanic soils. Chénas. The smallest and rarest cru, its wines are nicknamed “bouquet of flowers in a velvet basket” because of silky tannins and floral notes suggesting roses and irises. Moulin-à-Vent. Named for the old windmill in the area, this is the “King of Beaujolais.” Its wines are known for strong tannins, dark color, body and structure that require time to reach their pinnacle. After 10+ years, they hit their stride, resembling a good Burgundy with secondary nuances of dried fruits, forest floor, truffles and spices. Fleurie. The “Queen of Beaujolais,” lighter in style, highly aromatic. Chiroubles. The highest vineyards in Beaujolais produce wines that are energetic, refined, suave, silky and superelegant. Morgon. Because this is the second largest cru you will have a good chance of finding a Morgon at your favorite fine wine shop. Wines from here stand shoulder-to-shoulder with those from Moulin-à-Vent in terms of power, grip and structure. The “Côte du Py” vineyard is the Romanée Conti of Beaujolais! Régnié. Hillside vineyards produce terrific wines with tons of aromatic complexity and cherry, black currant and raspberry flavors. continued... CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Summer 2017 —


n style with a gourmet flair souther

Côte de Brouilly. Wines of unique flavors of cranberry and a silky mouthfeel with bright, refreshing acidity. Brouilly. The largest cru, named after Brulius, a famous Roman lieutenant stationed in the area 2,000 years ago. Warmer temperatures here produce riper grapes with a more voluptuous, exuberant style. The past three vintages are all outstanding, perhaps the best in recent memory. The 2013 and 2014 vintages have almost all been snapped up, though a few may still be found on the shelves. 2015 cru Beaujolais is coming on the market now, but the raves for these wines are so loud that they are disappearing almost as fast as they are being put out. You are more likely to find a Morgon or a Brouilly, which produce the largest volumes, but you may be lucky enough to stumble upon a bottle from one of the other crus. If you do, count your lucky stars and grab whatever you can fit into the back seat of your car! Don’t feel you have to pull the corks right away. Cru Beaujolais need a few years to mature to show their best stuff and will improve for up to 10 years, or more. As wine lovers discover these gems and the wine critics continue to extol them, prices are rising, but are still generally under $30. However, they will not stay there for long. Hurry!


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2968-A Hwy 105 Boone, NC 28607 ..................



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F.A.R.M. Cafe Celebrates Five Years of Real.Good.Food and Real.Good.Community By Julie Farthing


t’s hard to believe that five years have passed since F.A.R.M. Cafe opened its doors on King Street in the heart of downtown Boone. In that short time, the cafe has stirred up more than good cooking with all the media attention. Even The Wall Street Journal featured F.A.R.M. in their Culinary Road Trip through Appalachia! “Feed All Regardless of Means,” the mission behind the acronym, is near and dear to chef Rene Boughman’s heart. Boughman heard of the One World Everyone Eats Movement, a non-profit organization dedicated to increasing food security and building community through its pay-what-you-can nonprofit restaurant model. In this spirit, Boughman, along with a core group of members from High Country Church of Christ dreamed of opening such a restaurant, with no prices, no menu, and employees who would volunteer their time just for the reason of spreading good will. As wonderful and crazy as that sounds, the cafe is doing just that. Each weekday the meals are planned around the freshest ingredients on hand, many from nearby farms here in the High Country. These clever, exciting dishes rival high end restaurants that only few can afford. Boughman, whose smile is as large as her heart, is still blown away by the generosity and hard work that keeps feeding those in need each week. “I’m still amazed each day,” she says, amidst the flurry of activity in the bright, kitschy dining room where tourists, locals, and ASU students sup together. Not only is the restaurant flourishing, it has set an example for other cafes willing to follow suit. Everything is made from scratch except some of the pastries that are generously donated. Some of the favorite meals include Tomato Pie Tuesdays, and Thursday’s Patty Melt Reubens. One of the newest events at the cafe is Buy Boone Lunch, where an area business sponsor or an individual donates at least $500, which covers the basic food and operations of that day. The cafe offers plates that average between 7-10 dollars depending on size. Customers can pay it forward by donating a bit more to feed someone who doesn’t have the means to pay at all. It’s also possible to exchange an hour of work in the cafe for a meal and fully experience the circle of giving. But this is by no means a “soup kitchen.” It is instead a place where you can sit with a friend or stranger and understand the meaning of not only feeding others, but feeding your soul. The cafe is located at 617 West King Street and open Monday through Friday, 11am-2pm.


F.A.R.M. Cafe is a non-profit, pay-what-you-can community kitchen that builds a healthy and inclusive community. We provide high quality and delicious meals produced from local sources when available, served in a restaurant where everybody eats, F.A.R.M Cafe is a non-profit, donate-what-you-can community kitchen regardless of means. Located at 617 W. King Street in that builds a healthy and inclusive community. We provide high quality Downtown Boone, NC and delicious meals produced from localOpen sources when available, daily for lunch 11-2


served in a restaurant where everybody eats, regardless of means.

