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The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide





Table of Contents Welcome...5 High Country Host...6 Chambers of Commerce...6 Numbers of Note...7 Grandfather Mountain...9 Golf Guide...12 Highland Games...15 Horn in the West...18 Tweetsie Railroad...22 Mystery Hill...24 Linville Caverns...25 ScreamTime Zipline...25 Runner’s Guide...28 Camping...29 Hit the Trail: Hiking...30 Aquatic Adventures...33 Aquatic Adventures...35 In the High Country Saddle...36 State & Local Parks...37

Speaking of Spokes...39 Be a Rock Star (Climbing)...40 Fishing in the High Country...41 Go Jump in a Lake...42 Our Towns...43-49 Daniel Boone Native Gardens...51 Grandfather Mountain Trails...52 Watauga County Farmers Market...53 Local Leash Laws...56 Summer at Sugar Mountain...58 Touring Todd...60 A Few Photo Tips...62 Parkway Closings...64 Your Blue Ridge Parkway Guide...68 U.S. 221 Touring Guide...74 N.C. 194 Touring Guide...76 Blood, Sweat & Gears...79 The Blowing Rock...80

The Mystery of the Brown Mountain Lights...84 Mountain Folklore...86 High Country Haunts...87 Appalachian Skate Park...89 Cone Manor...90 A Frescoe View...91 A Few Safety Tips...92 Wonderful Wildflowers...94 It’s for the Bi Birds...97 A Thumbs Up for the Parkway...98 Ashe County Cheese...99 Christmas in July...100 Ashe County Farmers Market...101 Disc Golf...102 Mountain Music Jamboree...104 Todd General Store...105 Zaloo’s Canoe...106 An Appalachian Summer Festival...107 The Jones House...109 Doc Watson’s Music Fest..110 Lees-McRae Summer Theatre...111 The Turchin Center...112 Blowing Rock Stage Company...118 Love the Nightlife?...121 Banner Elk Winery...124 Calendar of Events...125 Index of Advertisers...128

About the Cover: The cover illustration was designed by freelance graphic designer Jim Fleri.





Summer Times 474 Industrial Park Drive • Boone, North Carolina 28607 828-264-6397 • A publication of Mountain Times Publications & Jones Media, Inc., Greeneville, Tenn.

Entire Contents Copyright © 2009 Reproduction of advertising and design work strictly prohibited.

STAFF BOX Bruce Morrison..................Publisher Jason Reagan..........................Editor Jennifer Canosa...Production Manager Charlie Price............Advertising Manager Tim Robinson..........Circulation Manager Garrett Burkett.................Webmaster SALES: Renae Jones, Bryan McGuire, Sue Moore, Crystal Owens, Sandy Russell and Sara Sellers PRODUCTION: Rob Moore, Donna Currie, Sandy Shook and Emily Robb GRAPHICS: Jennifer Canosa, Sarah Becky Hutchins, Meleah Petty, Savannah Holbrook, Dan Johnston, Levi Moore, and Jennifer Walker. WRITERS: Melanie Davis, Cady Childs, Jason Reagan, Jeff Eason, Ron Fitzwater, Mark Mitchell, Scott Nicholson, Frank Ruggiero, Sherrie Norris, Michelle Pope, Tiffany Allison, Kevin Young CIRCULATION: Keri Greene, Kenneth Dancy, Brittain Long and Michelle Treadway

Welcome to One Great Summer The High Country region, which covers A s h e , Av e r y a n d Wa t a u g a C o u n t i e s , h a s many different attractions to offer, and for this reason, has become one of the nation’s top tourist destinations. This reputation as a wonderful spot for vacationers, pleasureseekers and for those who just “want to get away from it all”, however, is not a new one: People from all area’s of the country have been making the trek to the beautiful Blue Ridge for over a century. While some new modern conveniences and attractions

have been added over the years, many of the top scenic attractions here have been in existence for eons. Grandfather Mountain, Linville Falls, the Blowing Rock, the region’s numerous breathtaking waterfalls, rivers and streams, and the grand views of the Appalachians themselves offer priceless moments and memories that cannot be purchased at any cost - they must be experienced. To experience the best of the High Country’s past, take some time to browse through your copy of The Mountain Times Summer



The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide

Hosting a Summer of Fun

ant to know where you can eat and sleep in the High Country and what there is to do and see here? Then stop by or call High Country Host in Boone. It’s the host with the most – the most information on area hotels, restaurants, parks, shopping, recreation, businesses, activities, events and more. High Country Host is a regional visitor information center and marketing organization designed to promote travel and tourism in Watauga, Ashe, Avery, Alleghany and Wilkes counties, the mountainous area known as North Carolina’s High Country. The center attracts visitors to the area and helps guide them once they arrive. To entice potential visitors, High Country Host places ads in several magazines ranging from “Southern Living” to

“National Geographic Traveler.” The center also uses television and newspapers. Once people are interested, they can obtain information about the area 24 hours a day through High Country Host’s phone system and web site. For those with Internet access, the center sports a new and improved web site that includes information about area lodging, real estate, maps, golf, parks, skiing, group tours, weather and much more. It also includes a direct link to all members with individual web sites. There’s even a link with the Blue Ridge Parkway web site, which provides a milepost-by-milepost itinerary for the parkway. Once visitors arrive in the mountains, they can stop by the center seven days a week for some High Country hospitality and personalized help from hosts and hostesses.

The center’s staff can answer just about any question about what the High Country has to offer and how to get there. There are also hundreds of brochures and pamphlets about High Country Host member organizations available at the center along with a 66-page High Country mountain guidebook. The guidebook is also available at North Carolina welcome and visitor centers. Brochures available at the center range from attractions such as Grandfather Mountain, the Mast Store and the Blue Ridge Parkway to events such as ASU’s An Appalachian Summer Festival and Banner Elk’s Woolly Worm Festival. There are also several pamphlets about area outdoor activities such as fishing, camping and hiking.


Contact Information Days & Hours Of Operation: Monday-Saturday 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Sunday 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Location: 1700 Blowing Rock Road (Highway 321 near K-Mart and beside Kentucky Fried Chicken.) Mailing Address: 1700 Blowing Rock Road, Boone, N.C. 28607 Phone: (828) 264-1299 & (800) 438-7500 FAX: (828) 265-0550 E-MAIL: WEB SITE: www.highcountryhost. com

Chambers of Commerce


he High Country of Northwestern North Carolina is the home of numerous communities, many represented by Chambers of commerce and visitor centers. Stop by one of the establishments listed below for maps of the area, brochures of attractions and places to visit, stay, or dine, and information on just about any conceivable topic relating to the High Country, its legends and lore, and its people.

Boone The Boone Area Chamber of Commerce is one of the High Country’s most active, with both a very dedicated membership and an overall commitment to the betterment of the area as both a vacation destination and business hub. Located in downtown Boone on Howard Street, the Chamber of Commerce is the ideal place to stop for information on area activities and brochures and maps of the community. Days & Hours Of Operation: Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Location & Mailing Address: 208 Howard Street, Boone, NC 28607 Phone: (828) 264-2225 & (800 )852-9506 FAX: (828) 264-6644 E-MAIL: WEB SITE:

Blowing Rock

has a good stock of menus from the town’s many fine restaurants. Hours Of Operation: Monday-Saturday, 9:00 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Location: 7738 Valley Blvd., Blowing Rock, NC 28605 Mailing Address: P.O. Box 406, Blowing Rock, NC 28605 Phone: (828) 295-7851 & (800) 295-7851 FAX: (828) 295-4643 E-MAIL:

Beech Mountain The highest town east of the Rocky Mountains, Beech Mountain is the wintertime hub of skiing, but it’s also a fine place to visit in the spring, summer, and autumn months, when activities abound in this “coolest town in the High Country.” Days & Hours Of Operation: Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Location: 403-A, Beech Mountain Parkway, Beech Mountain (Located next to Beech Mountain Town Hall.) Mailing Address: 403-A Beech Mountain Parkway, Beech Mountain, NC 28604 Phone: (828) 387-9283 & (800) 468-5506 FAX: (828) 387-3572 E-MAIL: WEB SITE:

Avery-Banner Elk

Blowing Rock is one of the crown jewels of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The Chamber of Commerce knows this tight-knit-but-friendly community as no one else, and its representatives are always happy to share this knowledge with visitors. Aside from general information, lists of camping and fishing sites, and brochures, the Chamber of Commerce also

The Avery-Banner Elk Chamber of Commerce, located just east of Banner Elk’s one and only stoplight, assists visitors with information concerning all of the county’s activity offerings and special events. It’s also a great place to visit for brochures and special publications on such annual

happenings as the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games & Gathering of the Scottish Clans and the Woolly Worm Festival. Days & Hours Of Operation: Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m., Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Sunday, noon-4 p.m. Location: #2 Shoppes of Tyne Castle at the corner of Hwy 105 and 184. Mailing Address: 4501 Tynecastle Highway, Suite 2, Banner Elk, NC 28604 Phone: (828) 898-5605 & (800) 972-2183 FAX: (828) 898-8287 E-MAIL: WEB SITE:

Banner Elk The Banner Elk Chamber of Commerce is located in the heart of Banner Elk (at the one and only traffic light where Highway 184 intersects with Highway 194). Our mission is to “concentrate our resources in serving the membership and promoting Banner Elk as a unique village to visit, to live in, to work in, and to enjoy.” The Banner Elk Chamber of Commerce has volunteer committees that put together events and activities to promote the area, and it is staffed entirely by volunteers that are dedicated to serving the members and the Banner Elk community. Days & Hours Of Operation: Monday-Sunday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Location: 100 West Main Street, Banner Elk, NC, 28604 Mailing Address: P. O. Box 1872, Banner Elk, NC, 28604 Phone: (828) 898-8395 FAX:(828) 898-8395 (call ahead) E-Mail: Web Site:

Ashe County

Ashe County, with its dual communities of Jefferson and West Jefferson, is just about as far as you can go in the High Country before entering Southwestern Virginia. The county is, in many respects, “a step back in time” to the way the Appalachian Mountains use to be. The Chamber can direct travelers through this sparsely populated area of Christmas tree farms and rugged mountain landscapes and offers a good selection of brochures and maps. Days & Hours Of Operation: Monday-Saturday, 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Location: 303 E. 2nd St., West Jefferson Mailing Address: P.O. Box 31, West Jefferson, NC 28694 Phone: (336) 846-9550 & (888) 343-2743 FAX: (336) 846-8671 E-MAIL: WEB SITE:

Elizabethton, TN

Nearby Elizabethton, Tennessee is often referred to as “A Place For All Seasons”. The Elizabethton/Carter County Chamber of Commerce is the one-stop-shop for information on all activities and events taking place at Roan Mountain State Park, Watauga Lake, along the NC - Tennessee state line, and in all of Eastern Tennessee. Days & Hours Of Operation: Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Location: 500 19E Bypass, Elizabethton Mailing Address: P.O. Box 190, 500 19E Bypass, Elizabethton, TN 37644 Phone: (423) 547-3850 FAX: (423) 547-3854 E-MAIL: WEB SITE:

Numbers of Note The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide



The following numbers are non-emergency business numbers for law enforcement, hospitals, fire and animal control agencies throughout the high country.

ASHE Law Enforcement: Sheriff’s Department: (336) 219-2600 Jefferson Police: (910) 246-9368 West Jefferson Police: (336) 246-9410 Hospital: Ashe Memorial Hospital: (336) 246-7101; 200 Hospital Ave, Jefferson Fire & Rescue: Creston Volunteer Fire Department: (336) 385-6500 Fleetwood Volunteer Fire Department: (336) 877-5100 Glendale Springs Volunteer Fire Department: (336) 982-3539 Helton Township, Inc. Volunteer Fire Department : (336) 384-2420 Jefferson Volunteer Fire Department: (336) 246-9149 Lansing Volunteer Fire Department: (336) 384-4545 New River Volunteer Fire Department: (336) 982-4700 Todd Volunteer Fire Department: (336) 877-1234 Warrensville Volunteer Fire Department: (336) 384-3700

West Jefferson Volunteer Fire Department: (336) 246-3551 Animal Control: (336) 982-4060

AVERY Law Enforcement: Sheriff’s Department: (828) 733-2071 Banner Elk Police Department: (828) 898-4300 Elk Park Police Department: (828) 733-9573 Newland Police: (828) 733-2023 Seven Devils Police Department: (828) 963-6760 Sugar Mountain Police Department: (828) 898-4349 Hospital: Cannon Memorial Hospital: (828) 737-7000; 434 Hospital Dr, Linville Fire & Rescue: Avery County Rescue Squad: (828) 733-2607 Linville Central Rescue Squad: (828) 733-2346  Banner Elk Fire Deptartment: (828) 898-4623 Crossnore Volunteer Fire Department: (828) 733-4304 Elk Park Volunteer Fire Department:

(828) 733-0516 Elk Park Fire Department: (828) 733-5555 Fall Creek Volunteer Fire Department: (828) 898-5021 Crossnore Volunteer Fire Department: (828) 733-4304 Elk Park Volunteer Fir Department

WATAUGA Law Enforcement: Watauga County Sheriff’s Office: (828) 264-3761 Boone Police Department: (828) 262-4500 Beech Mountain Police Department: (828) 387-2342 Blowing Rock Police Department: (828) 295-5210 Appalachian Regional Healthcare System Police: (828) 262-4168 Appalachian State University Police Department: (828) 262-2150 Hospitals: Watauga Medical Center: (828) 262-4100; 336 Deerfield Rd, Boone Blowing Rock Hospital: (828) 295-3136; 416 Chestnut Dr, Blowing Rock

Fire and Rescue: Beaver Dam Volunteer Fire Department: (828) 297-4393 Beech Mountain Fire Department: (828) 387-4612 Blowing Rock Fire Department: (828) 295-5221 Blowing Rock Rescue: (828) 295-3504 Boone Fire Department: (828) 262-4520 Cove Creek Volunteer Fire Department: (828) 297-1375 Deep Gap Volunteer Fire Department: (828) 262-0635 Foscoe Volunteer Fire Department: (828) 963-6305 Meat Camp Volunteer Fire Department: (828) 264-3668 Seven Devils Fire Department: (828) 963-5343 Watauga Rescue Squad: (828) 264-2426 Zionville Volunteer Fire Department: (828) 297-4812 Watauga County Animal Control: (828) 2621672

High Country After Hours Emergency Veterinary Clinic: (828) 268-2833; 1126 Blowing Rock Rd., Boone


The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide




Kilt-Flying Fun Highland Games brings a wee bit of Scotland to High Country


ach July, the High Country hills truly are alive with the sound of music – Celtic music, that is, and much more. This July 9 – 12, mark your calendar and join the thousands of Scots, “wannabe Scots,” friends of Scotland, and others who love the sound of bagpipe bands, the lilt of Scottish dance music and Scottish harps, the vision of Highland dancers performing, and exciting and riveting entertainment from many really fine entertainers at the 54th Grandfather Mountain Highland Games (GMHG) held in MacRae Meadows at the base of Grandfather Mountain. The Games, as they are known in Avery County, are reason enough for the largest gathering of Scottish clans in the world and, when the Scots are on the mountain, it is a sight to behold! The Games were founded in 1956 as a joint creation of Agnes MacRae Morton and Charlotte Observer reporter Donald MacDonald. Morton, the mother of Grandfather Mountain owner Hugh Morton, envisioned a gathering of her clansmen who would take part in traditional Scottish games and festivities to celebrate their heritage. MacDonald had recently attended the Royal Braemar Games in Scotland and, as a result of the experience, had even larger plans for what would become the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games.

The mission for the Games is “to carry on and promote the annual Grandfather Mountain Highland Games of Gathering of Scottish Clans, to foster and restore interest in traditional dancing, piping, athletic achievement and Gaelic culture, and to create and establish scholarship funds to assist students from Avery County High School to study at American colleges and universities.” The following is a tentative event schedule for the 2009 Games. The GMHG Web site has up-to-date information on schedule changes and additions. Go to for information on every aspect of the Games. On Thursday, July 9th, the Games will open with a 4:30 p.m. picnic at MacRae Meadows. Concessions are available or you can bring your own food. There will be traditional Celtic music and sheep herding with border collies on the field. Earlier in the day is the Aggie Woodruff Golf Tournament at Mountain Glen Golf Course in Newland. At 7 p.m., the five-mile footrace, The Bear: Assault on Grandfather, leaves the town of Linville heading for the summit of Grandfather Mountain. Just after dark, MacRae Meadows will host the impressive Torchlight Ceremony, the opening ceremony to announce the arrival of each clan to the Games. On Friday, July 10th, the day begins with CONTINUED ON PAGE 15



The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide



The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide


Have You Visited Your Grandfather Lately?

Natural preserve immerses visitors in the mountain experience


ake a relaxing stroll through the woods or hike a rugged trail. Take a peek at a cougar in its natural habitat or get up close and personal with an owl. Take a guided nature walk or sit in on a nature program. Enjoy sprawling mountain views from a rocky perch or cross the mile-high swinging bridge. Grandfather Mountain offers its visitors all this and more with its friendly staff and chances to be enveloped by nature. The part-nonprofit, part-state park mountain is the highest peak in the Blue Ridge mountain range and is a nationally recognized nature preserve. The attraction features the mile-high swinging bridge, the famed suspension bridge spanning an 80-foot chasm a mile above sea level, and more than 12 miles of hiking trails ranging from easy nature walks to strenuous backcountry hikes. Also in the park are the animal habitats, which house black bears and cubs, river otters, cougars, bald and golden eagles, and white-tailed deer. Three rehabilitated owls serve as educational animals as part of the naturalist program. One exciting summer event is Naturalist Weekend. Formerly called Spring on the Mountain and spread over

three weekends, the event was conveniently condensed into two days, and crammed full of guided hikes, nature walks, workshops, and expert speakers. The events are included in the general admission price. The naturalist department helps visitors gain a deeper understanding and appreciation for the beautiful scenery and flora and fauna on Grandfather Mountain. Starting June 2, naturalist programs will be held every afternoon, usually between 1 and 2 p.m. The programs are free with park admission. For details on the daily programs, look for signs in the nature museum and visitor’s center by the swinging bridge. Summer-long activities include nature walks, guided hikes, specialized programs on birds, butterflies, salamanders and other animals, as well as Powerpoint presentations on the animals in the mountain’s habitats and children programs. The naturalist program allows Grandfather Mountain to cater to the needs of visitors. To schedule a guided hike or any program for any size group, contact the naturalist’s office at 828-733-4326 or e-mail naturalist@grandfather. com.

A yearly favorite on Grandfather is the nature photography weekend, slated for May 29-31 this year. The three-day event offers photographers presentations and chances to capture spring beauty on the mountain, culminating with a photo contest on the last day. Due to its popularity, tickets typically sell out a year in advance, so this year’s event is booked. To be placed on the waiting list or register for an upcoming year, contact Catherine Morton at 828-733-2013. June 1 through 14 is the Remarkable Rhododendron Ramble, which features special programs and activities to celebrate the arrival of the Catawba Rhododendron blooms all across Grandfather Mountain. Programs and guided walks offered by the mountain’s naturalists are included in the price of admission. On the calendar for June 28 is the annual Singing on the Mountain, a free all-day gospel singing and dinner held in MacRae Meadows. The music will begin at 8:30 a.m. and continue throughout the day. For this year’s 85th annual singing, the Rev. Freida Hartley Hobson from Concord will bring the message. She is the granddaughter of Singing on the Mountain founder CONTINUED ON PAGE 17



Ride the High Country! Half Day & Full Day Rentals 2349 Old Hwy 421 South Boone NC 28607 828-262-1558

The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide


YOUR LINK to the Links

Where to Tee it Up If your idea of a day in paradise is teeing it up on a beautiful mountain canvas created by Mother Nature, then you’ve found your destination here in the High Country. An enjoyable day, complete with breathtaking landscapes and challenging layouts, await the avid golfer with a trip to any of the excellent golf courses that the High Country of North Carolina can offer. A tour of the area’s courses is in order, so with no further delay, let’s begin. We begin our tour with a stop in Boone, with an eye on the Boone Golf Club. Residing in the picturesque Watauga Valley on U.S. 321, the Boone Golf Club features gorgeous greens and rolling hills. The course features level to gently sloping fairways, large undulating greens and beautiful views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The club offers a full-service golf shop featuring a full line of clothing and equipment. PGA professionals are also available for golf lessons. If time is short, than an outing at Willow Creek Golf Course may be the perfect choice for some tee time. A nine hole, Par 3 Executive course designed by Tom Jackson, Willow Creek features holes in length from 137 yards to 221 yards with varying elevation changes and four tee boxes for all levels of play. In Blowing Rock, residents and visitors can enjoy a round at Blowing Rock Country Club’s course near the Green Park Inn. Sitting along the Eastern continental divide at roughly 4,000 feet above sea level, the course continues to be a favorite among Blowing Rock locals. There are other High Country golf courses located in the resort towns of Beech Mountain and Sugar Mountain. With beautiful views and robust greens, you can enjoy a round at the Beech Mountain Golf Club or the Sugar Mountain Golf Club.

In West Jefferson, Mountain Aire Golf Club offers breathtaking views and a challenging round of golf. This 18-hole course features more than 9,500 yards of course from the blue tees with a Par 72 layout. Mountain Aire also offers plenty of choices in its snack shop and in its golf shop. If you find yourself in beautiful Ashe County, Jefferson Landing Club is the spot for you. With a Golf Digest rating of 4.5 stars and the designation as one of Golf Styles “Top 100 Courses in the Carolina’s,” Jefferson Landing is sure to satisfy your golf desires. The course was designed by PGA Champion Larry Nelson, and features plenty of challenges and beautiful settings for your next golfing excursion. CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE 


Your Link

Continued From Page 12

Mountain Glen Golf Club is an 18-hole regulation length golf course in Newland. Built in 1963, this medium-length layout has 3 sets of tee boxes for a fun, but challenging golfing experience. The course was designed by George Cobb, and among its amenities, features a driving range for working out the golf swing kinks. Our next stop on our golfing tour takes us to Red Tail Mountain in Mountain City, Tenn. The Red Tail Mountain Golf Club offers a true mountain course experience with a par 72, 18hole signature golf course. An impressive 400 feet of elevation change allows every hole to offer a unique challenge. Spectacular mountain


The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide


vistas and dramatic backdrops play host as you spend the day with friends and family taking time to appreciate the gifts of nature. There are also several private and semi-private courses located in Banner Elk and Linville, just a short drive from Boone. Many of these courses are located in beautiful, gated golf communities that are mostly private courses, open only to residents and guests of the resort. Some of the popular and award winning North Carolina Mountain golf courses like Elk River Club, Grandfather Golf and Country Club, and the Linville Golf Club are all private courses, intricately designed, and have won various awards and features across the state. So, there you are. A quick tour of the area’s wonderful options if a day on the links is what your heart desires. —Story by Mark Mitchell


Boone Golf Club, Boone Through May 21 & Sept. 18 To Close Monday-Thursday: $47, includes cart. Friday-Sunday: $52, includes cart. May 22 through September 17 Monday-Thursday: $54, includes cart. Friday-Sunday: $59, includes cart. Sunday afternoon through Thursday, after 12:00 p.m.: $48, includes cart (828) 264-8760 Red Tail Mountain, Mountain City, Tenn. Weekdays: $55, includes cart. Weekends and holidays: $70 includes cart. Specials: Monday - Ladies Day $38 includes cart. Tuesday - Senior’s Day (Ages 55 and older) $38 includes cart. Wednesday – Men’s Day $38 includes cart. Friday – After 5 p.m. – Couples mixer - $20 – Nine holes. 7 Day After 3 p.m. $38, to ride 18 (423) 727-7931 Jefferson Landing Club, Jefferson Guests accompanied by member Monday-Thursday: $58 Friday-Sunday: $78 Unaccompanied guests Monday-Thursday: $78 Friday-Sunday: $98 (336) 982-7767 Mountain Aire Golf Club, West Jefferson Through May 15 Weekdays, 18 holes: $31 Weekends before 1 p.m., 9 holes: $37 Weekends after 1 p.m., 9 holes: $32 Beginning May 16-June 27 Weekdays, before 1 p.m., 18 holes: $37 Weekdays, after 1 p.m., 18 holes: $32 Weekends, before 2 p.m., 18 holes: $47 Weekends, after 2 p.m., 18 holes: $41 June 28-September 14 Before 1 p.m.: $39 After 1 p.m.: $34 Weekends, before 2 p.m.: $49 Weekends, after 2 p.m.: $43 (336) 877-4716

Mountain Glen Golf Club, Newland April, May and October: $30 green fee only, plus cart $15 June through September: Before 4 p.m.: $40, plus cart $15 After 4 p.m.: $30, includes cart Fri.-Sun.: $45, plus cart $15 Golf carts: $8 per person for nine holes, $15 per person for 18 holes (828) 733-5804 Sugar Mountain Golf Course, Banner Elk Through May 22 18 holes: $32, includes cart 9 holes: $20, includes cart May 23-September 7 18 holes, $40, includes cart 9 holes, $23, includes cart Walk Specials – 18 holes after 3 p.m., $14 High Season, 4 p.m., $14 (828) 898-6464 Willow Creek Golf Course, Boone – 9 holes Par 3 executive golf course Walk 9 holes: $10 Walk 18 holes: $15 Ride 9 holes: $16 Ride 18 holes: $24 (828) 963-6865 Mountaineer Golf Center Driving Range, Boone 45-ball bucket: $5. 75-ball bucket: $7. 110-ball bucket: $9. Ball counts are approximate. Lessons – $60 per hour – Packages Available (828) 264-6830

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The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide



Highland Games

The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide

The Grizzly, a bike race that covers a grueling 65 miles of Avery County roads, includes Continued From Page 9 7000 feet of climbing, and takes riders over 2 miles of dirt road up the backside of Beech Mountain. At 9 a.m. MacRae Meadows opens with preliminary athletic competition, sheep herding, music and dancing, and exhibitions. There will be musical entertainment in the Celtic Groves all day, Children’s Tent and field activities, a harp workshop, Highland Dancing pre-championships, harp and fiddle contests, and much more. At 7 p.m., there is the Celtic Music Jam Concert at MacRae Meadows. At 8 p.m., at Hayes Auditorium on the Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk is the Ceilidh, a family-oriented fathering of Scottish


folk music, song, and dance. Also at 8 p.m., the Scottish Country Dance Gala takes place at the Williams Gymnasium on the Lees-McRae College campus. At 7 a.m. on Saturday, July 11th, the Grandfather Mountain Marathon participants leave Boone headed toward Grandfather Mountain in a race that has the reputation of being the most strenuous marathon in the country. MacRae Meadows opens at 7:30 a.m. There will be amateur heavy athletic qualifying, Highland dance competitions, opening ceremonies, music in the Celtic Groves, harp competition, history and genealogy opportunities at the clan tents, and much more. In the Trillium Room at the Broyhill Inn & Conference Center in Boone, there will be a Piping Concert at 7 p.m. At the same time in MacRae Meadows, there will be the Celtic Rock Concert. At 8 p.m. at Hayes Auditorium at Lees-McRae College, there will again be a Ceilidh. Back at the Broyhill Inn & Conference Center in Boone, music lovers can attend a performance by popular Scottish entertainer Alex Beaton & Friends. On Sunday, July 12rh, the Meadows open at 8 a.m., where there will be prelude music for the 9 a.m. Scottish Worship Service outside the main gate. (Bring a folding chair.) The service will include the Kirkin’ of the Tartans. The much-anticipated “Parade of Tartans” takes place around the track at the Meadows with all the attending clans represented, carrying their banners. The Guests of Honor and the Distinguished Guests are introduced. All through the day in the field the athletic competitions, dance competitions, sheep herding, and other events occur and the Celtic Groves ring with the music of various entertainers. At 4 p.m. the Closing Ceremonies take place and happy Scots and friends go back to their own lives to await the 2010 Grandfather Mountain Highland Games.

Ticket Information

Tickets can be purchased in advance prior to June 15, 2009. You may purchase tickets by mail, by phone using a credit card or by using the GMHG secure online order form on the Web site: 2009 GMHG tickets may be purchased at the gate when you arrive or at the GMHG Office in Linville. Tickets purchased at the gate must be paid for in cash. If you require the use of a credit or debit card to purchase tickets, please visit the GMHG Office in Linville. Tickets for activities not held on MacRae Meadows (i.e. Ceilidh, Alex Beaton Concert, Piping Concert) are available at their respective locations before the show. Children under age 5 are always free.

2009 Ticket Prices 4-day advanced adult ticket: $55.00 4-day advanced child (ages 5 – 12) ticket: $25.00 CONTINUED ON PAGE 16

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P C C   M C M

Milepost 294 Blue Ridge Parkway | Blowing Rock, NC Open daily, March 15-Nov 30, 9am-5pm 828-295-7938

work shown, top to bottom: Marcia McDade, Laurey-Faye Long, Magruder Glass The Southern Highland Craft Guild is authorized to provide services on the Blue Ridge Parkway under the authority of a cooperative agreement with the National Park Service, Department of the Interior.

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The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide


Highland Games Continued From Page 15

Thursday night – Torchlight Opening Ceremony, MacRae Meadows, adult: $15.00, child (ages 5 – 12): $5.00 Friday – preliminaries/Friday Night Live, MacRae Meadows, adult: $20.00, child (ages 5 – 12): $5.00. Friday Night Live, MacRae Meadows, adult $15.00, child (ages 5 – 12): $5.00. Friday night – Ceilidh, Lees-McRae College, Banner Elk, adult $10.00, child (ages 5 – 12): $5.00 (tickets sold at the door). Saturday – Games and Saturday night Celtic Rock Concert, MacRae Meadows, adult: $30.00, child (ages 5 – 12): $5.00. Saturday night ¬ Piping Concert, Broyhill Conference Center, Boone, $10.00 per person, under 5 free (tickets sold at the door only). Alex Beaton & Friends, Broyhill Conference Center, Boone, $10.00 per person, under 5 free (tickets sold only at door). Celtic Rock Concert, MacRae Meadows, adult: $15.00, child (ages 5 – 12): $5.00. Ceilidh, Lees-McRae College, Banner Elk, adult: $10.00, child (ages 5 – 12): $5.00 (tickets sold only at the door). Scottish Dance Gala, Lees-McRae College, Banner Elk, dancers: $20.00, spectators: $3.00. Sunday – Games, MacRae Meadows, adult: $15.00, child (ages 5 – 12): $5.00. Parking Information Parking is limited at the Games and varies from event to event. The following is a detailed summary of the parking status for each day and event. On Thursday evening, Friday day, and Friday night: General public parking is available on MacRae Meadows. There are special parking privileges for Chieftain Patrons but not for Highlander Patrons, Clansman Patrons or sponsors. If the parking lots fill up on the Meadows, shuttle service will be provided. Saturday: No public parking is available on the Meadows. Parking is reserved for Sponsors, Chieftain Patrons, Highlander Patrons, Clansman Patrons and participants. Public parking is available at 4 locations: •Watauga High School Parking Lot, 400 High School Dr., Boone •Linville Parking Lot, Linville •Avery Co. High School, Newland •Owens/Brigham Plant Parking Lot, Hwy. 181, Pineola Sunday: Parking arrangements and shuttle services are identical to Saturday day parking except the Avery County High School and Watauga High School lots are not used on Sunday. (Saturday Night Concert in Chief’s Tent: General public parking is available on a first come first serve basis. On Saturday evening the general public should shuttle off the mountain by 5:30 and then drive back. There are special parking privileges for Chieftain patrons but not for Highlander Patrons, Clansman Patrons or sponsors on Saturday evening.)

Shuttle Service

Shuttle service at the Watauga High School Parking Lot in Boone is provided by Appal Cart. Appal Cart has received special permission from DC to use the Blue Ridge Parkway to transport passengers to and from the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games. Park and enjoy this beautiful scenic drive from Boone to the Games. The shuttle fee is $15 per person roundtrip (subject to change). The approximate ride time is 45 minutes. This lot is perfect for those people staying in Boone or Blowing Rock or people arriving in the area using Hwy. 421 or 321. Avoid the traffic and congestion in the Linville area on Hwy. 105 by using this parking and shuttle service. We highly recommend the Boone service. Shuttle service from Avery High School begins at 7:30 a.m. Shuttle fees are $6 per person roundtrip (subject to change). Avery High School Shuttle service is perfect for those approaching Grandfather from Tennessee on Hwy. 194 or US Hwy. 221 North. The Linville shuttle service is located behind the post office in Linville, but the entrance to the lot is located on Hwy 105.

Other Information For much more information on the Games, visit the official Web site:

— Story by Nancy Morrison, photos by Mark Mitchell


The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide


Continued From Page 11

Joe L. Hartley. In tribute to the contribution Music Master Arthur Smith has made to Singing over the years, Grand Ole Opry member George Hamilton IV will be joined by his son, George Hamilton V and Arthur’s nephews Tim and Roddy Smith to share warm memories and celebrate the hymn of Arthur Smith. Performers will include The Greenes of Boone, The Primitive, The Cockman Family, Jubilee, Four Anointed, The Melodyaires, The Gospel Enforcers and Michael Combs. Admission to Singing on the Mountain is free, and camping is available on a first-come basis. A highly anticipated event held on Grandfather Mountain every year since 1956 is the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games. Scheduled for July 9-12, more than 100 Scottish clans and societies sponsor the four-day celebration of Scottish dance, music and athletics. Although the Grandfather games is not the largest gathering in terms of attendance, more Scottish family surnames are represented at Grandfather than any other Scottish gathering in the world. Admission will be charged. Two marathons will be held on the mountain as part of the Highland Games. The Bear: Assault on Grandfather is a five-mile road race that climbs 1,568 feet in elevation. It’s scheduled for July 9. The Grizzly Bike Race on July 10 will start in Linville and take cyclists through Avery County, ending at the track at Grandfather Mountain. The Grandfather Mountain Marathon has been called America’s toughest. It begins in Boone and runners arrive at the games about 9:30 a.m. July 11. In August, top photography professionals will gather to share information and guidance about photojournalism during the amateur and professional camera clinic held on the mountain. The clinic will be held Aug. 15-16 and is free of charge, but pre-registration is required, with online registration beginning July 15. In August, more than 45 classes of antique cars, trucks, vintage bikes, and road tractors ranging from before the 1930s to 1989 will converge on MacRae Meadows for the Rods in the Park show. Separate admission is charged. Kidfest, a day designed to get children excited about nature, will be celebrated Sept. 12. The day-long event will feature a guided hike, animal enrichment activities, face painting, educational games, and a storyteller. Kidfest activities are free after the general park admission. Another day that caters to the young and young at heart is the annual American Girl Scout Day. On Sept. 19, all Girl Scouts and troop leaders are admitted free with proof of membership, with discounted admission for other family members. Free nature programs will be offered throughout the day. Bringing a close to the fun-filled summer on Grandfather is the Bridge-to-Bridge Incredible Challenge bicycle race on Sept. 20. The 102-mile bike ridge starts at the Lenoir Mall and winds its way up to the Mile-High Swinging Bridge. Riders must pay a registration fee to participate. General admission to Grandfather Mountain is $15 for adults, $13 for seniors, $7 for children 4-12 and free for children under 4. Annual passes also are available. Summer hours are 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more information about Grandfather Mountain, visit www. or call the office at 828-733-2013. — Story by Michelle Pope

photo by Hugh Morton



The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide


Listen for the Horn of history Horn in the West outdoor drama celebrates 58 years Now entering its 58th season, the “Horn in the West” outdoor drama continues to draw visitors and residents alike to witness living history – from the comfort of stadium seating. Produced by the nonprofit Southern Appalachian Historical Association (SAHA), “Horn in the West” has practically become synonymous with summer in the High Country, and sitting in the outdoor Daniel Boone Amphitheater has proven to be a fitting nightcap to a long summer’s day. Audience members shouldn’t plan on falling asleep, though, as the sound of thundering rifles should serve as an ample stimulant. “Horn in the West” is a Revolutionary War drama, written by Kermit Hunter to focus on the settlers who first occupied the Blue Ridge Mountains. The amphitheater’s natural surroundings of towering oak trees beneath starlit skies further draw the audience into the tale of the Stuart family, whose patriarch, Dr. Geoffrey Stuart, has left Great Britain to join the Carolina Colony to study smallpox, bringing his family with him. It’s not long until Stuart finds himself embroiled in the politics and bloodshed of revolution, for his son, Jack, fights alongside

a band of colonial revolutionaries, only to be defeated and forced into hiding. Stuart is torn between his allegiance to the crown and to his family, but ends up joining a group of freedom-seeking pioneer families, led by none other than Daniel Boone. While the American Revolution rages throughout the fledgling nation, life in the Blue Ridge Mountains seems to be untouched by the fires of war for the Stuarts and their fellow pioneers until their village receives an ultimatum from a British colonel. A band of villagers decides to rise against the colonel, who has vowed to storm the mountain region should the settlers oppose, and Stuart is faced with a moral and life-changing dilemma – stick to his loyalist beliefs or fight alongside his newfound compatriots. “Horn in the West” first premiered in 1952 and has been lauded with praise ever since. A review in “Theatre Arts” by late theater historian John Gassner, reads, “I have seen few productions either in America or Europe as beautifully designed and excitingly staged as ‘Horn in the West.’ “The play expresses the life and spirit of an historic region, and the production projects the playwright’s vision with admirable skill CONTINUED ON PAGE 19 


Horn in the West Continued From Page 18

and power.” Returning is Wes Martin as Daniel Boone, Jenny Cole as the Widow Howard, Darrell King as the Rev. Sims, Andrew Ray as Geoffrey Stuart and Jenn Mears as Martha Stuart. Production staff includes Susan Lutz as choreographer and David Courreges as music director and sound designer. Julie Richardson takes the director’s chair again, bringing new scenes to promise a season of surprises. “She’s done some wonderful things with the production, so even if you’ve seen it before, you must see it again,” said Virginia Roseman, director of public relations for SAHA. “New scenes are being added in, because she (Richardson) likes to keep the story fresh. And we are guaranteeing that the fight scenes taking place on stage will be jawdropping.” SAHA has arranged for cast training with Mark Guinn, certified stage fight choreographer, to keep audience members on the edge of their seats during the story’s epic battles. Excitement, though, is just one feeling the show can provoke. Roseman recalls a particular performance during last year’s season, when an audience member approached her to say, “I laughed, I cried, I was frustrated – every emotion was pulled out of me in two hours; I didn’t know that could happen.” “This show has the drama, the love, the dancing and music and the action – everything you want is all wrapped up into one,” Roseman said. The show runs from June 19 through Aug. 5, Tuesday through Sunday, at 8 p.m., with gates opening at 7:30 p.m. Roseman encourages folks to come earlier, though, and tour the Hickory Ridge Homestead Living History Museum. The museum features a series of cabins set up to replicate the

The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide mountain experience of the mid- to late-18th and early19th centuries, a combination of actual settler cabins and detailed recreations. Dave Davis, who helped establish the museum in 1976, has returned to renew its educational offerings. “When you go through the museum, you’re going to take a different walk, and each step is going to graduate into the next step of history,” Roseman said. “Dave is taking it back to the level that it once was, so this is a wonderful experience, and we encourage everyone to come at least an hour before the show.” Though it’s not quite dinner theater, dinner at the theater is an option, at least on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Each week, the Dan’l Boone Inn will cater an all-you-caneat buffet on the Horn grounds, served in 18th-century style. The menu includes fried chicken, potatoes, green beans, homemade biscuits, cured ham and all the fixings. Dinners start at 6:30 p.m. and last an hour. Dinner tickets, which go fast, cost $13 for adults and $8 for children. “Our job is that when people walk away after the show, they say it was worth every penny,” Roseman said. SAHA also hosts the Powderhorn Theater on the Horn in the West grounds, which offers different theatrical productions each week throughout the season. Check The Mountain Times for more details. Tickets for “Horn in the West” cost $18 for adults and $9 for children. Discounted adult and children tickets are $16 and $8, accordingly. AAA, AARP, military and SEANC discounts will be honored. For tickets and more information, call the Southern Appalachian Historical Association, the nonprofit organization that produces the drama, at (828) 264-2120 or visit on the Web. SAHA offices, the Daniel Boone Amphitheater, the Hickory Ridge Homestead and the Powderhorn Theater are located at 591 Horn in the West Drive in Boone. —Story by Frank Ruggiero



The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide



The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide



The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide


All Aboard Tweetsie offers a true Wild-West experience

No summer trip to the High Country is complete without a trip to western North Carolina’s longest continually operating amusement park, Tweetsie Railroad. For over a half-century, families have been enjoying the Saloon shows, the cowboys and Indians, and the train ride at Tweetsie. But now there are more rides, sights, shops, shows and amusements than ever. The special events at Tweetsie begin with the annual visit by Thomas the Tank Engine. Ride with Thomas through Tweetsie and meet Sir Topham Hatt. The event also includes storytelling, live music, building areas with Lego and Duplo building blocks and much more. A Day Out with Thomas will be presented at Tweetsie June 5-14. Nickelodeon TV stars Dora the Explorer and Diego from “Go, Diego, Go” return to Tweetsie Friday-Sunday, June 26-28. The pair will be on hand to meet their young fans from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. On July 4, Tweetsie is the place to be to witness the High Country’s most spectacular fireworks display. The park will be open until 9 p.m. that day and folks visiting the theme park are invited to stay for the pyrotechniques. Folks coming in for fireworks only can pay $5 per vehicle to use Tweetsie’s parking lot. Tweetsie hosts a Fun Festival on Friday through Sunday, July 17-19. The event will feature appearances by Bob the Builder, Barney the Dinosaur and Angelina Ballerina. Take a visit to the Imagination Station and let your imagination run wild! CONTINUED ON PAGE 23


The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide



Continued From Page 22

For nine straight days inAugust (Aug. 1-9) be prepared to be amazed. That’s when the K’9s in Flight Frisbee Dogs return for some running, jumping and all-star fetching. The Grammy Award-winning cowboy quartet, Riders in the Sky, return to Tweetsie on Saturday and Sunday, August 15-16. Ranger Doug, Too Slim, Woody Paul and Joey the Cow Polka King will regale audiences at the Hacienda tent with jokes, stories and some of the best cowboy crooning this side of the Pecos. Concerts begin at noon and 3 p.m. and are free with paid Tweetsie admission. Railroad enthusiasts from all over the country make the trek to Tweetsie for the annual Railfan Weekend. This year’s event takes place on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 12-13 and will feature a chance to see the backstage work it takes to get the classic old train engines at Tweetsie running smoothly. Tweetsie 2009 wraps up with the annual Ghost Train and Halloween Festival. Join engineer Casey Bones and his ghoulish gang for Tweetsie at night! Ghost Train features the train ride, a haunted house, music, dancing and much more. Tweetsie is open every day from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. until August 23. From August 28 through Nov. 1, the park is open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, plus Labor Day Monday. In addition, the park will be open at 8 a.m. both Saturdays during the popular Day Out with Thomas event. Regular daily admission is $30 for adults and $22 for children ages 3 through 12. Children 2 and under are free. Print-at-home tickets are available at — Story by Jeff Eason

Tweetsie Through the Years # 1866 - The Tennessee legislature grants a charter to the East Tennessee and Western North Carolina Railroad (ET&WNC). # 1882 - ET&WNC begins operation with 32-mile narrow-gauge service from Johnson City, Tenn. to the iron mines at Cranberry, NC. # 1917 - Engine No. 12 was built by Baldwin Locomotive Works of Philadelphia, PA, at a cost of $14,000. # 1919 - ET&WNC extends tracks for service to Boone, NC. # 1940 - In August torrential rains wash away large sections of ET&WNC track, forcing the company to abandon service to the mountains rather than rebuild.