617 W. King Street Downtown Boone, NC Daily for lunch 11-2

Boone’s Town Square Open Saturdays 8-Noon May through November


Daniel Boone Park, Horn in the West Parking Lot, Boone NC

Watauga County Farmers’ Market and the Art of Living Well By Julie Farthing


f you’ve never been to the Watauga County Farmers’ Market (WCFM), you are missing out on the hippest event on Saturday mornings. High country locals and tourists, who make a stop at the market a ritual, know the term ‘farm to table’ is not a new concept. Since 1974, discerning shoppers have made it a point to arrive early for the best selection of fresh produce, delicious baked goods, choice meats and beautiful flowers. Many have come for years and know the farmers by name, where their farms are located and what’s growing in the fields that very moment. And although statistics show the age of farmers is on the rise, the ever-growing interest in food and agricultural issues has served to inspire many young people to pursue careers in sustainable farming. The market itself has changed over the years as well. No longer your grandmother’s market, which consisted of one row of vendors with primarily vegetables, today’s Farmers’ market has a whopping 64 vendors and is an explosion of the senses! The aromas of fresh coffee, wood-fired pizza and baked goods, sounds of live music and the tastes of sampled meats fresh off the grill, have made the market THE place to meet and mingle with your neighbors while enjoying the art of living well. Shoppers understand and expect to find produce that is in season. You won’t find tomatoes in spring or ramps in fall. The cycle of seasons creates an appreciation of fresh food, and learning to eat accordingly. Market manager, Ben Massey is excited about the newest additions now in

full force. “This year, we are excited to have new vendors who will delight us with farm fresh milk, pasta, organic popcorn, fruit popsicles, authentic Native American crafts, and much more. We will also have beer tastings by local craft breweries and an additional food truck with a variety of delectable brunch/lunch items.”TIO Becoming a new vendor at the Watauga County Farmers’ Market is a very competitive process. This year, the WCFM Board selected only 11 new vendors from the 30 applications to join the market. Craft and art vendors are required to have their works juried by a panel of local craft and art experts in the selection process. “The Board always strives to maintain high standards and to ensure that our customers have wonderful and fun shopping experiences with a variety of choices and only the best products. We consistently have more quality vendors apply than we are able to accept,” says Massey. It’s reassuring that vendors must reside and produce in Watauga, or bordering counties, with 100 percent of product produced by that vendor. This ensures shoppers that not only what they purchase is fresh, but they are supporting local farmers in their quest to be sustainable stewards of the land. Massey states his favorite part of the market is the opportunity to purchase quality goods from such dedicated vendors. “The best perk that I have as Manager is that every Saturday I can purchase scrumptious food and also fabulous gifts. As you know, for several years we’ve had

some of the best pizza in Boone served from a food truck and this year is no exception. In addition, we added another food truck with a talented chef who serves wonderful biscuits & gravy for breakfast and also mouth-watering shrimp Po-Boys with sides of fried okra or thumbprint potatoes that are fingerlicking good…..a wonderful lunch!! You will also find the area’s finest selection of quality produce from local growers, as well as seasonal fresh fruits and berries, local jams, jellies, salsas, local honey, fresh breads and pastries from our country kitchens… free-range eggs, specialty meats, goat cheeses and pimento cheeses for all the foodies out there. And don’t forget fresh herbs, fresh-cut and dried flowers, wreaths and handmade soaps. For gifts there are farm-based crafts including wool, birdhouses, jewelry, pottery, baskets, handcrafted yard art and garden furniture offered by our skilled local crafters. There is literally something for everyone at WCFM!” Understandably this is the reason folks flock to the market. It is also reassuring to know farming and the art of living well is not going out of style anytime soon. Don’t forget to stop by the cooking demonstrations, the Kid’s Mini Market, Donation Station and live music stages. The market is open each Saturday from May until October and is located in the Horn in the West Parking lot in the heart of Boone. Hours are 8am-noon. Come early, leave late, and live well.







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Along the WNC Cheese Trail By LouAnn Morehouse


s it just me who thinks the famous line, “A loaf of bread, a jug of wine, and thou…,” is leaving out an essential ingredient? Add a slab of cheese to that picnic and you’ve got yourself true bliss. I don’t mean those individual slices wrapped in plastic, either; nothing less than honest to goodness real cheese will do. Luckily for us in western North Carolina, delectable examples of locally made cheese are more widely available as farmers have taken up the ancient craft of cheese making. What started as a few small producers scattered throughout the mountains has become a full fledged artisans’ guild, the WNC Cheese Trail, which was formed in 2013 to broaden awareness and cultivate the market for small batch, locally produced, artisanal cheese. The WNC Cheese Trail is comprised of creameries, farm-based businesses, and associate members such as shops and restaurants who stock or incorporate cheeses produced by member cheese makers. I visited with Randall Ray of Erick’s Cheese and Wine, an associate member located in Banner Elk. He explained that the cheese makers of the WNC Cheese Trail are very small by commercial production standards, with most producing less than 10,000 pounds annually. Rachel English Brown, who manages the marketing of the WNC Cheese Trail, has first hand knowledge of life on a dairy farm. Her family’s English Farmstead

Cheese is a popular stop along Hwy 221 for people traveling to and from the mountains. Rachel says that even on a small operation, “you can make a good bit of cheese from a few animals.” While English Farmstead produces cheese only from cow’s milk, plenty of variety can be found on the Trail. She describes the products of the dozen cheese makers of the WNC Cheese Trail as “a good mixture of goat and cow, and there’s also a cheese maker who uses sheep’s milk.” With the Cheese Trail spread over 33 counties, the best way to experience the full measure of delights is to attend the Carolina Mountain Cheese Fest, which typically takes place in Asheville during the last week of April. Rachel says they had more than twenty cheese makers there last time, along with other food purveyors adding to the good time. Ticketed events included tasting sessions with wine and beer pairings, and a “Cookin’ with Cheese” evening featuring local chefs. Carolina Mountain Cheese Fest has become a popular spring ritual, one that merits a save-the-date reminder. In the meantime, there’s the delightful and immediate prospect of consuming the cheeses of western North Carolina at stores throughout the area. The website,, has a full list of where to go. And there’s an informative brochure available from WNC Cheese Trail member locations that provides details of the creameries and how to visit them.