# 1950 - On Oct. 16, The ET&WNC discontinues all narrow-gauge rail service, marking the end of an era. # 1952 - Engine No. 12 is bought by three railroad enthusiasts and moved to Harrisonburg, VA as a tourist attraction called Shenandoah Central Railroad. # 1953 - Hurricane Hazel washes away most of Shenandoah Central tracks. Singing cowboy Gene Autry purchases the rights to buy the Tweetsie locomotive and cars, and plans to move them to California.

but instead sells his option to Grover C. Robbins, Jr., for $1. # 1956 - On May 20, NC Governor Luther Hodges proclaims “Tweetsie Homecoming Day” as the 80-ton locomotive returns to North Carolina for refurbishing in the Hickory repair shops of Carolina & Northwestern Railway Company. # 1957 - In May Tweetsie is moved up the mountain from Hickory to its new home near Blowing Rock, not far from its old railroad stop in Boone. # 1957 - On July 4, Tweetsie makes its first run on a one-mile track carrying passengers to a picnic area, then backs up to the station. # 1958 - An authentic western town is added to Tweetsie Railroad,

and the park adopts a Wild West theme. # 1959 - Charlotte television station WBTV rents Tweetsie for a birthday party for Fred Kirby, beginning a nearly 30-year career for Kirby as Tweetsie’s marshal. # 1960 - Another narrow-gauge locomotive, the Baldwin-built No. 190 “Yukon Queen” is acquired from Alaska, and brought to Tweetsie to be rebuilt and placed in operation. # 1962 - A chair lift is erected to the top of Miner’s Mountain, expanding the park with additional rides, a Deer Park and other family entertainment. # 1976 - Tweetsie opens its own Steam Locomotive Shop to handle maintenance on its two vintage steam trains as well as other steam engines across the country. # 1990 - In October the Ghost Train® Halloween Festival debuts with a spooky nighttime train ride and a small haunted house. # 1992 - Engine No. 12 celebrates its 75th birthday. The U.S. Department of the Interior lists Tweetsie in National Register of Historic Places. # 1997 - Tweetsie celebrates its 40th anniversary as the first theme park in North Carolina. # 1998 - The Tweetsie Railroad Steam Locomotive Shop is expanded to a modern facility to better serve an expanding array of customers. Historic engine No. 12 is completely overhauled to its original condition. # 1999 - Rebuilt historic engine No. 12 Engine is unveiled. Bachmann Train Company recognizes Tweetsie with a G Scale model replica of the locomotive. # 2000 - Tweetsie celebrates the 10th anniversary of the Ghost Train® Halloween Festival, which has grown to be one of the “Top 20 Events in the Southeast” by the Southeast TourismAssociation. Engine No. 190, the “Yukon Queen”, is completely overhauled to its original condition. # 2001 - Tweetsie Railroad celebrates its 44th season and was voted by the readers of Blue Ridge Country magazine as the “Best Place to Take the Kids in the Blue Ridge Mountains”. # 2002 - Tweetsie celebrates its 45th season with a new album by the Grammy Award winning band Riders In The Sky, titled “Ridin’ the Tweetsie Railroad”. It contains some of the classic American railroad songs, plus songs written about Tweetsie Railroad by the band’s members: Too Slim, Ranger Doug, Woody Paul, and Joey the Cowpolka King. Thomas the Tank Engine™ makes its first appearance at Tweetsie Railroad for a ten-day event, starting an annual tradition.



Embrace the Mystery

Mystery Hill offers a plethora of paradoxes Searching to find an alleged paranormal hot spot while visiting the High Country? Mystery Hill, located between Boone and Blowing Rock, is the attraction that will fulfill those unique, mystical desires. Travel through the main Mystery House entrance into a house that turns visitors’ perceptions upside down. Their slanted room purportedly defies the law of physics causing water to flow backwards and balls to roll up hill. Tilted to a 45-degree angle, it is a task just to walk through the room so be sure to wear appropriate shoes. Come discover what it feels like to swing up hill in Mystery Hill’s famous slanted room. If puzzles and unsolved mysteries tickle your interest, continue on to the puzzle room packed with mesmerizing optical illusions. Their blacklit room creates an eerie atmosphere for passers by as they walk and try to figure out brain-teasers. While the older ones rack their brain to figure out the house’s unsolved mysteries, bring the kids to their bubble room filled with extra large wands and even a giant wand able to cover an adult or a child. Come experience life inside a bubble, but be gentle or it might pop! After the whole family has had its fill of mystical wonders, check out their gift shop loaded with homemade jam, toys, post cards, key chains and T-shirts. Guests can dress up in 19thcentury apparel and take a picture of what their family might

look like 100 years ago. Owned by Rondia Underwood this attraction has been a historical part of the High Country for over 50 years. What started out as an apple orchard has become not only a house of mystery, but has expanded into an Appalachian Heritage Museum and a Native American Artifacts Museum, which is located right across the parking lot. The Native American Artifacts Museum contains over 50,000 artifacts on display from arrowheads, spears, moccasins, pottery, and pipes. “Moon” Mullins and his wife Irene from Hickory, N.C, found the entire collection in 55 years. Most of the artifacts were collected from N.C, S.C., and GA., but about 20 states are represented within the museum. Appalachian Heritage Museum, located above the Native American Artifacts Museum once belonged to the two brothers who founded Appalachian State University, D.D. Dougherty and B.B Dougherty. The house was built in 1903 and was the first house in Watauga Country to receive running water and electricity. Memorabilia, furniture, antique sewing machines and other historical items from the Dougherty family can be found within the museum. Mystery Hill is open year round seven days a week. Their hours are June-Aug. 9 a.m.-8p.m. and Sept.-May 9 a.m.- 5 p.m.

Ticket prices are $8 for adults, $7 for seniors, $6 for children, and free for children under 4. Season passes and group rates for 12 people and over are available. —Story by Tiffany Allison


The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide


What Lies Beneath.....A Great Time in the Dark


Linville Caverns makes fun of geology


n Humpback Mountain near Linville Falls, 2,700 feet below the Blue Ridge Parkway, visitors can discover the real lowdown on the High Country at Linville Caverns. Carved from a river flowing through the mountain’s limestone for more than one hundred thousand years, Linville Caverns offers visitors a geological kaleidoscope of sparkling stalactites, stalagmites and other rock formations formed by mineral-laden drops of water absorbed from the surface of the mountains. In fact, a few drops still fall depending on past rainstorms so take a waterproof jacket to keep dry and to keep away the slight chill in the constant 52-degree air. For the cavern novice, remember stalactites are limestone-based rock formations that hang from cave ceilings (they hang on “tite” — get it?). Stalagmites form on the ground when minerals in water drop from the ceiling and form an ever-growing rock mound. (They “mite” touch the ceiling someday — yes, it’s corny but memorable). When the two formations meet, a rock column is formed and Linville Caverns has plenty of those as well as glittering gem outcrops and chambers featuring amazing symmetry for a natural formation. In the center, look for “The Cathedral,” which some say resembles a miniature, medieval wedding scene If your tour guide doesn’t remind you, refrain from touching the formations since oils from human hands can stop the rock growth. Rocks aren’t the only growing things in the caverns. Small, brown bats can occasionally be found taking a nap on the ceiling. The harmless mammals like to hang out — literally— especially during colder months to take advantage of the constant 52degree climate. By summer, most of them are outside but don’t be surprised to see a few sleepy stragglers, which are usually no larger than a human thumb. Speaking of wildlife, be on the lookout for two or three varieties of trout in the caverns streams. Trout play a large part in the history of Linville Caverns when, sometime in the 1800s,

a group of men discovered the caverns while trying to find where the fish in their streams originated. The caverns are actually three levels and tourists are only allowed on the middle one. The lowest is the water level where streams meander at visitors’ feet. The upper level is honeycombed with flow stone, a slick, glass-like form of limestone, which is too fragile to stand on. One section is so perfectly horizontal, slick and flat, tour guides refer to it as the “ballroom floor. “To make sure nobody gets on the ballroom floor, we have a guardian that watches over it to keep people out of there,” tour guide Ronnie Davis said, pointing his flashlight towards a rock formation resembling an alligator. Like cloud watching, visitors can make a game out trying to match a formation with an animal or famous person. A hint: George Washington lurks somewhere in Linville Caverns as well as a mysterious figure known as “Mr. Bones.” The history of Linville Caverns is as fascinating as its many exotic rock formations. Civil War soldiers used the caves to hide from enemy troops. Traces of campfires still exist in the cavern’s central chambers. Unfortunately, smoke from the fires eventually made it out of the mountainside and soldiers thinking they had found the perfect hideout often discovered their fatal mistake too late. In 1937, the caverns were open for commercial touring by John Q. Gilkey — one of the larger chambers is still named after him. Thomas Edison once sent a team of explorers to the caverns hoping to find platinum — an element once thought vital in the production of incandescent lamps. Although his team found no platinum, the variety of gems in the caverns sparked more interest in North Carolina’s geological variety and helped establish it as “The Gem State.” Near the end of the tour, the caverns open to a “bottomless lake.” Several years ago, when its owners tried to gauge the lake’s depth, their measuring device stopped at its limit: 250 feet. Visitors can stand on a metal bridge and gaze deep into the

Zipping Along T

Stalactites, stalagmites and bats are all part of the Linville Caverns experience.

clear water thanks to powerful, underwater lighting. People suffering from claustrophobia should know that part of the tour includes the extinguishing of the cave lights to demonstrate what total darkness is like. While most of the passages are easy to navigate, a few earn the moniker “fat man’s squeeze.” Visitors should dress warmly and always watch for low hanging rocks. Examples of the caverns many minerals as well as other native North Carolina gems can be found in the gift shop after the tour. Linville Caverns is located just off scenic U.S. 221 between the towns of Linville and Marion, just four miles south of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Parkway travelers should take the Linville Falls Village exit and head south on US 221. From Boone: Stay on US-105. It will turn into US-221. Head south on 221 for 14 mile and pass through the Linville Falls community. The caverns entrance will be on the right. Hours from June to Labor Day are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Admission is $7 for adults; $5 for children 5-12; $5.50 for seniors 62 and older. Children under 5 are free with a paid adult admission. Group rates are also available. For more information, call 800-419-0540 or log on to www. —Story by Jason Reagan

Get a line on a new adventure

o say the High Country is famous for its outdoor activities is an understatement. The area is often featured in national publications and regularly finds its way onto various publications’ top-10 lists of outdoor activity areas. So, just when you think the hiking, biking, climbing, biking, rafting, skiing, snowboarding and various other activities are enough, it’s time to add one more ... zipping. As in zip lining that is. This new adventure offers people the chance to zip across the mountains at speeds up to 50 miles per hour. So, who opened this business and exactly how does it work? Scream Time Zipline opened its door in 2007 and is located behind Skateworld off of U.S. 421 in Vilas. The business is the brainchild of Monie McCoury. “I just looked at these beautiful mountains and thought it would be a perfect place to add another adventure to what we already have here,” said McCoury. “I thought it would be a great, exciting way to enjoy the mountains.” McCoury said that the business was on the drawing board for seven years, a time during which McCoury said he looked around North Carolina and Tennessee for the right spot. Once he settled on a location, it was time for the adventure to begin. For those interested in trying this activity for themselves,

here’s how it works. The first step involves going over safety procedures and the signing of release forms. Customers are then outfitted with harnesses similar to those used in rock climbing. Trained staff assist customers in this process before they are transported to the zipline course, courtesy of Pinzgauers, which were originally used in the Swiss Army, according to McCoury. Once there, it’s time to do some zipping. The zipping comes in the form of a series of six cable lines, which transport the customers across the mountain. The shortest line in the sixline series is 460 feet, while the longest is 800 feet. However, McCoury does offer the Super Zip, a line that stretches out to 2,000 feet. “We are very committed to safety,” said McCoury. “All of our lines were installed to the Professional Ropes Course Association Canopy Tour installation standards. We meet or exceed the safety standards of the challenge course industry in terms of design, construction and operations.” “We take care of everything so that the customer can just come out and have fun,” said McCoury. “It’s a great new adventure for people to enjoy.” To contact Scream Time Zipline, call (828) 898-5404 or go to CONTINUED ON PAGE 123

The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide



Just a Little Taste of the Past 1087-3 Main Street Blowing Rock, NC 28605




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Summer 2009 Calendar June 11 - 14

• Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show (828) 295-4700 June 13 • Art in the Park, (800) 295-7851 July 4 • Independence Day Parade (828) 295-5222 July 4 • Fireworks Extravaganza (800) 526-5740 July 18 • Art in the Park (800) 295-7851 July 24 • Symphony by the Lake at Chetola (800) 295-7851 July 24 • St. Mary’s Tour of Homes (828) 295-7323 July 22 – Aug. 2 • Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show (828) 295-4700 July 30 – Aug 2 • Celebration of Art and Antiques II (828) 295-9099 August 15 • Art in the Park (800) 295-7851 September 12 • Art in the Park (800) 295-7851

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Shoppes of Watership



828-295-7851 • 800-295-7851







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The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide













155 Sunset Drive Blowing Rock



de Provence et d’ ailleurs



The MounTain TiMes’ suMMer Guide



Races step up across the High Country

RacEs • RacEs • RacEs 2nd Annual Beech Mountain A Cool 5:

Distance: 5k When: June 6- Race begins at 9 a.m. Location: Beech Mountain Parks and Recreation Cost: $25 early registration before includes t-shirt and socks after May 15 is $30.

Run for Life 5K:

Distance: 5k When: July 18- Race begins at 8 a.m. Location: Ashe County High School Cost: Pre-registration- $15, Race day- $20

Walk Don’t Work 5K:

Participants battled each other, and the challenging climb in elevation, during the annual running of The Bear at Grandfather Mountain last July. Photo by Mark Mitchell


ummer is finally here, and now is the time to enjoy the great weather that the High Country has to offer. This summer try not to let your car do all the traveling. Take advantage of the beautiful, sunny days by enjoying the fresh air through running. Running sounds like a grandiose task. And typically on vacation people travel to relax, but after speaking with local runners around the High Country area, it can be a means to enhance your relaxation. During your visit to the area, check out some road races. It usually begins with a 5K. Running 3 miles might seem like a long distance, but in only a few weeks a person unfamiliar to distance running can finish a mile in no time. Matt Hollifield a runner from Spruce Pine, said that the best way to lengthen your distance is by easing your way into running by creating a walk-run interval. “Begin with a 5-minute walk with 30 seconds running and 30 seconds walking,” he said. “Jog for 30 seconds and walk for 30 seconds and do that for 20 minutes.” Interval training is said to be the best way to train for long distance runs. According to Kristen Wolfe Bieler, a writer for Runners World, anyone can be ready to run a 5k in five weeks by running 3-4 times per week. Hollifield said if people can work their intervals up to 30 seconds on and

30 seconds off for 30 minutes, they are ready to run. But most people try to push themselves to hard the first day rendering them useless for days. “Shorten your walking time if you feel comfortable, but don’t overdue the running because you won’t be able to complete the workout,” he said. “Beginning runners don’t need to start out so quick, and they do not need to be afraid to walk.” Running has many health benefits. It helps strengthen the heart, increase blood flow, releases endorphins and not to mention keeps the body fat trim. Hollifield said, “I run so I can eat what I want.” But he has seen tremendous health benefits from running. He is now more in tune with his body and its needs. “It’s made me aware of my heart and my heart health,” he said. “And it helps manage my stress tremendously not to mention it’s a quick way to burn calories. His love for running caused him to form annual races in Spruce Pine, “It helps build community and it helps get people to your small town,” he said. “It brings people in and the community benefits.” Some final advice from Hollifield, “Set a goal for yourself. Once you sign up for a 5k it keeps you motivated to keep running.” —Tiffany Allison

Distance: 5k When: June 8, 2009 Location: Boone Cost: N/A Contact: Pamela Graham- (828) 262-7926

Leprechaun Leap:

Location: City of Lenoir Greenway Cost: Pre-registration-$15, Race day $20

The Bear:

Distance: 5 mile run When: July 9, 7 p.m. Location: Linville Cost: $25

The Grandfather Mountain Marathon:

Distance: 26 miles When: Saturday, July 11, 7 a.m. Location: The marathon begins at Kidd Brewer Stadium on the campus of Appalachian State University in Boone and ends on Grandfather Mountain in Linville during the Highland Games. Cost: $65 More info: gmminfo.htm or e-mail weaverjt@

Distance: 5k When: March 14- Race begins at 9 a.m.

Juliana Haizlip, 4, holds her sign high as she cheers for her father, Tom Haizlip, during The Bear at Grandfather Mountain. Photo by Mark Mitchell

The MounTain TiMes’ suMMer Guide



ombine beautiful settings, breathtaking views, wondrous wildlife and the serene sights and sounds of nature and you discover the perfect environment in which to refresh and renew. In other words, you discover the perfect ambiance to set up camp. Those components, and this opportunity, exist right here in the High Country and in the Western North Carolina region as well. Whether you prefer a no-frills camping excursion, or one which involves a semblance of luxury (bathrooms, etc.), a multitude of camping opportunities are there for the taking in the area. Before heading out into the great outdoors, however, let’s make sure everyone’s prepared. While not a complete list, having the items listed below will aid the enjoyment of your camping outing.

Camping Checklist

• Properly-fitted and broken in footwear • A complete first-aid kit • Flashlight or headlamp with supply of fresh batteries • A compass and map • A pocket knife • Waterproof container with enclosed matches • Abundant clothing • Abundant food • Supply of toilet paper and other toiletry essentials • A tarp to repel water from camp site Now, that you are prepared, a discussion on responsible camping is in order. The following are a few guidelines to make sure a peaceful cooperation between humans and nature exist.

Camping Etiquette • Whenever possible, use existing campsites. Camp on durable surfaces and place tents on a non-vegetated area. Do not dig trenches around tents. • Camp a least 200 feet from water, trails, and other campsites. • Pack out what you pack in. Carry a trash bag and pick up litter left by others. • Repackage snacks and food in baggies. This reduces weight and the amount of trash to carry out. • For cooking, consider using a camp stove instead of a campfire. Camp stoves leave less of an impact on the land. • Observe all fire restrictions. If you must build a fire—use existing fire rings, build a mound fire, or use a fire pan. Use only fallen timber for campfires. Do not cut standing trees. Clear a 10foot diameter area around the site by removing any grass, twigs, leaves and extra firewood. Also make sure there aren’t any tree limbs or flammable objects hanging overhead. • Allow the wood to burn down to a fine ash, if possible. Pour water on the fire and drown all embers until the hissing sound stops. Stir the campfire ashes and embers until everything is wet and cold to the touch. If you don’t have water, use dirt. • Detergents, toothpaste and soap harm fish and other aquatic life. Wash 200 feet away from streams and lakes. Scatter gray water so it filters through the soil. • In areas without toilets, use a portable latrine if possible, and pack out your waste. If you don’t have a portable latrine, you may need to bury your waste. Human waste should be disposed of in a shallow hole six to eight inches deep at least 200 feet from water sources, campsites, or trails. Cover and disguise the hole with natural materials. It is recommended to pack out your toilet paper. Finally, let’s take a tour of the area’s campgrounds to find the perfect place for your camping destination.

PubliC CAmPGrounds


Area offers full-service and primitive sites

Julian Price Park Located along the Blue Ridge Parkway around milepost 297, Julian Price Park hosts 3,900 acres of campgrounds, picnic grounds, hiking trails, trout fishing and nature walks. Canoe and boat rentals are also available. It features 129 tent sites and 68 recreational vehicle spots. Restroom facilities are available but there are no showers or electrical hookups. The campground also has a 300-seat outdoor amphitheater that is used for demonstrations and discussions. Call (828) 295-7591

linville Falls Campground Although one of the smallest campgrounds, it is still one of the most popular. It is also located along the Blue Ridge Parkway near milepost 316 and is maintained by the National Park Service. Species of rhododendron, hardwood and white pines enables campers to find the ideal amount of sunlight and shade. It features 70 sites on a firstcome, first-serve basis. There are no showers or electrical hookups, but it has water spigots, dump stations and flush toilets. Call (828) 765-2681 for more details.

new river state Park

The placid water of New River offers bass fishing and trout stream. Canoeing is a way to soak in the experience at New River State Park. With over 1,700 acres, each spot is a canoe-in area that provides picnic tables and fire pits. There are 33 tent camping sites over three locations. The US 221 area is composed of 15 sites. The Alleghany area can only be accessed by canoe and has nine sites with pit toilets. The Wagoneer Rd. has nine walk-in camping sites and contains shower houses and bathrooms. Campers must register with the ranger at the US 221 AND Wagoneer Rd. locations. Call (336) 982-2587.

Honey bear Campground

Conveniently located off of Highway 105 near Blowing Rock and Banner Elk, campers can find themselves in the heart of the High Country. It has wooded campsites, a small fishing pond and a hiking trail. Amenities include showers and toilets, RV full hookups and laundry facilities. It is in close proximity to local summer festivals, Grandfather Mountain and Tweetsie Railroad. For more information, call (828) 963-4586,

Pisgah national Forest

Pisgah National Forest Grandfather District includes 402,560 acres of Wilson Creek Area, Brown Mountain Area, Mackay Mountain Backcountry, Tablerock Area and Linville Gorge. Three campgrounds lie within the Pisgah National Forest territory The Mortimer, Boone Fork and the Curtis Creek campsites. All of them have pit toilets and portable drinking water. With plenty of land, there is plenty to do. Do anything from hiking, backpacking, rock climbing and camping to fishing, swimming, horseback riding and biking. Plus, the Pisgah National Forest is filled with stunning scenery of mountains, trails and streams. Call the National Forests in North Carolina at (828)257-4200.

others Bear Den Family Campground: Blue Ridge Parkway, milepost 324.8. 600 Bear Den Mountain Rd., Spruce Pine, NC 28777. (828) 765-2888. Boone KOA Campground:123 Harmony Mountain Ln., Boone, NC 28607. (828) 264-7250. Flintlock Family Campground:171 Flintlock Campground Dr., Boone, NC 28607. (828) 963-5325. www.flintlock Grandfather Mountain Campground: P.O. Drawer 2060, Boone, NC 28607. (828) 963-7275. Greenfield Campground: 1795 Mt. Jefferson Road, West Jefferson, NC 28694. (336) 246-9106 Vanderpool High Country Campground: 120 Campground Road , Vilas, NC 28692. (828) 297-3486 River Camp USA: PO Box 9, Piney Creek, NC 28663. 1-800RIVERCAMP (748-3722) Zaloos Canoes: 3874 N.C. Hwy 16 South, Jefferson, NC 28640. (336) 246-3066, or 800-535-4027.

—Mark Mitchell


The MounTain TiMes’ suMMer Guide



Reaching more than 6,000 in elevation, the mountains of the High Country provide some of the finest hiking in the eastern United States. The mountains offer an abundance of beautiful scenery, including rivers, waterfalls, rocky cliffs and grassy meadows. While walking in the southern Appalachians, you can see a wide variety of plant and animal life. Local forests have a diverse selection of deciduous and evergreen trees, and deer and other wildlife are plentiful. There are numerous trails in the vicinity of Boone and Blowing Rock, ranging from short easy pathways to more rugged mountain trails. One of my own favorite hiking routes is not listed in most guides to hiking the High Country. The route begins at the Blue Ridge Parkway, follows an old roadbed and the Mountains-toSea Trail, and ends at the summit of Rich Mountain in Moses Cone Park. Most of the route is of easy-to-moderate difficulty, with a couple of short steep sections that are more strenuous. A roundtrip to the summit is over five miles in length and takes approximately three hours. To reach the trailhead, take Highway 321 to the Blue Ridge Parkway and head south. After travelling about four miles, you will pass Sims Pond Overlook on your left. A few hundred feet south of Sims Pond, at Parkway Milepost 296, is a gravel road on your right. The road, a section of the Old Johns River Road, is gated and has a sign reading “Don’t Block Gate.” Since the road is occasionally used by ranchers who herd cattle in nearby pastures, it is important to obey the sign and not park directly in front of the gate. There is enough room at the edge of the road to park a couple of vehicles, and the nearby Sims Pond Overlook provides ample additional parking. Walking down the Old Johns River Road, you soon leave behind the noise of parkway traffic. After a few hundred feet the road forks, and the graveled road turns to the right and ends in a clearing, while the Old Johns River Road turns slightly to the left and continues as a dirt roadbed. On the left side of the roadbed are fenced-in pastures and a nice profile view of Grandfather Mountain in the distance. The old dirt road makes for an easy stroll and is a very popular place for dog owners to walk their leashed pets. About half a mile down the road is a small clearing on the left-hand side with a single picnic table that provides a nice setting for an outdoor lunch. Continuing onward for another quarter of a mile, the roadbed ends at a small creek bridged by a beaver dam. The dam has created a small swampy meadow with scattered dead trees, and throughout late summer and fall the meadow is filled with a variety of wildflowers. A footpath leads across the top of the beaver dam and to the other side of the creek, where the roadbed resumes and turns to the left. About a quarter of a mile beyond the beaver dam is a small marker on the left side of the road indicating that the roadbed is now part of the North Carolina Mountains-to-Sea Trail, a series of footpaths that stretch from the Great Smoky Mountains to the Outer Banks. On the right side of the road opposite the marker, the Mountains-to-Sea Trail (MST) goes up the bank via three wooden steps and enters the forest. Although this section of the MST is not marked with color blazes, the trail is well-maintained and easy to follow. For approximately three-quarters of a mile the trail leads through a heavily wooded forest. This portion of the trail is especially beautiful, for numerous ferns, lichens and mosses provide various shades of green. The latter half of this section is a bit steep, but the trail eventually levels out, crosses through an opening in a fence, and then turns to the right to emerge onto Shulls Mill Road.


Miles of trails cut through the area

Once you reach Shulls Mill Road, turn to the right and walk about 200 feet where you will see a marker indicating the point where the MST crosses the road. The bank on the other side of the road is quite steep. Embedded in the bank is a tree trunk with narrow notched steps, and you may find a walking stick helpful in navigating the steps. At the top of the bank the trail enters a deciduous forest. The ground is covered with acorns, so it is not unusual to see deer in this section of woods. The acorns and dead leaves can make it difficult to discern the trail, which winds uphill for about half a mile before coming to a wooden stile that leads over a fence. On the other side of the fence is one of Moses Cone Memorial Park’s gravel carriage paths, used by both hikers and horseback riders. By turning left and following the carriage path uphill, you soon come to an open pasture with Rich Mountain to your right. A wooden marker notes that the mountain is one mile away, but this distance refers to travel along the numerous concentric circles of a horse path to the summit. Since you are on foot, you can walk straight towards the summit along an open footpath, and within 10 minutes you will be standing on the top of Rich Mountain, which offers scenic views to both the west and the east. After you have rested and enjoyed the scenery, retrace your steps and descend back down to the Parkway.

A CAtAloGuE of ArEA trAils

Blue ridge Parkway trails

Description: Trails located along the Blue Ridge Parkway offer hikers just about any level of trekking their hearts might desire. Some of the trails are long and challenging, others are short loops leading to waterfalls or scenic vistas. For more information, phone (828) 295-7591 or (828) 295-3782 • Doughton Park Trails: Doughton Park, located in Ashe County near Laurel Springs, has over 30 miles of hiking trails ranging from modest strolls to daylong outings. Some examples include: Bluff Mountain Trail: 7.5 miles, moderate; Cedar Ridge Trail: 4.4 miles, strenuous; Grassy Gap Fire Road: 6.5 miles, easy (horses allowed); Basin Creek Trail: 6.6 miles, moderate; Fodder Stack Trail: 2 miles, moderate. Milepost 241. Call (336) 372-8568 for trail maps. • The Cascades Trail: One of the Blue Ridge Parkway’s most scenic trails—and one of its easiest—this 0.5 mile turn-around leads to the scenic Cascades waterfalls. It begins at the Cascades parking lot, about three miles north of Deep Gap, Milepost 271.9 • Moses Cone Carriage Trails: Easy to moderate. The Moses Cone Park includes 25 miles of gently sloping carriage trails of varying lengths, available to hikers,

joggers, horseback riders and cross-country skiers. Most trails begin near the Moses Cone Manor, Milepost 294.0 • Green Knob Trail: Starting at Sims Pond (Milepost 295), this moderate 2.4 mile trail winds along a stream through rhododendron forest, then changes scenery to climb up along a ridgeline. • Boone Fork Trail: A moderate/strenuous loop leading through deep woods and along a cascading river of 4.9 miles in length. The trailhead is located in the Price Park Picnic Area, Milepost 296.5 • Price Lake Trail: An easy trail leading around scenic Price Lake for 2.7 miles. Trailhead is at Price Lake parking area, Milepost 297.0. • Tanawha Trail: This trail, 13 miles in length, can be started at either the Price Park Campground, in Blowing Rock, or at the Linn Cove Viaduct’s parking lot, at Grandfather Mountain (Milepost 305.5). From north to south, it’s a bit of a climb but more moderate from south to north. • Linn Cove Viaduct Access Trail: The world-famous Linn Cove Viaduct, an engineering masterpiece, can best be seen from this trail, which begins at the Linn Cove Visitor Center, Milepost 304.4. The trail actually travels underneath the bridge, giving hikers an unparalleled view of this unique construction project. The trail is handicapped accessible for part of the way, and is a relatively easy stroll, but does link up with other challenging trails. • Beacon Heights: A short hike gives you access to great views of Grandfather, the Linville Falls area, Hawksbill, and Table Rock. A nice place to hang out in the sun. Milepost 305.2 • Linville Falls Trails: Several trails begin at the Linville Falls Visitor Center, in Linville Falls. All less than a mile in length, some lead to the top of the falls while two lead to the bottom of Linville Falls. All are recommended, although the lower falls trails can be a bit strenuous. Milepost 316.4 • Linville River Bridge Trail: This very short trail takes you down to the Linville River underneath one of the oldest old arched stone bridges on the Parkway. Picnic tables, restrooms, and water are all available. Going North on the Parkway, take a left towards the Linville picnic area and another left just before entering the picnic area. Milepost 316.5 • Chestoa View Loop Trail: A little over a half a mile long, this trail gives you a great view of Table Rock. Milepost 320.8 • Crabtree Falls Trail: A strenuous 2.6 mile loop which leads to both the bottom and top of Crabtree Falls. This trail begins and ends in the Crabtree Falls Campground’s parking area, near Little Switzerland, Milepost 339.5 • Other Trails: Several small trails of varying difficulty dot the Parkway south past the Linn Cove Viaduct. For a listing of mileposts and trail lengths, call the Gillespie Gap ranger office at (828) 765-6082.

Grandfather Mountain trails

Grandfather Mountain, one of the tallest and most rugged in the Eastern United States, is crisscrossed with well maintained trails, most of them for experienced hikers. Some lead into Grandfather’s deep woods, but most scale cliffs that can sometimes be dizzying in height. Always carry water, food and a trail map and wear sturdy boots. Permits are required for trail access, and hikers are strongly advised to exercise caution in case of thunderstorms or other adverse weather conditions. The state of North Carolina is in the process of acquiring portions of Grandfather Mountain, including the hiking trails, as part of a newly proposed state park. The acquisition process is expected to be completed sometime in 2009, at which time hiking the Grandfather Mountain trails CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE 


Hit the Trail

Continued From Page 30

should become free of charge. For further information, including the current status of the proposed state park, phone (828) 7332013 or (828) 737-0833, send an e-mail to hiking@grandfather. com or look online at Park Side Trails • The Bridge Trail: Grandfather’s newest trail begins at the Black Rock Parking Area and meanders through forested areas, eventually traveling underneath the Mile High Swinging Bridge. An easy 30 minute walk. • Black Rock Nature Trail: This self-guided nature trail begins in the parking lot just below Grandfather’s Swinging Bridge and is good for beginning hikers. It’s a 1.0 mile turnaround through the forests of this majestic mountain. Offers an excellent view. Crest Trails • Grandfather Trail: This is the big one! It begins at Grandfather Mountain’s Mile High Swinging Bridge and eventually hits all of Grandfather’s three highest peaks. This 2.4 mile trail requires approximately 5 hours of hiking time to travel the entire length. It’s extremely rugged, with only wooden ladders making some sheer cliff faces accessible. It intersects with several other trails at its northern terminus. • Underwood Trail: 0.5 mile bypass around McRae Peak that lets hikers avoid ladders and/or severe weather on the peak. Strenuous and rocky. West Side Trails • Profile Trail: 2.7 miles. The lower part of the trail is an easy out-and-back leg stretcher, but the upper section is fairly strenuous. Links with Calloway Trail. The trailhead is located near the Shoppes of Tynecastle on Highway 105 in Banner

The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide Elk. • Calloway Trail: 0.3 mile strenuous trail that links the Profile Trail (at Shanty Spring) and the Grandfather Trail (at Calloway Gap) • Bottom-to-Top Linked Trail Outing: Profile Trail (2.7 miles) to Calloway Trail (0.3 mile) to Grandfather Trail (2.4 miles) Very strenuous – an all day outing for serious hikers only. East Side Trails • Daniel Boone Scout Trail: Strenuous. Ascends 2,000 feet in just 2.6 miles (allow 4.5 hours for round trip). Recommended access is from the Boone Fork Parking Area via the Tanawha Trail. Strenuous and steep trail to Calloway Peak, the highest point in the Blue Ridge. • Nuwati Trail: 1.2 miles, easy but rocky. Located 0.4 miles on Tanawha Trail from Boone Fork Parking Area. • Cragway Trail: Rocky and strenuous trail that links Nuwati and Daniel Boone Scout Trails. 1.0 mile. • Asutsi Trail: 0.4 mile. An easy connecting trail from Hwy 221 at Serenity Farm to Boone Fork Footbridge. Provides winter access to the East Side Trails.


At present, permits are required for hiking all Grandfather Mountain trails and are available at the following locations: At Grandfather Mountain: Grandfather Mountain Main Entrance, U.S. 221, Linville. Closest to Profile Trail: Exxon-McDonald’s complex, Jct. of N.C 105 and N.C 184; Foscoe Fishing Co. and Outfitters in Tynecastle; Edge of the World Outfitters, Banner Elk; Seven Devils Trading Company, N.C. 105 in Foscoe. Closest to Nuwati and Daniel Boone Scout Trails: Grandfather Mountain Market, Jct. U.S. 221 and Holloway Mtn.


Road; Footsloggers in Blowing Rock. Other Area Outlets: Footsloggers, 139 S.Depot St., Boone; Mast General Store Annex, N.C. 194 Valle Crucis; Mast General Store in Boone.

Costs for Grandfather Mountain Hiking

Permits, Annual Passes & Park Day Passes: • Individual Adult ... $5/day • Individual Child (4-12 yrs.) ... $3/day • Individual Annual Pass ... $30.00 Per-Person • Group Annual Pass (To Six Hikers) ... $60 • Group Annual Pass (Entire Mtn) ... $120 • Adult Park Day Pass (13-&-older) ... $12 • Child Park Day Pass (4-to-12) ... $6

Linville Gorge Trails

Here is a list of some of the more popular and longer trails in the Gorge area (although many interconnect to make longer hikes). Be forewarned, the Linville Gorge Wilderness is one of the most remote, rugged wilderness areas in the entire Eastern United States. Trails are marked at the trailhead, but are not signed or blazed once inside the wilderness. Make sure you know how to read a topographical map and use a compass. Some trails include crossings of the Linville River--exercise extreme caution when crossing moving water. Hikers, campers, and rock climbers get lost within this wilderness area annually, and deaths are not uncommon. Contact the U.S. Forest Service office in Marion for maps, permits, information on other trails, and safety details. Permits are required for overnight outings. CONTINUED ON PAGE 96


The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide



The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide


The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide


from Mountain City, TN


Vintage Valle Crucis

Visit a National Register of Historic Places Community est. 1842 A haven for travelers since the 1800s,

from Elizabethton, TN

Valle Crucis, a National Rural Historic District, offers shops, beautiful bed and breakfast inns, delicious cuisine, rustic cabins, horseback riding, adventure and more.

Inn at Little Pond Farm

Mast Gap Road


Little Red School House ca. 1907

Dutch Creek Trails St. John’s Church

ca. 1880 828-297-7117

ca. 1858

Valle Landing

Original Mast General Store

Valle Crucis Log Cabin Valle Café

Est. 1883 828-963-6511

Watauga River Road

Rentals & Sales 828-963-7774


Taylor House Inn ca. 1910 800-963-5581

Baird House

Mast Farm Inn

Est. 1842

Lazy Bear Lodge

Lodging & Restaurant ca. 1812 888-963-5857

Bed & Breakfast ca. 1790 800-297-1342

Valle Crucis Conference Center

Mast Store Annex

Outfitters & Candy Barrel ca. 1909 828-963-6511

Valle Crucis

from Banner Elk

Bed & Breakfast 828-963-2525

Bed & Breakfast 828-963-9201

Dewitt Barnett Road

Valle Crucis Community Web Directory

River & Earth Adventures 866-411-RAFT

Mountainside Lodge B&B 877-687-4333

Just 5 miles South of Boone

Mark Your Calendars

r ive r

from Banner Elk & Linville

Broadstone Road


Summer Camp & Retreat Center 828-963-4640


For Info: 828-963-6511

Camp Broadstone


Oct. 17th Valle Country Fair Oct. 24th Valle Crucis Punkin Festival Nov. 27th–Dec. 24th Christmas in the Valley Dec. 6th 4th Annual Valle Crucis Fireside Tour


Baird House – Camp Broadstone – Dutch Creek Trails – Inn at Little Pond Farm – Lazy Bear Lodge – Mast Farm Inn – Mast General Store – Mountainside Lodge B & B – River & Earth Adventures – Taylor House Inn – Valle Café – Valle Crucis Bed & Breakfast – ValleCrucisLogCabinRentals&Sales –

from Boone


The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide



hen the exhilaration of ski and snowboard season is finally exhausted, and the slopes become indistinguishable from mud puddles, adrenaline junkies and outdoor enthusiasts must find new modes of entertainment. One of the most popular outlets for those who thrive on excitement and the beauty of nature stems from the abundant rivers that populate the High Country. White water rafting reaches its prime in the spring and summer in the Blue Ridge Mountains, with area rivers boasting some of the best rapids on the East Coast. Beginners, moderate enthusiasts and experts alike can find rivers and rapids to match their skill level all within driving distance of the Boone, Blowing Rock area. Rapids and conditions depend largely upon the weather and time of year. The best, largest rapids occur after heavy rainfall in the early spring months, March through May, when the water levels are high. The white water season however lasts until the end of October. Several companies maintain their base of operations in Watauga County. Each company offers a variety of trips to accommodate different skill levels and duration of adventures desired. Modes of gliding down the river are also plentiful. Depending upon desired level of excitement or leisure, vehicles of transport can be chosen accordingly.

Rafting The most common way to experience white water, rafting can be enjoyed by both seasoned veterans and novices. Rafts can be taken down the gentlest of rivers or class VI rapids. Guides take the fear of navigating the river out of the experience, so riders can sit back and enjoy the water and beauty of the banks. Most guides also are knowledgeable of the area and can answer questions or just provide good conversation.


A funyak resembles an inflatable kayak crossed with a canoe. Self-bailing, funyaks are slightly less intimidating than traditional kayaks, but give the rider more control over direction and speed than do river rafts. Funyaks can be one or two-seaters, and are motored and steered by a traditional kayak paddle. Funyaks are perfect for moderate rapids or leisurely floats down pristine rivers.

Canoeing and Tubing For water lovers who desire a relaxing and intimate connection with the rivers of the area, canoeing or tubing is the way to go. The relaxing pace of canoeing allows paddlers to fully experience the views and scenery of the Blue Ridge. Likewise, tubing is the calmest and most fool-proof way to soak in the glory of Mountain Rivers; the only requirement is keeping your body on the tube.