Cheese makers of the WNC Cheese Trail are also regular vendors at many area tailgate markets. If you are up for an adventure with a delicious destination, get the trail map and plan a visit to one of the creameries. But plan ahead: some cheese makers keep regular hours, and some are by appointment only. And sorry, no dogs allowed on the farms. In the objective spirit of journalism—and because I cannot resist a good cheese—I took the Cheese Trail over to OakMoon Farm in Bakersville. Cheese maker and owner, Cynthia Sharpe, and I had made a date to meet in town at their farm store. The shop is easy to spot off the main road into Bakersville, a corner space with the cheeses in a fridge and a selection of truly adorable photo cards for sale that feature OakMoon Farm’s goats and pigs. It’s an “honor system” store—bring cash and you are trusted to handle the transaction all on your own. When I express surprise, Cynthia laughs, and says it works fine, although it “shocks the dickens out of people.” She says she’s known of some folks to bring their out of town guests by, just to show them. Cynthia says she is milking about thirty goats at present, mostly Swiss breeds. Born and raised in Mitchell County, she has loved goats since she was a child, always wanted them and finally got some continued ... CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Summer 2017 —


when she became a new mom. In order to justify the expense of keeping goats, she learned how to make cheese. It wasn’t so easy to learn how to do that back in 1983, but Cynthia says she got “self-educated” by reading everything she could find. And then there was “the trial and error, a lot of trial and error.” She earned state certification in 2007. The shop fridge held a supply of flavored fresh goat cheese spreads. My choice was a container of four perfectly white rounds swimming in a pool of olive oil and herbs, the “Mediterranean” style. And because fresh goat cheese is perfection all of its own, I got a container of “plain,” too. It was used to stir into a scrambled egg just after the spinach wilted. And with hot pasta, garlic, and greens. At another time, with blueberries and bananas. As expected, Cynthia’s cheeses were over-the-moon good. OakMoon Farm recently won a grant from Blue Ridge Women in Agriculture (BRWIA) to expand their farm operation. They started raising pigs, and are now offering pastured pork cuts from a freezer at the shop. Cynthia says she is about to resume production of her aged cheese, which she describes as a “Frenchstyle natural rind.” She teaches cheesemaking workshops regularly; check OakMoon Farm on Facebook for event listings and news. There are WNC Cheese Trail destinations within a short distance from anyone in the High Country. Many of them are literally down on the farm, a wonderful opportunity to “meet” the source of your food. Taking a drive in the mountains is always a delightful thing to do, and stopping for locally made, artisanal cheese makes for a perfect destination.

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ne of my enduring memories of my maternal grandmother, Minnie Casada, involves the stack cakes she baked for me on special occasions. She knew I loved them, and I suspect the praise I lavished on her culinary efforts served as an added inducement to produce this traditional mountain delicacy. Whatever the case, especially after I was grown, I could count on a delectable stack cake awaiting me whenever I returned to the mountains for a visit. Stack cakes have long been integral, important parts of mountain culinary folkways. A fine example of the enduring wisdom of “make do with what you’ve got,” they offered scrumptious desserts prepared from readily available, home-grown ingredients such as molasses sweetening and dried apples. Whether the occasion was homecoming, a family’s turn to feed the preacher, allday singing with dinner on the grounds, or weddings, stack cakes would likely be among the fine array of food on offer. Outlanders might have joked about mountain brides being so poverty stricken they couldn’t afford a proper wedding cake, but for my part a toothsome stack cake, made two or three days in advance so the sauce layers mix and mingle with the cake, puts hi-falutin’, store-bought concoctions to shame. Making a stack cake involves four basic steps: (1) Preparing sauce, which is usually made from dried apples though sometimes dried peaches or berry jam are substituted, (2) Baking thin layers of cake, with five being the minimum and “lucky” seven being recommended, (3) Carefully stacking layers of cake and spreading sauce on each one as the stack grows, and (4) Letting the cake set for 48 hours so moisture from the apples softens the cake to a succulent wonder. Grandma Minnie never measured anything when she cooked. She sim-

Traditional Stack Cakes By Jim Casada ply worked with amounts variously described as “dabs,” “pinches,” “a touch of,” or “a couple of handfuls.” There may have been some trial and error involved in her kitchen, but if so she had reached perfection long before I arrived on the scene. Never, ever, did any of her cooking efforts carry so much as a hint of a mistake. Still, most folks like specifics, so here they are. For filling, place a pound of dried apples in a large saucepan, adding enough water to cover them. Soak for a couple of hours or, if in a hurry, bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer. Either way, you will want to simmer the apples with a cup of brown sugar and a teaspoon of cinnamon being added. Stir frequently until the filling is reduced to a very thick consistency. For the cake batter, you will need: 5 cups of all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking powder 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 cup sugar 1 cup molasses 2 lightly beaten eggs 2/3 cup vegetable shortening 1 cup buttermilk Preheat your oven to 350 degrees; grease and flour 9-inch cake pans. You will need to cook cake layers in batches,


since home ovens lack space for the requisite number of layers. Whisk together the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. In a separate bowl, beat the shortening, sugar, and molasses until the mixture is smooth and creamy (an electric mixer makes this easier). Add eggs to this one at a time, beating in well. To this mixture gradually add flour and buttermilk, alternating as you go. The resultant mixture should have the consistency of biscuit dough and kneading it by hand works best. If necessary add flour to get the right consistency. Pour kneaded dough onto a floured work surface and divide into equal pieces for the number of layers you plan to bake. Wrap the dough pieces you won’t be baking immediately in waxed paper to keep them moist. With your hands floured, pat the divided portions of dough into cake pans (should be about a half inch thick), making sure they are level, and prick all over with a fork. Bake until firm, about 15 minutes, and remove. The layers will not rise. As you remove baked layers, coat with apple filling and continue stacking, baking, and topping each layer until finished. Do not spread filling on the final layer. After setting for two days, you have a dessert fit for the palate of any High Country gourmet. CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Summer 2017 —


Old Orchard Creek Farm: Preserving the Past By Lynn Rees-Jones


ention “Swansie’s place” to Ashe County old-timers and chances are good that a look of recognition will register on their faces and they will be ready to share stories of Swansie Shepherd, and visiting his farm in the valley to pick blueberries on the hillside, or apples down by the creek. When current owners Walter Clark and Johnny Burleson first visited the farm in July 2001, they lived in Raleigh and were in rural northwestern Ashe County visiting Johnny’s aunt and uncle. Aunt Geri suggested they pick blueberries. On the way to the farm they drove along roads that curved and twisted past rural fields, rivers and woodlands and when they arrived at Swansie Shepherd Road, they hesitated at the start of the narrow gravel drive thinking they perhaps were lost. Despite their hesitation, they turned down the road. Walter described the experience. “The road begins surrounded by woods and slowly climbs up the valley and then it happens: the woods fall away and there it is! What we saw that beautiful July day was a bowl-shaped hollow framed by incredibly steep green hillside pastures, a cornucopia of apple and pear trees, grape vines, and literally


thousands of blueberry bushes.” They felt an instant connection, but had no idea that two years later the farm would be theirs. Since purchase, Walter and Johnny have breathed new life into the farm, which they named “Old Orchard Creek.” One of their first tasks was to fully restore the ramshackle 1880s farmhouse that they now call home. They donated a conservation easement to the Blue Ridge Conservancy and placed the farm on the National Register of Historic Places with the goal of permanently protecting this special place for future generations. Today, visitors to Old Orchard Creek will find a working blueberry farm, but it is about more than just picking berries; it is a place to visit, relax and breathe in the crisp mountain air. Upon arrival, the crunch of gravel beneath car tires sends a signal to the initial welcoming party consisting of Foster, Luca, and Emma, Walter and Johnny’s three Hungarian pointer-retriever dogs. The welcome continues as Walter and Johnny warmly greet guests from the renovated blueberry shed that serves as headquarters during blueberry picking season. There are regulars who come to the farm each year, but those who arrive

for the first time are welcomed just as warmly and leave as friends. From the end of June to mid-August the blueberries are in their prime, as the 3,600 bushes are draped in beautiful, delicious fruit. The blueberry bushes, many of which are 50+ years old, include Blue Ray, Jersey and Patriot varieties—all are raised using sustainable farming practices. Ellen, who grew up on the farm, hands out bright red buckets and invites guests to venture up the slope and into the rows to pick. For most, the bushes are so tall that it is nearly impossible to see over the tops of the shrubs and finding the perfect berries quickly becomes the sole focus. Depending on their ripeness, the berries vary in shades of celery and apple green before giving way to blush red and cranberry, and finally the deep, waxy purpleblue of the ripened fruit. For those not keen on picking the berries themselves, containers of fresh blueberries are also available. Walter and Johnny purchased the property because they fell in love with it, but they were surprised to find that visitors are equally charmed. They restored the original dilapidated blueberry shed while maintaining its rustic character. They added a floor, created openings in

the solid wall facing the blueberry fields, and on the opposite side built a covered porch to overlook the creek and grove of heritage apple trees. The shed contains unique found objects, and a long table with charming mismatched chairs is typically covered with baskets of fruit, flowers or interesting tidbits from nature. A wood-fired brick oven was added to provide outdoor cooking. In the evenings after the sun goes down, the soft glow of white paper lanterns suspended from the warm wood rafters creates a cozy glow. As the numbers of visitors increased, it wasn’t long before a young couple asked if they could exchange their wedding vows at Old Orchard Creek. This led to more weddings, a christening, farm to table dinners and fundraising events. Next, guests reluctant to part in the evening asked if they could stay. That led to the restoration of the 60-year-old Appalachian mountain cabin that once served as the tenant farmer’s family home, followed by the construction of two new, rustically appointed cottages with all the modern amenities. Old Orchard Creek is an advocate for the farm to table movement and provides berries for the signature “Blueberry Buckle” desert at Pie on the Mountain

restaurant in Lansing, and for Stick Boy Bakery delights in Boone. Fresh berries are available at the Ashe County Farmer’s Market. Old Orchard Creek berries are also ingredients in the craft beers of Appalachian Mountain Brewery (AMB) and Booneshine Brewery in Boone, as well as Bhavani Brewery in Raleigh. Heritage apples, as well as berries from the farm, are sourced to local cider maker, Molly Chompers based in the historic school building in Lansing. Sixteen years after their fateful blueberry picking adventure, Walter reflects back on their early days on the farm. “As we quickly discovered, this was no ordinary farm but a part of Ashe County’s heritage—a place where local folks and visitors have picked apples and berries for generations. We are stewards of a very special place.” Old Orchard Creek Farm is located at 410 Swansie Shepherd Rd, Lansing, NC 28643. For information regarding blueberry picking, cottage rentals, weddings or special events, visit Email Old Orchard at, or call (336) 384-2774.

BLUEBERRIES ARE NOW AVAILABLE FOR THE 2017 SEASON Blueberry Picking Cottage Rentals Weddings & Events

Open 7 days a week 8 AM - 6 PM

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Ian Driscoll, Farm Manager, and Ben Loomis, Program Director, of the Patterson School Incubator Farm