The Rivers The New River is a historic and beautiful staple of the High Country. Holding the title of second oldest river in the world, second only to the Nile, the New predates even the Appalachian Mountains themselves. Calm and free-flowing, the New River is perfect for tubing and canoeing. Tranquility is the defining characteristic, with views of pastoral fields and farmlands from the slow moving water. Another interesting fact about the New is the direction that it flows, from the Blue Ridge north into Virginia and West Virginia, differing from the other local rivers which generally take a course of east to west or west to east. Although there are no notable rapids on the New River in the North Carolina section, the water becomes much more turbulent as it enters West Virginia, providing excellent white water conditions. The Watauga River contains several sections of noteworthy rapids and white water. Originating on the slopes of Grandfather Mountain, the Watauga flows down through Foscoe and Valley Crucis before hitting the Watauga Gorge and subsequently the Watauga Dam, the structure responsible for creating Lake Watauga. The section of river flowing behind Valley Crucis is perfect for a lazy day of tubing, with class I and II waters. Further down, the Watauga Gorge is a popular class IV-V

Aquatic ADventures Have some fun on the water

rapid that attracts expert kayakers. The portion of the Watauga proceeding the Lake is a popular spot for white water day trips, offering class III and IV rapids, perfect for families. The Nolichucky River is one of the most popular rafting destinations in the area, containing both white water rapids and calm water. Initiated by tributaries draining from the peak of Mount Mitchell, the river runs between the boarder of North Carolina and Tennessee until it joins the French Broad at Douglass Lake. The rapids range from Class I-IV, including the Quarter Mile, well-known for its title as longest lasting rapid in the Southeast. Surrounded by towering rock faces, the river flows through one of the deepest gorges in the eastern United States. The views are some of the best around, with luscious foliage including hardwood forests, rhododendron and mountain laurel.

offers class I and II rapids as well as great trout, small mouth bass, and catfish fishing. Near the Virginia boarder, the South and North Forks of the New River merge, doubling the width as it moves further North. In Ashe and Alleghany counties, the river flows through a 26-mile stretch known as The New River State Park, which features several canoe-in only campsites as well as several picnic areas. Two convenient put-ins are the Wagoner Access off of Hwy 88 and the US 221 put-in off of US 221, both located north of Jefferson. Beyond this the river flows through Virginia, growing steadily in size. As the river moves north into West Virginia, the water becomes more intense and rapids increase to class III and IV’s in the New River Gorge area. CONTINUED ON PAGE 81


In the

The MounTain TiMes’ suMMer Guide


High Country Saddle

Looking to put a little horsepower into your vacation? The High Country offers many options for horseback riding ranging from the first-time rider to families who prefer to bring their own horse along. Guided trail rides are offered at three different locations in the High Country. Banner Elk Stables and Dutch Creek Trails in Valle Crucis offer guided trail rides lasting one hour to one hour and fifteen minutes long. Trail riders should wear long pants and closed-toe shoes. Banner Elk Stables are open seven days a week with riding from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Children should be at least five to six years of age, depending on their size. Young children’s horses are often lead by the guide to ensure a smooth, gentle experience. Weight and height are factors for adult riders. If there are concerns, this should be discussed while making a reservation. Reservations are required and should be made at least two to three days in advance. For more information visit www. or call (828) 898-5424. Banner Elk Stables are located at 796 Shumaker Road in Banner Elk. Dutch Creek Trails are open for guided trail rides Monday through Saturday, closed on Sundays. Rides are scheduled at 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Children must be at least six years old and horses can be lead for youngsters. Helmets are available. There is no weight limit on passengers. Reservations are highly recommended and should be made two days in advance. Dutch Creek Trails are located at 3287 N.C. 194 South in Sugar Grove, just past the original Valle Crucis Mast General Store. Dutch Creek Trails also features resident Cowboy Poet Keith Ward to delight visitors with tales and humor. For more information visit or call (828) 297-7117. Leatherwood Mountains offers guided trail rides for day visitors, but also provides nightly stall rentals for guests of the horse enthusiast paradise. The guided trail rides are available seven days a week, weather permitting, by reservation only. Guided trail rides end at 3 p.m. Children must be at least eight years of age and there is a passenger weight limit of 225 pounds. Leatherwood Mountains resort and development, located in Furgeson, features cabin rentals and camping. The facility features 60 stalls to house horses for guests. A show arena and round pen are available for guest use. The trail system consists of 75 miles ranging from easy, wide forest paths to more rugged, mountain trails. The trails are well marked and mapped. For those looking for a day ride, the trails are open for visitors with a $10 parking fee per trailer. Users are not charged per horse. Guests of the resort or trails must show negative coggins papers. For more information visit www.leatherwoodmountains. com or call (336) 973-5044. Moses Cone Memorial Park near Blowing Rock on the Blue Ridge Parkway offers the public 25 miles of trails. The trails are multi-use. Horses must share the trails with joggers and hikers. There is no charge to use the trails. For more information call Moses Cone Memorial Park at (828) 295-3782. —Story and photos by Melanie Marshall

Laura King of Raleigh returns from a guided trail ride at Dutch Creek Trails.

Carolina is one of two mules that carry riders at Dutch Creek Trails. Owner Keith Ward said she is one of the most steady animals for first-time riders. Bobbie Bingham of Greensboro feeds Cole an apple of thanks after her guided trail ride at Dutch Creek Trails in Valle Crucis.

The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide


State & Local PARKS

Among the many attractions of the High Country, some of the best all-around destinations for enjoying the natural beauty of the area are state and local parks. Whether you are looking for quiet relaxation, outdoor activities such as hiking and swimming, sporting areas, playgrounds, or a good place to picnic, make sure you take a break from touring at one of the parks.

STATE & NATIONAL PARKS Mount Jefferson State Park

Covering 539 acres, Ashe County’s Mount Jefferson State Park is relatively undeveloped, but offers many adventures for hikers who are interested in enjoying some of the High Country’s most scenic trails, including the Rhododendron Trail. The park includes several picnic tables, each with a fantastic view of the surrounding three states (NC, VA & TN), along with numerous points of interest for naturalists, botanists and birders. Call (336) 246-9653.

New River State Park Located in two NC counties (Ashe and Alleghany), this 26mile stretch of the New River has been designated as a National Wildlife & Scenic River area. The park offers great canoeing, and numerous spots for picnicking, fishing and tubing. Two campgrounds are located inside the park, specifically designed for “canoe camping.” Call (336) 982-2587.

Julian Price Memorial Park Located at milepost 297 on the Blue Ridge Parkway, this park is the largest of the parkway’s many recreational facilities. Julian Price Park features numerous hiking trails varying in length and difficulty, a camping area, picnic grounds and canoe rentals. During the summer, interpretive programs are also often held in Price Park Amphitheater. Call (828) 963-5911.

Moses H. Cone Memorial Park

Located near Julian Price Park at milepost 294 on the Blue Ridge Parkway, this beautiful 3,600 acre park features the splendid Cone Manor House, erected at the turn of the century. The previous home of the Cone family now houses an official Blue Ridge Parkway craft and information center that is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. until November 30. The grounds also include numerous trails for hiking and horseback riding, streams and lakes and several historic orchards that are in the process of being partially restored. Call (828) 295-7938.

Doughton Park Over 30 miles of hiking trails criss-cross Doughton Park, ranging from modest strolls to all-day outings. Horse trails, fishing, camping, picnicking, lodging and a restaurant are also offered at Doughton Park, located at milepost 241 of the Blue Ridge Parkway (in Alleghany County,) near Laurel Springs and Ashe County. Call (336) 372-8877.

LOCAL PARKS Ashe County Ashe County Park

Located east of Jefferson, this pretty park contains picnic tables, grills, shelters, a baseball field, playground, tennis courts and a small pond for fishing. Call (336) 982-9828. The High Country Disc Golf Course is located at the Ashe County Park. The course – the area’s only disc-golf course - is open during regular park hours and is free. For more information or directions call Ashe County Parks and Recreation at (336) 982-6185.

West Jefferson Park Located near Main Street behind the Ashe County Public Library in downtown West Jefferson, this small town park offers

a playground, horseshoe pegs, basketball courts, picnic tables and a large shelter with a grill. Call (336) 246-3551 to reserve the picnic shelter.

Avery County Newland Town Park This town park features a playground and a .8 mile walking track. The park is located on Beech Street in downtown Newland. Call (828) 733-2023. Riverwalk Park This recently developed park in Newland with arched bridges takes people along a rambling stream in downtown Newland. The park is located beside the Avery County administration building.

Waterfall Park A lovely waterfall is the centerpiece of this park just outside Newland on Hwy. 194. The park features a hiking trail and picnic area.

Tate-Evans Park Located in downtown Banner Elk, this small, quaint park includes a volleyball court, picnic tables with grills, a shelter, playground and a quarter-mile paved walking track. Call (828) 898-5398.


leisurely stroll through Daniel Boone Gardens is a must. Located on Horn in the West Drive in Boone, the gardens contain many plants native to North Carolina and to the mountain region. A small bog garden, an arbor and a meditation garden highlight the tour. The gardens are open daily, weather permitting, from May through October. Admission is $2 per person, and proceeds are used for upkeep. Call (828) 264-6390.

Howard’s Knob Park

This park, which offers one of the best views of downtown Boone, is perched atop the proud peak overlooking the town. The park is open daily from dusk to dawn during the summer, and features a picnic shelter, numerous picnic tables, and several short trails and overlooks. From King Street in Boone, turn on to Cherry Street, and follow the signs to the top. Call (828) 264-9511.

Valle Crucis Park

Located behind the Mast Store Annex in Valle Crucis, this beautiful park offers picnic tables, a shelter, a paved walking trail along the Watauga River, a fish pond, children’s playground and space for sports activities.

Foscoe Community Park

Set along the Watauga River in the Foscoe Community between Boone and Banner Elk, this little gem is tucked away behind the Grandfather Trout Ponds off Highway 105. Open during daylight hours, the park has a bandstand, sheltered picnic area, basketball court, river walk and hiking trails.

Watauga Humane Society’s Dog Park

Located in downtown Blowing Rock at the entrance to Glen Burney Trail, this small, beautiful park offers a bench-lined walkway which meanders throughout the neatly landscaped gardens. Call (828) 295-5222.

Located along Don Hayes Rd, between Rutherwood Baptist Church and the Boone Stockyard, about four miles from Boone off Old Hwy. 421 South. The Dog Park features a 6-foot high chain-link fence and almost 4 acres of grassy fields. There is no water source at the park so owners should bring water for their dogs. The park is open from 7am to sundown, seven days a week. Membership fees apply, but day passes are available for $3. Please call the Watauga Humane Society for more information at828-264-7865 or visit

Beech Mountain Park

Watauga Tot Lot

This park on breathtaking Beech Mountain overlooking Buckeye Lake is ideal for fishing and relaxing. Visitors this summer can also enjoy ballfields, basketball and tennis courts and a sheltered picnic area with great views of the lake and mountains.

Fun for children of all ages, this park is equipped withextensive playground equipment and a large picnic shelter. The park is located in front of the Watauga Swimming Complex on State Farm Road in Boone. Call (828) 264-9511 to reserve the shelter.

Watauga County Annie Cannon Meditation Gardens

Blowing Rock Memorial Park Located on Main Street in the picturesque mountain village of Blowing Rock, Blowing Rock Memorial Park is often the scene of various community activities. The park features picnic tables, tennis courts and a playground, along with large, shady trees, which make this the perfect spot to take a break from shopping and strolling on warm, summer days. Call (828) 295-5222.

Boone Jaycees Park This small park, located near the Appalachian State University campus on Horn in the West Drive in Boone, offers a playground for children and a large picnic shelter. Call (828) 264-9511 to reserve the picnic shelter.

Brookshire Park Brookshire Park features large grass playing fields surrounded by a paved walking track that’s just over four-tenths of a mile long, a covered picnic shelter with two grills, and restrooms. The lighted fields can be used for several games or practices at once, depending on the sport and age group. The park is located along the New River near the country industrial park on Brookshire Road in Boone. Call 828-264-9511

Broyhill Park Located in downtown Blowing Rock, this popular, scenic park features an easy .25 mile paved walkway which winds around a pond. A covered gazebo and benches are scattered throughout the park. Call (828) 295-5222.

Daniel Boone Native Gardens If lovely flowers and creative landscaping are your pleasure, a

REGIONAL PARKS Rendezvous Mountain

Located in Purlear, North Carolina, in Wilkes County, this Educational State Forest offers trails, a picnic area and shelter, exhibits and a fire tower. The surrounding forest showcases many of the magnificent hardwoods found in the region, and the Talking Tree Trail features “talking trees”, each with a recorded message about the site and the history of the forest. A natural amphitheater is available for special sessions or groups. Call (336) 667-5072.

Stone Mountain State Park

Located in Wilkes County approximately seven miles southwest of Roaring Gap, this 600-foot granite dome has become one of the area’s most popular climbing destinations. In addition to camping and picnicking, the 13,000-acre park also accommodates over 17 miles of trout streams and eight miles of trails perfect for hiking and horseback riding. Four beautiful waterfalls are easily accessed on the park’s well-maintained trails. Call (336) 957-8185.

W. Kerr Scott Dam and Reservoir

The W. Kerr Scott Dam and Reservoir in the Yadkin River Valley of Wilkes County offers numerous parks and recreation opportunities. The reservoir area offers biking, boating, camping, fishing, hiking, hunting, picnicking, and swimming. Use of the picnic shelters is free of charge on a first-come, first-served basis unless reservations are requested. For more information, please contact the Visitor Assistance Center located at 499 Reservoir Road in Wilkesboro, 336-921-3390.


The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide



The MounTain TiMes’ suMMer Guide

Speaking of


Cyclists find fresh challenges among the valleys and mountains


he High Country is home to lots of two-wheeled transportation for both recreational riders and serious competitors. Tour Du Pont champ and cycling legend Lance Armstrong called the High Country “the best area for training in the whole of the United States.” Road cycling has gained so much popularity that a visiting rider can almost always find someone to ride with. Magic Cycles and Boone Bike and Touring both offer riders forums on their websites so visiting cyclists can jump right in on the popular local rides. Rivergirl Fishing Company in Todd offers affordable bike rentals for the popular rides along the New River on Railroad Grade Road. Mountain biking has expanded in the High Country to include the new Dark Mountain trail system in North Wilkesboro. Recommended road rides for all skill levels include The Virginia Creeper Trail in Damascus, Va., Railroad Grade Road in Todd, River Road in Valle Crucis or the Greenway Trail. Boone is a cyclist-friendly town and riders are required to use helmets or incur a $50 fine. Cyclists also promote their sport and their own health and safety by following all traffic laws and respecting others on the road.

Magic Cycles In the heart of the Downtown Boone Business on Depot Street is Magic Cycles. Magic carries Raliegh, Diamondback and Giant mountain bikes as well as Felt and Orbea road bikes. Magic also carries a full line of Yakima roof racks and Fox apparel. Magic Cycles has a full service shop and a knowledgeable staff ready to help you and your bike. Bike rentals are $20 for 24 hours. The Magic Cycles Web site,, has a load of helpful information for the visiting cyclist. The Rider’s Forum page is a public forum where local riders post who is riding when and where. The Wednesday night road ride beginning at 6 p.m. at Magic Cycles is a local favorite. For more information give Magic Cycles a call at (828) 265-2211 CONTINUED ON PAGE 82



The MounTain TiMes’ suMMer Guide

Be a

Rock StaR! Discover a climber’s paradise



etween its immense boulders and all the different tour guides and equipment stores, rock climbing has become a favorite of locals and tourists old and young in the High Country. For those just beginning rock climbing, it’s safest to take your first trip with a professional guide. Although some climbing spots in the area may seem small enough to try by yourself, there are many risks involved that a professional can help you to avoid and prepare for. First and foremost, no matter what your level of experience, always stretch at least half an hour before rock climbing. This sport uses muscles that one may not use on a day to day basis, and almost all the muscles in the legs, arms, and back. Because some positions have to be held for an extended period, climbing can put great stress and tension on your body. Stretching ensures flexibility and circulation, which leads to improved climbing. Make sure that your muscles and ligaments feel loose and limber, and your heart is a little elevated before starting your adventure. Also, climbers should preview and read the route they are taking before they even get there. Comprehending a climbing route takes practice, but even if it’s your first time, planning your method of attack is always helpful. Try to visualize each foot and hand hold working backwards down the map. Once you are familiar with the map, you can anticipate the balance, speed, and strength necessary for the route. Once you begin the route, just remember to relax. Gripping too tightly on holds can cause stress to the hands, tension in the muscles, and anxiety in the mind. All types of climbers fall into the habit of gripping as tight as possible 8in critical points of the climb, but this only degrades the smoothness and fluidity of your climbing performance. Try to be constantly aware of your grip at all times. All that is really necessary from a grip is a balance point, or enough energy to hold your body in place. Good rock climbing technique begins with a good state of balance. This can be hard to achieve on your first try, as you are still getting familiar with the sport and location. But whether your body is positioned like a toothpick or spread out like a splatter of paint, your center of gravity should always be focused on your body mass. Also, keeping your body close to the wall helps it stay balanced in a forward-backward direction. The easiest way to stay aware of gravity’s force is paying attention to where your knees point-they should be directly erect with the wall, but adjusting with each position and each foot hold. By staying conscious of your balance, you can anticipate the weight shift as you move smoothly and calmly. Most importantly-be prepared to fall. That’s why the belayers are here to help you, and it happens much more than one may think. If you’re nervous about what will happen if you let go of the holds you’re in the air, tell your belayer you’re going to take a ‘practice fall’. You will see that the belayer keeps you completely suspended in the air, that you don’t go crashing down to the ground, and that with the right professionals, rock climbing is an extremely safe sport. This will levy any fears you may have before going into the climb. There are many services in the area that specialize in climbing guides, tours, and equipment. Footsloggers, located on S. Depot St. in Boone, N.C., offers the latest apparel, equipment and necessities for your outdoor adventures. Also, there is an on-site practice climbing wall and bouldering cave, so you can practice there to see what kind of extreme sport thrills you the most. They also have tours and guides available. For more information, call (828)262-5111. Fox Mountain Guides and Climbing School, located in Hendersonville, N.C., is one of the only climbing guide services in the Southeast accredited by the American Mountain Guide’s Assocation. They specialize in rock climbing guides, day trips, and have tours available in Charlotte, Asheville, and Boone, N.C. Call (828)692-5326 for more information on their services. Rock climbing is a sport that many enjoy, at levels ranging from beginner to novice. No matter what your experience level, the High Country has the services and locations ready and waiting for you to plan your next big adventure. —Story by Cady Childs

The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide



You Grab a Line, I’ll Grab a Pole Fishing in the High Country


ishing and the High Country go together like, well, fishing and the High Country. Each season offers different surprises, but summer offers some of the most pleasant weather to grab a line, a pole and head on down to the fishin’ hole. This, of course, applies to both fly and spin fishing. Scott Farfone, owner of Foscoe Fishing Company and Outfitters, is an avid fly fisherman by nature, and his business is the High Country’s only authorized Orvis dealer, specializing in both fly and spin gear, as well as fishing and tours for all skill levels. Farfone and company will also help point folks in the right direction, not only in terms of popular (and beneficially less popular) fishing spots, but also as far as licenses and regulations are concerned. “If you’re not sure, the best thing to do is just call and ask,” Farfone said. “There are now seven different state designations for trout fishing. It’s very easy to unintentionally break the law, and it could cost you a lot of money, sometimes between $150 and $250.” Farfone said fishermen should pay attention to the diamondshaped signs that are typically posted every 50 feet or so near the water. Maps are available featuring the different types of waters, such as hatchery-supported and wild trout waters, at Foscoe Fishing Company and other area locations. With streams, rivers and lakes brimming with brown trout, brook trout and smallmouth bass, the High Country offers a fisherman’s delight of good catches (and also releases). Farfone’s favorite areas for fishing include the lower Watauga River, below the Valle Crucis Park, as well as the South Fork of the New River, specifically in Ashe County. Other good spots are the Elk River below Mill Pond in Banner Elk (fly fishing only, catch and release), the Middle Fork of the New River between Boone and Blowing Rock (hatchery supported), and the Watauga River below Hound Ears (delayed harvest) to the high-water bridge near the Ham Shoppe. One of the easiest, most accessible stretches would be the Watauga River in Valle Crucis Park (catch and release, artificial hook only), which has recently undergone an extensive streambank restoration to improve water quality. An exceptional wild trout stream, Farfone said, is at Wilson Creek in the Pisgah National Forest (year-round, catch and release, artificial hook), though he strongly suggested folks take a map if they choose to fish there. “It can get pretty hairy when you’re going in there looking for trout streams,” he said. “It does involve some hiking, but it’s well worth it.” Price Lake on the Blue Ridge Parkway is an easy-to-access spot that Farfone said is “loaded with fish.” Plus, it’s the only lake on the Blue Ridge Parkway that allows people to take a boat out. “And it’s got everything in there – trout, bass, panfish, and you can spin fish or fly fish,” he added. Two other lakes off the Parkway include Trout Lake and Bass Lake, botch of which do not allow boats. Another prime spot is Helton Creek in Ashe County. Daniel Britt, Orvis endorsed fly fishing guide with Foscoe

Fishing Company, recommended two recent additions – Reddies River in Wilkesboro, in its first year open for delayed harvest, and the North Toe River in Spruce Pine, also delayed harvest. “And I’ve had reports of excellent fishing in Spruce Pine,” he said. As for his favorite spot, Britt was hesitant to say. “I fish on all them and guide on most of these rivers, but asking a fishing guy his favorite spot? You know how that goes.” For those who’d rather have a guided fishing tour, there are numerous outfitters in the High Country that lead full-day or half-day trips, including: —Story by Frank Ruggiero

Fishing Outfitters Appalachian Angler 174 Old Shull’s Mill Road, Boone (828) 963-5050 Elk Creek Outfitters 1530 N.C. Hwy. 105, Boone (828) 264-6497

RiverGirl Fishing Co. 4041 Railroad Grade Road, Todd (828) 877-3099 Foscoe Fishing Co. and Outfitters 8857 N.C. Hwy. 105 South, Boone (828) 963-6556 For a list of regulations and types of fishing waters, visit on the Web.


The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide


Go Jump in a Lake! Your Guide to Area Water Sports


ne of the High Country’s best-kept secrets lies about an hour from downtown Boone. Watauga Lake, the third-cleanest lake in America, beckons water enthusiasts to Tennessee, just 45 minutes from Boone. Once there, they can enjoy a powerboat ride, picnic or just spend a few relaxing hours by water’s edge. In an area known for whitewater rafting, Watauga Lake allows visitors to slow down and enjoy the stunning scenery of the Cherokee National Forest and Appalachian Mountains of Northeastern Tennessee. Created in 1942 by the Tennessee Valley Authority, Watauga Lake is located east of Elizabethton and southwest of Mountain City. There, visitors can canoe, swim, fish or ride a sailboat. Not all lake activities are slow-paced, though. You can also water ski or skim the waves in a Jet Ski. The USDA Forest Service manages more than half of the shoreline on the 6,430-acre lake, which is located about 2,000 feet above sea level. There are about 100 miles of shoreline, with most of the developed recreational facilities located along the southern shore. Various public facilities located along Highway 321, between two and nine miles east of Hampton, Tenn. offer some or all of the following: swimming, picnicking, hiking, fishing, camping and boat launch ramps. The facilities include the Rat Branch Boat Ramp, Carden’s Bluff Campground, Pond Mountain Shooting Range, Y’s Men Picnic Ground, Watauga Point Recreation Area, Little Milligan Boat Ramp and Shook Branch Recreation Area (where the Appalachian Trail crosses US 321). Each of the areas requires a $2 day use fee per vehicle, and some have restroom facilities and water fountains. Of those facilities, Carden’s Bluff is the only one offering camping. Located two to three miles east of Hampton on Highway 321, Carden’s Bluff features 43 single-unit campsites, each with a $12 fee per night. Some sites are suitable for small- to medium-sized trailers, but accessibility is limited. Each defined campsite includes a picnic table, fire ring and lantern ring. There are three flush toilet buildings, but no shower facilities. Water hydrants and trash containers are located throughout the area, but there is no trailer dump station. Sites are available on a first-come, first-serve basis. The entrance gate is locked from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. For more information about Watauga Lake’s public facilities, contact the Cherokee National Forest at (423) 735-1500. In addition to public areas, Watauga Lake also features some excellent marinas and resorts. They include:

Lakeshore Resort & Marina Come to Lakeshore Resort & Marina for all your aquatic needs. Rent ski boats, fishing boats, pontoons and ski equipment for a reasonable price, then head out on the water for a funfilled day. If you’re hungry after a long day on the water, pull up a chair at the Captain’s Table, Lakeshore Resort & Marina’s restaurant with a breathtaking view of the lake. Captain’s Table specializes in seafood and also serves tasty steaks, chicken and specials of the day. If you’re tired, take a load off in one of the resort’s oneor two-bedroom motel units or secluded cottages complete with television sets, air conditioning, comfy beds and private balconies. There’s even a swimming pool. Come to Lakeshore Resort & Marina and make a weekend out of your visit to Watauga Lake. Call (423) 725-2223 or (423) 926-8090 for more information.

MountainLake Wilderness Resort and Wilderness Ranch Enjoy a year-round log cabin vacation at MountainLake Wilderness Resort. The log cabins sleep six people each and offer air conditioning, heat, fireplaces, satellite TV, phones and fully equipped kitchens. They also accept pets. For larger groups, Wilderness Lodge also has five-bedroom cabins that sleep as many as 20 people. Nature lovers will enjoy the resort’s hiking trails, exotic animal farm and happy pioneer atmosphere. Horseback, buggy and wagon rides are open to the public. There is also a picnic pavilion with bonfire area. Activities

include volleyball, tetherball and horseshoes. There are even steer ropers available for group gatherings. For more information, reservations or ‘saddle-up’ times, call (800) 381-6751 or visit the resort online at www. Directions to Watauga Lake: Follow King Street (Highway 421) north toward Tennessee for about eight miles. Turn left onto Highway 321 north toward Elizabethton/Hampton, Tenn. Follow that road for about 20 to 25 miles. You’ll start seeing the lake once you cross the Elk River.

Town 2009

The MounTain TiMes’ suMMer Guide



A guide to mountain municipalities

Matt Mellon serves birthday boy Patrick Mellon, 2, a hamburger as he is held by mother Amber Mellon as the family makes use of a beautiful Saturday afternoon by having a cookout at the Boone Jaycees Park. Photo by Mark Mitchell


all it ‘diversity’, ‘variety’ or the next pleasant stop along the way, first-time visitors to The High Country will enjoy our mixture of rural, small town and urban life. And if you are returning, you will find some new places to enjoy but the old mountain hospitality still intact. The center of activity - the Heart of the High Country - is the county seat of Boone. This section is devoted to Boone and a sampling of the other towns in our region. Town life in the High Country offers a sampling of mountain life from the stimulating to the serene. Beyond the excitement and bustle of Boone, you can discover the elegance of Blowing Rock and the recreational outdoors atmosphere of Banner Elk. There’s the small town atmosphere of Newland, and the historic downtown and arts community of West Jefferson. Each community has its own flavor, appeal and things to offer the visitor. So join us for this tour of some of the best the High Country has to offer - we know you’ll have a good time!

Boone Boone offers everything for residents and visitors in the High Country. The town can claim the finest in tourist necessities such

as shopping, dining and lodging. From healthcare to financial services, specialty shops to major chains, Boone offers a comprehensive range of goods and services. Need an import car mechanic, 24-hour grocery or late night eatery? If you havent’t visited for awhile, we guarantee you will be pleasantly surprised just what you can find. Boone was once a typical small town until Appalachian State University (better known locally as “App” or ASU”) began to grow in the 1960s. Now this booming and acclaimed academic institution adds a zest and enthusiasm to life here. The downtown is known as the Municipal Service District, part of the national Main Street Program where merchants and residents fund renovations and restorations which attract more businesses while keeping the small -town atmosphere. Visitors will find an intriguing blend of restaurants, shops and boutiques side-by-side with legal offices and residences. You’ll find the Jones House here, a center of cultural life in the community. This lovely Queen Anne-style house dates back to 1910. Once the home of a prominent local doctor, the Jones House now is home to an art gallery and hosts many local events. The university borders the downtown. Here you’ll find Belk Library, a major research facility. Farthing Auditorium and Broyhill Music Center are the scenes of great performances during An Appalachian Summer, the yearly festival of the arts. Boone is such a popular destination there are times it is

congested. Traffic can get heavy, especially around the traditional rush hour of 5 to 6 p.m. You do have another option: park your car and ride AppalCART, our mass transit system. Summer routes cover the downtown, university and U.S. 321 (Blowing Rock Road). Boone’s history began around 1800, when Jordan Councill opened a store on what is now King Street. Then, it was just a rough dirt wagon road. In 1820, Councill got the right to open a post office (appropriately called Councill’s Store) and some people began to build homes and other stores nearby. In 1849, when Watauga County was created, Boone was picked as the county seat when the town was little more than a crossroads. Little remains to remind people of those distant days. The simple homes and shacks that once lined King Street have given way to attractive buildings that preserve the charm of the ‘teens and twenties. All that is in contrast to the modern city that has grown up around this center. With so much to enjoy, Boone is a magnet we think will draw you back again and again. Boone Area Chamber of Commerce: 828-264-2225.



The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide



The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide


The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide


Town Talk

Continued From Page 43

Blowing Rock

If you return to Blowing Rock and find most of the town the way it was, that’s is no accident; folks here know when it’s best to leave things as they are. Blowing Rock is a place where people still smile and say hello to each other on the street. The town is a place where you can sit on a bench in Memorial Park and watch the world go by or spend all afternoon window shopping along Main Street. The Fourth of July Parade is still important, and you will find both patriotism and civic pride without apology. Memorial Park is the center of the community. Families can come by anytime to use the playground equipment (mom and dad can even try out the swings if they want to). Come on some Sunday evenings and you’ll hear a live concert in the park’s gazebo. Off Main Street are two other parks, both worthy of a visit. If you are headed south on Main Street, turn right on Laurel Lane and follow the signs; it is a divided and tree-lined lane. The Broyhill and Cannon parks offer a quiet place to rest and reflect. The two are a study in contrasts: Cannon Park is sort of rustic and still-wild, while the park around Broyhill Lake is elegant, a throw-back to the peaceful days of the late 19th century. Blowing Rock is renowned for its variety of unique shopping experiences. Main Street has antiques, art, crafts, imported coffees, rugs, fashions, flowers, mementos and more. The variety is amazing, the quality high and the fun unlimited (except by your imagination). Shoppes on the Parkway, a major outlet mall, is just north of town on 321. Here you’ll find clothing, crockery, jewelry, and more. There’s a reason Blowing Rock offers so much to the tourist: the town has been welcoming visitors for over a century. Spectacularly situated on the very edge of the Blue Ridge, the

town began to attract summer residents in the 1880s. At the turn of the century, most visitors spent the summer. Some built beautiful Victorian summer homes, many of which stand today. Hotels and motels followed, and the tradition of hospitality has only ripened and improved over the years. One final hint: Take a ride down 321 south of town. You’ll catch an incredible view of the John’s River gorge as well as a spectacular vista looking south to Hickory. Whether you have a day, week, or lifetime to spend, you’ll find a lot to enjoy in Blowing Rock. Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce: 828-295-7851.

Valle Crucis As you travel along N.C. 105 south of Boone, there is a bridge where the Watauga River makes a sharp turn and starts its westward run towards Tennessee. There, set between high mountains, is a cross-shaped valley that has borne the name Valle Crucis since the 19th century. There is no more historic area in the region. Follow the Watauga River far enough and you will pass the site of the only Native American village known in this immediate area. Before that, there is the place where the first European settler of Watauga County, Samuel Hicks, built a fort during the American Revolution. That fort and most of the log structures of that day are gone, but there are many historic buildings that still remain. Valle Crucis was – and remains – the only rural historic district in North Carolina. Travel along N.C. 194 and you will pass homes, some still private and others now housing galleries and other shops, dating back to the early part of this century and earlier. A true treasure is the Mast Farm Inn. The main house was built in 1840, and has hosted visitors practically from the first. An even older log home, dating back to 1812, has also been lovingly restored. Not far up the road is another treasure, the Mast General Store. Dating back to 1883, the store remains an important part

Visitors to Blowing Rock’s downtown park may see triple. Photo by Jason Reagan


of the community, offering the “real” necessities of daily life, plus much more. And look for a dirt track running down to the river from the Mast General Store; it leads to Valle Crucis Community Park; a beautiful recreational area with riverfront, a (catch & release) fishing pond, picnic areas, sports fields, and a walking/running/ cycling/skating trail around the entire complex. Residents rallied this year to prevent a widening of the main road through the Community - Broadstone Road - which they felt would have destroyed its unique charactere and charm. No trip to the High Country is complete without spending time in the “Valley of the Cross.” Be sure to enjoy the scenery, heritage, and especially the friendly people.

Beech Mountain

At 5,506 feet, Beech Mountain is the highest town in eastern North America. That means two things: when winter comes, it’s a great place to ski. More important right now, however, is that even on the hottest day of summer, it’s cool on top of Beech Mountain. Even when it’s steamy in the “lowlands” of 3,000-plus feet, the temperature stays comfortable here. The rest of the world seems very distant when you settle down on the front porch of a rental condo and survey the magnificent view that is one of Beech Mountain’s trademarks. As the cool summer night air sends you looking for a sweater, you’ll probably smile at the thought of how hot it is down in the lowlands. Beech Mountain is a four-season resort. There are over 5,000 beds available on top of the mountain. These range from the rustic cabins to mountain chalets to luxury condominiums. When it’s time to eat, you can enjoy anything from a deli sandwich to a gourmet meal by candlelight. During the days, there are many specialty stores for shopping, a golf course, horseback riding, tennis, swimming and hiking. There are nearby canoe and raft runs that are among the best the east offers. Nightlife is alive and well on the mountain. Whatever your musical taste, you can find a spot to enjoy an after-hours scene. There’s another good thing about Beech Mountain. The mountain is so huge that much of it remains in a natural state, with rich forests dotted by rolling farm land. It’s only a short drive from the “downtown” to the country — or resorts. Take your pick! Our guess is if you spend some time in Beech Mountain, you’ll want to come back to do some real estate shopping. Or at least book a slopeside condo for the ski season! Beech Mountain Area Chamber of Commerce: 828-3879283.

Seven Devils

Don’t be fooled by their name. Seven-Devils is not haunted by seven devils. Their name derived from an old man who had seven sons that had a knack for getting into trouble. Locals said they were “as mean as devils” thus the name Seven-Devils came to be. This small resort town offers many attractions like skiing, golf, hiking, rock climbing and fishing. Grandfather Mountain, Hawksnest golf and ski resort, Linville Falls and Caverns, and Sugar Mountain Ski Resort are just a few minuets away from this town located in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountain. Seven Devils is nested in its 4,000- foot elevation and is a perfect spot to get away from the hustle and bustle of life during a summer vacation. The mailing address (and street address) for Town Hall is 1356 Seven Devils Road, Seven Devils, NC 28604. The telephone number is (828)963-5343. E-mail: 7devilsclerk@

Banner Elk

Nestled in a spectacular mountain valley, Banner Elk has attracted visitors since the 1840s. In those days, it was called Banner’s Elk, a name you still hear among some older residents.



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The town got its name from an elk, reputedly one of the last in the state, that was killed by a local hunter. A college town, Banner Elk is home to Lees-McRae College. A visit to the college is well worth the time. The old stone buildings are picturesque, as is the campus itself. Hayes Auditorium hosts a wide variety of entertainment programs throughout the year. Banner Elk is a town of wonderful shops and restaurants all run by some of the nicest people you’ll meet anywhere. You will discover a unique blend of high-class and rustic existing happily side-by-side. Spectacular is hardly adequate to describe the magnificent setting of the town. The early settlers didn’t believe in living on mountainsides; they looked for valleys. Banner Elk’s valley cuts through lofty peaks on every side: Beech Mountain, Sugar Mountain and Grandfather Mountain essentially define its boundaries. If so far you are only a summer visitor to the mountains, you need to come back to Banner Elk in the winter. The town is conveniently located between two of the area’s four ski resorts, Ski Beech and Sugar Mountain. Even if you don’t ski, the mountains are often snow-covered, adding to Banner Elk’s natural beauty. Finally, Banner Elk makes an excellent base for folks who want to explore the natural wonders of Avery County. It’s not far to Roan Mountain, Grandfather Mountain or Linville Falls. Avery-Banner Elk County Chamber of Commerce: 828-8985605.

Sugar Mountain

If outdoor activity is your thing, look no further than the Village of Sugar Mountain. Offering more than just great skiing, Sugar Mountain also provides its visitors with an array of ways to get outside and enjoy the beauty of the High Country. One attraction in particular is the summer lift rides on Sugar Mountain. On weekends, weather permitting, visitors can ride the ski lift to the 5,300 foot peak of Sugar Mountain. The 40 minuet round trip ride features a spectacular view of the High Country and runs from July 4 to Labor Day weekend. If heights aren’t your thing, Sugar Mountain can also be seen on foot. With numerous trails that wind throughout the Village of Sugar Mountain, you can see both the brilliant greens of the summer as well as the vibrant reds and yellows of the fall. The trails of Sugar Mountain are not just for those on foot. Many bikers choose the Village of Sugar Mountain for its variety of challenging and picturesque terrain. The Village of Sugar Mountain also gives tennis and golf lovers an opportunity to enjoy their favorite sports in the beautiful mountain setting. With Sugar Mountain’s golf course, six fast-dry clay courts and full service tennis pro shop, visitors will never be faced with the problem of finding something to do. Whether you come for a day or stay in one of the many comfortable lodgings the Village has to offer, Sugar Mountain will soon become your destination for great outdoor fun. Avery-Banner Elk County Chamber of Commerce: 828-8985605.

The Jeffersons

The twin cities of Jefferson and West Jefferson lie in the center of Ashe County. They are classic small towns, with warm, friendly people - and there’s always a place to park. Jefferson was the first to be founded, and is the oldest incorporated town in the High Country. It started in 1800 as the county seat for Ashe, which the General Assembly formed

July 4 parades are an integral part of summer life in most High Country times. Photo by Mark Mitchell the year before. The new town stood near the base of Mount Jefferson. Both bore the name of Thomas Jefferson, the author of the Declaration of Independence, vice president and then a political hero along the western frontier. Later that year, he would win election as president of the United States. Even as the population of Ashe County grew, Jefferson remained a quiet place, with relatively few homes and a courthouse. The focus of the county was, as it still remains, in the rural parts. Then the railroad came. Overnight, boom towns like Lansing and Todd grew. Logging meant work and money was relatively plentiful. All that, however, bypassed the Town of Jefferson. In 1917, a group of investors founded West Jefferson. Located south and west of Jefferson, the new community attracted the railroad. Jefferson went into an immediate decline. West Jefferson became the economic center of the county, though Todd, a major railroad center, was larger. Eventually, the railroad left. Lansing, Todd and other rail towns shrank to their present size. Fortunately, the Jeffersons soon had good roads and prospered. Today, the towns have differences and similarities. The old courthouse and surrounding buildings in Jefferson are the center of county government. A shopping center is located there, offering retail stores and services. The beautiful Ashe County Park and the Foster-Tyson Park is a perfect spot for an in-town picnic. West Jefferson’s downtown is busy and active. The old stores still stand and are full of interesting, dynamic shops. The town’s stores offer everything from real estate to clothes. The visitor center, operated by the Chamber of Commerce, offers answers to questions and a wide selection of brochures. West Jefferson is home of the Christmas in July festival, an annual summer celebration of the holiday and the Christmas tree industry. The event features two days of live music, over 100 art and craft booths, and the friendliest people you could find anywhere!

The Jeffersons are also the gateway to the region’s two state parks. Mount Jefferson State Park is located just off Hwy 221. To the north of Jefferson are the access areas for the New River State Park. Just south of West Jefferson, near the community of Beaver Creek, is St. Mary’s Episcopal Church. This is the home of the famous fresco of Jesus on the cross by renowned artist Ben Long. A painting of the Madonna pregnant with Jesus hangs on the sanctuary wall. Come to the Jeffersons and find what it was that made smalltown life so special. You’ll find that special life alive and well in these wonderful twin towns. Ashe County Chamber of Commerce: 336-246-9550


Surrounded by renowned attractions and resorts, the Town of Newland also attracts, but quietly. This small municipality of about 700 residents has been the county seat since Avery County incorporated in 1911, beating out three other areas for the honor. Newland has the distinction of being the highest county seat east of the Mississippi. The fine traditional courthouse, recently renovated, was constructed in 1913, and overlooks an equally classic town square, bordered by shops and churches and complete with a memorial to Avery County veterans. Next to the courthouse, and also built in 1913, is the original jail, now the site of the Avery Historical Museum. Permanent exhibits at the museum include the original jail cells, numerous artifacts and information about Avery County history. Going west out of town toward Tennessee, plan a Saturday stop at the Farmers Market, and picnic or hike across the road at the Waterfalls Park, a unique recreation area sponsored by the Newland Volunteer Fire Department.



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A new Heritage Park, currently under construction, will be a major attraction when completed, due for sometime next year. So when you’re driving through town on your way to Roan or Grandfather Mountains, don’t forget to stop at Newland on your tour. Avery-Banner Elk County Chamber of Commerce: 828898-5605

Todd There was time when Todd, nestled on the banks of the New River on the border of Ashe and Watauga counties, was the largest community in the region. It was a logging boom town back then, and the timber trains roared along the valley. Todd bustled, with many stores and hotels. Those days are long gone, but Todd remains a too-often

The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide overlooked treasure of the High Country. And while the train is gone — and with it the bustle - this little community has a lot to offer, starting with some of the best sites for bicycling, paddlesports and fishing around. The old train depot, a part of Todd life since the 1920s, is now home to Appalachian Adventures outfitters. Up the road, there’s the old Todd General Store which opened in 1914. The General Store, one of four historic structures in the community recently painted with funds raised in the community, is a living reminder of the old railroad days. The store features a Friday night traditional mountain music jam which attracts musicians from hundreds of miles around, and a newly created park across from the store hosts a summer music series at the ‘depot’ stage set up by the New River. There’s no community perhaps anywhere that has more scenic approaches than Todd. No matter which way you choose to get there, you’re in for a treat. Consider these options: If you’re in Boone, there are two ways you can reach Todd. The first is to follow N.C. 194, a state-designated Scenic Byway, north from its intersection with U.S. 421 (near New Market

Live music events are a staple among High Country towns. Photo by Mark Mitchell


Center, on the east end of town; watch for the sign). This route runs through farms and forests along an 11-mile run to Todd. The second choice is to turn off U.S. 421 at Brownwood Road. This is in Rutherwood, about two miles west of Deep Gap and seven miles east of Boone. Brownwood Road is located next to the office of Brady’s Roofing Co. and Pro Hardware. After crossing the construction for the new four-lane Highway 421, the route returns to beautiful rural Watauga County. First, you travel up through farms and woods to Brownwood, where a cattle farm fills a scenic valley. After crossing a large bridge, turn left on Railroad Grade Road and follow it to Todd. A word about Railroad Grade Road. This actually follows the route of the old railroad that once ran here. It runs right along one of the most beautiful parts of the New River. The scenery is gorgeous along the ride - a total of about eight miles. Because it is level, it is a premier family bicycling destination, so watch out for cyclists as you drive along. If you’re in the Jeffersons, you can pick up N.C. 194 south CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE 


The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide


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of town, just off N.C. 221 - watch for the signs. 194 is a Scenic Byway in this area, and it is a very pretty ride. It is also a fairly curvy road, so watch your speed!