Growing the Organic Gardener Patterson School Incubator Farm By LouAnn Morehouse


he Patterson School Incubator Farm (PSIF), located on the rich farmland of the historic Patterson Farm in Caldwell County, North Carolina, has entered the 2017 growing season with a range of programs and services available to anyone interested in farming and organic gardening. The PSIF is a non-profit organization whose directors are hands-on members of the effort to create a center of excellence for organic farming and sustainable agriculture. They are intent upon revitalizing the farm economy in rural Caldwell County, once a thriving agricultural area, but now rife with tobacco-distressed fields and an aging population of farmers. Project director, Ben Loomis, reports that less than 9 percent of the 400 farms in Caldwell County sell their produce in the area, which “doesn’t paint a great picture of sustainable agriculture in the county.” Loomis says the board and staff believe they have the resources to improve that scenario. Thanks to funding from the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, they are offering a combination of land, living space, and support for new and established organic farmers. The Incubator Farm program includes teaching from local producers, fertile land, affordable dormitory space, and a commercially-certified kitchen. Incubator Farmers also gain access to tools, equipment, the support of on-site farm manager Ian Driscoll, and classes taught by Heritage Homestead Goat Dairy owner Carol Coulter and other local ag experts. Summer and fall workshops include: July 22-Brooke Kornegay, Backyard Permaculture; August 5-Eli Bundrick, Blacksmithing; August 26-Brooke Kornegay, Mushroom Log Inoculation; September 16-Ken Crouse, Mushroom Foraging; October 15-Derek Weiss, Hugelkultur Planting. There’s more in the works for certification trainings, market opportunities, and community events at the historic Patterson land, and you do not have to live in Caldwell County to take part in it. Visit the website, and join the newsletter list to stay updated. Fill out the application or schedule a time to see the land, and find out how you can use Patterson’s resources to develop your goals for local farming. Contact: Ben Loomis, Program Director–, or Ian Driscoll, Farm Manager–


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What’s New at Stonewalls This Year? By Jane Richardson

828-898-5550 “The High Country’s Premier Steak & Seafood Restaurant”

Come See Our New Look! New Full Service Bar with Signature Drinks Check Out our New Menu Items Serving Daily from 5 pm Brunch ...every Friday, Saturday & Sunday Hwy 184 Downtown Banner Elk, NC 28604 (GPS - 344 Shawneehaw Ave)


ell, just about everything! And you’ll notice the difference when you walk in the door. The new owners of the iconic restaurant in Banner Elk, Scott Garland and Tim Heschke, recently completed a dazzling professional renovation of the bar and dining areas. The grand reopening in May showcased the upscale neutral palette of soothing creams and grays, the perfect backdrop for the black and white prints by local photographer Jason Penland. The sparkling bar is fresh, spacious and inviting. But don’t worry, all the wonderful favorites you crave at Stonewalls are still on the menu: the steaks, the prime rib, and the extensive salad bar as well as chicken, pork, and pasta choices and a rotating selection of fresh fish entrees. Chef Tim chooses North Carolina trout and other locally sourced products as seasonally available in area markets and the emphasis is all about freshness. In addition to the salad bar (featuring Chef Tim’s famous pimiento cheese) you can choose from three plated salads with choice of dressings. All of the luscious dessert choices are house-made – don’t miss the red velvet cheesecake or the chocolate decadence. Or try the sorbet sampler, with mango, blood orange and blueberry sorbets (cool, refreshing and gluten free). You can order dinner in the bar from the main menu or a special bar menu featuring share-ables to enjoy with friends. The wine list is extensive and growing and offers four premium “draft” wines – a new eco-friendly concept that keeps the wine fresher and preserves its nuances better than bottling. Wicked Weed ale is available on draft along with other local and regional selections. Enjoy live music in the bar on Friday and Saturday evenings. Also new this year are the Friday, Saturday and Sunday brunches. Start your feast with one of five signature bloody Mary cocktails. Then choose from fried chicken (regular or kicked-up Nashville style) and waffles, steak and eggs, house-made sausage, cinnamon rolls, omelets, and much more, such as the Carolina breakfast biscuit with your choice of sausage, ham or bacon topped with a fried green tomato and pimiento cheese. Prefer duck eggs? Yes, those are on the menu, too! The expanded outdoor seating area is perfect for warm summer nights and is petfriendly. An upstairs dining room offers private party seating for 50, featuring the regular menu or special menu choices for large groups at value pricing. Call ahead seating is a nice alternative to reservations, although both are welcomed at 828-898-5500. Dinner served every day from 5 pm; brunch on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 11 – 2 pm. But the innovation here is just beginning: “we envision this as a work in progress,” says Garland. More interior upgrades are planned including new tables coming soon. And the creative menu will continue to evolve and expand. Learn more at CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Summer 2017 —


Grill Safety

An Ounce of Prevention: Campfires, Debris Burning and Wildland Fires By Mike Teague

I am sure our residents and visitors to the High Country have read the articles or seen the news stories of wildland fires threating homes and property. These incidents consume hundreds of thousands of acres and hundreds of homes each year in the United States. While our fuel type here in the High Country is different from those in our western states, the potential for devastating wildland fires still exists. This was evidenced by the series of fires we experienced last November. The Horton Fire justifiably drew the most attention of these fires. During the Horton Fire fiftyfive homes were threatened. Because of the hard work of the firefighters, and a little luck with weather conditions, all of the homes were saved with very little damage. Had the weather conditions changed, the Horton fire could have been much worse! So, what can we do to reduce our risk of an uncontrolled wildfire?

Debris Burning

We need to observe established burning laws within the State and local jurisdictions. Obtain a burning permit. If you plan to burn between 8 am and 4 pm, a burning permit is required. These can easily be obtained locally from permit agents or online from the NC Department of Natural Resources at: burn_permits_main.htm. Be aware that in some communities, such as the Town


of Boone, open debris burning is forbidden. Don’t burn anything but natural vegetation. Burning manufactured items such as synthetics and treated woods can intensify the fire and can release dangerous toxins into the air. Be sure to leave a competent person with the fire for the entire burn, and fully extinguish the fire before leaving the burn. Studies have been done where ashes have remained hot for several days after a campfire or debris burn. Add dry conditions and a little wind, and we have an uncontrolled wildland fire.


Campfires are fun and provide a great opportunity to share quality family time together. Following a few simple rules will keep this fun moment from becoming a serious incident. Never pour any kind of combustible or flammable liquids on the fire. The sudden ignition of the vapors can produce a large flame causing thermal burns to anyone near the fire. Keep the campfire in a manufactured fire pit or hand dug pit. Remove all combustible vegetation such as grass and leaves from around the pit. This will provide a clear space, keeping the fire from easily spreading. Make sure the fire and ashes are completely extinguished before leaving the fire. The easiest way to ensure hot embers are extinguished is to pour water on the ashes and stir them with a rake or shovel. As I discussed earlier, these ashes can remain hot for days.

There is just something about the taste of a grilled burger on a beautiful high country night! I want to provide a few grilling safety tips, so your summer nights go just right. Anytime you grill, make sure the grill is kept a safe distance from combustibles. Five to ten feet of space should be a minimum of clearance from combustibles. Never grill in enclosed porches, garages or under covered decks. In addition to the obvious fire concerns, carbon monoxide produced by the burning gas or charcoal can quickly poison individuals, especially children. As with fire pits, make sure the coals from charcoal grills are extinguished and are cold before discarding them. Never place ashes of any kind in combustible containers. Only put ashes in metal containers and then seal them with the lid. After you have finished with the gas grill make sure to turn off the valve at the tank. Never leave the gas tank or gas lines “on” to the grill. By turning the tank off, unintended leaks and gas buildups can be avoided.


Where do I start with fireworks? Leave them to the professionals! Every year hundreds of thousands of burns occur because of fireworks. I know it is popular and/or intriguing to go to Tennessee and get the “real” stuff. Out-ofstate fireworks are illegal in North Carolina and you can get into trouble by just having them in your possession. I would like to suggest that you save your money and attend one of many local professional shows. The professional shows are inspected for safety and are free. Additionally, these shows have technicians that are well trained, insured and legal! I hope everyone enjoys a fun and safe summer here in the good old high country! If you have a questions or a topic you would like to see addressed, please feel free to email me at mike.teague@

Mike Teague is a 1987 graduate from ASU, and has 33 years of fire service experience. Mike served two years as Avery County Fire Marshal and 31 years with the Boone Fire Department, where he is currently serving as the Assistant Fire Chief, certified fire service instructor, and level 3 fire prevention inspector.




Gideon Ridge Inn 10 wonderfully comfortable bedrooms with evening turndown service Serving Dinner Tuesday - Saturday from 5:30pm - 8pm Reservations Required Dining & Cocktails Alfresco and the view... 202 Gideon Ridge Road, Blowing Rock, NC, 28605 / 828-295-3644

...a beautiful 30 minute drive from Boone, NC. Enjoy a walk through history in the historic and haunted “Big Dry Run Schoolhouse” where the classrooms have been transformed into the wine production area and tasting room. Share a great bottle of wine paired with Boar’s Head deli products in our indoor or outdoor seating area. Mon, Thurs - Sat 11:00 - 6:00 p.m. Sun 1:00 - 5:00 p.m. Closed Tues and Wed.

WataugaLake Winery

6952 Big Dry Run Road, Butler, TN 423-768-0345


Lunch: 11 AM to 3 PM. | Dinner: 5 PM to 10 PM. Sunday Brunch: 11 AM to 3 PM. 143 Wonderland Trail, Blowing Rock, NC 28605 / 828-295-4008 CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Summer 2017 —


Ingredients and tools for a perfect summer meal? Fresh veggies, locally sourced protein from your local farmers’ market, a grill and a few ideas from the CML Kitchen. The cover image of the tomatoes and basil begged for us to pull out our recipe for Gazpacho. We offer a few tips on how to add a twist to a tried and true recipe. If you love grilling, we offer our summer time marinade and a family tradition—Dave’s summer time dressing. The Gazpacho and marinade need to be made in advance. Although grilling for most of us has become turning a knob, we’d like to charge the readers of CML this summer to step out of that comfort zone and experiment with fire and smoke in a way that you may have never done before. One of our favorite ways to do this is foil pack cooking on a bed of coals. There are a multitude of open flame cooking disciplines that yield a rainbow of flavor profiles. Don’t pigeonhole yourself by using only the tricks you already know. We start with the Watermelon Gazpacho to be made well ahead of stoking the coals.

fro m

Chill & Grill this Summer with CML By Brennan & Morgan Ford

PICKLED WATERMELON RIND GAZPACHO An interesting twist on the famous Spanish dish, this Gazpacho requires a wee bit of planning. You will need to pickle some watermelon rind first. It’s simply a matter of making a vinaigrette and allowing the rind to mellow for a day. Normally, we are tossing the rind in the compost, so it is nice to find a use.

Pickled Watermelon Rind

2 cups watermelon rind­— coarsely chopped (only the white part – not red or green) 1 cup water 1 cup white vinegar 1 cup white sugar 3 Tablespoons salt 4 Garlic cloves peeled 10–12 whole peppercorns Large pinch red pepper flakes

• Allow mixture to meld and settle to room temperature. Refrigerate for 24 hours before combining with gazpacho.


cml’’s kitc hen Gazpacho

5–6 flavorful tomatoes —use the Heirloom varieties, they might look funny but they sure taste divine. 2–3 fresh jalapeno peppers 4-5garlic cloves 1 bunch fresh cilantro 2 medium sweet onions —such as Vidalia or the sweet North Carolina grown varieties 1 24-oz can of plain tomato juice 2–3 Tablespoons brown or Demerara sugar (or raw sugar) Salt & Pepper to taste 1 cup fresh watermelon 2 cups pickled watermelon rind, drained 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil Pinch of red pepper flakes to taste

• Chop the tomatoes and onions coarsely. This is a chunky gazpacho, so use your judgement on how finely you want them chopped. Finely dice the garlic cloves and jalapenos, and mince the fresh cilantro leaves. Combine all ingredients and allow to chill for at least 3 hours. If you prefer a smoother texture, you can puree in a food processor. The quantity of tomato juice can be altered for a thicker or soupier mixture. • Serve with parmesan crisps or your favorite cracker.