Mountain City High on the Eastern Continental Divide, Johnson County, Tennessee, is the eastern-most county in the state. Mountain City is the county seat, a community rich in history and the center of commerce for the area. There are many shops and stores that serve both local residents and visitors. The town has a truly marvelous setting, as much of Johnson County remains little changed since pioneer days. Traveling there will reward the visitor with spectacular scenery – and the added bonus of Mountain City and all it offers at the end of the road. The county is also a gateway to Watauga Lake. The place to begin your visit is the beautiful Johnson County Welcome Center. Conveniently located on U.S. 421 in a lovely log building, the Center provides information on the many attractions of Mountain City and the county around it. Their hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Saturday,a nd 1-5 p.m. on Sunday. The telephone number is 423-727-5800. In 1749, Peter Jefferson (Thomas’s father) stood on Pond Mountain in what is now western Ashe County and looked west towards this area. Twenty years later, Daniel Boone and a party of pioneers cut a trail through here, defining a path that settlers would follow. Some of those made their home at what would become Mountain City. Be sure to visit this special town – walk where Daniel Boone once cut a way through the wilderness.

Clowning around at the safety festival in Blowing Rock is an annual happening. Photo by Mark Mitchell

Plenty of public park-land in area towns make flying a kite a breeze. Photo by Mark Mitchell


The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide




DANIEL BOONE NATIVE GARDENs For over a decade, Daniel Boone Native Gardens has attracted the local community as well as countless visitors to the area from spring’s early blooming through autumn’s brilliant transition. A photographer’s dream, a wedding destination and breathtaking setting for special events or simply a family’s brief retreat, the Daniel Boone Native Gardens are maintained primarily by a host of local garden club members whose volunteer labor throughout the year serves to protect and preserve their wondrous beauty. Current acting director, Nan Chase, tells us that for the second year in a row, the gardens have undergone major improvements with the Town of Boone and Master Gardener participants pitching in to help. “It looks like a new place,” Chase describes as old vegetation, limbs and other debris have been removed, leaving clear views, pathways and “the perfect place for parents to bring young children.” Since its origin, local garden clubs have been responsible for the lovely attraction, often with the help of ASU students, families and friends from grooming in the spring, maintaining in the summer and winterizing in the fall. Two years ago, the Town of Boone agreed to assist the gardeners with much-needed renovations - reconstruction of the rear entrance, steps and railing for increased safety, repairs to the split-rail fence, removal of dead trees, painting the buildings, attention to the iron gate, and repairs to the original Boone cabin, in addition to curb replacement in the parking lot and “lots of pruning” on the lower side near the park. The pond received attention also, due to leakage. Chase tells us that this second year of improvements have made a world of difference. Additionally, volunteers from the Master Gardener Class have identified and placed new labels for nearly 100 native flowers

and plants. Hours of intensive labor have revealed “dozens of beautiful things” that had possibly been forgotten when covered with growth and debris. The lore and legacy of the great frontiersman Daniel Boone lives on at the Gardens, which is thought to be located near his famed Wilderness Road. Highlights of the garden include the native stone gatehouse, surrounded by a wrought-iron gate, at the entrance of the sixacre spread forged by Daniel Boone IV, and given by Daniel Boone VI, a direct descendant of the legendary pioneer. Inside the gate are found a bog garden, native ferns, a rhododendron thicket and the historical Squire Boone cabin. The Meditation Maze in the midst of nature’s peaceful setting is always a popular stop while strolling through the gardens. Other outstanding features include a wishing well and an open lawn bordered by dogwoods and sumac, an arbor supporting honeysuckle, trumpet creeper and clematis. A sunken garden contains a large rocked area and a tranquil pool, and a lovely meadow nearby that hosts numerous outdoor weddings each year. The extensive collections of native plants grow much as they would have when the region was still wild. Informally landscaped with trails, ponds, and split-rail fences, the gardens


feature North Carolina native plants (many marked for easy identification) such as spring’s nodding trillium (Trillium cernuum), bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis), and yellow lady slipper (Cypripedium calceolus). A splash of color ushers in summer when the flame azalea (Rhododendron alendulaceum), rhododendron, butterfly weed (Asclepias tuberosa), and fiery red cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis) bloom. Goldenrod (Solidago roanensis, named for Roan Mountain where it was presumably first discovered) and aster (Aster curtisii) bloom from late summer into autumn, when the fall foliage extravaganza steals the show across the horizon. The gardens also serve as a haven for small mammals and birds, native to or migrating through the Blue Ridge. As one of nature’s most incredible icons “dedicated to the preservation of Earth’s treasures,” these beautifully landscaped gardens are home to a rare collection of North Carolina native plants, suitable material for education, and conservation of the native plants that are fast becoming extinct. The Daniel Boone Native Gardens are adjacent to Horn in the West, an outdoor drama depicting Daniel Boone and the Mountain Men in their struggles toward independence and frontier settlement. Hickory Ridge Homestead, a living museum of early mountain life and culture, shares the grounds where costumed interpreters offer demonstrations in weaving, spinning, candle-making, and other crafts. Weather- permitting, the gardens are open daily from May 1 to mid-October from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. However, from Jun 20 through Aug. 16, the gates remain open until 8 p.m. Sponsored by the Garden Club of North Carolina, Inc., this colorful attraction is located at 651 Horn in the West Drive, Boone, N.C. A nominal admission goes toward the upkeep of the gardens, annual passes are now offered. For information on volunteer opportunities or to book a wedding or other special event, please call the gatehouse at (828) 264-6390.






Grandfather Mountain continues to attract hikers with trail variety

Thousands of feet, both in elevation and the kind that wears hiking boots, traverse the trails of Grandfather Mountain, and visitors, as well as hikers, have found easy access to the internationally recognized biosphere. Grandfather Mountain has always been a destination for explorers, naturalists and outdoor enthusiasts, but its early trails were often more adventurous than recreational, but its trail system wasn’t formalized until 31 years ago. The trails were originally animal trails that hunters had walked, and later groups opened informal trails that shifted around and were often lost. The trails were overgrown and trail signs had fallen, which made hiking an arduous adventure in the 1970s. A young hiker by the name of Randy Johnson sought the snowiest mountain in the South, eventually discovering Grandfather Mountain. He often wandered the trails with his dog, until the day he showed up to find the trails had been closed. “There wasn’t really any professional management of the back country trails and there was some concern the trails would be shut down,” Johnson said. Hikers often got lost there, and one even died of hypothermia shortly before Johnson took over the trails’ management. “Grandfather Mountain is one of the most spectacular mountains in the East, and even though most visitors drive to the top to the Swinging Bridge, there were outdoors people even

30 years ago who would see the top of the mountain and say, ‘Let’s go up there,’” Johnson said. “It’s a potentially dangerous mountain,” he said. High winds, extreme cold, lightning and other hazards combined with the steep, rocky trails to create risky conditions for those without much hiking experience. As a college student, Johnson and a group of friends would have a five-day backpacking trip each January. “Then one day, I came back to go hiking and there were ‘No trespassing’ signs on the mountain, It appeared as if they were closing the trail.” Johnson, who said the mountain had a tremendous effect on his life, set up a meeting with Hugh Morton, who owned the mountain and worked to preserve it. Johnson presented a management plan built around a user-fee system that would allow hikers to fund maintenance of the trails and preservation of the back country. When Morton asked how that could happen, Johnson said, “Hire me.” He’d been conducting wilderness-management research for the U.S. Forest Service and had studied recreation management for a number of years. “I had my own research to base my proposal on,” Johnson said. “I started the hiking permit program that is still in place today.” In 1978, there were five trails in use, and those trails were hard to find. “They were completely overgrown, so the first thing I had to do was locate the trails,” he said. “In the case of

the Daniel Boone Scout Trail, that trail was essentially lost. I basically ended up crawling on my hands and knees, locating the trail. I found tin can lids used as markers that were almost rusted away. I saw where people’s feet had made trenches in the ground and followed all the oldest indications of a trail I could find.” Most of the trails were cut over the years by volunteers, but there was no continuity of management or maintenance. Lack of trails also limited the opportunities for biological research in the unique habitat. “Grandfather Mountain is a special place, right now, an international biosphere preserve,” Johnson said. “A mountain of that status really deserves professional management.” He invited researchers to conduct studies on the privately owned mountain, promoting the mountain’s unique biological resources. He highlighted specific rare animal and plant species, which he said led to more scientists taking the mountain seriously, instead of viewing it solely as a tourist attraction. Protection efforts for the Virginia big-eared bat and peregrine falcon brought attention to the mountain and helped build Grandfather’s profile as a serious preservation effort. Johnson said the trail-management program was a key way to preserve the back part of the mountain, and as a seasoned hiker he was skilled in designing trails, using a compass and map.






Imagine, that refreshing chomp into the first strawberry of summer, picked just the day before. Or crispy, sliced cucumbers on a hot, muggy day. Fresh fruit and vegetables characterize the summer time for many. In the High Country, the Watauga Farmers Market provides customers with an affordable, enjoyable, and local place for all their produce needs. Since 1974, the farmers market has been held at every summer, starting around mid May and ending in mid September, just when the leaves start to change. This year, the market is extending its season and variety of products, making it the biggest year yet for this Boone tradition. The market, located at Horn in the West (off of Horn Ave.), will open on May 2 every Saturday from 8 A.M. to noon. And starting June 17, they are extending this years season by offering Wednesday hours as well. Until Sept. 9th, the market will be open both days a week, so customers will have more opportunities to buy fresh and local goods. CONTINUED ON PAGE 59 



The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide



The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide

Summer Events in West Jefferson:

• June - Oct.: Gallery Crawl. Second Friday of each month, 336-846-ARTS • June 3 - July 4: Shadow of the Hills Art Exhibit. Call 336-846-2787 • June 14: Coffee House. Stories, Songs & Music, Call 336-846-2787 • June 20: Starts the Todd Summer Music Series. 2-4 p.m. Cook Park in Todd Please go to to see all event dates! • June 25-29: Ashe Co. Little Theater - Play. Call 336-846-2787 for details • July 3: Bluegrass Concert & Street Dance. Call 336-846-9196 for details • July 4: Christmas in July Festival. Huge Festival! Call 336-846-9196 for details • July 4: Fourth of July Celebration. Ashe Co. Park in Jefferson, Sunset • July 7 - Aug 8: Traditional/Contemporary Art Exhibit. Call 336-846-ARTS


• July 8 - Oct. 21: Wednesday Market. Call 336-846-5850. • July 18: Seventh Annual Winefest at the River House. Call 336-982-2109 or go to for info and reservations. • Aug. 1: 39th Annual Rotary Old Time Bluegrass Fiddlers Convention. Starts at 4pm. Visit for info • Aug. 12 - Sept 26.: Sisters On a Journey - The Art of Sisterhood. Ashe Arts Center. Call 336-846-2787 for more info • Aug. 14-16: Ola Belle Reed Homecoming Festival. Call 336-846-5716 or 336-877-1320 • Aug. 15: Blue Ridge Brutal 100 Bike Race. Contact Ashe Civic Center: 336-846-2787 • Aug. 21-23: Ashe Co. Little Theatre: Walking Across Egypt. Call 336-846-2787 for info

The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide




rules on leashes Dogs are usually considered another member of the family. They have their own bed, their own spot in the kitchen and their monogrammed food/water bowl. Of course, this extra addition would accompany the family on vacation. Here are a few helpful tips to insure that you and your furry friend enjoy your vacation peacefully in the High Country.

Walking Spots

Located off of Don Hayes Road, the Watauga Humane Society operates a dog park consisting of 3.5 acres of fenced land for dogs to play. However, there are a few rules that must be followed to insure the safety of both human and animal family members. Owners must stay with their dogs at all times while at the park. No animals besides dogs are allowed and aggressive dogs and female dogs in heat may not enter the facility. If you want to carry a snack for your canine small, bite-sized treats are allowed, but food bowls are not permitted. The park is open every day from 6 a.m. until sundown. Day passes are available for visitors to the area, which covers 12 hours of park access. In order to purchase a pass, proof of rabies vaccination must be shown. Tickets are available for at the Watauga Humane Society shelter off of 200 Casey Lane in Boone. The shelter is open Tuesday through Friday from 12:30 to 5 p.m. If you do not have a friendly pup of your own, stop by the shelter and walk one of their dogs. The Greenway Trail is conveniently located right beside the shelter. For more information about the dog park visit the Humane Society’s Web site at If you are looking for a more adventurous hike, take

your dog on a trek through one of the Blue Ridge Parkway’s wonderful trails. For information about hiking trails visit, www.

Leash Laws

Boone town law states that all dogs must remain on a leash while you are outside of your private area. Even Fido walking on two legs on command does not make an exception.

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Owners of other dogs may not be able to control their animals when off leash, so for the sake of every pet owner leash your dogs. The same rules apply when hiking on the Blue Ridge Parkway. The Park Service implemented a $50 fine for not obeying the law. — Tiffany Allison, photo by Mark Mitchell


An Historic Hike


“I didn’t get rich doing it, and it was the hardest work I’ve ever done, but I also think it was the most important thing that I can look at in my life say, ‘I had an impact, I think it was a good thing to do.’” Johnson enjoys hearing stories from people who tell him about their hiking experiences on Grandfather Mountain and how that has enriched their lives. “ I t ’s s o m e t h i n g I helped create and had a part in that,” Johnson said. “It’s gratifying.” He said part of the casual visitor ’s experience is the contact with preserved wilderness that gives tourists the chance to walk trails. Johnson said the concept of tourism has evolved, with environmental preservation and outdoor activities now a major tourism force. Adventure travel for the entire family is

THE MOUNTAIN TIMES’ SUMMER GUIDE a booming industry. “The hardcore hiker and camper is still there,” Johnson said “You hear people talking about ecotourism,” he added. “I think ecotourism got a little bit of its start at Grandfather Mountain.”

Grandfather Mountain’s wilderness trails integrate perfectly with the Blue Ridge Parkway trails, Johnson said, offering advice during the construction of the Linn Cove

Viaduct on the southern face of the mountain. While still working on the mountain, Johnson honed his skills as a writer and photographer, and he eventually became a full-time writer and editor. Johnson cited the renovation of the summit building at the Mile High Swinging Bridge, which will be designed to fit more into the environment, and use of more “green building” techniques being used on the mountain. “Grandfather was green 30 years before it was cool,” Johnson said. He credits Crae Morton and other people managing the mountain as being foresighted and passionate about protecting the environment, which in many ways date back to the trail system launch and Hugh Morton’s vision. — Story by Scott Nicholson


Grandfather Hikes

Hiking is included in the price of park admission, but for those who only want to hike, the following fee schedule is in place. Rates for Individuals: Adults $5 per day Child (4-12 years) $3 per day Child ages 3 and younger free Backpacking/camping rates Backpackers pay for each day on the mountain. For example, an adult camping one night would be on the mountain two days. Adult overnight (two days) $10 Child overnight (two days) $6 Rates for groups (10 or more people) Adults $4 per day Child (4-12 years) $2 per day Annual hiking passes Passes are valid for one year from the date of purchase and may be purchased at any permit outlet. Adult individual annual pass (includes all park facilities) $35. Child individual annual pass (includes all park facilities) $15. Group annual hiking pass (passholder plus five) $60. For more information or to see trail maps and descriptions, visit www.


The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide


Summer at Sugar is Sweet

While Sugar Mountain Resort may be best known for its incredible skiing opportunities, there are plenty of options for family fun during the summer months as well. Whether you are in the mood for golf, tennis or just exploring the wonderful views of the area on foot or from above, things are still hustling and bustling when the temps turn warm. The Sugar Mountain Golf Club is one of those many options. Located just minutes from Boone, Banner Elk and the Blue Ridge Parkway, the 18-hole municipal course was designed by the late Frank Duane, the longtime project manager for Robert Trent Jones, Sr. The executive course at Sugar Mountain features nine par threes, eight par fours and one par five. At an elevation of 4,000 feet, the course features immaculate putting surfaces and breathtaking views. Sugar Mountain also offers an enjoyable experience for players of all skill levels. Visitors will find golf at Sugar Mountain affordable and accessible. Rates vary during the season, which opens early April and concludes the end of October. Walk specials are available every afternoon, as are twilight rates with cart. Call (828) 898-6464 for more information. If tennis is your game, The Village of Sugar Mountain offers tennis on six fast-dry clay courts situated in a beautiful mountain setting. The courts are open daily, weather permitting, from May through mid-October. Rates for courts are available on an hourly basis or you can choose from special season pass rates or monthly rates. A special rate on season passes is available for Sugar Mountain property owners. The Village also offers afternoon discounts after 2:00 p.m. and all day on Sundays. Popular tennis activities are scheduled throughout the season. These include interclub matches with other area clubs, the Mountain Cup Tournament, the Sugar Mountain Championships, and “pot luck” cookouts. Assistance with finding matches is always available from the pro shop staff, who keep a roster of active players of all abilities as well as upcoming tennis events in the High Country. The Village of Sugar Mountain also offers a full-service pro shop complete with racket demo rentals and racket restringing services. For complete information on the tennis program, call the tennis pro shop at (828) 898-6746. For an excellent view of the area, try out Sugar Mountain’s Summer Lift rides. The rides are available every Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. Bring the whole family, a picnic lunch, your mountain bike, or just a friend and enjoy a breathtaking 45-minute round trip lift ride to Sugar’s 5,300-foot peak. Special weekday lift ride dates include Friday, July 3. For bike riders, specially-made hooks on the backs of the chairs carry your bike to the top. Just hand your bike to the lift attendants at the bottom of the Gray lift, jump on the chair and enjoy the ride. The attendants will hang your bikes on the hook, and when you get off the lift, another attendant will get your bike down for you, either at the 3/4 station, or at the top. The Village of Sugar Mountain town ordinance requires helmets to be worn by all bikers. Lift hours are 10:00 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. (weekends only from July 3 through Sept, 6, 2009). Lift ticket prices are $10 for a one-time ride, and $22 for an all-day ticket. Children four and under ride free with an adult. Groups of 20 or more can buy one-time ride tickets for $5. Advanced reservations required. Please call (828) 898-4521 ext. 261. —Mark Mitchell



To Market, To Market CONTINUED FROM PAGE 53

Supporting local farmers instead of just going to the grocery store helps the High Country in many different ways. It encourages careful land preservation, direct connections between the farmer and the consumer, and pesticide-free farming. Also, the distance most produce in local grocery stores travels to reach the consumers’ hands is vast, costing much time, money, and pollution to the environment. Buying locally means avoiding all of this, and receiving fresher, healthier products. Not to mention, keeping those wellearned dollars invested in the local economy. But, the market has even more to offer than your average strawberry or cucumber. Seasonal produce is always available, and the vendors have grown to include homemade sauces, jellies, jams, and crafts. Blowing Rock Honey, an industry out of Blowing Rock, N.C., offers specialized Sourwood, Poplar, and Locust tree honeys. Fire From the Mountain, located in Zionville, N.C., comes out every week with an assortment of their homemade salsas and barbecue sauces made from produce grown right on their farm. Caron Baker, from Caldwell County, specializes in handmade lace pottery. Other vendors offer fresh cut flowers, shrubs, vines, homemade cheeses, bread, eggs, preserves, and more. The market suggests some tips for patrons of this celebrated event. Firstly, most vendors are not capable of accepting credit cards, so try to come with small bills on hand. Vendors are happy to recycle your egg cartons, berry baskets, etc., so feel free to bring them in for reuse. Also, with all the items you’ll end up buying, it’s easiest to bring a few large shopping bags to store everything in while you walk around. Only service animals are allowed inside the market, due to the amount of people, food, and delicate crafts in the site. And finally, don’t just come in for ten minutes- stay awhile! Many market-goers love to purchase a delicious, locally grown and produced lunch to sit and enjoy while looking over the hustle and bustle of the Watauga Farmers Market. The market is open this year from May 2nd to Sept. 9th, 2009, offering a variety of different products and crafts every week. For more information about this event, call (828)355-4918.





The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide

Todd was once one of the most bustling commerce centers in the mountains, making money from its timber and rail, but though the town is a little quieter now, offering a different kind of wealth. Todd is popular for having more bicycle and foot traffic than motor vehicle traffic, with Railroad Grade Road being as flat and gently winding as its name suggests. The Todd Island Park features a natural river setting and plenty of biological pleasures. There’s a historic walking trail in the downtown area that offers stops and information on the buildings that still linger from the days when Todd was the High Country center of commerce. The walking tour has brochures available to mark the history and culture of the community, from its logging heydey to its evolution as a summer retreat.


The Todd Summer Music Series is a highlight enjoyed by hundreds, with the Saturday shows featuring the best in bluegrass, traditional, Americana, blues, Gospel, and country music. The series is held in the Walter and Annie Cook Park and conclude with a performance by multiple-Grammy-winning musician Doc Watson and his grandson Richard Watson on Aug. 22. The summer series is free, with the exception of the Watson concert, with all donations and proceeds benefiting the park and other Todd preservation efforts. The highlight of the summer is the annual Liberty Day Parade, held on the Fourth of July. It’s a parade where there are no bystanders--everyone gets to dress up and walk down the road, improvising their favorite expressions of liberty.


Todd Summer Music Series schedule June 20 June 27 July 4 July 11 July 18 July 25

Cranberry Creek Boys Amantha Mill Buck Haggard Band King Bees Laura Boosinger Dave Haney and Lisa Baldwin


The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide


Touring Todd

Continued From Page 60

The parade ends with a gathering at the Walter and Annie Cook Park, with music, games, food and fun. A series of community workshops are held each Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m. in June to make outfits and props for the parade, and they have become community events in their own right. Sponsored by the Elkland Art Center, the workshops are held in the old Bank Building, one of the historic downtown buildings beside the mercantile. The Todd General Store will once again feature music, storytelling, crafts and regional authors during the summer, continuing a long tradition dating back tot he days when people gathered around the woodstove and played checkers. The Todd General Store features some of the finest storytellers in the region as part of its Tuesday night series, continuing through October. Orville Hicks tells stories as part of a family tradition dating back two centuries, including the “Jack Tales,” perhaps the most deeply ingrained Appalachian story style. The stories emerged out of the Scots-Irish tradition in which Jack, an everyman character, relies on cleverness and resourcefulness to outwit the king, giant, or some other authority figure. Telling begins on the back porch at 6 p.m. Many of the storytellers draw on traditional mountain subjects. Friday nights, the general store serves up dinner and bluegrass music, with a variety of local bands and musicians performing throughout the summer. On Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the store hosts local author signings, and the back porch will feature the work of regional artisans, artists, wood carvers, sculptors and other craft makers. The Todd Mercantile features the works of local artists and crafters, as well as mountain honey and other local goods. The “Todd Mahal Bakery” serves up fresh delights to satisfy the sweet tooth and fresh produce and eggs are often available for sale by local gardeners. Rivergirl Fishing Company offers leisurely kayaking rides on the nearby South Fork of the New River, as well as a complete line of fishing supplies and bicycle rentals. Located in the old train depot, it also features grazing goats and Petunia the pig in addition to fishing instruction, hand-tied flies, and river information. The community sits on the border of Ashe and Watauga County and can be If you hang around the town of Todd long enough, you’re bound to run into a puppet parade. reached via N.C. 194, from either Todd or West Jefferson, or via Railroad Grade Road off U.S. 221

The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide



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Visitors to the High Country generally purchase lots of film with capturing the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains for later placing in treasured family photo albums in mind. But wait! Why are the pictures so fuzzy (out of focus); why do the kids look as if they’re a 100 miles from the mountains (photographer too far from the subject); why is the top of Uncle John’s and Aunt Myrtle’s head cut off (too close to the subject); and how come there are white spots throughout the finished print (dirty lens or, worse, careless processing). The hard truth of the matter is that most folks aren’t happy with their vacation pictures. “Oh, if only I could take photos like those photographers who make postcards; perhaps I just need a better camera…” goes the lament. Why do professional photographers seem to always capture the great images that bring “Oohs and ahhs!” from the general public? The answer is deceptively simple and, no, it has little to do with their thousands of dollars worth of Nikons and other pricey equipment. The pros follow a few basic rules of their craft, which follow: BEST HOURS FOR COLOR Photos with the most vibrant colors are obtained in the early morning or late afternoon, as opposed to those hours which surround noon, in which harsh sunlight washes-out images. In the High Country, during the summer, this translates to before 9 a.m. or after 5 p.m. Cloudy conditions are the exception, with bright-overcast (no shadows) skies being ideal no matter the hour. LET THE SUN HELP, NOT HINDER The old rule of a bright day “with the sun to your back” being best for pictures is a modern-day fallacy which went the way of the box camera. First of all, strong sunlight produces harsh shadows and, secondly, nobody likes to stare into the blinding sun while having their photos taken. As an alternative to this now-defunct rule, shoot at the right time of day (above) and utilize the camera’s flash (see below). GET CLOSE! On of the most important secrets of great pictures deals with distance-to-subject closeness. If the subject is a family, get close to them or the activity they’re involved in; often, cropping-off the subject’s legs (for head-to-waist or head-and-shoulder photo), provides for the greatest impact. If the subject is a group of people with the mountains behind them, frame them close together on one side of the photograph, allowing the mountains to form the background. (On automatic point-and-shoot cameras, six feet is generally the closest photographer-to-subject distance for proper focus and cropping; check the camera owner’s manual for specifics.) Mountain vistas are generally more visibly pleasing when they’ve a point-of-reference in the foreground. The next time Grandfather Mountain’s the subject, compose the picture with a colorful rhododendron bush close and to one side of the picture; rock outcrops, lakes, horses or cattle (even people) also work well. PORTRAITS, FLOWERS, ETC. The secret here is to isolate the subject, which is accomplished by the proper use of aperture settings and lenses, if these options are available on the camera. Focus on the subject (say a young couple) using a wide aperture setting (f4/f5.6 ) and a telephoto lens (135mm & up); these settings will combine to both blur the background and highlight the subject. For flowers and smaller objects, such isolation is best achieved by using a close-up lens or close-up option on the camera. Other tricks of the trade include the following: FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY Flash photography is not just for darkness. Rather, try using the flash with all close-to-subject outdoor pictures for highlight; most cameras have settings allowing for this option by “turning off” the auto-flash setting. STEADY THE CAMERA Many otherwise great pictures are ruined because of camera movement. Hold the camera steady, breathe slowly, slowly let out the breath and, as you do, push the button. Presto, a clear, well-focused picture! WELL-MAINTAINED EQUIPMENT Keep lenses and camera eyepieces clean and free from dirt and grime. Clean them regularly with an approved lens cleaner and lens cloth; get both from a reputable camera dealer.


The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide



The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide


Portion of parkway to be closed due to landslide; bridge repair

A landslide on the Blue Ridge Parkway will close a two-mile section of the road for at least the rest of the year. A parkway announcement on the closing was released March 24, with the slide located near Milepost 270 north of Boone. The closed section is between U.S. 221 and Phillip’s Gap Road, with the stabilization repairs estimated to take nine months to complete. A detour will begin for motorists traveling south on the Parkway at milepost 269.8 at Phillips Gap Road, continuing south on Idlewood Road through the Deep Gap and connecting back to the Parkway on U.S. 221 at milepost 280.9. Visitors traveling north will begin the detour at milepost 280.9, leaving the parkway on U.S. 221 or Old U.S. 421, continuing north on Idlewood Road through Deep Gap and connecting back to the Parkway on Phillips Gap Road at milepost 269.8. The total detour distance is about 11 miles. The Cascades parking overlook in E.B. Jeffress Park will remain open for the duration of the project, and The Northwest Trading Post will open for business starting Apr. 15 for its regular seasonal hours. The announcement also said “any potential impact to local businesses or for public use and enjoyment of the parkway during the 2009 spring, summer and fall season is regretful.” The section of the parkway between Milepost 285.5 and 292 near Blowing Rock is currently closed due to repairs on Goshen Creek Bridge. Repairs are expected to be complete by June 1. Further west of Boone, a rock slide near Asheville has closed an eight-mile section of the parkway until late spring. Boat rentals at Price Park began the weekend of May 16 and 17, with daily rentals beginning May 23. The Parkway Craft Center at Moses Cone Manor House is open through Nov. 29.

Goshen Creek Bridge

Oh, gosh, the Goshen Creek Bridge will be changed forever – but not too much. The Goshen Bridge on the Blue Ridge Parkway is currently undergoing repairs, but only a few elements of the historic structure will be lost. The existing features have been recorded and archived, in both older and newer technologies, to ensure that the bridge will in some ways remain just as it was when built after World War II. “There is no other bridge like it on the Blue Ridge Parkway,” said Gary Johnson, chief of planning and professional services for the Blue Ridge Parkway. The bridges currently being replaced at Goshen Creek on the Blue Ridge Parkway was built in 1948 (pictured at left). Photo submitted “They’re not doing anything with stone work at all,” Johnson said. “The concrete deck has deteriorated to the point where there are places on the edge where you can actually see through the deck. The entire concrete deck will be replaced and the bridge rail will be replaced with a three-rail bridge rail system. The only difference will be the rail is no longer picket style.” CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE 


Portion of parkway closed

The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide

structure in the National Park Service, we’re required to do photographing recording of that,” Johnson said. “It used to be just still photographs, but in this project we decided, since you Continued From Page 64 experience this bridge in motion as you’re driving across it, we’d show what the bridge used to be like as you’re traveling.” The bridges reconstruction project will include a new The distinctive bridge is most often experienced by those traveling above it on the parkway. It can be seen below from concrete deck, replacement of the historic bridge rail system, George Hayes Road, which runs parallel to Goshen Creek, and removal of asphalt bridge deck paving, including replacement with a modified concrete overlay, and the addition of a new can be viewed from a few stretches of Bamboo Road. modern guardrail. “The underneath has unique “That section is now closed steel structure that will be cleaned off and a detour is in place, and and repainted that will take it back essentially the project is underway,” to the way it was when originally Johnson said of a 6.3 mile stretch of constructed,” Johnson said. “It’s the parkway. pretty visible from down below.” The detour will begin for visitor The Goshen Creek Bridge was traveling south at milepost 285.5, constructed in 1948. The design Bamboo Gap. These visitors will elements to get the most complete follow state road (SR) 1514 Bamboo make-over are the vertical picket rails Road to Deerfield Road, following which are integrated into bridge deck the detour signs along U.S. 321 south concrete and curbing, which are no of Boone and connecting back to the longer deemed crashworthy by the Parkway at milepost 291.8. engineers of the Federal Highways Administration. Parkway visitors traveling north will begin the detour at milepost The park service and North 291.8, intersection of U.S. 321, Carolina State Historic Preservation following the detour signs along agreed to extensively record the U.S. 321 to SR 1514, Deerfield Road project for posterity. The current to Bamboo Road which will bring bridge will be extensively them back to the Parkway at milepost photographed and a video taken of 285.5. The total detour is about eight the bridge approaching it for from miles and work is expected to be both directions at 10, 25, and 45 miles The bridge spanning Goshen Creek along per hour. These records will be stored the Blue Ridge Parkway was built just after completed by the end of the year. in the archives of the Blue Ridge World War II. More information about the Parkway, North Carolina Division of project, including archival Archives and History/State Historic photographs, can be found at http:// Preservation Office and the Eastern Federal Land Highway office in Sterling, Va. bridge.asp. — Story by Scott Nicholson “Anytime that we’re going to make changes to a historic



The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide



The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide





The MounTain TiMes’ suMMer Guide


to the


ike ribbons of highway wrapping up a gift of mountain preservation, the Blue Ridge Parkway is a road that takes people away from the traffic of modern life and into the slow lane. Car windows will beg to be rolled down to let in the cool mountain air, along with the songs of native birds that welcome you to a celebration of nature’s bounty. Since its birth in 1935, the Parkway has allowed visitors to re-connect with the natural world and realize our inseparable ties to it. The 469-mile highway runs through the heart of the Appalachian Mountains in Virginia and North Carolina. From Cumberland Knob in northern North Carolina, where our road tour begins, down to Linville Falls in Avery County, there are a 100 miles of Parkway to travel and enjoy. This beautiful road is some of the most scenic highway our nation has to offer. It is a wonderful drive, but the Parkway’s most precious treasures are hidden within its forests. The mountains invite you to park your car and detour on foot for a while. After all, it’s an amazing experience to view the mountains in the distance from an overlook, but it is absolutely magical to take the time to meet them in person. This is a high mountain road, so use caution. Obey the 45 mph speed limit, watch out for wildlife, and be careful of low clouds and fog that sometimes pass over the road. This can make driving dangerous, so use good judgment and pull over for a while. It’ll be a good time to read through this article or look at a guidebook. One suggested reference is William Lord’s Blue Ridge Parkway Guide.

Milepost 217.5: Cumberland Knob The northernmost point on the Parkway within the High Country, this stop provides travelers with picnic tables and a number of hiking trails. There is also a visitor center, which can be contacted at (828) 657-8161.

Price Lake is one of the most popular attractions along the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Milepost 218.6: Fox Hunter’s Paradise

Visitors to this lookout will notice a low knoll to the right of the ridge that was once a favorite place for hunters to gather around campfires and contemplate the chase ahead. Patches of forest interspersed with farmland can be seen for miles on a clear day. There is a hiking trail and picnic area here.

Milepost 230: Little Glade Mill Pond

The serene beauty of this pond, just off the road, is an oasis within an oasis. Dragonflies with flickering iridescent wings are plentiful here, as are butterflies and lighthearted human visitors. The area is flanked by thickets of rhododendrons and plenty of picnic tables, all within earshot of a nearby creek.

Milepost 232: Stone Mountain Overlook From this overlook you can see Stone Mountain State Park. Stone Mountain is an immense granite slab mostly bare of vegetation. Distant ridgelines and swaths of nearly continuous forest unfold as far as the eye can see.

Milepost 238.5: Brinegar Cabin

This mountain homestead, once owned by Martin and Caroline Brinegar, has been preserved as a memorial to traditional mountain living. Beside the Brinegar Cabin, there is a tended garden that holds many of the crops that were essential for a self-sustained Appalachian family. Buckwheat, tomatoes, squash, and flax, which was used to make thread and homeopathic remedies, are grown here. Down the hill is a “spring house,” a small structure surrounding a spring that was used for bathing and keeping food cool. The homestead holds a century old loom that is still in use. Craft demonstrations are offered at various times during the summer season-check at Doughton Park for a schedule. Also, there are two hiking trails that begin at the far end of the parking lot: the 4.3-mile Cedar Rock Trail and the 7.5-mile Bluff Mountain Trail.

Milepost 238.5-244.8: Doughton Park

Doughton Park is home to Bluff’s Lodge, as well as Bluff’s Coffee Shop and Gas Station, where visitors can get

a hot meal and crucial camping snacks, such as fluffy bags of marshmallows. The Bluff’s building also offers regional cookbooks and souvenirs ranging from homemade jams to delicate necklaces dangling with replications of the area’s native flora. The explosive, rich color of rhododendrons in late May and June can be enjoyed on the Park’s nearly 30 miles of hiking trails. There are also campsites for trailers and tents. Bluff’s Lodge has 24 rooms and great views of the surrounding mountains. To make a reservation call (336) 372-4499. There are also campsites for trailers and tents. Bluff’s Lodge has 24 rooms and great views of the surrounding mountains. To make a reservation call (336) 372-4499.

Milepost 242: Alligator Back

At the Alligator Back rest area you can learn about local predators and take a 20-minute walking trail to the Bluff Overlook. Sadly, the mountain lions that once roamed heavily in this area are no longer a major presence, but you might run into a wild chipmunk or squirrel!

Milepost 252: Sheet’s Gap

Sheet’s Gap is named for the small cabin built by Jesse Sheets around 1815. There is an overlook three-tenths of a mile south from here, with a walking trail leading back to the cabin.

Milepost 259: Northwest Trading Post

This trading post provides drivers with a place to rest and recharge, and is open seven days a week from 9 to 5:30. Offering homemade food, crafts, restrooms and gifts.

Milepost 260: Jumpinoff Rock

At the end of the parking lot there is an easy walking trail that takes you to Jumpinoff Rock. This is a nice walk for families with small children because of the level terrain and well-shaded trail. There’s also a small picnic area in front of the parking lot to take a rest and look out over the ridge tops.



Blue Ridge Parkway Continued From Page 68

Milepost 267: Mount Jefferson Overlook This site overlooks Mt. Jefferson State Park, a 474-acre area surrounded by farmland. The 4,515-foot mountain was once a stop on the Underground Railroad. You might also be able to see Grandfather Mountain to the south if it’s a clear day.

Milepost 271: Cascades Nature Trail

The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide

DETOUR IN BOONE - 2009 The detour will begin for visitor traveling south at milepost 285.5, Bamboo Gap. These visitors will follow state road (SR) 1514 Bamboo Road to Deerfield Road, following the detour signs along U.S. 321 south of Boone and connecting back to the Parkway at milepost 291.8. Parkway visitors traveling north will begin the detour at milepost 291.8, intersection of U.S. 321, following the detour signs along U.S. 321 to SR 1514, Deerfield Road to Bamboo Road which will bring them back to the Parkway at milepost 285.5. The total detour is about eight miles and work is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

The Cascades Nature Trail offers a brisk hike through rich pine forests to a waterfall that rolls down the side of the mountain to the lowlands below. Hikers need to exercise caution on the rocks near the waterfall. People, even in recent years, have fallen to their deaths here.

Milepost 290: Thunder Hill

Milepost 272: Jeffress Park

Milepost 293-295: Moses Cone Memorial Park

At E.B. Jeffress Park there are plenty of hiking trails and a picnic area. Jeffress Park can be accessed from the Parkway despite the detour. Just drive past the detour sign through the construction area to the entrance of the park. There are two historic structures here, the Jesse Brown Cabin, built in the mid-1800s and the Cool Spring Baptist Church. Backtrack to the detour signs to re-enter the Parkway farther south.

Thunder Hill is an exceptional overlook near Blowing Rock, with unparalleled views of the Yadkin River Valley. This overlook is very popular with the locals, serving as a prime vantage point for observing celestial events.

Moses Cone Park is home to the Cone Manor, a lovely Queen Anne-style home that has been turned into the Southern Highlands Craft Guild’s Parkway Craft Center, which is accompanied by a visitor’s center. The visitor center can be reached at (828) 295-3782. Throughout the season, traditional craftspeople occasionally provide demonstrations on the front porch of the CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE



The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide

Blue Ridge Parkway


Linn Cove Viaduct

Continued From Page 69 house. The Park also has 25 miles of carriage trails for curious visitors to explore on foot or horseback.

Milepost 295-299: Julian Price Park

At 4,200 acres, Price Park has much to offer. There is an amphitheater, picnic area, campground, and canoe rentals, as well as 25 miles of hiking trails. The campground has 197 spaces, which are assigned on a first-come, first-serve basis. Price Lake is classified as general trout waters and no motor boating or swimming is allowed. The waters are excellent for fishing, but everyone over 16 who holds a pole should also hold a state license.

Milepost 298-305: Grandfather Mountain

Between mileposts 298 and 305 is Grandfather Mountain, the crown jewel of the Parkway. This area is replete with awesome views and hiking trails, and the road itself is a tremendous sight.

Milepost 304: The Linn Cove Viaduct

The Linn Cove Viaduct, which wraps around Grandfather, is one of the great engineering feats of the Parkway. Completed in 1987 after close to 20 years of study, deliberation, and construction, the Viaduct is an elevated bridge that spans 7.5-miles around the perimeter of Grandfather Mountain. Constructed from the top down and pre-cast indoors to minimize the disturbance to the forested hillside, scrupulous care was taken to ensure that the exposed rocks and trees along the Viaduct were protected. This example of the stewardly melding of architecture and nature proves that human interests and natural areas can coexist through careful and compassionate planning and action. The Linn Cove Viaduct Visitor’s Center, located at milepost 304, providing travelers with restrooms and information, can be reached at (828) 733-1354.

Milepost 308: Pisgah National Forest

At milepost 308 the Parkway begins its run through Pisgah National Forest, which continues all the way down through milepost 355. The drive through this area is incredibly scenic and there are plenty of places to pull off the road and go for a walk or have a picnic lunch. There are no facilities along much of this stretch, so take lots of water with you and don’t forget where you parked your car if you venture into the woods!