This is a marinade that can be used for anything that will be able to sit in your refrigerator for at least 8 hours but no longer than 24. This is not only an effective way to add some great flavor profiles, but the briny aspect of it will help lock in moisture.

We are going to make a summer salad with marinated and grilled pork loin, marinated and grilled vegetables, and our summer dressing. While we are preparing the salad and protein, we like to serve a tray of local cheeses, grapes and crackers with our cup of chilled Gazpacho.

1/2 cup soy sauce 1/2 cup olive oil 2 Tablespoons lemon juice 1 teaspoon Worcestershire 1 teaspoon garlic powder 1 teaspoon onion powder 2 large leaves of sweet basil 2 large pinches of fresh parsley 2–3 dashes of Texas Pete hot sauce 1/2 cup water 1 Tablespoon salt

2 large hearts of romaine lettuce cut into quarters and washed 1 large tomato cut into thick slices 2 medium yellow squash cut into thick slices 1 lemon cut into thick slices 5–6 artichoke hearts (canned) 1 large red onion cut into thick slices 1 pork tenderloin

• Add all ingredients into blender, blend on high speed until thoroughly mixed. Pour over whatever you’re cooking, cover and refrigerate.

• Marinate the pork and the vegetables in two separate containers, for about 8 hours each in the marinade from above.


• Grill pork to a medium temperature—you still want to see some pink in the center. Grill vegetables for 5 minutes on each side.

...a bright and tasty vinaigrette that will go perfectly with a nice summer time salad.

• After resting the pork (a minimum of 10 minutes) slice against the grain in 1 inch medallions.

4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 2 1/2 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar 1 teaspoon minced garlic 1 teaspoon soy sauce 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 1 Tablespoon cilantro, finely chopped 1-2 very small drops of sesame oil 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

• Give all the vegetables a rough chop and toss in Dave’s Summer Time Dressing from above (do not dress until ready to serve). • Top salad with pork medallions, garnish with parsley and slice of lemon, and enjoy.

• Combine all this into a small jar and shake vigorously for about a minute.

Why not paint your own placemats!

• Refrigerate 1 hour and re-shake before serving.



Apple Hill Farm Store

“Get back in touch with what's real.” Largest selection of alpaca yarns & accessories in the High Country. Summer Hours: Mon - Sat 10-4; Sun 12 to 4 Banner Elk, NC | (828)963-1662

Celebrating 22 Years! 144 — Summer 2017 CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE





One Block Off Main Street BLOWING ROCK Restaurant: 828-295-3466 Serving Dinner Inn: 828-295-9703 SEE THE BEAUTY. TASTE THE TRADITION. FEEL AT HOME.

SUSHI sushiBISTRO bistro AND andBAR bar

Regional Fare & Drink Serving Dinner

Monday-Saturday: 5-Close 161 Howard Street, Boone 828-386-1201

828-414-9508 7179 VALLEY BLVD


(across from Tanger Outlet)


• Wines from Everywhere & Craft Beer • Bottleshop with 600 Wines/300 Beers to choose from. • Daily wine & beer tastings with 12 beer taps. Open 7 Days/Week • Ashe County’s Only Wine & Beer Shoppe! • 336-846-4848

Downtown Boone’s Microbrewery and Wood Fired Gastropub featuring local & regionally sourced foods

Good beer

good food

good times


In The Country

Bakery, Eatery, Catering, Country Store & Ice Cream Shoppe James & Jennifer Blevins, Proprietors 409 Fritz Street, Damascus, Virginia 24236 276.475.5319

“Come See Us When Riding the Virginia Creeper Trail!” CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE Summer 2017 —


OUR SPONSORS: 95............A to Z Auto Detailing 24............Alta Vista Gallery 95 ...........Amy Brown, CPA 116 ........Andrews & Andrews Insurance 23............An Appalachian Summer Festival 74 ...........Antiques on Howard 58............Appalachian Angler 7..............Appalachian Blind and Closet 117..........Appalachian Elder Law Center 86............Appalachian Home Care 117..........Appalachian Voices 144..........Apple Hill Farm 118..........ARHS/Appalachian Regional Internal Medicine 32............Ashe County Arts Council 116..........Ashi Therapy Ashi Aromatics 72............Avery Animal Hospital 19,95.......Avery County Chamber of Commerce 110..........Avery Heating and Air 110..........Avery Transportation 116..........Bailey Drapery & Design 123..........Banner Elk Café & Lodge 94............Banner Elk Consignment Cottage 76............Banner Elk Realty 12............Banner Elk Winery 22............Barter Theater 129..........Bayou Smokehouse & Grill 95............BB&T 40............Beech Mountain Club/Beech Mountain TDA 129..........Bella’s Italian Restaurant 141..........Bistro Roco 19............BJ’s Resort Wear 86............Bleu Moon Productions 132..........Blowing Rock Ale House Restaurant/ Brewing Co 10............Blowing Rock Farmer’s Market 45............Blowing Rock Music Festival 10,11.......Blowing Rock Pages 74............Blue Blaze Bicycle & Shuttle Service 24............Blue Mountain Metalworks 109..........Blue Ridge Energy 56............Blue Ridge Mountain Club 6..............Blue Ridge Propane 109..........Blue Ridge Realty & Investments 86............Boone Mall 128..........Boondocks Brewing Tap Room & Restaurant 22............BRAHM 90............Brinkley Hardware 75............Caldwell County Chamber of Commerce 144..........Canyons Restaurant 24............Carlton Gallery 94............Carolina BBQ

145..........Carolina Country Wines 132..........Casa Rustica 36............Charleston Forge Home & Outlet 126..........Chestnut Grille & Divide Tavern 10............Chetola Resort 54............Chetola Sporting Reserve 111..........Children’s Hope Alliance 6..............Classic Stone 110..........Compu-Doc 145..........COBO Sushi 18............COMMA 132..........C/R Catering 86............Creative Printing 101..........Crossnore School for Children 76............Dereka’s Sugar Mountain Accommodations 2..............Dewoolfson 8..............Distinctive Cabinetry of the HC 11............Doc’s Rocks Gem Mine 90............Drexel Grapevine Antiques 116..........Eat Crow Café 60............Echota 76............Encore Travel 134..........English Farmstead Cheese 24............Ensemble Stage 126..........Ericks Cheese and Wine 22............Eseeola Lodge 132..........Fairway Café & Venue 130..........F.A.R.M. Café 123..........Footsloggers 94............Fortner Insurance 58............Foscoe Fishing 57............Fred’s General Mercantile 8..............Fuller & Fuller 72............Gardens of the Blue Ridge 141..........Gideon Ridge Inn 147..........Grandfather Mountain 58............Grandfather Trout Farm 69............Grandfather Vineyard 118..........Graystone Eye 73............Greater Newland Business Association 10............Green Park Inn 73............Greenleaf Services 106..........Gregory Alan’s Gifts 11............Handtiques 29............Hardin Jewelry 72............Harding Landscaping 64............Hawksnest Zipline 95............Headquarters Bike & Outdoor 110..........High Country Animal Clinic 117..........High Country Pet Fest 81............High Country Wine Trail 78............High Mountain Expeditions 58............Highland Outfitters

114..........Highlands Union Bank 80............Holston Camp and Retreat Center 103..........Hound Ears Club 72............Hunter’s Tree Service 145..........In the Country Bakery & Eatery 116..........Incredible Toy Company 57............Inn at Crestwood 144..........Italian Restaurant 129..........Jack’s 128 Pecan Restaurant 134..........Jerky Outpost 34............Kevin Beck Studio 66............Leatherwood Mountains Resort 80............Lees-McRae College 23............Lees-McRae Summer Theater 64............Linville Caverns 17............Linville Falls Mountain Club 126..........Linville Falls Winery 87............Linville Land Harbor 3..............Lodges at Eagles Nest 38............Long Journey Home Musical Heritage Tour 145..........Lost Province Brewing Company 74............Lucky Lilly 144..........Macados Restaurant OBC.........Mast General Store 138..........Maw’s Produce 32............Mica Gallery 112..........Mountain Dog and Friends 28............Mountain Jewelers 73............Mountaineer Landscaping 117..........My Best Friend’s Barkery 11............Mystery Hill 95,144.....Nick’s Restaurant & Pub 95............Northern Parker 137..........Old Orchard Creek 78............Pack Rats 129..........Painted Fish Café 95,74.......Peak Real Estate 128..........Pedalin’ Pig BBQ 117..........Pet Fest 110..........Premier Pharmacy 116..........Ram’s Rack Thrift Shop 112..........Reeves Divenere Wright Attorneys at Law 108..........Replay Arcade 66............Resort Real Estate & Rentals 95............Rite Aid Pharmacy 64............River and Earth Adventures 34............Rivercross 73............Robert Oelberg Landscaping 108..........Root Down 145..........Roots Restaurant 95............Rustic Rooster

44............Rustik 34............Sally Nooney Art Studio Gallery 78............Seven Devils TDA 90............Sherry’s Pawsitively Pampered Dog Sitting 95............Shooz and Shiraz 106..........Shoppes at Farmers 95............Shoppes 0f Tynecastle 11............Six Pence Pub 109..........Skyline/Skybest 132..........Sorrento’s Italian Bistro 62............Southern Highland Craft Guild 134..........Stick Boy Bread Co. 102..........Stone Cavern 139..........Stonewalls Restaurant 50............Studio Sculpture Garden & Gallery 45............Sugar Mountain Golf and Tennis 72............Sugar Mountain Nursery 47............Sugar Mountain Resort 19............Sugar Ski and Country Club 74............Sunset Tee’s 106..........Tanner/Doncaster Outlet 69............Tatum Gallery 29............The Art Cellar 145..........The Best Cellar 11, 45......The Blowing Rock 103..........The Cabin Store 112..........The Consignment Cottage Warehouse 95............The Dande Lion 44............The Happy Shack 145..........The Inn at Ragged Gardens 134..........The New Public House & Hotel 138..........The Spice & Tea Exchange 104..........The Summit Group 62............The Twisted Twig Antiques and Accents 5..............The Village of Sugar Mountain 10............Timberlake’s Restaurant 4..............Tom Eggers Construction 74............Tom’s Custom Golf 22............Turchin Center for the Visual Arts 95............Tynecastle Builders 95............Tynecastle Realty 95............Valle de Bravo Mexican Grill 93............Village Jewelers 83............Wilkesboro TDA 115..........Waite Financial 130..........Watauga County Farmers Market 141..........Watauga Lake Winery 50............West Jefferson Antique Fair 10............Woodlands Barbecue 93............Woolly Worm Festival 119..........YMCA of Avery Co

thank you! 146 — Summer 2017 CAROLINA MOUNTAIN LIFE



Human. Nature.

Seems like we’re all drawn to nature. And whether it’s childlike wonder or an adult sense of discovery, you’ll find it here, in abundance. w w w. g ra n d f a t h e r. c o m


Profile for Carolina Mountain Life, Inc

Carolinamountainlife summer2017  

...a wonderful read for 20 years! In this issue we offer Bob Timberlake's Letter To Home, The Life and Times of Junior Johnson, Farm to Tab...

Carolinamountainlife summer2017  

...a wonderful read for 20 years! In this issue we offer Bob Timberlake's Letter To Home, The Life and Times of Junior Johnson, Farm to Tab...

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