Milepost 310: Lost Cove Cliffs

Locals, visitors, and scientists alike question the origin of the mysterious lights that appear to flicker and move about on distant mountains. Occasionally visible from this overlook, the Brown Mountain Lights have been the subject of almost a century of speculation and study. The earliest explanation for the lights dates back to an 800-year old Cherokee legend that says the lights are the spirits of slain warriors. Some scientists now believe the lights are an electrical phenomenon similar to the Great Northern Lights. The truth remains a mystery. CONTINUED ON PAGE 73


The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide



The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide



The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide

Blue Ridge Parkway Continued From Page 70

Milepost 316.5: Linville Falls

The grand finale as the Parkway leaves the High Country is the magnificent Linville Falls. The waterfalls at Linville are breathtaking and are accessible by a number of short trails. The small gift shop offers an assortment of postcards and books. The campground is open year-round. Backpacking is allowed in adjacent Linville Gorge, one of the most rugged parts of the Eastern United States - contact Pisgah National Forest for details on this opportunity. For more information, contact the Linville Falls Visitor Center at (828) 765-1045. Beyond Linville Falls, the Parkway rolls on for another 152 miles, emptying drivers into Great Smoky Mountains National Park. As you spend your day traveling this glorious stretch of road, remain mindful of the speed limit and be sure to keep a full tank of gas in your car and drinking water on hand. In addition to the rest areas and hiking trails mentioned here, there are plenty of other interesting sites to see and trails to walk, so don’t be afraid to get out of your car and go exploring. Your daring might be rewarded! The Blue Ridge Parkway is a pathway to relaxation, education, and adventure. SEE PAGE 64 for DETOUR INFORMATION

Fields of gold are a beautiful sight on the Parkway. Photo by Todd Bush



The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide


Get your kicks on

Route 221 U

.S. Highway 221 is a road that will wind its way around your heart. It’s twists and turns are not the quickest way to get from place to place, but some would argue it’s one of the best. This is truly a road for drivers who enjoy moving at a slow pace as they soak in the scenery, culture and charm the journey has to offer. Around Linville, visitors can explore Linville Caverns and Linville Falls. As you venture north on 221 from Linville, you will come across Bill Brown Ironworks and it’s magnificent sculpture garden that grows right up to the side of the road. The modern sculptures look amazingly at home against the rural landscape and seem comfortable to live surrounded by a wonderland of Christmas tree farms. The sculpture garden is a rarity in an area that has maintained the charming qualities of a past era. Spread out like a patchwork quilt covering the earth, the farmland along 221 is loosely patterned with beautiful barns. Some are freshly painted bright red, while others are weatherbeaten, natural-wood monuments to the labor of love that family farmers have put into their land for generations. As 221 moves through the town of Crossnore and Joseph A. Gill State Forest, signs will direct those interested to The Weaving Room at Crossnore School. The only one of its kind in North Carolina, the Weaving Room is an educational resource with demonstrations in traditional weaving techniques and a beautiful store filled with fine gifts for every budget. Grandfather Mountain’s entrance is well marked on 221. Grandfather Mountain (see above) is a must see attraction in the High Country as it is a U.N. International Biosphere Reserve and home to 47 rare and endangered species. The park is also home to

the famous mile-high swinging bridge. The $12 adult admission allows visitors to utilize all of the park’s amenities and enjoy the private trail system it maintains. The cost of admission helps the reserve protect its unique ecology for future generations. Between the entrance to Grandfather Mountain and the next Parkway opening, from which visitors can gain easy access to the Linn Cove Viaduct, you may be lucky enough to catch some

impromptu bluegrass music at the occasionally opened fruit stand that is known to have honey, jam, and cider. Family-owned fruit stands are a staple along 221. Sprinkled along the roadside, venders line their stalls with brilliant rainbows of locally grown produce and crafts, such as cornhusk dolls. CONTINUED ON PAGE 78 


The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide



The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide


Take a

DETOUR off the


Path T

his road, which spans the entire High Country north to south, has plenty of cultural and natural history to intrigue and awe. Beginning on the north end of Route 194 in Lansing and driving south, you’ll immediately realize why this road was named a Scenic Byway by the state. This narrow and somewhat curvy road winds through exquisite forested hillsides, and as it meanders south along the New River in Ashe County, you’ll come across a number of family-run fruit and craft stands where you can stop and chat or just pick up some homemade refreshments. As you move south, the road becomes a paved trail through the woods. Tall trees line and shade the road, and rhododendrons are plentiful in the understory. Stick to the speed limit on this stretch because you never know what might run out of the woods and across the road. 194 runs downhill towards West Jefferson, a quaint town nestled in between green hillsides patched by farmland and forest. Just before town you won’t be able to miss the home located on the right. Touting a large collection of rustic farm equipment, as well as rows and rows of claw foot bathtubs, this yard may have everything

including the kitchen sink. West Jefferson has a quaint and historic downtown with several glorious murals celebrating the landscape and the region’s cultural heritage. The Ashe County Visitor Center is located here, as are a variety of gift shops and cafes. On East Main Street, visitors can stop at the vintage Parkway Theater to see a modern-day movie. On this leg of 194, parts of the road follow the old “Virginia Creeper” Railroad right-of-way, which ran through town until 1977. The town is also home to the Ashe County Cheese Company. There, at the only cheese factory in the state, visitors can sometimes watch more than 180,000 pounds of milk become cheese from the viewing room in the plant. The gift shop offers a variety of cheeses, some of which are molded into whimsical shapes that represent the area. Tractors, chickens, and Christmas trees are all here, memorialized in cheese. Clarence, the Cheese Company mascot, will be waiting at the door to greet you with bags of fresh cheese curds. South of town, 194 will meet up with Highway 221 for a short stretch.

When 194 splits off from 221, you’re back on track, with Christmas tree farms and fabulous mountain views along the way. Just north of the Watauga/Ashe county line lies the community of Todd. Once a booming railroad town, Todd has now settled into a quiet area. On Friday nights that quiet is broken by the magical powers of bluegrass as some of the area’s best pickers meet up at the Todd General Store. There’s a lot of farmland in Ashe County, and road signs of tractor crossings indicate that life moves a little bit slower in this rural area of the High Country. Cows spot green, rolling pastures and old barns add some country flavor to this relaxing drive. Traveling through Meat Camp you’ll pass a sign for the Old Buffalo Trail, a testament to the old life of buffalo hunting. From Meat Camp south to Boone the road offers beautiful views but little opportunity for roadside picnics or rest stops since the surrounding land is privately owned. However, this shortage of amusements will not disappoint travelers-the landscape provides its own roadside attractions.



Beaten Path

Continued From Page 76

Soon you’ll you enter Watauga County, and though the landscape remains picturesque and reminiscent of a simpler time, Boone, with its busy downtown, is not far away. The section of 194 that runs through Boone was part of Daniel Boone’s Wilderness Road that opened the frontier. Follow the signs for 194 South and drive through the center of town. Boone is a major service area for the region, well known as the home of Appalachian State University. In addition to a wealth of amenities, the area also offers cultural riches through various arts programs, galleries, music venues and other community resources. This is the last best place to stop for a meal and fill up your gas tank until Banner Elk. Once you leave Boone, 194 will run through Vilas and then turn left up a steep and hairpin-curved road. Now you’ll be entering Valle Crucis, the Valley of the Cross, and one of the High Country’s most historic areas. This part of the road, running through the valley of the Watauga River, is absolutely delightfulbeautiful old barns, horse farms, and grazing land are all surrounded by vibrant green mountains. Named by Levi Silliman Ives in 1842 for a convergence of streams that resemble the shape of a cross, Valle Crucis is home to the Episcopal Mission Church and the original Mast General Store. Opened in 1883 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Mast General is a great place to find out about the area’s history and see a part of its past. Just after Mast General, 194 splits into a truck route and a scenic byway. We highly recommend taking the right turn onto the scenic stretch, but if you’re limited for time the business route is quite enjoyable. A word of caution when deciding which

The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide way to go: vehicles longer than 25 feet are not recommended on the scenic byway as there are a number of steep switchbacks which are tricky enough to maneuver in a car. Don’t be disappointed, though, if you decide to take the business route. There are a few stores and inns located along Business 194, one of which is the charming Inn at the Taylor House. Built in 1911, it is one of the fine homes in the area that now welcomes travelers as a Bed and Breakfast. As the scenic road winds over the mountainsides and passes the Episcopal Church, one of Valle Crucis’ oldest landmarks, you’ll realize why Valle Crucis is such a special part of the High Country. This part of the road continues to provide excellent views of hillsides and valleys spotted with both farms and forest where the natural beauty of the area peacefully co-exists with the man-made landscape. Next you’ll continue on towards Banner Elk, at the foot of Beech Mountain. Beech Mountain is the home of many traditional musicians, storytellers, and craftspeople. Orville Hicks is one of the best-known storytellers in the region, whose telling of the “Jack Tales” has dlighted people all across the country. Banner Elk has some excellent restaurants and shops and is the home of Sugar Mountain and Ski Beech, popular High Country resorts. South of Banner Elk, 194 runs through Elk Park, Cranberry, Newland, Crossnore, Altamont, and finally, Ingalls, the southernmost town on this drive. Each of these places in Avery County has a unique story. Just stop off at a local store or the Avery County Museum in Newland, and chances are you’ll meet someone with a story to tell about the area’s history. Being friendly yields great rewards in the High Country. Southern hospitality is alive and well in Appalachia, and all along Highway 194 you can find it with a simple smile.



The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide

Route 221

Continued From Page 74

At 7696 Emerald Drive, just off the side of the highway, there is an old log cabin that sporadically opens its doors to provide down-home treats, as well as rocking chairs and the like. It’s also a great place to look out over the beautiful valleys and rolling hillsides below. Just after passing the Eastern Continental Divide at 3,900 feet, you will find the Grandfather Mountain Market. Owned and operated by the Lee family, the market provides consistent charm to those who venture inside. The building that houses the market has been in continuous operation for almost a century. For years, it was called the Blue Moon and some locals still refer to it as such. Rumor has it that the Blue Moon was a major moonshine honky-tonk during Prohibition. Locals still gather here to share their daily experiences, but these days the beverage of choice is Coca-Cola in a glass bottle. The best way to get a feel for these mountains is to talk with the people who live here, so pull up a rocking chair and join the conversation! Soon the highway enters the town of Blowing Rock, where a wealth of upscale restaurants and accommodations are offered. Downtown, visitors can walk along streets lined with galleries showcasing the works of various local artisans. The nearby Blowing Rock Park provides a nice in-town atmosphere for strolling and eating ice cream cones from the road-side stand or local candy store. Following 221 towards Boone, travelers will pass the Tanger Shoppes. A favorite destination for some, the outlets offer brand name products at a discount. Tweetsie Railroad, where visitors can travel back in time by train, and Mystery Hill are also along this stretch of road. Once in Boone, a wealth of large hotels, restaurants, grocery stores and other amenities will appear, along with the campus of Appalachian State University. Driving out of Boone and north towards Jefferson, at a junction with N.C. 163 on Beaver Creek Road, visitors can marvel at Ben Long’s famous religious frescoes that fill St. Mary’s Episcopal Church. Painted in the mid-1970s through the 1980s by Long and his students, the frescoes are spectacular, filling the small church with artistic grace. Visitors to St. Mary’s can listen to educational recordings about Long and his work. Highway 221 is a journey for the curious. The road is extremely curvy, but around every bend (and there are a lot of them) there is something new to explore. It is a road that celebrates farmland and traditional rural culture while inviting in the new, and that includes you! Take your time and enjoy the ride.







The strenuous cycling ride Blood, Sweat and Gears will enter its 11th year this summer. The 100-mile Century and approximately 47-mile Half Century rides are the biggest fundraisers for the Watauga County Chapter of the American Red Cross. The rides attract cyclists from across the country. Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong brought attention to cycling the region when he trained here and cited the steep slopes as important to his training. BSG is scheduled for June 27, to begin at 7:30 a.m. The Century ride begins and ends at Valle Crucis Elementary. The loop consists of a cumulative 13,000 feet climbing elevation, with the climb up to the gap at Snake Mountain reaching an 18-20 percent grade near the top. Last year’s event reached the maximum number of participants, 750 for the Century. Pre-registration is required and can be completed online at Registered participants receive a t-shirt, water/food along the route and a meal at the end of the ride.

Rider packets can be picked up Friday from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Valle Crucis Elementary or Saturday from 6 a.m. to 7 a.m. Participants planning to pick up the packet on Saturday morning should be aware of traffic delays into Valle Crucis. Riders must present a photo ID and sign a waiver form. The Half Century ride does not have a limit for riders. Friday, June 26, is the last day for registration. An estimated 1,200 cyclists sign-up for the Half Century. This route is mostly separate from the Century with less uphill (cumulative 5,800 feet in elevation) and two downhill sections. Both rides are supported with aide stations along the route. There are 6 along the Century and 2 along the Half. The stations are equipped with food, beverages and toilets. Riders who reach the Cove Creek aide station on the Century route (mile point 82) after 2:30 p.m. will be directed to the finish at Valle Crucis, resulting in an 87-mile ride. Although the rides are not considered races, riders are equipped with computer-chip ankle bracelet to monitor times. Finish times are provided to the riders when the bracelets are

turned in. Riders exceeding 9 hours will not receive a finish time. Times will also be posted on the BSG Website. Showers will be available for participants at the finish line. Riders must bring a towel. All of the funds raised by the event, last year near $50,000, are split between two local funds – the Jeremy Dale Fisher Fund, in memory of a young man who died in a Boone apartment fire and the Russell Fund, in honor of Russell Keene III, who died in the World Trade Center attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. Those funds are used to support and assist local families displaced by fire, flood or other disasters. The event is staffed with volunteers. Red Cross director Sonny Sweet said it takes approximately 160 volunteers for the event. No specific skills are necessary. Volunteers man the aide stations and organizational duties, such as rider registration. Call Sweet at (828) 264-8226 to volunteer or for more information. Maps of the routes are available at the BSG Website. Story by Melanie Marshal; photo by Mark Mitchelll


The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide


Live the

legend The Blowing Rock

If you drive south just past the quaint downtown of Blowing Rock on U.S. Highway 321 you will find the town’s namesake. Overlooking the John’s River Gorge, The Blowing Rock is a vast cliff, standing 4,000 feet above sea level. Northwesterly winds travel through the gorge towards The Blowing Rock and form what is called a “flume” once they reach the wall of rock. Even without a storm forming over the gorge—an impressive sight in itself, if you happen to be there at the right time—there is a steady wind that flows and maintains the flume at fairly consistent levels. This way, a lightweight object—a napkin, for example—can be thrown over the edge of the cliff and would most likely be cast upwards and back into the hands of the thrower. The legend of The Blowing Rock adds to the intrigue surrounding the flume phenomenon by attaching a poignant love story to it. It is said that a Chickasaw chieftan, fearful of a white man’s admiration for his lovely daughter, journeyed far from the plains to bring her to The Blowing Rock and the care of a squaw mother. One day the maiden, daydreaming on the craggy cliff, spied a Cherokee brave wandering in the wilderness far below and playfully shot an arrow in his direction. The flirtation worked because soon he appeared before her wigwam, courted her with songs of his land and they became lovers, wandering the pathless woodlands and along the crystal streams. One day a strange reddening of the sky brought the brave and the maiden to The Blowing Rock. To him it was a sign of trouble commanding his return to his tribe in the plains. With the maiden’s entreaties not to leave her, the brave, torn by conflict of duty and heart, leaped from The Rock into the wilderness far below. The grief-stricken maiden prayed daily to the Great Spirit until one evening with a reddening sky, a gust of wind blew her lover back onto The Rock and into her arms. From that day a perpetual wind has blown up onto The Rock from the valley below. For people of other days, at least, this was explanation enough for The Blowing Rock’s mysterious winds causing even the snow to fall upside down.


Aquatic Adventures Continued From Page 35

The French Broad River is another hot destination for rafters. Located south of the Boone area, the French Broad offers competitively impressive scenery as it meanders through the beauty of Pisgah National Forrest. Rapids on this river greatly depend upon rainfall, with high water levels creating some moderate white water conditions. Considered the third oldest river in the world, the French Broad begins around Rosman, NC, and concludes as it becomes a tributary for the Tennessee River. The upper section of Wilson’s Creek also provides a quality white water experience. Along with other regional rivers, the water level significantly alters the class level of rapids. For experienced white water kayakers and rafters, the rapids may seem unimpressive. But for the less experienced, rapids will reach nearly class V conditions, enough to arouse sought after excitement. — Story by Cara Kelly

Local Rivers The Watauga

Several sections of The Watauga River offer a great family experience with beautiful views and class II to class III rapids. The Watauga River is well noted for its white water, challenging rapids and pristine beauty. The river offers whitewater ranging from class I to class V. The Watauga originates on the flanks of Grandfather Mountain and flow down through Foscoe before heading into Valle Crucis. The section running through the scenic “Vale of the Cross” community offers class 1 and 2 waters, perfect for

The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide tubing. A great half-day float begins at the Valle Crucis Park behind the Mast Store Annex and ends at a high water bridge where Hwy 194 crosses the river. Below Valle Crucis, the river picks up pace, containing class II, III and even IV waters (depending upon the water level) before flowing into the Watauga Gorge beyond the Bethel Community. One of the noted sections of this river is the Watauga Gorge, a class IV-V that experienced kayakers and open boaters (canoes specially designed for running white water) have been running since around 1970. This stretch of whitewater is still considered to be one of the more classic runs in the East. Beyond the Gorge, the river flows into Watauga Lake in Tennessee, a man-made high mountain waterway which is fun to paddle in its own right. Below the Watauga Lake dam, the river becomes wild and woolly once more, and is a popular day trip destination for many local rafting guides, with class III and IV waters. Generally this trip’s first major rapid is the Anaconda which can be up to class three depending on water levels. This river is great to raft with children and is perfect way to enter the sport of rafting for those who have never ventured on a whitewater rafting trip before.

The New The New River is considered the 2nd oldest river in the world. It runs from North Carolina into Virginia and West Virginia and is one of the few rivers in the world that flows north. The paddling on this river is beautiful and majestic and offers a great all day or overnight trip at a leisurely pace. The headwaters of the South Fork of the river originate in Blowing Rock, and the growing New flows through the edge of downtown Boone, but is not big enough to paddle until it nears Todd and the Ashe/Watauga County boarder.


Difficulty Class Rating Class I – Very easy. Waves small, regular. Passages clear, sandbanks, artificial difficulties like bridge piers. Riffles. Class II – Easy. Rapids of medium difficulty, with passages clear and wide. Low ledges. Class III – Medium. Waves numerous, high, irregular. Rocks, eddies. Rapids with passages that are clear though narrow, requiring expertise in maneuvering. Inspection usually needed. Class IV – Difficult. Long rapids. Waves powerful, irregular. Dangerous rocks, boiling eddies. Passages difficult to reconnoiter. Inspection mandatory first time. Powerful and precise maneuvering required. Class V – Very difficult. Extremely tough, long and very violent rapids, following each other almost without interruption. River bed extremely obstructed. Big drops, violent current, very steep gradient. Reconnoitering essential but difficult. Class VI – Extraordinarily difficult. Difficulties of class V carried to extremes of navigability. Nearly impossible and very dangerous. For teams of experts only, at favorable water levels and after close study with all precautions.


Spokes Continued From Page 39

Boone Bike and Touring Located across from McDonald’s on Highway 321(Blowing Rock Road), Boone Bike and Touring has a friendly and knowledgeable staff. Boone Bike is celebrating their 27th year in business and hosts a group ride every Tuesday beginning at 6 p.m. Boone Bike carries an enormous selection of mountain and road bikes from Specialized, Trek and Cannondale. Yakima roof racks and accessories and Pearl Izumi clothing are also available. Boone Bike also has rental bikes available for $35 for 24 hours, with front suspension and full suspension models are ready to ride, as well as a full-service repair shop. Boone Bike’s website is www. The Rider’s Forum page is a public forum where local riders post who is riding when and where. For more information call Boone Bike at (828) 262-5750.

Rivergirl Fishing Company Rivergirl Fishing Company in Todd offers bike rentals for $15 per day. The shop is located in the historic district and offers flat, safe riding that’s popular with beginners and families. For a more challenging ride, the nearby Big Hill Road lives up to its name. To check on bike availability, call (336) 877-3099.

The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide


Popular biking sites •Sugar Mountain Sugar Mountain’s biking trails are open from May through October. There are miles of technical single-track riding trail as well as open-service road riding. Saturdays and Sunday from July 2 through October Sugar will operate their yellow chairlift to the top of the Mountain. Hikers and mountain bikers alike can enjoy the scenic ride to the top of Sugar Mountain.

•The Boone Greenway The greenway trail in the heart of Boone is a great place to escape for a quick ride. The paved Greenway trail is approximately 7 miles long and relatively flat. The most convenient places to access the Greenway Trail is at the Watauga Parks and Recreation complex off of State Farm Rd. or off of Charlie Hollar Road near the Watauga Humane Society. There are many short trails for the adventurous type just look for the trailheads off of the paved greenway path. The three to five miles of trails in the hills around the Greenway vary from wide-open fire roads to tight technical single-track with log crossings and winding descents.

•Wilson’s Creek The Wilson’s Creek Proposed National Wilderness area is a part of Pisgah National Forest and is a haven for outdoor activities. Wilson’s has miles of trails for biking hiking and equestrian use. The trails available in Wilson’s Creek are a must ride anyone who mountain bike will have a great day full of leg pumping climbs and fast downhills with rolling water bars. The best way to find Wilson’s Creek is to go to Boone Bike and Touring

or Magic Cycles and pick up a map and some directions. Remember, Wilson’s Creek is also open to hikers and equestrian use, share the trail!

•Dark Mountain Trails, N.Wilkesboro The Brushy Mountain Cyclist Club has worked very hard to develop a network of trails at the dam on Kerr Scott Reservoir. The BMCC has worked with the Army Core of Engineers to make the trails accessible to hikers and mountain bikers. The trails are well labeled and maps of the entire trail network are available at Magic Cycles and Boone Bike as well as the BMCC’s website The Dark Mountain Trails are easily accessible from Boone and only about 45 minutes away. To get there, take Highway 421 South toward Wilkesboro, take a right on Highway 268 to its end, take a right and go over the dam to park.

•Railroad Grade Road, Todd This is one of the flattest extended roads in the region, living up to its historic name by following the gently winding curves of the New River between Todd and Fleetwood. Though the paved road is narrow and unmarked, it is lightly traveled by cars and is known as a cyclist’s route. Popular with families, it’s a great place to get introduced to recreational riding in the mountains. Todd is 12 miles north of Boone or south of West Jefferson on N.C. 194. See page 129 for information about the area’s most popular summer cycling event, Blood, Sweat and Gears.


The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide


The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide



Appalachian State University astronomer Dan Caton captured this panoramic photo of the Brown Mountain area.

The Mystery of the Brown Mountain Lights “It Shines Like the Crown of an Angel” In the hills of North Carolina, since the times of the early settlers, a strange light has been witnessed near the top of Brown Mountain. To this day, no one can explain the mystery of the Brown Mountain Lights. Lyrics from “Brown Mountain Light,” a song written by the High Country’s own Scott Wiseman (Scotty and Lula Belle). Both The Kingston Trio and Charlotte singer Tommy Faile made successful recordings of the song. If you will look to your left as you are driving down Highway 181 from Pineola to Morganton, you will see a long, low mountain that is rather unremarkable as mountains go in the High Country–except for one thing. It is Brown Mountain and it is famous for its mysterious lights that can be seen playing on the side of the mountain at night when conditions are just right and you are very lucky!

The mysterious Brown Mountain Lights are one of North Carolina’s most famous legends. These lights have been seen from earliest times, reportedly as far back as the year 1200 by the Indians native to the region. In modern times, the recorded history of the lights dates back to 1771 when German engineer Gerard Will de Brahm recorded his sightings. He attributed the lights to nitrous vapors emitted by the mountain, which were borne aloft by winds and ignited. The native Cherokee and the early settlers believed the lights were the spirits of slain Cherokee and Catawba Indians who reportedly fought a battle on the side of the mountain in ancient times. Another legend tells the story of a man who got lost on Brown Mountain and of his faithful old slave who searched for his master with a lantern night after night. The old slave finally died and his spirit keeps searching.

The lights have been described as moving erratically up and down over the mountain and being about twice the size of a star. At times they appear to have faint pastel tints. The lights have been the subject of two studies by the U.S. Geological Survey. The first study, done in 1913, concluded the lights were the reflections of locomotive headlights from trains in the Catawba Valley. However, the Flood of 1916 took out all the railroad bridges and it was weeks before the trains ran. Roads and power lines were also destroyed. The Brown Mountain Lights appeared on the mountain anyway. Obviously, the lights were not reflections of train or automobile headlights A second U.S. Geological Survey study concluded the lights were caused by marsh gas igniting.


The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide


Brown Mountain Lights Continued From Page 84

There was only one problem–there are no marshes on Brown Mountain. Although there have been many groups that have studied the lights and advanced a number of theories, no real cause has been found. L.E.M.U.R. (League of Energy Materialization and Unexplained Phenomena Research) has studied the phenomenon for the last 15 years and they link the lights to plasma. The lights even rated a segment on X-Files, an episode called “Field Trip” on season six, which aired on May 9, 1999. Where to see the lights: There are three main places where most people go when attempting to catch a glimpse of the Brown Mountain Lights and all three sites border the Linville Gorge. •Wiseman’s View–accessed off Highway 183, which connects to Highway 221 at Linville Falls in Avery County. The Forest Service access road is well marked and the viewing area is an overlook high above the Linville River. •Highway 181 Overlook–accessed off Highway 181 about a mile south of the Barkhouse Picnic area. •The Blue Ridge Parkway–located at the 310 mile marker and called the Lost Cove Overlook. Chorus from the song: High on the mountain and down in the valley below. It shines like the crown of an angel and fades as the mist comes and goes. Way over yonder, night after night until dawn. A faithful old slave, come back from the grave searchin’ for his master who is long, long gone. Story by Nancy Morrison

Grandfather Trout Farm


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 people, cleaning their catch is part of the fun of fishing, 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. Or, we can smoke your fish and in a few hours you can be enjoying fresh rainbow trout!

Hwy. 105, 10 miles south of Boone (across from entrance to Town of Seven Devils)

828-963-5098 WE’RE OPEN YEAR-ROUND


The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide






ith the busy lifestyles and the modern views on life that are evident these days in the High Country, it is easy to overlook a subtle but still existing subculture where the old mountain ways and beliefs are viewed as fact. In Appalachia, a lot of people still plant by signs. Many others use remedies passed down from generation to generation to cure the sick. In spite of modern technology and excellent educational opportunities, a strong belief in superstitions persists in the High Country.

Living By the Signs Pick fruit in the waning of the moon. The fruit will not rot, bruise, or blemish. Harvest most crops when the moon is growing old and they will keep better. Gather root crops (potatoes, carrots, turnips, etc.) in the third quarter of the moon. Can vegetables and make jelly and pickles during the last quarter of the moon. Cut timber in the waning of the moon and it will dry better. Also set fence posts when the moon is growing old to prevent them from working loose. A summer in which the foliage is unusually dense or exceptionally bright in color is followed by a very cold winter. If there is no wind on New Year’s Day, expect a dry summer. A fair breeze means good rainfall for crops. A windstorm on New Year’s Day means floods the following autumn. Paint during a dry sign such as Leo or Aries. Set eggs to be hatched in a fruitful sign like Cancer and the chicks will mature faster and be better layers. Quit habits more successfully during the new moon. Cut your hair during Libra, Sagittarius, Aquarius, or Pisces and it will grow thicker and more beautiful. Lay foundations during Capricorn Don’t nail boards or shingles on the growing side of the moon or they will curl and buckle. Graft just before the sap starts to flow while the moon is in its first or second quarter. Never graft or plant on a Sunday. Planting potatoes during the full moon will cause them to grow too close to the top of the ground and will sunburn them. Planting on the dark of the moon will cause them to grow deep roots and make it nearly impossible to dig them up.

The Old Remedies (These remedies are presented for your information and entertainment only and not as medical advice. Please see your physician if you have any of these conditions.) For arthritis, a mixture of whiskey, honey, and vinegar was taken. Another arthritis remedy was to make a tea from either the seeds or leaves of alfalfa. For a bee sting, wet snuff was rubbed over the sting. For a cough, a mixture of whiskey and honey was used or a strong tea was made by boiling pine needles. Eating onions roasted in ashes or drinking tea made from wintergreen fern was also said to stop a cough. Another cough remedy was dissolving four sticks of horehound candy in a pint of whiskey and taking several spoonfuls a day. For diarrhea, drinking blackberry juice or a tea made from red oak bark was a common solution. For earaches, castor oil or sweet oil was dropped into the ear. For headaches, some people put wilted beet leaves on the forehead or rubbed crushed onion on the brow. To cure hiccups, eating a teaspoon of peanut butter was suggested For toothache, put a few ashes in an old rag, dampen it with hot water, and sleep with your head on it. Another remedy was putting drops of vanilla on the tooth.

In addition to spinning up some world-class pottery, local craftsman and storyteller Glen Bolick can also spin some pretty good samples of mountain folklore. Photo by Marie Freeman

A mess of peach roots ground up and mixed with lard was said to cure the seven-year itch. For burns, the scrapings of a raw potato were thought to draw the pain out. To stop bleeding, pine resin or a poultice of spirit of turpentine and brown sugar was applied to a wound. For asthma, one remedy was to swallow a handful of spider webs rolled into a ball. Yuck!

Mountain Superstitions

Don’t tell a bad dream before breakfast or it will come true. If you whistle before breakfast, you’ll cry before night. The number of winter snows can be told by counting the number of morning fogs you see in August. You can tell who is the boss in a family by looking at the toes of husband and wife. Look at the toe next to the big toe. If that toe is longer than the big toe on either of them, that one will be the boss. If your nose itches, someone is coming. If you drop a biscuit taking them from the oven, unwelcome company is coming. It is bad luck to pick up a coin if it is tails side up. Good luck comes if it is heads up. Finding a four-leaf clover is good luck. A cricket in the house brings good luck. To avoid bad luck, get out of bed on the same side that you got in on. If you swallow a cat hair, it will turn into a worm. A knife placed under the bed during childbirth will ease the pain of labor. Bad luck will follow the spilling of salt unless a pinch is thrown over the left shoulder into the face of the devil waiting there. It is bad luck to walk under a ladder or have a black cat cross your path. It is always bad luck to place a shoe, hat, or rifle on a bed — unless you are a mountain man. Then you can sleep with your pistol under your pillow without bad results. If you can kiss your elbow, you will turn into the opposite sex. Throw an apple peeling over your right shoulder and it will form the initial of your future mate’s name. If your curtains fall down, you will soon move to a new house. Two people saying something at the same time is good luck.




High Country


Horn in the West features many “haunt-related” events throughout the season. Photo by Mark Mitchell The hills are alive with the sound of...boos. The Horn in the West grounds in Boone, which also houses the Watauga County Farmer’s Market, is said to be haunted, with a man’s voice calling to actors who perform in the outdoor drama. The 1700s-era cabins on the grounds are also believed to have carried some of their spirits with them when they were moved. The legends of East Hall on the Appalachian State University campus linger through generations of students. One consists of a love affair between a student and a professor, that eventually drove her to the point of suicide. It is told that the young girl hung herself in the professor’s office, located in the basement of East Hall. Her spirit still haunts the lower levels of the dormitory, where students take classes and also live. There are many accounts of wet footprints from one end of the hallway to another, that never stop in front of a doorway, given the impression the person walked straight through class and concrete to the outside. Some students have seen a girl in a white dress in their rooms late at night, and items in the dorms rearranged themselves without anyone touching them. In the past, many students held ‘seances’ in the basement and boiler room of the dormitories, which current students believe made the hauntings ‘even worse.’ The bathroom on the third floor of East Hall is also said

to be haunted. Different accounts claim the ghost to be both male and female, so it is hard to tell if this story is fact or simply students wanting to scare the newcomers to the dormitory. However, many of the students living on the third floor often hear the sounds of a girl crying or choking in the bathroom, and see shadows behind shower curtains that have no owner. Tate Dormitory and the Carson Library on the Lees-McRae College campus are said to be haunted by the ghost of young Emily Draughn, who reportedly died in Tate during the 1930s when the dorm facility served as a hospital. Mt. Bethel Reform Church in Blowing Rock is said the be haunted by the spirit of a Native American who was buried there in a log. The church was established in 1887 and features a beautiful cemetery. There are other allegedly haunted places in the area. One place, a small church in Valle Crucis, has suffered from vandalism due to its reputation. According to legend, a preacher hung himself there, and some say you can still see the grooves the rope made in the ceiling joist. But others say he hung himself by the bell rope. The reasons for the suicide also vary with the version being told; most claim that the preacher got someone pregnant out of wedlock. There are also different accounts of the phenomena manifested by the restless spirit. In one, the congregation rises

from the graveyard and follows the preacher into a nearby river. In another, the preacher sulks in the pulpit on those gloomy nights when the wind whistles through the pines. Some claim to have heard the church bells ring when no one was around. The fact that there is no historical record of a suicide there hasn’t slowed the growth of the legend. The old railroad depot in Todd, which is now the location for Rivergirl Fishing Company, has manifested strange phenomena. It includes odd temperature fluctuations, windows that slam by themselves, and a mysterious series of three footsteps that then fade to silence. Another allegedly haunted building is a realty office on Blowing Rock Road. The building has been home to many businesses over the years, all seemingly unable to survive despite the prime location. One person who slept there back when it was a residence claimed that someone reached through the stair railing and pulled his hair in the night, though he was supposedly alone. Other stories concern store displays and fixtures which would fall down during the night, or shelves mysteriously lifting several feet in the air. It’s the kind of place where no one likes to be the first one to work in the morning for fear of what they might find when they unlock the door.



The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide




The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide


Skate Park rolls on

The Appalachian Skate Park, located in the Watauga County Parks and Recreation Complex in Boone, features a number of ramps and opportunities for skaters and skateboarders. The park was developed through a public-private partnership between the Appalachian Skatepark Council and Watauga County in 2006. The park, whose basic design was created with the input of local skaters, was constructed of Skatelite Pro material by the American Ramp Company. Located behind the Watauga Swim Complex on Hunting Hills Road, off of State Farm Road, the park includes a 5 ft. x 18-ft mini-ramp, a 10-stair with railing, and a pyramid, as well as a new three-footer box. The park safety rules are posted at the site. Skaters must wear approved helmets, knee and elbow pads and may receive a citation or have park privileges revoked if they fail to comply. Skaters can’t use the parking lot for skating, and profanity, fighting and other disruptive behavior is prohibited. Under rules adopted last August, the site will be supervised and have limited hours, and skaters must sign a waiver acknowledging they understand and agree to abide by the rules. Skaters under 18 must have a parent or guardian sign the waiver. Food, drinks, glass containers, tobacco, alcohol, drugs and chewing gum are prohibited inside the skate park, and graffiti or other property defacement could result in legal action to recoup repair costs. The signed waiver releases Watauga County from any medical or legal claims. In the summer, the skate park will be supervised from 10 a.m. to dusk Monday through Saturday and from 1 p.m. to dusk on Sunday, with security supervisors to determine the definition of “dusk.” While school is in session, the park is scheduled to be open from 3 p.m. to dusk Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to dusk on Saturday and from 1 p.m. to dusk on Sunday. The park is open and unsupervised during other times. Story by Scott Nicholson




Crafts at Cone

Parkway manor creates unique venue for local artisans

In addition to offering a glimpse into local history, the Moses Cone Manor, off the Blue Ridge Parkway, also boasts a regional arts center inside the vintage mansion. Photo by Jeff Eason

Just outside Blowing Rock, on the Blue Ridge Parkway, is the majestic Cone Manor. This beautiful mansion houses the Parkway Craft Center, one of five shops of the Southern Highland Handicraft Guild. The center has been open to visitors for 56 years. All of the crafts in the mansion are designed with care by artists of the Southern Appalachians. The crafts are handmade by over 300 regional artists who have achieved success in their craft and are members of the prestigious guild. A wide variety of handmade objects are on display and for sale including jewelry, pottery, glass figurines, framed and unframed artwork, hand-woven bags and even kitchen utensils. The gifts in the center are affordable, unique and beautiful. Local artists spend time during the summer season on the front porch educating and entertaining guests about their unique craftsmanship. Visitors can learn how the artists perfected their skills and can even try their own hands at the craft. The center is just a small part of the magnificent Moses Cone Park. Within the park there are 25 miles worth of trails that allow both hikers and horses. Along the trails, visitors catch beautiful views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and can take a pit stop at the craft center along the way. Not only does the mansion house the craft center, but also allows people to relax on the porch and take in the beautiful surroundings. Wooden rocking chairs on the front porch provide a perfect place for visitors to put their feet up. Whether it is time for a break along the trail, or from viewing the center, visitors can relax in the rocking chairs and take in the beauty around them. The mansion, built in 1901 as the summer home for Bertha and Moses Cone, is 13,000 square feet of beautiful Colonial Revival construction.The Cone family used to spend lazy Sunday afternoons taking carriage rides along the trails, now the trails are maintained by the National Park Service. With the Timber Lodge and other small lodging centers just off the Parkway on US Hwy 321-S, planning a relaxing trip to the beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway is just a phone call away. A weekend trip to the High Country is the perfect place to take a break from the routine of life and rest under the serene surroundings. While you are here, stop by the craft center to take in the rich history of the Appalachians and shop for unique, beautifully handcrafted gifts. The craft center is open to visitors March through November from 9-5 daily. For more information, please call (828) 295-7938 or email The Southern Highland Craft Guild is authorized to provide services on the Blue Ridge Parkway under the authority of a contract with the National Park Service.

The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide





Church murals draw the faithful


he Churches of the Frescoes in Ashe County provide beautiful works of art created by Artist Ben Long who painted several frescoes in two churches in Ashe that draw thousands to see them each year. Visitors can visit the frescoes at either location, at the Holy Trinity in Glendale Springs or at St. Mary’s in West Jefferson. “People can come in and see the frescoes anytime. If they are bringing a larger group, we want them to call ahead so we can be there to greet them and answer any questions they might have,” Spokesperson Sarah Goodman of the Parish of the Holy Communion explained. “We have a gift shop that people can stop in and look around. We have all kinds of fresco items including prints magnets and more. We have hand carved items and sterling silver jewelry from Jerusalem. There are also local crafts and items with religious themes for sale.” The gift shop is located across the street from the church to the right in a two-story gray building. The frescoes have been featured on PBS on a television special and videos of the show are for sale. A Festival of the Frescoes is held at Holy Trinity Church in Glendale Springs in October. This year’s festival is scheduled for October 13th. Crafts, food, entertainment, a silent auction, plants, a quilt raffle, children’s activities and more are planned for this event. Long, a native of Statesville, attended the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. He studied painting at the Art Student’s League in New York. In 1970, he went to Florence, Italy. As an apprentice to the master artist Pietro Annigoni, he spent seven years there mastering techniques which included oil, tempera and fresco. He is now internationally known for his religious frescos in Ashe County and Charlotte as well as in Europe. In Charlotte, he has also completed frescoes in the NationsBank Corporate Center, the Charlotte/ Mecklenburg Law Enforcement Center and the Monumental Dome of Trans America Square. Long painted three frescoes at St. Mary’s in West Jefferson beginning in 1974 with “Mary Great With Child”; in 1975 he painted “John the Baptist” and in 1977, he painted “The Mystery of Faith”. He painted the fresco of “The Last Supper” at Holy Trinity in 1980 as that church building was being restored. It is located

behind the altar at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Glendale Springs. When the artist and his students began working on the frescoes at Holy Trinity in Glendale Springs, much interest was aroused in the community. Rumors spread around the area that the artists were painting people in the nude, which was untrue, but created a lot of interest. The interest in the frescoes remained high even after people learned the rumors were untrue and the community began to help the project in many different ways. People from many denominations took turns feeding the artists and something of a competition began with each meal working to be better than the previous one. People from the community also became models for both the students’ works and as the disciples in Long’s “The Last Supper.” “The Departure of Christ” by Jeffrey Mims was painted during 1983-84 and is located in the Christ the King Chapel at Holy Trinity. Mims was a student of Long and was commissioned to paint the fresco as a memorial to Buffy Leland, a young girl in the church’s congregation who died at the age of 10 after being struck by a truck near St. Mary’s Church. The Columbarium is a place of repose for the cremated remains of the departed. It is a comfortable place for family and friends to gather in loving remembrance as it serves to provide a consoling link between life and death. Urns of ashes are placed in niches of blue slate with walnut fronts and nameplates. The Columbarium and grounds are available to all persons, however a committal service must always be held. It is also located in Christ the King Chapel. “Christ the King” is a large mosaic created John Early in 1920. After being in a private residence for more than 50 years, its owner gave it to Holy Trinity Church, where it is located in the chapel. Both churches have extensive history as construction began on St. Mary’s church in the summer of 1905 and the Holy Trinity in Glendale Springs was completed in 1901. Both church buildings today are in use and together form the Parish of the Holy Communion. For more information, call Holy Trinity at 336-982-3076 or visit their website online at www.



The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide


A Few Safety Tips The last thing families need to worry about during their summer vacation is someone getting seriously injured or ill while hundreds of miles away from home. But, summer is a prime time for accidents, severe sunburns, and other heat-related illnesses and tragedies. With just a few reminders, many summer incidents can be easily avoided while the fun continues.

FUN IN THE SUN For Babies- under six-months: Avoiding sun exposure and dressing infants in lightweight long pants, long-sleeved shirts, and brimmed hats are still the top recommendations from the AAP to prevent sunburn. However, when adequate clothing and shade are not available, parents can apply a minimal amount of sunscreen to small areas, such as the infant’s face and the back of the hands. For Young Children: Apply sunscreen at least 30 minutes before going outside, and use sunscreen even on cloudy days. The SPF should be at least 15. For Older Children: • The first, and best, line of defense against the sun is covering up. Wear a hat with a three-inch brim or a bill facing forward, sunglasses (look for sunglasses that block 99-100% of ultraviolet rays), and cotton clothing with a tight weave. • Stay in the shade whenever possible, and avoid sun exposure during the peak intensity hours - between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. • Use a sunscreen with an SPF (sun protection factor) of 15 or greater. Be sure to apply enough sunscreen - about one ounce per sitting for a young adult. • Reapply sunscreen every two hours, or after swimming or sweating. HEAT STRESS The intensity of activities that last 15 minutes or more should be reduced whenever high heat and humidity reach critical levels. • At the beginning of a strenuous exercise program or after traveling to a warmer climate, the intensity and duration of exercise should be limited initially and then gradually increased during a period of 10 to 14 days to accomplish acclimatization to the heat. • Before prolonged physical activity, the child should be wellhydrated. During the activity, periodic drinking should be enforced, for example, each 20 minutes, 5 oz of cold tap water or a flavored sports drink for a child weighing 88 lbs, and 9 oz for an adolescent weighing 132 lbs, even if the child does not feel thirsty. • Clothing should be light-colored and lightweight and limited to one layer of absorbent material to facilitate evaporation of sweat. Sweat-saturated garments should be replaced by dry garments.

POOL SAFETY • Never leave children alone in or near the pool, even for a moment. • Install a fence at least four-feet high around all four sides of the pool. The fence should not have openings or protrusions that a young child could use to get over, under, or through the fence. • Make sure pool gates open out from the pool, and self-close and self-latch at a height children can’t reach. • Keep rescue equipment (a shepherd’s hook - a long pole with a hook on the end - and life preserver) and a portable telephone near the pool. • Avoid inflatable swimming aids such as “floaties.” They are not a substitute for approved life vests and can give children a false sense of security. • Children may not be developmentally ready for swim lessons until after their fourth birthday. Swim programs for children under 4 should not be seen as a way to decrease the risk of drowning. • Whenever infants or toddlers are in or around water, an adult should be within arm’s length, providing “touch supervision.”

BUG SAFETY • Don’t use scented soaps, perfumes or hair sprays on your child. • Avoid areas where insects nest or congregate, such as stagnant pools of water, uncovered foods and gardens where

flowers are in bloom. • Avoid dressing your child in clothing with bright colors or flowery prints. • To remove a visible stinger from skin, gently scrape it off horizontally with a credit card or your fingernail. • Insect repellents containing DEET are the most effective. • The concentration of DEET in products may range from less than 10 percent to over 30 percent. The benefits of DEET reach a peak at a concentration of 30 percent, the maximum concentration currently recommended for infants and children. DEET should not be used on children under 2 months of age. • The concentration of DEET varies significantly from product to product, so read the label of any product you purchase.


Install and maintain a shock-absorbing surface under and around the play equipment. Use at least 9 inches of wood chips, mulch, or shredded rubber for play equipment up to 7 feet high. If sand or pea gravel is used, install at least a 9-inch layer for play equipment up to 5 feet high. • Carefully maintain all equipment. Open “s” hooks or protruding bolt ends can be hazardous. • Swing seats should be made of soft materials such as rubber, plastic or canvas. • Make sure children cannot reach any moving parts that might pinch or trap any body part. • Never attach-or allow children to attach-ropes, jump ropes, leashes, or similar items to play equipment; children can strangle on these. • Make sure metal slides are cool to prevent children’s legs from getting burned. • Parents should never purchase a home trampoline or allow children to use home trampolines. • Parents should supervise children on play equipment to make sure they are safe.


• Do not push your child to ride a 2-wheeled bike until he or she is ready, at about age 5 or 6. Consider the child’s coordination and desire to learn to ride. Stick with coaster (foot) brakes until your child is older and more experienced for hand brakes. • Take your child with you when you shop for the bike, so that he or she can try it out. The value of a properly fitting bike far outweighs the value of surprising your child with a new bike. For more information on finding the proper fit, go to htm#choosing • Buy a bike that is the right size, not one your child has to “grow into.” Oversized bikes are especially dangerous. • Your child needs to wear a helmet on every bike ride, no matter how short or how close to home. Many accidents happen in driveways, on sidewalks, and on bike paths, not just on streets. Children learn best by observing you. Whenever you ride your bike, put on your helmet. • When purchasing a helmet, look for a label or sticker that says the helmet meets the CPSC safety standard. • A helmet protects your child from serious injury, and should always be worn. And remember, wearing a helmet at all times helps children develop the helmet habit. • A helmet should be worn so that it is level on the head, not tipped forwards or backwards. The strap should be securely fastened, and you should not be able to move the helmet in any direction. If needed, the helmet’s sizing pads can help improve the fit.


• Children should never ride skateboards or scooters in or near traffic. • All skateboarders and scooter-riders should wear a helmet and other protective gear. • Communities should continue to develop skateboard parks, which are more likely to be monitored for safety than ramps and jumps constructed by children at home.


High Country Haunts Continued From Page 87

A restaurant in Blowing Rock allegedly has a friendly ghost that you can have dinner with. The ghost mostly manifests itself as a cold spot, even though its favorite table is by the fireplace. Even the warmest dinner won’t keep the hair from standing up on the back of your neck. The Green Park Inn in Blowing Rock is so notoriously haunted that it has a “ghost register” at the front desk where visitors record their experiences. The 125-year-old inn is perched on the Eastern Continental Divide, near the site of a Civil War stockade overseen by the notorious Col. George Kirk. Those who died in the stockade are said to be buried in what is now a nearby golf course. The inn, which is site of an annual paranormal conference in November, is famous for Laura Green, a jilted bride who is said to have died there and haunts room 318. The kitchen has caused reports of rattling cutlery and even knives being thrown across the room by invisible hands, and other deaths have occurred in the inn. The most common report is that of children running along the halls and laughing, even when no guests are there. Cone Manor, on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Blowing Rock, is said to still be the home of Moses Cone, the wealthy industrialist who built the estate and is buried on a nearby hilltop. People have reported photographs falling from the walls, doors opening and closing by themselves, chairs scraping across the floor when no one is upstairs, and mysterious piano notes wafting through the evening air. Revolutionary War hero Capt. Robert Sevier’s spirit is still reported making treks along the Overmountain Trail in Avery County. He is said to make the occasional late-night appearance along Highway 19-E. The Devil’s Staircase rests along Highway 88 in Ashe County. According to legend, dynamiters were clearing a path for the “Virginia Creeper” railroad line when disaster occurred. The same blast that caused the odd rock formation also killed a man. And

The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide before that, dating back to the 1800’s, a woman is said to have hung herself nearby. In another version of the tragic history of the spot, a woman is said to have thrown her baby off a bridge. In yet another, a salesman on his way home fell asleep at the wheel and suffered a fatal crash. Whatever restless dead now linger by the Staircase, and exactly when they began their eternal meanderings, is the topic of many a late-night debate. But for those who have had encounters with the ghosts, the earthly truth provides little comfort. In the days of horseback travel, it’s said that a rider would suddenly find that he’d gained a fellow traveler. Those who had the nerve to look back saw a misty old woman with wild eyes. Sometimes a solo rider who was lucky enough to dodge the icy grip of the dead woman would report hearing a baby crying in the night. But ghost stories have a way of changing with the times, so nowadays an unlucky late-night traveler might look in the rearview mirror to find that an unwelcome hitchhiker has taken a back seat. The most popular yarn revolves around a preacher who picked up a mysterious hitchhiker and the hitchhiker sat silently in the back for a while. Then the preacher noticed the hidden face had red eyes. When the preacher stopped the car and got out to open the back door, the hitchhiker had vanished. Other drivers have reported seeing a pale figure walking on side of the road. Only on closer inspection do they see that her feet are not touching the ground. Bluff Mountain in Ashe County is the home of John Crebs, and Crebs is famed for walking the foggy hollows of the mountainside. Crebs is not the only farmer who likes to walk his lands. But what makes Crebs more notable than most is the fact that he’s been dead for about sixty years. Crebs set out one morning after a lost calf that was somewhere up on the rugged granite slope bawling in the fog. Crebs scrambled along the rocks when he came to a rhododendron thicket. He heard a scraping sound in the brush and thought it was the calf. But when the slick leaves parted, the odor of sulfur filled the air and the Devil himself stepped. Crebs stared the Prince of Lies in the eye for only a moment, then his limbs unfroze and he dashed down the mountainside.


When he reached home, his wife noticed his hair had turned white. He sat in his rocking chair and rocked frantically back and forth throughout the night, staring at nothing. When his wife woke up the next morning, Crebs was stone cold dead. They say if you go up along Buffalo Creek and look in some of the ponds that collect in the spring, you can see the Devil’s face in the water. And if you go along the mountain at night, you might hear a rocking chair squeaking. But worst of all is the fog, when the sulfuric stench is thick in the air, and something unearthly walks the trails of Bluff Mountain. Ashe County is also the home of Nettle Knob, which has trails that are still traversed by covered wagon. But this wagon has no destination, only rattles back and forth across the shadowed nooks and crannies of the Knob. The wagon is pulled by an old sway-backed mule, and driven by a man who ignores everyone he passes. Others say that you can only hear the creaky springs and iron rims as the wagon rolls along. The wagon is supposedly driven by a farmer who plied his goods back in the early 1800’s. One day he came to a bridge over a swollen creek, and urged the mule across despite the animal’s protests. A wheel went over the side of the bridge, which had no guardrails, and the wagon flipped over into the water. The man was pinned by the wagon, and the mule died trying to break free of the harness. Today they are joined in their eternal sad travels, wandering the long nights across Nettle Knob. There’s one sight that the curious will not want to miss. Down near the Burke-Caldwell County line, along Highway 181, there’s a marked overlook where you can see Brown Mountain. You can also see it from Highway 105 in McDowell County. On clear nights, reddish lights glow like jewels across the dark slopes. The lights have been attributed to everything from UFOs, foxfire, radiation, electrical discharges, swamp gas, or light reflecting off the atmosphere. Sometimes the lights move around, which has caused more than one mountaineer to remark that the lights are the souls of early settlers who lost their lives trying to tame the wilderness. If you drive along the road on your way to see the Brown Mountain lights, you might want to resist the urge to stop for hitchhikers. Especially the kind that dress in white and stare at you with their deep dead eyes. Story by Scott Nicholson


The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide





Wi l d f l o w e r s a r e o n c e a g a i n p r o v i d i n g a spectacular show in the mountains, and will continue to do so into late autumn. The High Country’s woodlands, mountains and roadsides are showing their true colors as some of nature’s most glorious gifts have sprung forth from the cold, dark ground during the past few months. Bloom times are affected by a variety of factors, including elevation and weather conditions, though a sure sign that spring has sprung comes with the appearance of the Dogwood trees. As some of nature’s early bloomers, arriving in March and April and providing white blossoms to brighten the drab winter landscape, the Dogwood is the North Carolina state flower, and can be found growing almost anywhere in the mountain and piedmont regions. What appear to be flowers are actually leaves, while the flower parts are small and barely conspicuous. In the Fall, the Dogwood’s rich red foliage almost surpasses the beauty of its springtime blossoms. Other early wildflowers include Bloodroot, Jack In The Pulpit, Mayapple, Dwarf Iris, Buttercups and Indian Paintbrush, just to name a few, each with its own personality and graceful entrance from the dark, damp soil. As the temperature rises through April into May, some of the more common flowering plants include the Trillium family, a relative of the Lily, seen covering the woods in hues of white and purple. Violets, including the Pansy and Johnny-jump-up, are all closely related bright-looking little flowers that spring up almost anywhere in patterns of rich purple, yellow and blue.

Photo by Mark Mitchell



Wonderful Wildflowers Continued From Page 94

The Lady’s Slipper, whose scientific name Cypripedium is actually Greek for “Venus’s Slipper”, requires acidic soil and is most often found in the rich dirt of oak or pine woods, and is a strange-looking flower and often described as a fun-house tunnel for bees, with a one-way entrance. The Lady’s Slipper blooms in Spring, but matures slowly all summer and into fall, at which time its leaves die. From the middle of spring and well into summer, you will find the beautiful Wild Geranium growing along roadsides and in open woodlands. The petals are pink and purple in color and is thought to resemble a crane; its scientific name comes from the Greek work geranos, which mean’s crane’s bill. Most people associate the name geranium with the more familiar plant with showy clusters of red to white blossoms used in sunny gardens and as a houseplant. That is a different genus but in the same family. Dandelions are everywhere at anytime from late Spring to Fall. They open and close for several days and then close up again to mature seeds Early settlers discovered valuable uses for these pesky little blooms, and down through the ages, people have basked in the medicinal powers of the dandelion, using it as a laxative and a “cure-all” tonic, not to mention the relaxing effects of dandelion wine. The tall, yellow flower, which sometimes reaches three feet and looks like a pale overgrown dandelion is called Goastbeard or “Go-to-bed-at-noon”. The flower’s sleepy behavior is responsible for its nickname, as the flower head unfolds in the morning when the sum comes up and then closes up at noon, similar to its cousin, the dandelion. The Rhododendron, usually blooming in mid to late June, is perhaps one of the area’s most favorite of all flowering plants and grows abundantly in wild gardens on the area’s highest mountaintops. Neighboring Roan Mountain, Tenn., holds a festival each year in June to honor the deep, rich pink and purple shrubs that cover the mountain ridge. It’s name means “rose-tree”, and no other plant lends itself to forming the character and beauty of the mountain landscape as it does so

The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide well. Several species of rhododendron exists in the High Country area, including the great laurel, which is perhaps, the most visible, growing at elevations above 3,000 feet and growing to a height of 35 feet. Its pinkish-white flowers appear in large clusters during June and July and its large, oblong green leaves add color to the mountains year-round. There is also the purple laurel that grows lush, deep-pink to purple flowers from April to June, and the Carolina Rhododendron, similar in appearance and usually found near streams and wooded slopes. The Daisy, known scientifically as the Chrysanthemum, is perhaps the best-loved roadside wildflower of all. “He loves me, he loves me not. . .” Who could resist pulling off the petals, hoping for a positive outcome? The daisy is incredibly widespread, enlivening every highway and field, and the favorite of every child’s summer bouquet picked for Mom. Queen Anne’s Lace is one of the most visible and best known of the summer wildflowers, a beautiful flower whose head resembles delicate circles of lace. The white clusters are made up of many separate little flowers arranged like a flattopped umbrella. The one in the middle is usually a deep red or purple. According to legend, it represents a drop of blood shed by Queen Anne herself, when she pricked her finger while making lace. Queen Anne’s Lace is a member of the parsley family. The true nature of the plants closely resembles that of our cultivated carrot and its root is thought to have many medicinal uses. You will find the clear blue flowers of the tall Chicory plant along roadsides, frequently in the company of Queen Anne’s Lace. Though usually blue, the flowers are occasionally white and even rarer, pink. They are at their brightest early in the morning, and by noon are looking ragged and worn. They are also referred to as Ragged Sailors.


Sweet clover grows famously in our mountains along roadsides and in fields. There are many species of clover, but perhaps the Red Clover presents the loveliest sight and sound as bumblebees love to hover around them in the middle of summer. A head of clover is a collection of many little florets, each one resembling a sweet pea. Pluck a few and suck on them to taste the sweet nectar, then you will better understand the honey bee’s fancy. Day Lilies grow in large clumps along roadsides and in fields. They add bright touches of orange and yellow to nature’s artwork. The Day Lily has a strong resemblance to the Spotted Touch-me-not, which is also a tall, leafy plant with bright orange flowers splotched with reddish brown. Its name comes from its ripe seedpods which pop open with the gentlest touch. It is also referred to as jewelweed, because the flowers hang down like pendants. The Goldenrod is one of the most visible of all wildflowers, appearing late summer into autumn, with nearly 20 species growing along the Blue Ridge Parkway. All feature clusters of tiny, yellow (golden) blossoms. In ancient times, the goldenrod was also valued for its healing Photo by Mark Mitchell abilities, though modern-day asthma sufferers commonly blame the flower for making their condition more burdensome. The Common Milkweed is also another June-August bloomer that was used extensively at one time as a healing element. Legend has it that Indians roaming these rugged lands used its white “sap” to eliminate warts and the root was chewed to cure dysentery. Also, dried leaves were used to ease the symptoms of asthma, and often smoked in a pipe. Common Milkweed can be found along the Parkway and in nearly every open field in the High Country. Don’t miss nature’s greatest show – it’s in progress now, everywhere you look.


Hit the Trail Continued From Page 31

For more information, phone (828) 652-2144. • Linville Gorge Trail: 11.5 miles ranging from easy to strenuous, well-marked to poorly maintained. Not for beginners! Take your compass and topo map and enjoy riverside hiking through virgin forest in the bottom of the gorge. • Sandy Flats Trail: A strenuous trail on the west rim of the Linville Gorge. 1.3 mile in length and rather poorly maintained – be careful! • Babel Tower Trail: Located on the west rim, this trail has an elevation change of 1,000 feet within 1.3 miles. • Cabin Trail: A strenuous 1-mile descent starting at Forest Service Road 1238. Poorly marked and maintained, so take your map and compass and exercise extra caution. •Cambric Branch Trail: A c c e s s e d f r o m S h o r t o ff Mountain Trail, this 1.2 mile trail descends along a ridgeline into the gorge. Your strenuous exercise is rewarded with good views. • Conley Cove: This is a popular trail thanks to its more gradual descent into the gorge. It accesses Rock Jock Trail on the way to the gorge floor. A moderate 1.3 mile hike with good views along the way. • Bynum Bluff Trail: One mile long, this west rim trail starts out easy but becomes strenuous. A short spur from the main trail leads to great views of the river and gorge. • Devil’s Hole Trail: This strenuous 1.5 mile trail descends into the gorge and connects with the Linville Gorge Trail. Be careful crossing the river! • East Rim Trails: Included are Devil’s Hole Trail (1.5 miles); Jonas Ridge Trail (4.4 mile roundtrip); Table Rock Gap Trail (1.6 miles). These and many other Linville Gorge trails interconnect to make trips of varying length. • Pinch In Trail: The southernmost access trail into the wilderness area, this very steep and rocky trail is a strenuous 1.4 miles that affords good views. • Spence Ridge Trail: A moderate 1.7 mile descent from the east rim to the gorge floor, this is a well-used access point to the area. Cross the river to connect to the Linville Gorge Trail. • Table Rock Summit Trail: 1.4 miles, moderate. This trail ascends from the Table Rock parking area to the towering, 4,000 foot summit on the rim of the gorge. • Shortoff Mountain Trail: A moderate 5.2 mile roundtrip starts at the Table Rock parking area. The 2.6 mile trail follows the dramatic edge of the Linville Gorge to Shortoff Mountain, with great views of the gorge, Lake James, and the NC Piedmont. • Hawksbill Trail: This 1.5 mile moderate roundtrip starts on Forest Service road 210. The short steep hike goes to the top of Hawksbill Mountain.

Wilson Creek Proposed Wilderness Area The Wilson Creek Proposed Wilderness area, National Forest Service land composed of Lost Cove Ridge and the

The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide

Harper’s Creek Area, borders the Blue Ridge Parkway in Avery County. Twenty-five miles of primitive wilderness trails offer excellent hiking and backpacking opportunities for travelers in this little-known, out of the way (but only about 45 minutes from Boone!) wilderness area. Call Pisgah National Forest at (828) 682-2144 for details. Maps available through the Pisgah office or area outfitters. The following are a few of the trails offered in this area: • Huntfish Falls: Moderately strenuous, 1.4 mile roundtrip descends steeply to a big pool beneath a 10 ft. falls. Starts on forest service road 464. • Lost Cove Trail: This moderate 6 mile roundtrip starts at Huntfish Falls and follows Lost Cove Creek for 3 miles. • Big Lost Cove Cliffs Trail: Easy 3 mile roundtrip starts on forest service road (FSR) 464. Offers excellent view of Grandfather Mountain. • Wilson Creek Trail/Wilson Creek Access/White Rocks Trail: These three trails combine to create an 8.8 mile,


Roan Mountain Trails

Description: Roan Mountain and the Roan Mountain Highlands straddle the North Carolina/Tennessee border about a 45 minute drive from Boone. Several designated hiking trails, ranging up to four miles in length and varying in difficulty, meander through the park’s forests and stretches of Grassy Balds. For the experienced hiker, the famed Appalachian Trail crosses Roan Mountain at one of its most scenic junctures. The top of the mountain is open from April to October. For more information, phone (423) 772-3314. • Cloudland Trail: A 3-mile intermediate trail, the Cloudland Trail follows the crest of Roan Mountain, with a trailhead at the top of the Roan. • Gardens Trail: This trail, 1 mile in length, is paved and travels throughout Roan Mountain’s famed rhododendron gardens which usually bloom in June. This trail is handicapped accessible. • Appalachian Trail: The Maine-to-Georgia Appalachian Trail crosses Roan Mountain, literally going “right over the top.” It’s difficult trekking in spots, but well worth the effort. An Appalachian Trail shelter is located near the peak of Roan Mountain. Horseback and ORV The local parks have a few trails that allow horse travel, and some areas have special trails for motorized off-road vehicles (Blue Ridge Parkway trails do not allow ORVs). Among Blue Ridge Parkway areas that allow horse traffic are the Moses Cone carriage trails and several trails in Doughton Park. Please contact area parks and Pisgah National Forest for information on alternative trails and regulations (see addresses in the information box on page 95).

Beech Mountain Trails

moderate to strenuous outing. Offers remote outdoors with fishing, abundant wildlife and rugged terrain. • Harper Creek Trail: Strenuous 6.3 mile trail, connects to 9 other area trails, leading to gorgeous waterfalls, aspiring views, and excellent backpacking opportunities.

Mount Jefferson Park Description: Mount Jefferson State Park covers 541 acres and hikers can view North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. The abundance of plants and shrubs led to the area’s protection in 1975. For more info, phone (336) 246-9653. • Rhododendron Trail: A moderate 1.1 mile trail that starts near the end of the summit trail. Self-guided booklets are available at the trailhead, providing information about points of interest at various stations along the trail. The trail is at its most beautiful in early June when the purple-flowered Catawba rhododendron is in bloom. Magnificent view of summit ridge and valley below. • Summit Trail: Beginning at the parking lot on Mount Jefferson, the summit trail passes through the picnic ground and ascends 0.3 miles to the highest point on Mount Jefferson. Moderate.

A series of nature trails crisscross Beech Mountain, all passing through gently sloping woodlands and passing over several of Beech’s main roadways. For more information, phone (828) 387-9283 or visit

• Lake Coffey Course: This scenic 1/4 mile course wraps around the lake and is perfect for both walking and jogging. • Pond Creek Trail: This easy to moderate 2 mile trail begins at Tamarack Road, following the creek past Lake Coffey to Locust Ridge Road. The lower end of the trail has a few small waterfalls. Park at Perry Park area. • Grassy Creek Trail: This easy 1.2 mile trail follows the creek from Hawthorn Road and ends at Grassy Gap Creek Road. • Cherry Gap Trail: An easy to moderate 1.6 mile walk up undeveloped Wild Iris Road. Start at Cherry Gap Road. * Buckeye Gap Loop Trail: Moderate 8.4 miles. * West Bowl Buckeye Creek Trail: Moderate 3.4 miles. * Grassy Gap Creek Trail: Easy to moderate 2 miles. * Smoketree Trail: Easy to moderate 2 mile loop.

-Story by Kevin Young


The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide


It’s for the Birds The High Country is home to a wide range of birds. The Cardinal may be the state bird of North Carolina, but the Robin holds dominion in these mountains. The Robin is recognized by its red breast. It is a common enough sight in yards and trees and even parking lots. Here are some places you can find Robins and Cardinals and others of their feathery ilk. If you park your car at Moses Cone Park in Blowing Rock and then take one of the carriage trails, chances are better than good that you will see wild turkeys crossing the path ahead of you or flying through the trees on their way to deeper parts of the forest. It is known that Benjamin Franklin wanted to make the turkey the national bird. One look at a wild turkey in flight and you’ll know why. Forget the ridiculous bird that we eat at Thanksgiving. A wild turkey is spectacular. And ducks. From Bass Lake in Blowing Rock to Banner Elk Town Park, you can find the good old wood duck. The very shiny head of the Mallard is also found at these places. While they may not be the most exciting bird around, there is something oddly fascinating when ducks submerge for a morsel of food and all that is visible are wildly churning hind flippers sticking up out of the water. As you hike along the trails from Blowing Rock to Grandfather Mountain, you are more likely to hear a Woodpecker rather than see one. It sounds as if a very tiny person is playing a very tiny bongo drum deep in the woods. But if you stop to investigate, you may get lucky and see one. The same goes for owls. You are more likely to hear them rather than see them. But if you are game, owls can be found at dusk. Falcons aren’t so particular with their hours. You can spot one soaring over the fire tower at Moses Cone or around Linville Gorge just about any time. When a falcon or a hawk catches an updraft, they seem to be able to go on forever without once beating their wings. Nature keeps earlier hours than the average person, so if you want to see the variety of birds who make their homes in the High Country, it is best to get up early and greet the dawn with them. Bring binoculars and a guidebook. Most importantly, don’t leave food for the birds or approach a nest. Birds are extremely sensitive to disturbances in their nesting areas.


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Visitors give Blue Ridge Parkway a ‘thumbs up’ M

ore than 96 percent of Blue Ridge Parkway visitors value the views and scenic drive above all other aspects of the national park. That finding came from a two-year study assessing the parkway’s value and resources. The Visitor Study Report is derived from two surveys, the first in the fall of 2007 and a second survey during early summer 2008. Nearly 2,700 survey documents were distributed and 2,253 were returned. Fifty five percent of the park visitors said they would be willing to pay an entrance fee of $5 per vehicle to drive on the parkway for up to seven days, while nearly two-thirds of motorists said they wouldn’t pay $25 for a yearlong access pass. Nearly all visitors rated the overall quality of services, facilities and recreational opportunities as “good” or “very good.” While fewer than 8 percent said they had attended a ranger-led program, nearly half of the survey respondents said they would be interested in attending more such programs. In a sign of the times, 56 percent said they were more likely to research future parkway visits via the park’s Web site instead of a brochure. The average time spent for each visit was 36 hours. Half the visitors surveyed said they’d visited the parkway four or more times in their life, while a third had only visited once. While nine out of 10 travelers took scenic views or stops, more than half engaged in photography, painting or drawing during their visits. Half of all visitors were between the ages of 46 and 55, and 21 percent were 66 or older. A third of the parkway visitors surveyed were from North Carolina, though 3 percent were from other countries, led by Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom and Germany.

The results come as park officials make long-range management plans, and local parts of the park remain closed due to construction and landslides. Parkway advocates are also working to protect the views adjoining the parkway, since the park is narrow in many portions and outside conservation measures are needed to preserve land. “This information is highly valuable in adjusting park programs and services to meet visitor needs as well as park planning for the future,” said park superintendent Phil Francis. “In addition, we believe the many communities and businesses located near the parkway will find this information extremely useful.” The Blue Ridge Parkway was designed in the 1930s as a 469-mile scenic motor road connecting the Shenandoah and Great Smoky Mountains national parks. With more than 16 million visitors annually, it is the most visited unit in the National Park Service. The full report can be viewed or downloaded at

By Scott Nicholson

The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide



An Ashe County Overview A Century of Local Cheese

The Ashe County Cheese Store is located in downtown West Jefferson on East Main Street.


unting, trapping and farming were of early significance to Ashe County citizens. Traditional crops included wheat, rye, oats, barley, buckwheat, fruits and vegetables. Cattle operations have also been historically important to the local economy. The early 1900s saw much activity in the dairy industry, with cheese making factories in Grassy Creek, Beaver Creek, Sturgills, Crumpler and Ashland. Eventually, the Kraft-Phoenix Creamery established a plant in West Jefferson in the 1930s. Having had several owners, the plant is now the Ashe County Cheese Plant, for many years, the only such facility in North Carolina. Kraft helped consolidate several small community cheese plants in the area and provided the means and expertise to produce cheddar daisy wheels for distribution nationwide. They operated the plant until 1975 when they sold it to then manager, Chesley Hazlewood, who operated the business until his death in 1980. In 1981, Mrs. Hazlewood sold Ashe County Cheese to Jerry Glick and Doug Rudersdorf, two cheese men from Wisconsin. Glick and Rudersdorf remodeled and upgraded both the cheese plant and the cheese store, located across the street. They also added a viewing room

to the plant. It was at this point and addition being completed in the that Ashe County Cheese became spring of 2007. The store one of the most popular tourist now offers not only all the attractions in North Carolina. products made here, but also a wide variety of other food In 1986, Ashe County Cheese and gift items. was sold again, this time to the investment firm of Finevest The plant has also Services Inc. of Greenwich, undergone several upgrades Conn. Then in 1991 Finevest since 1994, and though it still Services was reorganized and makes old style cheddar daisy Ashe County Cheese became wheels, it now produces a wide a part of Interlaken Capital, variety of cheeses and butter. It also an investment firm out has developed a strong following Anyone of Greenwich, Conn. for its original Sienna cheese, its visiting can th many flavored cheeses, and its C o - O w n e r s M i k e to buy a variety o e Ashe County C cracker f s and je items from a C heese Store newest variety Juusto cheese (a Everhart and Tom Torkelson heddar lly. Wheel mild Scandinavian cheese). bought the cheese factory in July of 1994. Everhart and his family “With a rich history covering moved to Ashe County from Wisconsin to run the cheese more than 75 years, Ashe County plant. Everhart said that one of the main reasons he liked Cheese is well positioned to face the many challenges of operating Ashe County Cheese was the location of the the future, and we look forward to serving your needs for plant because it is such a pretty area, and in his opinion many years to come,” said Everhart. “as pretty as anywhere in the country” as far as he is The Ashe County Cheese Store is located at 106 E. concerned. Everhart has also had nothing but praise for Main Street in West Jefferson. For more information, call the school system his children have attended here (800) 445-1378 or (336) 246-2501. and the people that made his — Allison Canter family feel right at home from the start. His personal experience has Everhart A local favorite, cheese curds, and believing that West Jefferson more are made in the Ashe County is a place for anybody to live Cheese Plant. and raise a family. Torkelson remained in Wisconsin and Several processes are involved in has since become one of the making cheese and visitors can see cheese made during certain nations finest cheese makers. times. For more information, call He has won many National (800) 445-1378 or (336) 246-2501. and International awards for his cheeses, and in the fall of 2007 was awarded the distinction of Wisconsin Master Cheesemaker. In 2004, Ashe County Cheese was split into two separate companies: Ashe County Cheese Company (the plant division) still owned and operated by Everhart and Torkelson, and Ashe County Cheese Store, now owned and operated by the Everhart Family. Though two separate companies, the businesses work hand in hand to efficiently utilize both work space and personnel. Ashe County Cheese Store has remodeled and Tons of cheese are made throughout the year at expanded several times the Ashe County Cheese Plant every year. through the years, with the most recent remodel

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The MounTain TiMes’ suMMer Guide

Christmas in July?


Food, Fiddles and Fireworks during the Fourth in Ashe County The

July 4th weekend will provide plenty of entertainment and activities for anyone interested in the Ashe County area. The very best in mountain music, handmade and homemade crafts and spectacular fireworks will fill the patriotic holiday. Beginning at 7 p.m. on Friday night, July 3, downtown West Jefferson will play host to the Christmas in July Festival for its 23rd year. Friday night will be the kick off with a street dance and music from 7 to 10:30 p.m. Food vendors will open at 6 p.m. A variety of demonstrations and exhibits are featured The Festival continues at the Christmas in July Festival in downtown West Saturday morning at 9 a.m. and Jefferson. will run through 8 p.m. that night. Christmas in July is a free admission event, featuring a variety of music from country and bluegrass to gospel. Local and regional performers that reflect the culture and heritage of the area provide the

entertainment for the event. Entertainment at the festival also includes local dancing groups as well as the Colgate Country Showdown, sponsored by local radio station, 580 WKSK. This is the fifth year WKSK will be hosting the Showdown at the festival. Participants will compete for a chance to move on to regional competition. The Showdown takes place between 10 a.m. and noon on Saturday and i s b r o a d c a s t l i v e o n 5 8 0 W K S K A M a n d o n - l i n e a t w w w. 5 8 0 w k s k . c o m . Also during the festival, the First Virginia Cavalry Company D will present a Civil War reenactment. The re-enactment will begin on Friday evening with a salute in town to start the festival and a small skirmish fought in the streets back to the park. Saturday will feature living history events all day with a re-enactment of the Battle of Boone at 3 p.m., located in West Jefferson Park, just half a block from the festival’s west entrance on Main Street. The group will also feature Sunday church services during their re-enactment. Christmas in July was started 23 years ago by community members and the local Christmas tree growers to promote the Christmas tree industry in Ashe County. “The fact that this is the twenty-third annual festival is amazing,” said Volunteer Jane Lonon of the Christmas in July Committee. “Many festivals come and go.” Over the years the festival has become more about the food and the crafts and less about the trees. According to Lonon, this year the festival will be a oneday event because it is easier for the volunteers and most of Those attending the festival not only get to hear the the vendors prefer a one-day finest in old time and mountain music, but they are entertained by area dancers, young and old. festival. “It is what the community wanted and needed,” said Lonon. The Christmas in July volunteer committee feels that 2009 will be more reflective of the original festival, in 1987. “We want to get away from the ‘commercial’ festival and make it more about our local culture, such as the handcrafted arts and crafts and mountain music,” explained Lonon. The Ashe County festival offers something for everyone. The festival includes only handcrafted, original work in the vendor section. For more information about the festival, click to or call (336) 846-9196. Also during the Festival, don’t forget to visit the Ashe County Farmer’s Market, located on the Back Street. They offer the finest in locally grown fruits and vegetables along with some of the most original, creative arts and crafts in the region. For more information about the market, click to or e-mail Also during the Fourth, the Todd Summer Music Series will be held at Cook Park in Todd at 2 p.m. On July 4, the Series is expected to host the Buck Haggard Band. The event is free; however, a jar is passed around during the concerts for donations because public support is used to pay for the events. Around sunset on Saturday evening, those interested can head over to Ashe County Park in Jefferson for a Fourth of July Celebration. Music, food and more will be available, and fireworks will get underway around dark. For more information, call (336) 846-9550. — Allison Canter Photos by Ron Fitzwater


The MounTain TiMes’ suMMer Guide

Ashe County Farmers’ Market:

Handmade and Homegrown

Warm Summer days are perfect for spending time browsing through all of the unique and traditional items venders offer at the Ashe County Farmers’’ Market. File Photo


PAGE 101

Ashe County Farmers’ Market is open from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. every Saturday and Wednesday through October 31st 2009. Located on the Backstreet in downtown West Jefferson, the Ashe County Farmers’ Market is a place to find the best of what the High Country has to offer. It is one of the most authentic Farmers’ markets a visitor can find. It is reminiscent of days gone by...except the good ole days are still here! The market is a place for locals to see one another, catch up on old memories and make new ones. It is also a place for visitors and out-of-towners to quickly get a flavor of what it’s like to be a local. There are no strangers at the Ashe County Farmers’ Market. Everyone is seemingly an old friend as soon as they begin browsing among the vendors and other shoppers. Artisans and Farmers’ offer consumers a taste of the North Carolina mountains in many ways—fresh local produce; a wide variety of nursery items; fresh eggs and locally-raised meats; homemade breads, pastries and other treats; honey, jams and jellies; culinary vinegars and nut butters; candles, lotions and healing salves; as well as Appalachian heirloom arts and crafts of all kinds imaginable. The integrity of the market is high, and visitors can be assured that all things available have been handmade or homegrown in Ashe County. A committee of artisans to guarantee the authenticity of the rich Appalachian tradition juries all crafts. Supporting our local Farmers’ and artisans is so important to keeping the local economy healthy. It also keeps our community and environment healthier. Just imagine the gas and energy that goes into transporting produce all the way from California, Chile or even New Zealand. Now imagine the quality and taste of produce picked the morning you buy it...not just fresher, healthier and more sustainable, but much more delicious! There are many events scheduled for this year’s Ashe County Farmers’ Market. There will be cooking and grilling demonstrations with fresh, tasty samples for everyone, sheep sheering and fiber arts day with spinning and weaving demonstrations, good old fashioned pie contests, quilt day, tomato day, and pumpkin day complete with a carving contest. There will also be several appearances by local musicians. Ashe County Farmers’ Market 2009 should prove to be the best season ever. There are more vendors signed up than any year before to bring even more products to shoppers. To find out what is happening each week and what produce is being featured, tune into 580 WKSK on the am dial Saturdays at 8:30 am, or read the weekly column in the Ashe Mountain Times. Also be sure to click over to www.asheFarmers’ for more information, photos and an updated schedule of events.

The MounTain TiMes’ suMMer Guide

PAGE 102


Welcome to Ashe County Park’s


ince the front nine opened in 2006, the Ashe County Park Disc Golf Course has offered an outing for those interested in throwing discs into metal baskets. Settled across the 75acre park, the course offers players a serious challenge as they throw 18 holes that weave over water and through the forest. “Whenever the idea first came up, I thought that this would be the perfect place,” said Park Athletics Director Daniel Quin. “We had so much open space and unutilized area.” Todd Patoprsty, who spearheaded the campaign to build the course, helped convince two-time world disc golf champion Harold Duvall to help design a course to take advantage of trees and changes in elevation the land offered, while taking into consideration erosion, environmental issues and public safety. The full 18-hole course premiered in February of 2008, in time for the Inaugural High Country Ice Bowl, and has since brought hundreds of disc golf fans to West Jefferson – partially because the next closest public course is located down the mountain in Hickory. Quin added that the course was built “on terrain that we couldn’t do anything else with except have a nature trail on, so it’s the perfect activity to go in the park. The whole property is being used and being kept up with.” The course offers two tees for most holes – one for amateurs and one for pros, and the goal is simple: throw the disc into the basket. But “ball golf” is not as easy as “putting the ball in the hole,” and disc golf also challenges players to throw the right shots with the right discs. Here is a full tour of the High Country Disc Golf course to provide all the details that you will need to successfully make your way through this challenging course.

Disc Golf Course

Hole 1

The first hole of the High Country Disc Golf course is like most other first holes – a straight shot with few obstructions. The pin location, however, is not like those of other courses, sitting at the top of a very steep hill, adding a twist to the 325-foot hole from Pro Tee and the 204-foot hole from the Amateur tee. The hole also establishes the difference between the pro and amateur tees, which are positioned over 120 feet apart and take different angles at the basket. Patoprsty said that it’s unlike other courses, which “just bump the pro tee back 30 or 40 feet from the amateur tee, but it was the same shot. “We come at the baskets and greens at different angles off the tees, which gives this course a variety of shots.”

Hole 2

The second hole, unlike the first, provides an advantage to left-handed throwers who can arch the disc to fade right. The hole can play more like an obstacle course for right-handers, as a combination of Maple, White Pine, Locust and Dogwoods trees line the fairway. “Hole one was just wide open with no trees,” Quin said. “You end up hitting these trees here an awful lot. It’s a lot more challenging than Hole 1, in my mind.” The hole is significantly longer than the first, too, meauring 363 feet from the Pro tee and 267 from the Amateur tee. Although the pond is situated to the far left side of the fairway, it’s not impossible for a good roll to send a disc into the water, creating another hazard for players to consider when they tee off.

Hole 3

The third hole of the course is the most feared, as players are forced to throw a 414-foot shot across a pond. “Every course usually has a signature hole,” Patoprsty said, “and in the beginning this was it. I don’t know if it still is,” with 9 and 18 standing out as well, “but this one could be the signature.” Quin added that it steps the difficulty up a notch from the first two holes. “It goes from pretty difficult to an extremely tough shot,” he said. “There’s a great sense of accomplishment if you can get it across the lake.” The pond is known to swallow many discs, sometimes more than one a round if players throw poorly. But poor disc choice is frequently as much the reason for this as a poor throw.

Paul Veto, a fifth-year senior at Appalachian State University, fires a shot on Hole 13 of the Ashe County Park Disc Golf Course during the third annual Ice Bowl on Saturday, Feb. 21, 2009, in Jefferson. File photo by Joel Frady “When we have fished discs out, you usually find a bunch of junky ones because people don’t want to lose their good stuff so they’re throwing their junk,” Patoprsty said. “But their junk isn’t good enough to make it across the lake, and that’s why it ends up in the lake.” The amateur tee on the hole offers a seemingly easier route, throwing only 228 feet on the left side of the pond. Despite offering players the chance to avoid a throw over the lake, discs can still find their way into the water due to the steep hill that hugs the pond.

Hole 4

The fourth hole is a slight relief after the massive water hazard challenge of the third hole, but a row of trees creates a fence, of sorts, between the golfer and the basket. The trees lie to the right of the Pro Tee (342 feet to pin), forcing right-handed throwers into a difficult shot. The trees lie to the left of the Amateur Tee (297 feet to pin), however, where they stand as more of a hazard to left-handed throwers. If players can get the disc past the trees, however, they will find much easier second shots since the basket sits in a large field with no obstacles.

Hole 5

The fifth hole is like a polar image of the fourth hole, with players throwing from an open field towards a pin that is surrounded by trees. There is a small opening between the trees that lies after a small creek of “casual water” that, unlike other water hazards on the course, does not count as out of bounds if you land in the creek. While the field leading up to the field is completely open, players also have to make sure that their throw does not fall in the dense woods that lie to the left

which adds another hazard for right-handed players. The hole also stands as the flattest on the course, so players don’t have to calculate elevation changes into their shot. The Par Three hole stands at 249 feet from the Amatuer Tee and 324 feet from the Pro Tee.

Hole 6

The sixth hole presents the challenge of staggering elevation, as the pin sits at the top of a very steep hill beside the lake. Due to the location of the basket, players face two distinct difficulties: a throw that isn’t hard enough might roll back down the hill, while a shot that’s too hard might sail past the basket and into the lake. Dense foliage presents an obstacle from either tee, as well. From the 171-foot Amateur Tee, the trees and vines on the left create a difficult shot for left-handed players, while the jungle to the right of the 258-foot Pro Tee creates a harder shot for right-handed players.

Hole 7

The seventh hole borders the lake to the right and requires players to throw to the left of the trees in the middle of the fairway, but the lake still takes a fair number of discs. The hole isn’t very long – 249 feet from the Pro tee and 229 feet from the Amateur Tee – but too much fade can send a left-handed player’s disc into the lake, while a shanked drive can cost a right hander a disc. The tee and the hole are at about the same elevation, but the hole is built on a hill that rises to the left of the tee. Since players have to throw left, the hill demands that players throw their shot higher – a low shot will hit the hill and leave the player a very long birdie shot.



The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide

Disc Golf

Continued From Page 102

Hole 8

Players will get a taste of the back nine on the eighth hole, which begins in an open field and goes uphill into the woods. The hole is also one of three planned holes on the course with two separate baskets for the different versions, offering a 231-foot Par 3 for amateurs and a hefty 443-foot Par 4 for professionals. Both holes border tree lines, but the most difficult challenge of the hole is throwing uphill. Players have more room to throw hard from the tees, but small mistakes can prove costly once they approach the baskets.

Hole 9

The ninth hole offers players a great view from atop a large hill, as the Par 4 hole stands at a whopping 553 feet from the Amatuer tee and 660 feet from the Pro tee. The first leg of the journey is to throw off of the hill and out of the forest into the open field below. The basket lies several hundred feet further, and the hole punishes players for weak or errant throws.

Hole 10

Both tee pads on Hole 10 start on the edge of the woods, and the basket lies a couple hundred feet into the trees. Players must throw slightly uphill past several obstacles in order to get to the basket, but accuracy is key: too much strength might leave a player in the rough behind the basket, and too far to the left will place some large bushes between the player and the basket. Players throwing from the 235-foot Professional tee must accomplish this after throwing through a mandatory gap that’s not very wide.

Hole 11

The eleventh hole is considered by many to be the hardest on the course, and almost has to be seen to be believed. There are three separate landing areas, each one separated by a large row of bushes that players can only go over. Though the hole is a Par 5 from the 471-foot Pro tee, shots can get lost in a variety of ways. The large bush barriers are both eight to 10 feet tall, so a low shot will hit the bushes and force a difficult shot. There’s very dense foliage (Warning: poison ivy) to the right and left side of the fairway, so discs that fly wayward can land in unfortunate spots. Once a player has made it into the final clearing, the basket lies on the right side of the fairway. The hole plays much easier for amateurs, with a basket placed in the first clearing to create a Par 3.

Hole 12

Exit the woods after Hole 11 to find the only open field on the back nine (you’ll revisit it again on Holes 13 and 18), as well as the most open fairway. The fairway on Hole 12 goes downhill for a couple hundred feet before going uphill into the woods, where the basket lies. Though the fairway is large, players need to keep their drives straight or to the right, as there is very heavy foliage to the left of the basket.

Hole 13

The fourth hole of the back nine starts at the top of a hill and doglegs right down the hill, with the basket sitting at the edge of a clearing at the bottom. The forest that hugs the fairway ranges from mild to extremely dense, and players who miss the fairway might land in a spot forcing a completely blocked or wide open second shot. The hole plays much easier for left-handed players who throw backhanded, since the disc’s natural fade to the right matches up with the fairway nicely. Right-handed throwers face a tough challenge, however, since discs thrown backhanded will fade directly into the woods. Players able to keep their discs on the fairway will have a good shot at finishing below par from either the 207-foot Amatuer tee or the 301-foot Pro tee (both are Par 3).

Hole 14

The fourteenth hole is the mirror image of Hole 13, challenging players with an uphill shot that doglegs to the left. Once players make it around the curve, there is still a challenging uphill shot through a narrow fairway to set up birdie for players playing from the 265-foot Amateur tee or the 405-foot Pro tee. The hole is a Par 4 from both tees, however, and players that manage to avoid the trees and the steep hill that lies to the left of the fairway should be able to make a run at birdie.

Hole 15

The difference between the shots from the 180-foot Amatuer tee and the 324-foot Pro tee on Hole 15 is the difference between night and day. From the Amateur tee, the basket lies to the left of the tee at a similar elevation, but the hill that lies beyond the basket is so steep that overthrown shots can travel a couple hundred feet down the hill. Shots with too much fade can also travel far down the mountain, so accuracy is key on the short, open hole. The drive from the Pro tee is much grander, as the fairway travels downhill for the first half of the hole and back uphill for the second half. The tight fairway adds another dimension to a player’s drive, since players will want to throw powerful, accurate shots to prevent losing strokes.

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Hole 16

Due to a recent change, the sixteenth hole is the only one on the course that plays the same for Amateur and Professional players. The 262-foot Par 3 also boasts the tightest fairway on the course, which is as narrow as 15 feet in some spots and is surrounded by a thick mess of trees and bushes. The hole appears deceiving, however, since the basket is placed straight in front of the tee with no immediate obstacles in front of it. If a player can throw a shot that flies perfectly straight, they can set up for an easy birdie or even make an ace run. But throwing a disc that straight is very difficult, and shots that drift off the fairway can leave players in a tough position for saving par.

Hole 17

Appearances can be deceiving, and Hole 17 is much harder than it looks to the naked eye. It’s one of three holes with two baskets (one for the 153-foot Amateur tee, one for the 419-foot pro tee), and though the fairway is relatively open, the hole is also located on the side of a hill. Due to the incline, one of the biggest threats to players is a disc that rolls down the hill and away from the basket. Although there are quite a few items to stop a rolling disc (like trees and downed logs), it’s possible for a disc to roll a hundred feet or more and create a late-round nightmare. The extreme distance difference between the skill levels is among the widest on the course, too. From the Amateur tee the basket is about the same elevation as the tee, but from the Pro tee it’s an uphill climb to reach the basket.

Hole 18

Patoprsty said that Hole 18 was meant to be “the grand finale, defining the High Country throwdown experience.” The massive hole begins, like Hole 9, from the top of a hill. The fairway goes down the hill through the woods before entering a field. The fairway then doglegs right for several hundred feet to the basket, which stands a monstrous 604 feet from the Amateur tee and 818 feet from the Professional tee (both are Par 4). Much like Hole 9, the tee shot will make or break the hole. If a player can get out of the woods and into open ground with their first shot they’ll be in a good spot to move forward, while a shot that hits the trees or fades left into the thick, thorny foliage will leave players with a potentially tough end to their round. Once in the open field, the basket lies several hundred feet to the right just past a large tree.

The High Country Disc Golf Course is free and open to the public from sunrise to sunset. Doubles tournaments are held on Thursday afternoon (daylight permitting) and some Sundays. Discs can be purchased at The Hobby Barn in West Jefferson and from the High Country Disc Golf Club (all proceeds are used for course maintenance). To find out more about the club, or how to get involved, click to www. —Story by Joel Fady

The MounTain TiMes’ suMMer Guide

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MountAin Music JAMboree And buffet


22 YeArs in tune With high countrY fAMilY entertAinMent

lthough the stage and dance floor inside the Mountain Music Jamboree are quiet at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday night, it is no more than the calm before a civilized storm. Jamboree owner Arvill Scott is busy running back and forth checking this and that in a manner reserved for those folks who do it all themselves. Scott is owner, operator, D.J., sometime picker, janitor and full-time life of the party, just to name a few positions, for the Ashe County venue, which is now in its 22nd year and third location, having outgrown the previous two in fairly short order. Tucked cozily away in the shadows of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Glendale Springs, the Jamboree is the kind of place where, according to Scott, you’re only allowed to be a stranger once, “after that you’re one of us,” he regularly says. The history of the Jamboree is filled with stories of laughter and tears and, in many ways, resembles a family rich in tradition, with Scott as the patriarch. “In 1987, a group of us [local musicians] were getting together for jam sessions on a fairly regular basis and as part of that, we decided that rather than going and playing at different places away from the county that we would just start something of our own and make it close by,” Scott said. “We located a place in Laurel Springs which was the old abandoned Laurel Springs Schoolhouse, and started the jamboree there Memorial Day Weekend 1987. “We stayed there for five years in the school’s auditorium, which had a wonderful air about it with a hardwood floor, seats all around it and great acoustics. We had some wonderful times there, and the people who were there behind the bands and the music really made it special. They came from everywhere around the area just by word of mouth and brochures, but mostly from people telling people. In five years, it had grown to the point that 130 to 150 people were too much for the room to hold so we had to start looking for someplace to go.” As it turned out, Scott and his friends had a neighbor, Tom Burgess, who had in his possession “a bunch of Hurricane Hugo timbers that he wanted to build something out of, so he built a music barn.” The Jamboree was at the Burgess Barn for nine years, operating from May to October. During the coldest months, they were forced to close because of heating issues. Scott said that eventually they began to outgrow the barn as well, even though it could hold around 200 people, and so he once again started to look for a new home for the jamboree. It was at that time that Scott says there was some divine intervention. “Things began to happen for me that were beyond coincidence. First, I had a piece of land that I put a ‘for sale’ sign in the yard of, and somebody came along and took it at the price I was asking. So I had another piece of land and I thought ‘well, that sold easy I’ll see if I can get some more money together to find a place to relocate’ and that piece of property sold in two weeks. I looked around for land I thought would be suitable and wasn’t having a lot of luck. I came home one day and there was a message on my answering machine telling me about this piece of property and by 10 o’clock the next morning I had purchased it. I truly felt like the hand of God had been clearing the way for me. That was the birth of this place and we opened the doors the first weekend in April of 2002,” Scott said. From that day until now, the jamboree has continued to grow in popularity both near and far. As testament to that popularity, you can find three maps hanging just as you enter the building; one of North Carolina, one of the United States and one of the World. Covering those maps, with a few more on the world map than you might expect, are push pins, put there by visitors. “It is amazing how many people have come here. We have literally had tens of thousands of visitors in 21 years. One night we had two separate couples in here, sitting on opposite sides of the room, who were both from South Africa. Now they didn’t come together, but they were here at the same time. It is just

Even the youngest members of the family can hit the dance floor at Mountain Music Jamboree to show off their dance steps. Photo by Allison Canter

amazing to me at times,” Scott said. Scott feels that the reason why the jamboree has been so successful is that they present an honest show with traditional music played by people who love it with some often-unexpected down-home fun during band breaks. Sometimes music is played for line dancing and, on many occasions, Scott will break out a good old Virginia Reel. “I never wanted this place to be about making payments, I wanted it to be about making music in a family atmosphere and I think we have achieved that,” he said. In addition to the music, which is served up fresh every Saturday night, the jamboree offers up the Winner’s Circle buffet from May to October and year-round on special occasions. Of course, the most important part of any local business is the local part of it, and Scott said that he would love to see more local folks coming out for the weekly shows. “I want folks who don’t know to hear that we are a family place where you can come and laugh and dance and just enjoy traditional music and the tradition of a barn dance.” The doors open at 6 p.m. and the bands start around 7 p.m., 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. respectively, November through April. The Mountain Music Jamboree is a smoke and alcohol-free family entertainment venue, located at 9331 N.C. Highway 16 in Glendale Springs. For more information on Mountain Music Jamboree,

Tucked cozily away in the shadows of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Glendale Springs, the Mountain Music Jamboree is the kind of place where, according to owner Arvill Scott, you’re only allowed to be a stranger once, “after that you’re one of us.” Photo by Ron Fitzwater

to see band schedules or make reservations, click to www. Reservations may also be made by calling (336) 384-4079 or toll free (800) 803-4079.

— Story by Ron Fitzwater


The MounTain TiMes’ suMMer Guide

Bluegrass, Storytelling Return to Todd General Much like green leaves on trees, activity flocks to the small they see 50,000 to 60,000 customers each year. The store, which town of Todd with the arrival of warm weather. Tourists return has been continually operated since Walter and Annie Cook to tube the New River while bluegrass musicians and storytellers built it in 1914, also offers a variety of jams, jellies, furniture and antiques. once again bring their art to the Todd General Store. Hungry patrons can also enjoy ice cream or sandwiches from “We try to highlight the Appalachian cultures,” said Virginia “Gini” Mann, who has owned the general store with her husband, what Bob Mann calls “a pretty massive deli menu” featuring Bob, for the past seven years. “Generally we try to have old- “the best Philly steak sandwich in the area” along with crab time, homey, good-feeling goodness here,” she added, noting cakes, fried bologna, kosher reubens and mahi mahi in the summer. Diners can enjoy two that the entertainment they offer decks the store offers: one in is suitable for anyone aged “zero the front that’s usually sunny, to 95.” or one in the back that provides Mann said that the store more shade. had a bluegrass jam when they Whether they’re cooking or purchased it seven years ago, listening to music, the Manns and they have added storytelling say that they each generally and visits from local artists and work around 70 hours a week authors. but have a good time in the “We work hard because we process. want to make sure that the cultural “Most of the people that events that are indicative to the come through the door become mountains still continue, and friends,” said Virginia. “We’re that people have the opportunity pretty friendly, my husband’s to hear the storytellers and the pretty crazy, and we have a history of the mountains, to hear good time.” She noted that many the bluegrass music and see what the artisans of today are doing,” Virgninia “Gini” and Bob Mann stand behind the of the store’s regulars aren’t said Bob Mann. counter of the Todd General Store. Photo by Joel from the High Country, either, and come from all over North The Todd General Store Frady Carolina and the United States. closes down entirely during the “We try to be accommodating to a lot of people,” said Bob cold winter months of January and February before re-opening in March. In late May, the cultural events will return on a weekly Mann. “Sometimes their first impression of the North Carolina basis with storytelling on Tuesday nights at 6 p.m. (with a meal mountains are the owners of the Todd General Store, so you beforehand); bluegrass at 7 p.m. on Fridays, with a meal at 6 have to make a good impression.” p.m.; and in-house artists and authors on Saturdays. All the To find out more about the Todd General Store, call (336) events are free and open to the public. 877-1067 or click to —Joel Frady Virginia Mann said that a “lot of people” walk in and out of the general store during the summer, and they estimated that

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The MounTain TiMes’ suMMer Guide

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Zaloo’s Canoes:



Funny Name for Serious Fun

icture an early High Country morning, the air so calm private campgrounds, as well, like Zaloo’s own Big River that its touch is barely felt on your face. Campground. For convenience, especially at lower river levels, it All around you, the sounds of life coming awake, is recommended that campers drive to their chosen campground birds begin their day with song and the distant splash and set camp before departing. This provides two positives by of a rainbow trout breaking the surface to pluck ensuring you’re getting a better spot, and not having to travel breakfast a few inches above the water can be heard with your gear. from time to time. Zaloo’s campground is totally secluded and beautifully The sun is just starting to break over the horizon and the located just below the convergence of the North and South Forks beams blink in and out dappling the surface of the river that is on the New River. Usually catering to just one group at a time, so still as to almost seem to be glass, yet you are gently gliding the campground doesn’t host more two groups at once. The camp on its smooth surface, pulled along only by the unseen current. is perfect to plan a two-day trip around, and reservation rates are Physically, you are deep in the High Country of Ashe County based on 12 people staying for two nights. Other arrangements on the New River somewhere south of the Virginia border, for smaller groups can be made. Zaloo’s also offers shorter trips including a pair of five-milers: but in your heart you are miles away from all your problems and cares. At least for a time, you are part of the nature that one begins upstream and ends at Zaloo’s and the other begins at Zaloo’s and ends at the Wagoner Access of the New River State surrounds you. Park. Zaloo’s encourages guests Without argument, one of to either picnic with them or at the main attractions that brings the park. The time for the fivevisitors to Ashe County every mile trips is three hours, unless summer is the New River and the special arrangements are made. diverse recreational opportunities Trips set out at 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 that are connected to it. There is p.m. on weekends in the summer something for nearly everyone, and no later than noon April, be they an angler, a rock hopper May, September, and October. or just a lover of fresh water and The 10-mile trip is the most beautiful countryside. popular. Guests begin at Zaloo’s One of the best ways to see and canoe five-miles to New that countryside and enjoy the River State Park for lunch and New River is by taking a leisurely then continue on another five trip down the historic waterway miles to Nathans Creek. The by canoe, kayak or even on an 10-mile trip lasts about five inner tube, and Zaloo’s Canoes, hours. The ten mile trip puts out located on the South Fork of the at 9:30 a.m. and again at 11:00 New River along North Carolina a.m. on weekends during the Highway 16, is just the place to A trip down the New River from Zaloo’s Canoes, summer and until 10 a.m. April, start your trip. With 33-years in business, when the water is right, can be a low impact way May, September, and October. Zaloo’s Canoes boasts that it is to see the beauty of the High Country. Photo by The 16-mile trip can be too much for some people unless the oldest canoeing, tubing and Ron Fitzwater the water level is exceptional. A kayaking outfitter in the area, as well as being the friendliest, a claim it is hard pressed to find downstream trip which takes five-to-seven hours and includes lunch at New River State Park. An upstream trip begins with anyone to argue with. With 33 years in business, Zaloo’s Canoes boasts that it is lunch is at Elk Shoals Methodist Camp. Upstream trips are the oldest canoeing, tubing and kayaking outfitter in the area, very dependent on water levels and Zaloo’s reserves the right as well as being the friendliest, a claim it is hard pressed to find to shorten this trip to 10 miles during lower water levels. The trip puts out no later than 10 a.m. anyone to argue with. When taking a trip on the New River it is recommended to With an ideal location, just four miles from Jefferson town limits, Zaloo’s Canoes sits on one of the prime spots along the bring a few simple items to make the trip more pleasurable. river with 31-miles of downstream areas designated as the New Bring shoes that you don’t mind getting wet, this is mandatory River State Park offering several campgrounds, both state and as people have severely cut their feet on sharp objects in the privately owned, that are perfect for day or overnight trips as river. Sunscreen, sunglasses, hats, seat cushions, a windbreaker or sweater, along with extra clothing and shoes in a water-proof well as multi-day camping excursions. containers, are strongly suggested for cooler weather. One of the most popular offerings from Zaloo’s is their Zaloo’s Canoes is open seven days a week from midtubing: offered from mid-May through mid-September, tubing offers patrons a low-impact, no-skills required afternoon of April until mid-September. Due to the volume of business, relaxation and breathtaking scenery. All that is needed is to Zaloo’s does require reservations. Call 1-800-535-4027 for show up and decide if you want to take the two-to-three hour reservations and be prepared to give a firm date and number trip or the four-to-five hour trip. Tubing adventures start at 9:30 of guests as well as the number of canoes or tubes that will be a.m. and 1:30 p.m. during the summer and until noon in April, needed. Prepayment must be made with credit card or by single May, September and October, and guests are asked to arrive 30 check. Weekends are busy and are often booked-up several weeks in advance. Full payment in advance is mandatory minutes prior to departure times. in order to guarantee reservations and obtain any discounts. For those looking for an alternative to car camping but want Heading to Zaloo’s without a reservation is risky because of the something different or lower impact than hiking, the many trails volume of business, however due to occasional cancellations that criss-cross the High Country, canoe/kayak camping could there may be a few canoes available even on the busiest days, be the perfect answer. and walk-ins are welcome. Overnight trips as short as five miles, with a sleepover For more information on Zaloo’s call their reservation line at the park, or five-day adventures are available. New River or click to State Park has three camping areas, each approximately one — Ron Fitzwater day’s travel apart, along 26 miles of river. There are several



An Appalachian Summer June 27 through July 25

Annual festival celebrates 25 years


PAGE 107

here’s summer, and then there’s an Appalachian summer. An Appalachian Summer Festival is returning for its 25th anniversary season, promising premier musical, art and cultural attractions from June 27 through July 25. Hosted by Appalachian State University, the festival has built a reputation for bringing some of the nation’s most popular acts to the High Country of North Carolina, with this year’s headliners including Kenny Loggins and Joan Baez. “Since 1984, An Appalachian Summer Festival has embraced a mission of enhancing the cultural life of North Carolina’s High Country – by bringing the world’s most accomplished and respected artists to our university, while also supporting emerging artists, commissioning new works and offering educational opportunities that are accessible to all,” ASU Chancellor Ken Peacock said in a press release. The festival opens Saturday, June 27, with Celtic music extraordinaire Leahy, a family of eight instrumentalists, singers and dancers. No strangers to the festival, Leahy performed at ASU in 2005. An Appalachian Summer concludes on Saturday, July 25, in a Holmes Center concert featuring the legendary Kenny Loggins. The traditional fireworks extravaganza will follow. In between, patrons can enjoy a host of talented acts, including the Eastern Festival Orchestra with Sarah Chang, Melissa Manchester, the Triad Stage’s production of Oleanna, the 23rd annual Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Competition and Exhibition, and Mike Cross. “I invite you to join us, as we celebrate the accomplishments of the past 25 years and begin celebrating another 25 years of exceptional artistry,” Peacock said. Tickets for performances range between $5 and $30, and most visual arts and educational events are free of charge. Flexible ticket passes are also available, with the Pick 5 option

offering a 15 percent discount with any purchase of five or more tickets, and the Festival Pass offering a 25 percent discount and priority seating with the purchase of tickets to each performance. For tickets and more information, call (800) 841-ARTS (2787) or (828) 262-4046, or visit CONTINUED ON PAGE 108

Buckwheat Zydeco

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Appalachian Summer CONTINUED FROM PAGE 107

Schedule of Events May 15 – History Day at Farthing Auditorium (drop in from 2–7 p.m.) June 1 – Silent Auction opens June 27 – Leahy, Patron’s Reception (donors at the Patron level and higher) June 28 – Broyhill Chamber Ensemble, The Passing of the Torch June 29 – FILM: The Band’s Visit Workshops begin: Creating in Clay (ages 8-12), Cre8tive Drama (ages 6-16), Plein Air (teens & adults) June 30 – Charlotte Symphony Orchestra Pops July 1 – Broyhill Chamber Ensemble, 1795- 1825: What a Difference 30 Years Makes. Lunch & Learn with John Ross, The Sounds of Summer (noon) July 2 – Melissa Manchester July 3 – Summer Exhibition Celebration at the Turchin Center (7-9 p.m.) Artists’ Lecture: Wonderful Life with Stephen Siegel (5 p.m.) Members Preview Reception (6 p.m.) July 5 – “Dinner and a Show at Westglow,” featuring Sophie B. Hawkins (6 p.m.) July 6 – Broyhill Chamber Ensemble, Falling Bodies Workshop begins: Figure Drawing with Tim Ford (teens & adults) July 7 – Pilobolus July 8 – Lunch & Learn with Hank Foreman, Inside and Out: The Work of Gillian Christy (noon) July 10 – FILM: Patagonia’s Wild & Scenic Film Festival July 11 – Buckwheat Zydeco Family Day at the Turchin Center (11 a.m. – 3 p.m.) Workshop: Shibori with Janet Montgomery (teens & adults) July 12 – Eastern Philharmonic Orchestra with Sarah Chang, violin July 13 – FILM: The Underground Orchestra Workshop begins: Beyond Collage with Vae Hamilton (teens & adults) July 14 – Paul Taylor Dance July 15 – Broyhill Chamber Ensemble, Changing Keys Lunch & Learn with John Tomlinson, Dancing Around the Subject (noon) July 16 – Belk Distinguished Lecture, Ron Rash—The Balance of Beauty and Violence (3:30 p.m.) Workshop begins: Wash & Roll with Kate Worm (teens & adults) July 17 – An Evening with Paula Poundstone July 18 – Mike Cross in Concert July 19 – Eastern Philharmonic Orchestra with Horatio Gutirrez, piano Silent Auction Ends (concert intermission, approx 9 p.m.) Halpert Biennial Gallery Talk and High Tea with Jeffrey Grover, juror (2 p.m.) July 20 – Broyhill Chamber Ensemble, Founders Night Workshops begin: Fantasy Chair (ages 8-12) and Jewelry with Angela Bubash (teens & adults) July 21 – Triad Stage: Oleanna July 22 – Triad Stage: Oleanna Lunch & Learn with Preston Lane, Stage Coach (noon) July 23 – Joan Baez in Concert July 24 – Theatre Workshop with Triad Stage: Providence Gap July 25 – Finale Concert with Kenny Loggins (7:30 p.m.) 23rd Rosen Sculpture Walk (10 a.m.) Workshop: 3-D Books with Sigrid Hice (teens & adults)

Joan Baez

—Story by Frank Ruggiero Kenny Loggins




Local art scene centers around the Jones House

in front of the house is filled with appreciative listeners, some of whom dance to the music while others sit back and relax in lawn chairs. The tentative schedule for the 2009 Concerts on the Lawn is as follows:


uilt in 1908 and standing prominently on a hill in the middle of downtown Boone, the Jones House was the family residence of Dr. John Walter Jones, an Alleghany County native and noted local doctor. In 1983, the town of Boone purchased the house from Jones’ daughter, who sold the house under the condition that it be used as a cultural center for the entire community. Today, the beautifully restored Queen Anne/ Colonial Revival-style house serves as both art gallery and as headquarters of the Watauga Arts Council. Formed in 1981 by a group of local art lovers, the nonprofit Watauga Arts Council is dedicated to fostering High Country artistry and craftsmanship. The Arts Council sponsors regular art exhibitions within the Jones House, which is home to three separate galleries. The Mazie Jones Gallery offers a variety of monthly exhibitions, while the Open Door Gallery features the work of emerging artists and the Senior Gallery displays artwork by local senior citizens. Free to the public, the Jones House art galleries are open from 12 to 5 p.m. every Tuesday through Friday. In 2009, the Jones House will host the following exhibitions: Mazie Jones Gallery June—WAANC (Western Art Agencies of North Carolina) Postcard Exhibit July—Paintings by Ron Skelton August—High Country Water Media Society September—Blue Ridge Fiber Guild October—Juried show November/December—Watercolors by Susan Marlowe Open Door Gallery June—Pottery by Eric Reichard July—Photography by Trudy Muegel August—Western Watauga Community Center group show September—Samaritan’s Purse October—Juried show November/December—Watercolors by Edwina May

Exhibitions are sponsored by Cheap Joe’s Art Stuff. In addition to its regular hours, the Jones House is a regular participant in the Boone Art Crawl, the evening exhibitions in local galleries that occur on the first Friday of every month. Every summer from June through September, the Watauga Arts Council hosts Concerts on the Lawn, a series of free concerts that take place at the Jones House every Friday. Starting around 5 p.m., the Concerts on the Lawn series features a wide variety of bands. As musicians perform on the Jones House front porch, the grassy lawn

June 5 - The Lazybirds (swing, blues, jazz) June 12 - The Neighbors June 19 - Michael Reno Harrell June 26 - King Bees Duo & Possum Jenkins July 3 - Surefire July 10 - Echo Park (classic rock) & Melissa Reaves July 17 - The Harris Brothers & Swing Guitars July 24 - North Valley Tune Tanglers & The Sheets Family July 31 - Steve and Ruth & Deeper Roots Aug. 7 - Amantha Mill (bluegrass) Aug. 14 - Lisa Baldwin and Dave Haney (folk, singer-songwriter), Buck and Nelson Aug. 21 - Watauga Women Songwriters Aug. 28 - Dollar Brothers & Elkville String Band Sept. 4 - Boone Bluegrass Bonanza w/ Diana and Sarvis Ridge, Southern Accent (bluegrass/gospel), Sigmon Stringers, Bluegrass 1101, Leftover Bluegrass

The 2009 season of Concerts on the Lawn is sponsored by the Downtown Boone Development Association, Mast General Store and Alpine Storage. Additional artists may be added to the schedule as the season progresses. As well as hosting Friday concerts, the Jones House is the site of musical events every Thursday. On Thursday afternoons, the Junior Appalachian Musicians (JAM) Program offers 3rd through 12th graders a number of classes in fiddle, dulcimer, and other traditional Appalachian musical instruments. For further information, contact Mark Freed at (828) 264-1789 or mark@watauga- arts. org. Adult musicians are invited to bring an instrument and join the free acoustic jams that are held on Thursday evenings from 7:30 to 11 p.m. Every year, the Watauga Arts Council presents a Summer Arts Camp for children, featuring the Missoula Children’s Theater. From its home in Missoula, Montana, the Children’s Theater has toured the United States for more than 30 years, promoting the development of life skills in children through participation in the performing arts. Open to rising first through 10th graders, this year’s arts camp will take place during the week of week of June 22-27 and culminate in a rendition of Beauty and the Beast. Any questions concerning registration for this year’s Summer Arts Camp should be directed to Christy Chenausky at (828) 264-1789, or via email to In late summer, the Watauga Arts Council hosts an Annual Pig Pickin’ at Ned Trivette’s farm. Further information on this year’s Pig Pickin’ will be posted later this summer on the Arts Council Web site, The Watauga Arts Council operates the Jones House as a true community center, and for a minimal charge the house is available as a meeting place for community groups and can be reserved as the perfect location for weddings and other events. For further information, visit the Jones House Web site at —Story by Kevin Young

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The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide

The Doc is IN!

PAGE 110


Music Fest in Sugar Grove celebrates Doc Watson’s heritage

If you enjoy good music and the fresh mountain air, you need to make it a point to attend this year’s 12th annual MusicFest ‘N Sugar Grove. With headliners including Doc Watson, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Kruger Brothers, and Steep Canyon Rangers, we’ve got something for everyone. For many people the very definition of Bluegrass will include the words Doc Watson. The Carolina Chocolate Drops, playing many creative and grassroots instruments are true crowd pleasers, while the Kruger Brothers, originally from Switzerland, combine traditional and contemporary musical styles to create a unique and beautiful sound. Being nominated for 2 International Bluegrass Music awards in 2008, the Steep Canyon Rangers are a sound to hear. Other bands entertaining will include Lost Ridge Band, Southern Accent, Andy Owens Band, Amantha Mill, the Forget Me Nots, Lost Faculties, and more. This year’s festival will be held on July 10th and 11th at the Historic Cove Creek School, just a short drive from Boone. Not only will a portion of the proceeds go to the Doc and Rosalee Watson Scholarship Fund, but your attendance will also help us maintain and preserve the Historic Cove Creek School while carrying on our mountain music heritage. Besides the good music and family fun, the Kruger Brothers will be hosting musician workshops in guitar, banjo, mandolin, and bass. Internationally acclaimed multi-instrumentalist Andy Owens will also be hosting a Songwriter ’s Showcase! If you’re not already convinced, MusicFest is taking “Green” initiatives by implementing Southern Exposure’s Solar Stage and several green vendors. The festival will be held rain or shine, so mark your calendars and tell your friends! For more information, please visit or musicfestnsugargrove.


Events at Historic Cove Creek School (Doc Watson Music Fest in July, Farm Heritage Days in September) are 7.3 miles west of Boone NC. Take US 421/321 west toward TN 5.2 miles. US 421 splits north toward Mountain City TN. US 321 splits west toward Hampton TN. Turn left on US 321 and go 1.1 miles to Sugar Grove. The Cove Creek Grocery is on the right, the Sugar Grove Post Office on the left. Turn right on Old US 421 just past the Cove Creek Grocery. Follow signs for parking for the events. To get to the Historic Cove Creek School building, after turning on Old US 421, turn left at George’s Gap Road. Follow it around the bends, past Skyline Telephone, to Dale Adams Road on the right. Turn right on Dale Adams Road. The school building is on the left. —Story by Melissa Edwards

The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide


Silver Season for Lees-McRae Summer Theatre Program celebrates 25th anniversary with Broadway hits

Lees-McRae Summer Theatre is celebrating its 25th anniversary in true Broadway fashion. They’re putting on a musical. Or three. This summer’s slate features Cats, The Secret Garden and Guys & Dolls, offering visitors and residents a different show each month. Cats opens on June 17, The Secret Garden on July 3, and Guys & Dolls on July 30. This year’s selection adds to the program’s rich history in Banner Elk, and its origins can be traced back to the arrival of artistic director Janet Barton Speer. In 1978, Speer had joined the Lees-McRae faculty, teaching classes and helping build the college’s acclaimed performing arts program, while also directing numerous productions. With no venue for summertime productions, though, she would often travel off the mountain to direct. “Dean Jim Stonesifer was tired of Speer going off in the summers to work for other people and venues,” a Lees-McRae press release reads. “He had the vision of a summer theatre program at Lees-McRae College; and it was Speer who would bring this vision to fruition. Collaboratively, these two visionaries planted the seeds of what has become a 20-year journey of theatre, education and outreach.” As such, Lees-McRae Summer Theatre hoisted the curtain July 17, 1985 for its premiere season, featuring I Do! I Do!, The Mousetrap, Coming of Age and Where Are Friends When You Need Them?, two of which were written by Speer.

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According to the release, these performances brought 3,403 audience members to Hayes Auditorium on the Lees-McRae campus. “The initial years of summer theatre had a wonderful community theater feel to it, which we still cherish today as we have moved into the professional theatre arena,” a LeesMcRae spokesperson said. “Both staff and productions have grown steadily since the opening night of I Do! I Do!, and we are very proud the programs and services offered to patrons and donors.” According to the release, as of 2004, summer theatre staff totals almost 100 paid performers, technicians and managers, and audience attendance tops 6,000 each summer, with an approximate annual operating budget of $150,000. And the program continues to expand, ringing in its 25th anniversary with three new programs: a performing arts camp, internship program and volunteer program. “We may not have the bells and whistles, but we will always have the heart,” Speer said in the release.

Schedule of Performances Cats Evening shows: June 17-20 at 7:30 p.m. Matinees: June 18, 20-21, all at 2 p.m. The Secret Garden Evening shows: July 3, 6, 13, 15 and 16, all at 7:30 p.m. Matinees: July 5 and 15, both at 2 p.m. Guys & Dolls Evening shows: July 30-31, Aug. 1 and 3, all at 7:30 p.m. Matinees: July 30, Aug. 1-2, all at 2 p.m.

Tickets Tickets are available in advance and cost $24 for adults and $13 for students and children. Matinees cost $19 for adults and $9 for students and children. The box office is located in Hayes Auditorium on the Lees-

The Lee-McRae theatre program recently completed an April run of thr modern retelling of a Greek tragedy, “For the Love of the Nightingale.”

McRae campus and can be reached at (828) 898-8709. Box office hours are Monday through Friday, from noon to 5 p.m. (June 1 through Aug. 3 only). Tickets are also available online at SummerTheatre/BoxOffice.htm. — Story by Frank Ruggiero

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The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide


A Focus on ARt

Turchin Center paints a rich summer Since its opening in 2003, the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts has served the High Country as a world-class arts center. Located on King Street in downtown Boone, the Turchin Center is part of Appalachian State University and its galleries feature a wide range of art exhibitions. Free and open to the general public, the Turchin Center’s hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, noon to 8 p.m. on Friday, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday. Further information on the Turchin Center is available at www. During the summer of 2009, the Turchin Center will present the following exhibitions: The Halpert Biennial 2009: A National Juried Visual Art Competition & Exhibition May 1 – Aug. 29, Gallery A The Halpert Biennial ‘09 is a national, juried, twodimensional art competition and exhibition program designed to recognize new works by emerging and established artists residing in the United States. An integral part of the Appalachian Summer Festival, The Halpert Biennial has grown to feature some of the most exciting new visual art in the country and focuses on a range of art including paintings, drawings, prints, photography, mixed media, and works using traditional and non-traditional materials. Faculty Selects 2009 featuring the Furniture Society’s Annual Student Juried Exhibition May 1 – Aug. 29, Gallery B Faculty Selects is an annual exhibition of student work, and the pieces within this exhibition are nominated by university faculty. Faculty Selects is presented in conjunction with The Furniture Society’s 2009 annual conference that will be held at Appalachian State University from June 10 - 13, 2009. Gillian Christy May 1 – Aug. 29, Mayer Gallery Christy graduated in May 2002 from the University of Northern Iowa. Earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, she

quickly set her sights toward the East Coast. Upon arriving in Providence, Rhode Island, Christy exhibited her public art in Convergence 2003, and then created three-dimensional commercial graphics for the NFL on CBS as well as pieces for The Apprentice, Gravity Games and HBO.

Steven Siegel: Wonderful Life July 3 – Oct. 3, Main Gallery, Mezzanine Gallery Steven Siegel currently lives and works in upstate New York. He received his MFA from Pratt Institute, and an MA and BA from Hampshire College in Amherst. He has received numerous grants and awards and has completed site sculptures and installations within the United States and abroad. The Turchin Center is proud to premiere this new body of work in honor of the 25th anniversary of An Appalachian Summer Festival. After opening at the center, the exhibition will travel nationally through 2010. Siegel returns to campus in September where he will work with students from the departments of Art and Biology.

Harlan Toole July 3 – Oct. 3, Catwalk Community Gallery Harlan Toole was born in Mobile, Ala., and currently lives in Lenoir. In 2007, she received her BFA from the Department of Art at Appalachian State University. Of her work, the artist says, “My work is representational but it is not completely realistic. Since I base my imagery on memory and experience, my work is not photo realistic. In my latest works, I aspire to seduce the viewer to experience a particular mood or feeling and I want to continue experimenting with this idea in my future works. Technique is extremely important to accomplish my desired quality but ultimately concept is the basis of all of my paintings.” In addition to regularly scheduled exhibitions, the Turchin Center also offers public lectures, special events, and various art classes for both children and adults. The Turchin Center’s 2009 offerings include the following: CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE 


Turchin Center Continued From Page 112

June 2009; June 15-19 3-D Sculpture 10 - 11:30 a.m. Programs for Kids June 29 - July 3 Plein Air Boone 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Programs for Teens and Adults June 29 - July 3 Creating in Clay 10 - 11:30 a.m. Programs for Kids June 29 - July 3 Cre8tive Drama Day Camp 1 – 5 p.m. Programs for Kids July 1 Lunch & Learn: The Sounds of Summer 12 – 1 p.m. Lunch & Learn July 3 Wonderful Life 5 p.m. Artist Steven Siegel

The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide July 3 Members Preview Reception with Artist Steven Siegel 6 p.m. July 3 Summer Exhibition Celebration 7 – 9 p.m. Receptions July 6 - 10 Figure Drawing Workshop with Tim Ford 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Programs for Teens and Adults July 8 Lunch & Learn: Inside and Out: The Work of Gillian Christy 12 – 1 p.m. Lunch & Learn July 8 Get Inspired! Supporting 21st Century Art Teachers 1 – 5 p.m. Programs for Teens and Adults

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July 11 Shibori 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Programs for Teens and Adults

July 22 Lunch & Learn: Stage Coach 12 – 1 p.m. Lunch & Learn

July 13 - 15 Beyond Collage: Create, Recycle and Combine Media 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Programs for Teens and Adults

July 25 Fanciful and Functional 3-D Artist Books 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Programs for Teens and Adults

July 15 Lunch and Learn: Dancing Around the Subject 12 – 1 p.m. Lunch & Learn July 16 - 18 Wash and Roll: Painting the Figure in Watercolor and Gouache 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Programs for Teens and Adults July 19 Halpert Biennial Gallery Talk with Juror Jeffrey Grove and High Tea Reception 2 p.m.

July 9 Collaborating for Creative Classrooms: Cooperating Teacher Workshop for Art Educators 1 – 5 p.m. Programs for Teens and Adults

July 20 - 24 Jewelry: Modern Reliquaries 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Programs for Teens and Adults

July 10 Technology in Art Education Workshop 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. Programs for Teens and Adults

July 20 - 24 Create your Own Fantasy Chair! 1 – 3 p.m. Programs for Kids

July 25 23rd Rosen Sculpture Walk 10 a.m. The Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Competition & Exhibition For further information on any of the Turchin Center’s programs or exhibitions, contact the Turchin Center by phone at (828) 262- 3017 or by email at

Art Crawl

On the first Friday of every month, downtown Boone comes alive in the evening as local art galleries feature exhibition openings and a number of shops have extended evening hours. Sponsored by the Downtown Boone Development Association (DBDA), the monthly Art Crawl attracts large numbers of pedestrians to the sidewalks of Howard, Depot and King streets. Participating galleries in Art Crawl include the Turchin Center, the Jones House, Hands Gallery, ArtWalk, the Collective on Depot, Doe Ridge Pottery, the Nth Gallery and Looking Glass Gallery. For further information on Art Crawl, contact the DBDA at (828) 262-4532. — Story by Kevin Young

The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide

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The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide

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The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide

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The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide


Past productions of the Blowing Rock Stage Company include “Keep on the Sunny Side.”

Blowing Rock Stage Co. launches nine productions

The 2009 season of the Blowing Rock Stage Company has a little something for everyone. This year the company will stage a record nine productions including musicals, dramas, comedies and beloved classics. Here’s a look at what’s in store for theatre lovers in the High Country as the BRSC gets set to present its most magical year ever:

Shear Madness: June 10-28

Discover why more than 8 million people around the world have seen Shear Madness, an uproarious salon-set whodunit where the audience gets to solve the crime. A mixture of improvisation and up-to-the-minute spontaneous humor, the play, which Time magazine calls “one of the best-kept successes in show business,” incorporates the latest media scandals and local news items. Plus, since the audience plays sleuth, Shear Madness is delightfully different every time you see it. Produced in collaboration with the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center (Charlotte, NC). “A hair-raising hit.” -Newsweek

Suite Surrender: July 3-12 It’s 1942, and the luxurious Palm Beach Royale Hotel is under siege as two of Hollywood’s biggest divas vie for the same suite. The hotel staff and the stars’ secretaries do all they can to CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE 


The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide

Blowing Rock Stage Company Continued From Page 118

keep Hollywood legends Claudia McFadden and Athena Sinclair from killing each other. Mistaken identities, overblown egos, double entendres, and one pampered lap dog all crash together in Florida playwright Michael McKeever’s show-business valentine to those hysterical old farces of the 30’s and 40’s. Great fun for the whole family. “Buckle up for a funny ride.” – Caldwell Theatre Company

Bye Bye Birdie: July 17-August 2 This Tony Award winner for Best Musical made its Broadway debut in 1960 with Dick Van Dyke, Chita Rivera and Charles Nelson Reilly. Now this tuneful, toe-tapping musical comedy inspired by Elvis Presley comes to Blowing Rock. The affectionate tale follows rock and roll superstar Conrad Birdie and the antics that precede a publicity stunt on The Ed Sullivan Show in which Conrad will kiss one lucky girl from Sweet Apple, Ohio, before being drafted into the Army. “The score still sends us out of the theatre humming.” –

Angel Street: August 7-16 One of the longest-running non-musicals in Broadway history, this Victorian England-set psychological thriller spawned a new generation of stage thrillers and led to the 1944 Oscar-winning film Gaslight, starring Ingrid Bergman. Patrick Hamilton’s white-knuckle-inducing tale, which follows a sensitive woman whose husband has just about convinced her that her sanity is disintegrating, is the stuff of great dramatic literature. Prepare to be glued to the edge of your seat. And don’t forget to breathe. “A dynamite thriller.” –

Hank Williams: Lost Highway: August 21-September 6 This spectacular musical biography is a tender ode to the brash, pioneering country star who stands among the greatest innovators of American popular music. The musical documents the singer-songwriter’s rise from obscure hillbilly to Country-Western super-stardom to his early demise at age 29. An unforgettable tribute, Lost Highway highlights Williams’ unique magic as a performer and the unbreakable spell of his haunting songs. “Exhilarating! A rare achievement in musical theatre!” —Rolling Stone magazine

The Scarlet Letter: October 8-18 Nathaniel Hawthorne’s classic tale, set in 17th-Century Puritan New England, moves gloriously from page to stage in this adaptation that debuted to acclaim at New York’s New Globe Theatre. Hester Prynne, whose husband is believed to be lost at sea, is branded an adulterer when she produces a daughter. Vilified by the hypocritical community, she refuses to identify the father. But after enduring seven years of shunned life, Hester gains a clearer vision of morality than her righteous tormentors. “A drama of Shakespearean proportions.” –New York Theatre Wire

Dracula: October 22-November 1 Eighty-two years after Bela Lugosi took a bite out of Broadway, the classic vampire tale hits Blowing Rock with that original 1927 script guaranteed to get your blood flowing. One of the most famous tales in the world, Dracula, based on Bram Stoker’s blood-chilling novel of the same name, tells the tale of an ancient yet ever-modern evil. Full of power, passion, surrender and redemptive love, this nerve-tickling thriller is perfect for the full moon-seeking Halloween crowd...and anyone who loves a story worth sinking their teeth into. “A spine-tingling winner.” –CurtainUp

It’s a Wonderful Life: December 3-13 The uplifting story of George Bailey and his guardian angel-fueled journey from hope to despair, cynicism to love of self, family, friends and life is a heart-warming tale full of humor and pathos. Based on Frank Capra’s classic Christmas film staple starring Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed, It’s a Wonderful Life is the perfect antidote for today’s commercialization and stress-filled holiday season. Come join us as we all celebrate an angel getting his wings...and the true meaning of the season. “If you’ve experienced it a million times, it’s still a pleasure.” –Orlando Sentinel

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The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide

Love the Nightlife?

Some of the High Country’s finest entertainment never even sees the light of day. This is only natural, since it’s reserved for nightlife. The area is packed with enough nighttime entertainment to satisfy any visitor ’s tastes, from bluegrass and beer to jazz and wine and all or none of the above. Though your conscience might be your usual guide for nocturnal excursions, let the Summer Times lend a hand. Note: The following listing was correct as of May 3, 2009.

Boone Boone Saloon 489 W. King St. (828) 264-1811 Located in the heart of downtown Boone, the Boone Saloon is host to some of the area’s premier musical acts. There’s also pool and darts. Check for show schedules. Café Portofino 970 Rivers St. (828) 264-7772 Though its bar is officially called the Tap Room, most regulars simply go to “Portofino’s.” Offering a variety of drinks and a late-night dinner menu, Portofino also has billiard room and dart range.

Char 179 Howard St. (828) 266-2179 Offering modern dining by day, Howard Street’s newest restaurant and bar offers equally modern drinking by night. Capone’s Pizza & Bar 454 W. King St. (828) 265-1886 Voted the High Country’s favorite purveyor of pizza, Capone’s offers prime pies at criminally affordable prices, along with a variety of draft and bottled beers to wash it down. DragonFly Theater & Pub 215 Boone Heights Drive (828) 262-3222 Movies in the evening, music at night. Boone’s brewand-view offers independent and mainstream film with food and drink on the side. When the movie’s over, stick around for one of the live music performances held throughout the week. Check for a schedule and more information. Geno’s Restaurant & Sports Lounge 1785 N.C. Hwy. 105 (828) 264-1000 Though Geno’s is attached to the High Country Inn,

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Check out this Guide

it’s seldom considered a hotel bar. With enough TVs to satisfy practically any fan’s interest, the sports lounge also offers karaoke.

Macado’s Restaurant & Bar 539 W. King St. (828) 264-1375 A King Street staple, Macado’s serves more sandwiches and drinks than you can shake a stick at. Offering a full menu till 2 a.m., the tavern is a popular spot to quench those late night munchies and have a few while you’re at it.

Murphy’s Restaurant & Pub 747 W. King St. (828) 264-5117 A hub in the downtown music scene, Murphy’s offers live performances throughout the week and weekend, as well as an open mike night on Wednesdays. In the meantime, there’s enough pool, darts and shuffleboard to go around.

Blowing Rock

Canyons of the Blue Ridge 8960 Valley Blvd. (828) 295-7661 Known for having one of the most outstanding views of the Blue Ridge Mountains from its spacious deck, Canyons is also known for a good live show. There’s also karaoke. Check for a schedule and more information. CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE 

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Glidewells 1182 Main St. (828) 295-9683 One of Blowing Rock’s newest restaurants, Glidewells offers a late-night menu to accompany the many varieties of drinks offered at its well-stocked bar.

Green Park Inn 9239 Valley Blvd. (828) 295-4258 The iconic Green Park Inn may have its rich share of history, but it also has a well-stocked and popular bar.

Meadowbrook Inn 711 Main St. (828) 295-4300 The inn’s restaurant, Ciao Bello, comes equipped with a comfortable bar and lounge, along with monthly music courtesy of the Blowing Rock Jazz Society.

Six Pence Pub 1121 Main St. (828) 295-3155 Drink the Queen’s health at the Six Pence Pub, a British-themed bar with an extensive beverage list and late-night menu.

Twigs Restaurant & Bar 7956 U.S. Hwy. 321 (828) 295-5050 A favorite of locals and visitors, Twigs offers fine dining in the evening and a relaxed, intimate bar at night, with live music to boot. Check for a schedule and more information.


Woodlands Barbecue 8304 Valley Blvd. (828) 295-3651 Though Woodlands is home to some of the High Country’s most popular barbecue, plenty of local musicians practically reside there, offering live music on a nightly basis.

West Jefferson

Black Jack’s Pub & Grill 18 N. Jefferson Ave. (336) 246-3295 Black Jack’s offers food and drink in the historic downtown district of West Jefferson in Ashe County.

Banner Elk Bayou Smokehouse & Grill 130 Main St. East (828) 898-8952 It’s not only the drinks that come with a bite at the Bayou Smokehouse, but also the downhome Cajun cuisine, including alligator tail.

The Corner Palate 115 Shawneehaw Ave. (828) 898-8668 Home to food, drinks, live music and pool, the Corner is one of Banner Elk’s most popular night spots, located just down the street from Lees-McRae College. Nick’s Restaurant & Pub 4501 Tynecastle Highway (828) 898-9613 Located just off N.C. 105, Nick’s offers food, spirits and a rollicking karaoke night. Zuzda Tapas 502 Main St. West (828) 898-4166 With its menu of nearly 100 items, Zuzda Tapas Bar can practically offer diners a different experience with each visit. Its wet bar’s pretty busy, too. —Story by Frank Ruggiero



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Fees and Charges:

Regular Tour: $89 (2.5 hours) : Regular tour consist of 6 zip lines with the shortest one being longer than a football field 450 ft and the longest is 800 ft. almost the distance of 3 football fields. Super Zip (2,000’ line) $29 schedule with a Regular Tour (same day and trip - 3 hours) : Zip over a mile of cable. Super Zip Ride (2,000’ line) $55 : Close to 1/2 mile long!

Days of Operation:

STZ operates during the weekends for the months October - April (Off-Peak Season), 4 days a week during the months of May and September (Mid-Season), and 7 days a week during the months of JuneAugust (Peak Season).

Check-in Times:

30 minutes before your schedule tour. Check-in procedures will occur during this time. Tours will depart promptly on scheduled times. Private tours available by special request. Rates vary.

Requirements/ Restrictions:

No pregnancies or serious heart conditions. Not recommended for those with serious back or

The Mountain Times’ Summer Guide knee conditions. All Ages. 40 - 270 pounds.


Closed toed shoes, long shorts or long pants, rain gear (in wet weather), long hair tied back, no dangly jewelry. Please secure any body piercings with atletic tape or remove if possible, prior to arriving for your tour.

Cancellation Policy:

24 hours and parties of 3 or more 48 hours. Tours operate rain or shine (weather permitting). Less notice will result in the processing of your credit card for the full tour amount. STZ cancellations will result in a full refund or re-scheduling for a different tour time.


More information will be posted soon regarding shuttle pick-up locations. STZ is a member of, and operates under the standards of, the ANSI accredited Professional Ropes Course Association (PRCA). We meet or exceed the safety standards of the challenge course industry in terms of design, construction, and operations. STZ Guides are trained and certified in canopy / zip line tour operation by EBL which is an Accredited Vendor Trainer for Canopy Tours. —Story by Mark Mitchell

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A Banner Year for Banner Elk Winery

Since 2005, Banner Elk Winery has grown like the grapes on its own vines – steady, fruitful and award-winning. It’s the kind of success to which vintner and co-owner Dick Wolfe will raise his glass, and he guarantees visitors to the winery this season will enjoy the fruits of a banner year. “We’re experiencing a banner harvest of grapes,” Wolfe said of the winery’s vineyards, which are growing Foch, Seyval Blanc, Steuben, Golden Muscat and Cabernet Sauvignon. These varieties are French-American hybrids, coldhardy and well-suited for the area’s high elevations and cooler weather, a climate akin to that of the European wine country. In fact, Wolfe and wife Dede Walton traveled to Italy this spring to see for themselves. “We noticed the climates were so similar, and the grapes there were at the same state ours were (for that time of year),” Wolfe said. Grapes grown in the High Country have shown their mettle in the face of cold winters. For instance, when a late freeze settled on the vines throughout North Carolina in spring 2007, a majority of grapes at lower elevations suffered, while Banner Elk’s varieties endured. Such grapes stay on the vine slightly longer, budding later than others, Wolfe said. Wolfe often tells visitors the winery is growing something special, though it seems critics would also agree. In 2006, the Banner Elk Winery 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon, made with grapes from Wolfe’s Wolf Creek Vineyard in Abingdon, Va., won the N.C. State Fair’s double-gold award. In 2007, the Banner Elk White, High Country Rosé, Seyval Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon left the fair with a bronze

medal each, and the Banner Elk Chardonnay took the silver medal at the 2008 Blue Ridge Wine and Food Festival. The winery’s unique blueberry wine, made with blueberries grown on site, has also received state fair accolades. The winery also offers its newest wine in the Foch, a grape Wolfe previously grew exclusively for the Banner Elk Red blend. Though new to the area, this particular wine already won a gold medal in last year’s Blue Ridge Wine and Food Festival. “And that’s going to be one of our signature wines,” Wolfe said of the Foch. “That and the Seyval Blanc will be two signature wines that make this region famous.” Wolfe considers himself a “Johnny Grapeseed” of the region, introducing area farmers to viticulture as a profitable alternative to tobacco and Christmas trees and then purchasing the grapes for the winery. “With as many vineyards that are producing, I’d say we’ll get 20 new tons of grapes, just locally,” Wolfe said. “With the 20 to 30 tons from last year, we’ll probably end up with 50 tons of grapes from local vineyards in North Carolina and the mountains.” When Wolfe started investigating the possibility of vineyards in the High Country in 2001, he said there were plenty of naysayers who said it could not be done. Now, they can effectively put a cork in it. At the time, Wolfe, a chemist by trade, approached Appalachian State University’s chancellor at the time, Frank Borkowski, to discuss the possibility of establishing a center for applied science, as well as offering the opportunity to teach

farmers to grow and harvest grapes, with the winery playing a major role in the process. Borkwoski agreed, and the center was established with Wolfe at the helm. Wolfe and area businessman Angelo Acceturro teamed up to establish the winery, and though Wolfe, no longer works for the university, the winery continues to grow. The winery now features amphitheater for live music, adjacent to a fishing pond. “It’s an ideal location for destination weddings and special events,” Walton said. The winery is also home to the Villa at the Blueberry Farm, a luxurious bed and breakfast inn, featuring eight bedrooms, 10 bathrooms, a full kitchen and a panoramic view of the vineyards. “It feels like a special occasion, but it’s very comfortable and intimate,” Walton said. Comfortable and intimate go together like food and wine, something of which the winery proudly offers each summer with its wine dinners. Wine dinners usually have an ethnic theme, such as last year’s Cajun, Greek and Spanish meals, and diners get to sample a different Banner Elk wine with each course, designed specifically to complement each other. As meals are planned, they will be announced on the winery’s Web site, www. Banner Elk Winery is located at 60 Deer Run Lane (just off Gualtney Road) in Banner Elk. Hours are Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from noon to 7 p.m. For more information, call (828) 898-9090 or visit on the Web. —Story by Frank Ruggiero


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Calendar of Events Beest Cycling Time Trial Weekend The first Beech Mountain “Beest” Cycling Time Trial Weekend is May 23-24. The event includes a host of activities for participants and their families, highlighted by Saturday’s time trial from Banner Elk up highway N.C. 184 to the top of Beech Mountain. The Beech Mountain Best was created by David Klein of Charlotte, a 42-year-old cyclist who also owns Charlotte Health & Fitness Magazine. “It is geared toward all avid cyclists,” Klein said. “We welcome racers, but it is not necessarily for racers. It’s for working guys like me who like to get out and stay athletic. We might not fly up the mountain, but we’ll get up there.” Registration fee is $25 in advance and $30 the day of the event. The entry fee includes a goody bag, T-shirt and dinner. Awards will be presented to the top three finishers in each age group, male and female. All participants are entered into a drawing for door prizes. For information on the time trial weekend, call (704) 333-5697 or visit Community health fair On Wednesday, May 27, the Buckeye Recreation Center at Beech Mountain will host a community health fair. The event will feature free screenings, educational information and diagnostic testing from 9:30-11:30 a.m. All of the health fair activities will be free. From 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., there will be an informational and educational luncheon with a guest speaker discussing heart health. The luncheon will be $5. Register with the Buckeye Recreation Center staff by May 22 to secure a seat at the luncheon. Friday, May 29 Music in the Valle Music in the Valle will take place May 29, at 7 p.m. at Valle Crucis Community Park. Free admission. Featured will be Family Ties. “The Dixie Swim Club” May 29-31 Blue Ridge Community Theatre will present “The Dixie Swim Club” by Jessie Jones, Nicholas Hope and Jamie Wooten, May 29-31. Five Southern women, whose friendships began on their college swim team, reunite every August at the beach for a girls’ weekend. The comedy spans a period of 33 years. It is the story of these five unforgettable women – a hilarious and touching comedy about friendships that last forever. The play will be presented at the Broyhill Inn on the campus of Appalachian State University. Show times are May 29 at 7:30 p.m., May 30 at 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and May 31 at 3 p.m. Tickets are $25 and include such delectable edibles as a biscuit bar. Tickets can be purchased at the Broyhill Inn, Boone Drugs-Deerfield and on-line at

Saturday, May 30 Town of Beech Mountain Birthday Celebration On Thursday, May 30, the town of Beech Mountain will be hosting a potluck dinner to celebrate the anniversary of the town’s birthday. “This will be a wonderful opportunity for everyone to meet our new Town Manager, Randy Fierabend,” a spokesperson for the town said. The fun will begin at 6 p.m. The event will also feature live bluegrass music from local favorite Creekside Grass. The parks and recreation staff will also take this time to update those attending on many of the other upcoming summer programs, services, events and activities. Second annual A Cool 5 Race On Saturday, June 6, the town of Beech Mountain Parks and Recreation will host the second annual A Cool 5 Race to benefit the construction of the new community playground. This year’s event will again feature a five-mile run. There will also be a 1.5-mile fun run/walk option for those interested in a slower pace, less strenuous option. The race weekend festivities will begin with packet pick-up for racers at the town’s Friday night pasta dinner. Race day activities start at 7:30 a.m., with day-ofregistration and packet pick up. The five mile race will begin at 9 a.m., and the 1.5 mile fun run/walk will begin at 9:15 a.m. Post-race festivities will include live music and a cookout. Games and activities will also be available for the family. Early registration is $25 and will end on May 15. Late registration is $30. Register online at,, Thursday, June 11 Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show – Saddlebred — will be held June 11-14 at the Tate Show Grounds in Blowing Rock. For more information, call 828-295-4700. The Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show is one of the oldest horse show events in the country and has been a Blowing Rock tradition since 1923. Ashe County Gallery Crawl Gallery Crawl in Ashe County on Friday, June 13, from 5 to 8 p.m. Open house at downtown West Jefferson galleries and studios. Candle Light Ghost Tours Candle Light Ghost Tours will take place June 13 at Wilkes Heritage Museum, 100 East Main S., in Wilkesboro. Experience a historical tour of Old Wilkes by candlelight with an excellent storyteller in period costume describing tales of ghostly happenings. Tours begin at the Old Wilkes Jail. Admission fee is charged. For more information,

call (336) 667-3171.

Blowing Rock Art in the Park, a series of juried art and craft shows, will be held in downtown Blowing Rock on Saturday, June 13, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. For more information, call 828-295-7851 or visit Artist and mime Michael Cooper Michael Cooper will perform on June 13 at 10 a.m. at the Hayes Performing Arts Center in Blowing Rock. An eye-popping artist and virtuoso mime whose exquisite performances have dazzled audiences for almost 30 years, Cooper presents a oneman extravaganza. Breathtaking handcrafted masks, original stories of courage and wonder, outlandish stilt dancing and a physical repertoire range from the madcap to the sublime. For more information, call 828-295-9627.

Elk Park Street Fair There will be an Elk Park Street Fair on June 13 beginning at 8 a.m. at the historic site of Cranberry High School. Sunday, June 14 Ashe County Coffee House Coffee House in Ashe County on June 14 at 7:30 p.m. at the West Jefferson Methodist Church fellowship hall. It’s summertime fun with stories, song and music. Admission is $10 for adults; $5 for students.

Blowing Rock Jazz Society The Blowing Rock Jazz Society will perform with Wendy Jones on June 14 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Meadowbrook Inn in Blowing Rock. Call 828-295-4300 for more information.

Tuesday, June 15 The Marlins at LMC Forum The Marlins will be featured at the Lees-McRae College Forum held on the Banner Elk campus at Hayes Auditorium. The Marlins offer what can truly be called a variety show. They offer anything from Big Band to classical melodies, foot-tappin’ ragtime, down-home bluegrass to smooth pop songs. Call 828-898-8709 for more information.


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Calendar of Events Friday, June 19 Outdoor drama ‘Horn in the West’ opens Boone’s outdoor drama “Horn in the West” opens for the season and is performed at 8 p.m. every night except Monday. The nation’s oldest Revolutionary War drama brings to life the famous frontiersman Daniel Boone and the hardy mountain settlers in their struggle to preserve their freedom during the turbulent years of the War for Independence. Gates open at 7:30 p.m. Call (828) 264-2120 for more information. 62nd Rhododendron Festival at Roan Mountain State Park The 62nd Rhododendron Festival at Roan Mountain State Park in Roan Mountain, Tenn., will be held June 20-21 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the park. This traditional mountain celebration of the rhododendron features handmade crafts, food, and a variety of traditional music, plus an array of old-time folk demonstrations. Call 800-250-8620 for more information. The High Country Community Yard Sale A High Country Community Yard Sale will be held June 20 from 8 a.m. to noon at Beech Mountain, across from the Beech Mountain Town Hall. Monday, June 22 Thursday, June 25 ‘A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum’: June 25-29 Ashe County Little Theatre will present “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum” June 25-29 at the Ashe Civic Center. Admission is $12 for adults; $5 for students. Trade Days Trade Days will take place June 26-28, with a parade Saturday at 10 a.m. at Trade, Tenn., on the state line on U.S. 421 North, 15 minutes from Boone. Native American dance and pow wow, lots of craft and food vendors, pioneer America reenactment. Trade is the oldest community in Tennessee. A trading post was established for Native Americans and pioneers to have a place to buy and sell their wares. Ticket prices for one day are $10 for adults and $5 for children. For the entire weekend prices are $20 for adults and $12 for children. These dates and prices are subject to change. Call 423-727-3007 for more information. 2009 Home & Garden Tour Six Watauga County homes and gardens will be on the June 27 tour sponsored by the Watauga County Democratic Party. The self-guided go-at-your-own-pace tour will feature some of historic Boone’s oldest gardens, as well as newly designed spaces and homes of all sizes and architectural types. A complete description of all the properties featured on the tour can be seen online at http://www.wataugadems. com/1events/09HomeGarden.html, along with ticket and contact information. Tour tickets in advance are $25 each, which includes lunch. Tickets will be available at the Watauga County Farmers’ Market now through June 20 and at the Appalachian Antique Mall across from Mast Store in downtown Boone. For additional information, contact J.W. Williamson, Annual Heritage Day and Wood Kiln opening The annual Heritage Day and Wood Kiln opening will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Bolick Traditions Pottery Studio. The day features entertainment, pottery, demonstrations, food and interactive events. Free. For more information, call 828-295-5099. Kiddo Fishing Derby The Kiddo Fishing Derby will be held June 27 at Coffey Lake at Beech Mountain. Registration begins at 8 a.m. Sunday, June 28 Fine Arts and Craft Show A fine arts and craft show ill take place at the Great Train Robbery & Emporium in Banner Elk on June 28. Show hours are Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call 828-898-8645 or e-mail

Monday, June 29 Hiking club Chargers and Rechargers Hiking Club on Monday, June 29, will hike the Boone Fork Trail in Watauga County. Meet at Price Picnic grounds on the Blue Ridge Parkway near the restrooms at 9:30 a.m.

Creative and Performing Arts Camp Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk will present Creative and Performing Arts Camp 2009 (CAPA) in June and July. The theme of this year’s camp is “Disney and the Arts.” The dates for CAPA 2009 are June 29-July 3 and/or July 27-31. Each day begins at 9 a.m. and ends at 3 p.m. Four separate classes are created to accommodate age groups and different curriculums. The cost per camper is $220 per week, which includes lunch each day, a camp T-shirt, field trips and instruction. A discount is available for multiple-child families. For additional information, contact Stacey Trivett, camp director, at<mailto:>, or Mindi Bishop, camp assistant director, at BishopMA@<> or phone 828-898-3372.

Boone-Blowing Rock Antiques Show The Boone-Blowing Rock Antiques Show will take place July 3-5 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Holmes Center on the ASU campus in Boone. Fine antiques, collections of estate jewelry and sterling silver. Also fine art, porcelains, cut glass, tall clocks, rare books and prints, rugs, a wide variety of fine, old, primitive and formal furniture, Majolica, quilts and much, much more. Call 843-849-1949 for details.

Concerts on the Lawn The free Concerts on the Lawn at the Jones House in downtown Boone are held on Fridays starting at 5 p.m. Bring your own chair. Featured this evening will be Surefire. Presented by the Watauga Arts Council. Saturday, July 4 Boone July 4th parade Boone Down Fourth of July parade.

4th of July Festival and Parade in Blowing Rock A 4th of July Festival and Parade will take place in downtown Blowing Rock. There will be the annual small-town festival with games and music. Parade at 2 p.m.

49th annual Pig Roast and Fireworks The 49th annual Pig Roast and Fireworks will take place on the Fourth of July at Beech Mountain. The Town of Beech Mountain, the Beech Mountain Volunteer Fire Department and the Beech Mountain Chamber of Commerce host this event. “After years of perfecting the seasonings and charcoal blends, our barbeque is arguably the best in the High Country,” a spokesperson for the event said. Enjoy music while dining outdoors (weather permitting, of course). And at dark, enjoy one of the best fireworks displays in the High Country. Children’s activity corner begins at 3:30 p.m. Serving at 5 p.m., and fireworks at dark. Tickets can be purchased in advance at the Beech Mountain Chamber of Commerce, Fred’s General Mercantile, or they may be purchased at the gate. Tickets are $12 per person and $6 for children 10 and under. Call the Beech Mountain Chamber of Commerce at (828) 387-9283 for additional details.

Summer Blues Festival A Summer Blues Festival will take place July 6 at 7:30 p.m. at the Hayes Performing Arts Center. The popular blues-rock trio The King Bees makes its fourth appearance on the Hayes Center stage to headline this summer concert. Last summer they brought the Empress of Blues Sandra Hall with them... who will join them to heat up this summer? For more information, call 828-295-9627.

Friday, July 10 Patagonia’s Wild and Scenic Film Festival An Appalachian Summer Festival at ASU will present Patagonia’s Wild & Scenic Film Festival July 10 at 8 p.m. For more information, call toll-free (800) 841ARTS (2787) or (828) 262-4046.

Gallery Crawl in Ashe County A Gallery Crawl will take place on Friday, July 10, from 5 to 8 p.m. in downtown West Jefferson in Ashe County. It’s an open house at more than a dozen galleries and studios.

Family Day at the Turchin Center An Appalachian Summer Festival at ASU will present a Family Day at the Turchin Center on July 11 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, call toll-free (800) 841-ARTS (2787) or (828) 262-4046.

Blowing Rock Jazz Society The Blowing Rock Jazz Society will perform with Larry Lapin and Michelle Amato, pianist and singer, on July 12 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Meadowbrook Inn in Blowing Rock. Call 828-295-4300 for more information.



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Monday, July 13 Film “Vitus” An Appalachian Summer Festival at ASU will present the film “Vitus”on July 13 at 8 p.m. For more information, call toll-free (800) 841-ARTS (2787) or (828) 2624046. 15th annual High Country Bead, Gem, Jewelry and Mineral Show The 15th annual High Country Bead, Gem, Jewelry and Mineral Show will be held July 17-19 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at the Boone National Guard Armory. Jewelry makers, goldsmiths and silversmiths from all over the U.S. who can reconstruct, repair, design or make original jewelry from customer-selected gems, stones, opals and crystals are featured, as well such items as gem trees, wire wrap, wire sculpture, stone heads, stone setting, amber, opal, mineral and fossil dealers. There are hourly door prizes, including a gold ring with a precious stone to be given as a grand prize. Call 540-384-6047 for details. Banner Elk Fine Art and Mastercraft Festival The Banner Elk Fine Art and Mastercraft Festival will be held Saturday and Sunday, July 18-19, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Banner Elk Elementary School. High Country Wine Event A High Country Wine Event will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. July 18 at Pleasing Mona’s Design. Dancing in the Streets at Town Hall Dancing in the Streets at Town Hall will take place at the Beech Mountain Town Hall beginning at 8 p.m. on July 18. Blowing Rock Art in the Park Blowing Rock Art in the Park is a s series of juried art and craft shows in downtown Blowing Rock. The next summer show is July 18. Hours are 10 a.m.-5 p.m. For more information, call 828-295-7851 or visit Blue Ridge Descendants Blue Ridge Descendants will presented July 20 at 7:30 p.m. at the Hayes Performing Arts Center in Blowing Rock. A bluegrass staple of 1960s’ Appalachia, the Blue Ridge Descendants was formed to celebrate and preserve the music and tradition that made mountain life and the music it begat so unique. Three of its original members- James Coffey, Bob Harman and Glenn Bolick- come together to recapture that old-time sound for generations both old and new. For more information, call 828-295-9627.

Blowing Rock Charity Horseshow – Hunter Jumper I The Blowing Rock Charity Horseshow — Hunter Jumper I — takes place July 22-26 at the Tate Show Grounds in Blowing Rock. The Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show is one of the oldest horse show events in the country and has been a Blowing Rock tradition since 1923. Admission. For more information, call 828-295-4700. St. Mary Tour of Homes The St. Mary Tour of Homes will take place on July 24 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Blowing Rock. It is the annual fundraiser tour of outstanding Blowing Rock homes sponsored by St. Mary of the Hills Episcopal Church. Admission. Symphony at Chetola Symphony at Chetola in Blowing Rock will take place on July 24 at 7 p.m. at Chetola Lake. It’s an elegant evening and tradition in Blowing Rock. Enjoy the symphony by the lake at Chetola Resort. Third annual Boone Bluegrass Festival The third annual Boone Bluegrass Festival will be held July 25 from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. at the High Country Fairgrounds off Roby Greene Road in Boone. It will feature Doyle Lawson, Grascals, Surefire, Southern Accent, Darin Aldridge/Brook Justice and All Star Joey Cox at 4:30 p.m. Call 828-733-8060 for details.

Arts and crafts show A fine arts and craft show will take place July 25-26 at the old Cannon Memorial Hospital grounds featuring 75 booths of arts and crafts artists, Tynecastle highway, Banner Elk. Show hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call 828-7330675 or e-mail 23rd Rosen Sculpture Walk The 23rd Rosen will be held Saturday, July 25, at 10 a.m. on the ASU campus. Works by the selected finalists in the Rosen Sculpture Exhibition are situated in outdoor, public spaces on campus. The Sculpture Walk offers visitors a glimpse into the world of contemporary sculpture, through the eyes of the juror. The winner of the 23rd Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Competition & Exhibition will be announced at the reception to be held at the conclusion of the walk. The Sculpture walk will begin at Catherine Smith Gallery located within Farthing Auditorium. High Country Bluegrass Festival The High Country Bluegrass Festival takes place July 25 from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. at the High Country Fairgrounds in Boone featuring Doyle Lawson & Quick Silver,

The Grascals, Darin Aldridge & Brooke Justice and Southern Accent. There will be a Fiddle Workshop by “Big” Al Johnson and a Banjo Workshop by Terry Baucom and Joey Cox. Concessions available. Tickets are $20 advance/$25 at gate, 12 and under free with paying adult. For more information, call 828-733-8060.

Sunday, July 26 Arts and crafts show A fine arts and craft show will take place July 25-26 at the old Cannon Memorial Hospital grounds featuring 75 booths of arts and crafts artists, Tynecastle highway, Banner Elk. Show hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call 828-7330675 or e-mail Wednesday, July 29 Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show — Hunter Jumper II The Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show — Hunter Jumper II — will take place July 29-Aug. 2 at the Tate Show Grounds in Blowing Rock. The Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show is one of the oldest horse show events in the country and has been a Blowing Rock tradition since 1923. Admission. For more information, call 828295-4700.

Thursday, July 30 BRAHM Arts & Antiques Weekend event The Blowing rock Art and History Museum will present four days (July 30-Aug. 2) of art and antiques in Blowing Rock. For more information, call 828-295-9099.

The outdoor drama “Miracle on the Mountain” will be presented Thursday and Friday, July 30-Aug.1 and Aug. 6 and 8 at 8 p.m. at the Crossnore Amphitheater in Crossnore. Friday, July 31 Music in the Valle Music in the Valle will take place July 31 at 7 p.m. at Valle Crucis Community Park. Free admission. Featured will be Tommy and Patty Calahan.

Roads in the Park Classic Car, Truck and Vintage Bike Show will be held at MacRae Meadows at Grandfather Mountain. More than 45 classes from antique pre-1930s through 1989 cars, trucks, vintage bikes and road tractors. MacRae Meadows. Call 828-963-2723 for details.


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Index of Advertisers 1881 General Store 81 4 Seasons Vacation Rentals & Sales 105 9 Lives Antiques 127 Action Cycle Sports 12 Active Realty 67 Adam’s Lumber and Hardware, Inc. 19 Advantage Electrolysis Clinic 54 Alpen Restaurant & Bar 115 Andy Harkins Nationwide 38 Antiques on Howard 33 Appalachian Regional Healthcare System 61 Artistree Consulting, LLC 60 Artwalk 32 Ashe County Arts Council 55 Ashe County Chamber of Commerce 55 Ashe County Little Theatre 56 Ashe Custom Framing & Gallery 54 Ashe High Country 03 ASU Performing Arts Series 90 ASU Turchin Center for the Visual Arts 91 Avery Animal Hospital 22 Avery Animal Hospital 51 Avery Arts Council 92 Avery County Chamber of Commerce 105 Banner Elk Tourism 72 Banner Elk Winery 89 Banner House Museum 73 Batchelor Chiropractic Clinic 10 Beadbox/Grateful Grounds 32 Bear Creek at Linville 130 Beech Mountain Chalet Rentals 105 Beech Mountain Chamber of Commerce 132 Belladonna 123 Bistro Roca 117 Bizzies Drive-In 44 Blackberry Creek Mattress Outlet 13 Blowing Rock Attraction 69 Blowing Rock Estate Jewelry 26 Blowing Rock Frameworks & Gallery 27 Blowing Rock Grille and Bert’s Bar 116 Blowing Rock Properties, Inc. 26 Blowing Rock Real Estate 07 Blowing Rock Realty 26 Blowing Rock Resort Rentals & Sales 26 Blue Ridge Learning Center 126 Bolick Pottery & Traditions Pottery 26 Boone Mall 122 Boone, Downtown 32 Broyhill Home Collections 27 Burrito Express 115 Cabin Store, The 107 Canyons 120 Carlton Gallery 97 Carolina Mountain Properties & Rentals, Inc. 54 Carowinds 71 Casa Rustica 116 Cha Da Thai 33 Char 33 Cherokee Adventures Whitewater Rafting 57 Chick-fil-A 117 Children’s Playhouse, The 121 Chillin Couture 55 Christmas in July Festival 73 CiCi’s Pizza 115 Closet Design Center 54 Club Canine 126 Cook’s, Inc. 122 Crown Point 66 Dancing Moon 32 Dande Lion, The 24 Daniel Boone Farmhouse Furniture 123 Daniel Boone Farmhouse Furniture 45 de Provence et d’ ailleurs 26 Deerfield Ridge Assisted Living 112 Dewoolfson 131 Doe Ridge Pottery 32, 98 Dos Amigos 114 Ericks Cheese & Wine 80 Fabric Shoppe, The 38 Fish Springs Marina 45

Fish Tales at the Lake 45 Fishel’s Moravian Style Chicken Pie 60 Footsloggers 19 Foscoe Fishing Company 18 Frasers 55 Fred’s General Mercantile Co. 80 Fun ‘N’ Wheels 77 Gamekeeper Restaurant 116 Gem Valley, LLC 77 Gems by Gemini 26, 98 Gladiola Girls 32 Golden Corral 114 Goodwill 82 Grandfather Mountain 75 Grandfather Trout Farm 85 Gregory Alan’s 26, 125 Headwaters at Banner Elk, The 59 Hemlock Inn 19 Heritage Hall 44 Hickory Fireplace & Patio 109 Hickory Furniture Mart 119 High Country Animal Clinic 22 High Country Clean Space 113 High Country Paint & Performance, LLC 84 High Country Stone 13 High Mountain Expeditions 21 High South Realty 54, 62 Hill Top Drive-In 117 Home of the Perfect Christmas Tree 50 HTDGI 101 Inn at Crestwood, The 07 It’s M.E. 123 Italian Delight Pizza 51 J.W. Tweeds 61 Jackalope’s View at Archer’s Mountain Inn 121 Jake’s at the Rock 27, 84 James Bonifacion, General Realty of Tennessee 44 Jean Pool, The 33 Jersey Mike’s Subs 115 Joe’s Italian Kitchen 114 Joe’s TV & Satellite 126 Kenny Johnson 65 Key Financial Corp. 54 Kincaid 106 Knoll Interior Design, The 84 Kojay’s Cafe 27 Landmark Travel 09 Laura’s Yarn Tastic 127 Lees McRae Summer Theatre 95 Libby’s 55 Linville Caverns 76 Linville Galleries at Tynecastle, The 79 Logs America 129 Looking Glass Gallery, The 32 Lucky Penny 32 Lucky Strikes, The 78 Magic Cycles 33 Main Street Discount 128 Makoto’s 114 Marathon Chiropractic 33 Mariam & Robert Hayes Performing Arts Center 93 Mast General Store 02, 32 Mast Store Candy Barrel 27 Matthew’s 102 North 54 McDonald’s 120 McNeil Furniture 55 Mears & Associates 83 Mellow Mushroom 26 Mitchell County Chamber 57 Modern Toyota 17 Mountain Aire Golf Club 12 Mountain Bagels 120 Mountain City Mercantile 44 Mountain Home & Hearth 65, 109 Mountain Jewelers 51 Mountain Outfitters 12 Mountaineer Driving Range & Golf Center 12 Mountainhome Music 111 Mountaintop Golf Cars, Inc. 18 Mustard Seed Market, The 84

Mystery Hill 70 Neaco 26 New Image Weight Loss 125 Open Door, The 33 Pachoumapa Locs Beatboxx 33 Pamper Me Too! 22 Parker Tie Company, Inc. 54 Parkway Craft Center 15 Parsons Quickshop/Marathon 44 Peabody’s 08 Peak Mountain Properties, Inc. 55 Peoples Furniture Company 50 Pepper’s 38 Pet Heaven 22 Pet Place, The 22, 38 Petstyle Salon 22 Plan 9 Comics 38 Play It Again Sports 33 Pleasant Papers 111 Prospect Hill 44 Pssghetti’s 120 Ram’s Rack Thrift Store 33 Ray Comeaux, General Realty of Tennessee 45 Rip Van Properties, Inc. 105 River & Earth Adventures, Inc. 88 River Girl Fishing Co. 20 RiverCamp USA 19 Rose Glen Village 85 SageSport 49 Sanctuary Day Spa, The 100 Sears 54, 103 Seven Devils 59 Shatley Springs Jewelry & Gifts Uptown 55 Shops at Shadowline 33 Shoun Lumber and Millwork 14 Sister Act 26 Six Pence Pub 117 SkyLine SkyBest 56 Sledgehammer Charlie’s Smokehouse & Grill 27 Southwest Trading Company 50 Sparta Guns and Ammo 126 Stony Creek Builders 85 Suba’s Restaurant 45 Suddenly Showing 123 Sugar Mountain Resort 64 Tanner Outlet 38 Tatum Galleries and Interiors 97 Taylor House Inn 128 Todd Bush Photography 94 Toe River Arts Council 50 Toe River Storytelling Festival 2009, The 50 Tommy White Photography 92 Tri-State Growers 44 Tributary Restaurant, The 44 TT Nails 38 Tupelo’s World Cafe 32 Turtle Old Man 15 Tweetsie Railroad 74 Ugly Mugg, The 51 Unwound 123 UPS Store, The 54 Valle Crucis Log Cabin Rentals & Sales 118 Vikki Woods 45 Vilas Village Trading Post 129 Village Real Estate 26 Villages of Ashe 112 Vintage Valle Crucis 34 Vistas at Banner Elk, The 63 Watauga County Farmers’ Market 81 Watauga Kayak 16 Watauga Lake Real Estate 45 Watauga Lakeshore Resort & Marina 45, 58 Western Jefferson 55 Westglow Resort & Spa 39 Wilkes Playmakers 86 Woodlands BBQ & Pickin’ Parlor, The 116 Wounded Warrior 24 YMCA of Avery County 82 Zaloos Canoes 09


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Crafts on the Green The annual Crafts on the Green will take place Aug. 1 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Fred’s General Mercantile at Beech Mountain.

The N.C. Mineral, Gems and Jewelry Festival The N.C. Mineral, Gems and Jewelry Festival will take place Aug. 6-9, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and 12:30 to 5 p.m. on Sunday at the Pinebridge Colliseum in Spruce Pine. Aisles and aisles of jewelry, gemstones, minerals, fossils and collectibles. Mine tours. Special exhibits. Call 828-765-9033 for details. Friday, Aug. 7 ‘Angel Street’ Blowing Rock Stage Company, “Angel Street,” Aug. 7-16, one of the longest-running non-musicals in Broadway history, Angel Street is a psychological thriller with a melodramatic flair. The basis of the film “Gaslight,” this Victorian classic is “a real corker.” It’s that theatrical rarity – an edge-of-your-seat mystery that’s truly thrilling to watch. To purchase tickets call the Hayes Center Box Office at 828-295-9627. ‘Saturday, Aug. 8 Dulcimer player Ken Kolodner in concert Ken Kolodner, well-known dulcimer player, will be in concert in Ashe County at the Ashe Arts Center on Saturday, Aug. 8, at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults; $5 for students. Bandit’s Challenge Triathlon The Bandit’s Challenge Triathlon will be held Aug. 8 at W. Kerr Scott Dam & Reservoir, Wilkesboro. International distance race legs are: 1,500 meter swim, 45K bike and 10K run. This race is one of 15 that comprise the N.C. Triathlon Series. Ages 13 up can enter. Individuals can choose to compete in the triathlon as a two- to three-person relay team. Also includes an ‘’AquaBike’’ race category — swim 1,500 meters and bike 45K. For more information, contact Wilkes Family YMCA at (336) 838-3991 or click to and click on NCTS then Bandits Challenge. Candle Light Ghost Tours Candle Light Ghost Tours will be held Aug. 8 at Wilkes Heritage Museum, 100 East Main St. in Wilkesboro. Experience a historical tour of Old Wilkes by candlelight with a storyteller in period costume describing tales of ghostly happenings. Tours begin at the Old Wilkes Jail. Admission fee is charged. For more information, call (336)667-3171. Aug. 8-18 ‘The Scarlet Letter’

“The Scarlet Letter” will be presented Aug. 8-18 at the Hayes Performing Arts Center in Blowing Rock. Show times vary. Nathaniel Hawthorne’s classic tale, set in 17th century Puritan New England, moves gloriously from page to stage in this adaptation that debuted to acclaim at New York’s Globe Theatre. Hester Prynne, whose husband is believed to be lost at sea, is branded an adulterer when she produces a daughter. Vilified by the hypocritical community, she refuses to identify the father. But after enduring seven years of shunned life, Hester gains a clearer vision of morality then her righteous tormentors. “A drama of Shakespearean proportions.” - New York Theatre Wire. Call 828-295-9627 for details Sunday, Aug. 9 Blowing Rock Jazz Society The Blowing Rock Jazz Society will perform with Noel Freidline Quintet, pianist and singer, on Aug. 9 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Meadowbrook Inn in Blowing Rock. Call 828-295-4300 for more information. ‘Sisters on a Journey’ exhibit: Aug. 12-Sept. 26 “Sisters on a Journey: The Art of Sisterhood” featuring paintings from Tara Belk, Beth Andrews and Marcia Holmes will be exhibited Aug. 12-Sept. 26 at the Ashe Arts Center in Ashe County. An opening reception takes place Friday, Aug. 14, from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 14 Gallery Crawl in Ashe County A Gallery Crawl will take place on Friday, Aug. 14, from 5 to 8 p.m. in downtown West Jefferson in Ashe County. It’s an open house at the downtown galleries and studios.

Music in the Valle Music in the Valle will take place Aug. 14 at 7 p.m. at Valle Crucis Community Park. Free admission. Featured will be The Blue Notes Dixie Land Jazz Band. Saturday, Aug. 15 Blowing Rock Art in the Park Blowing Rock Art in the Park, a series of juried art and craft shows, will be held in downtown Blowing Rock from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call 828-2957851 or visit Riders in the Sky Riders in the Sky will perform at Tweetsie Railroad Aug. 15-16. Hear the Grammywinning quartet perform and entertain audiences “the cowboy way.” For more information, call 800-526-5740.

Watauga County Farmers’ Market Fresh vegetables, fruits, flowers, crafts, canned goods. Local vendors. Come early for best selection. Open every Saturday May-October, also open Wednesday mornings mid-June and mid-September. Located at the Horn in the West Drive, Boone. Call 828-297-1914 for more information. Beech Mountain Dancin’ in the Streets at Town Hall Dancin’ in the Streets at Town Hall will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. Aug. 15 at the Beech Mountain Town Hall. Grandfather Mountain Camera Clinic The annual Grandfather Mountain Camera Clinc will be held Aug. 15 and 16 from Saturday afternoon through Sunday morning at Grandfather Mountain.

Friday, Aug. 21 ‘Walking Across Egypt’: Aug. 21-23 Ashe County Little Theatre will present “Walking Across Egypt” Aug. 21-23 at the Ashe Civic Center. Admission is $10 for adults; $5 for students.

Music in the Valle Music in the Valle will take place Aug. 21 at 7 p.m. at Valle Crucis Community Park. Free admission. Featured will be the Family Ties.

‘Hank Williams: Lost Highway’ Blowing Rock Stage Company, “Hank Williams: Lost Highway,” Aug. 21-Sept. 6, a spectacular musical biography of the rise and fall of the brash, forever young, always legendary singer-songwriter who stands among the greatest innovators of American popular music. Follow Williams through his often lonely journey from backwoods Alabama to super-stardom at the Grand Ole Opry. This unforgettable tribute highlights his unique magic as a performer and the simple spell of his yearning songs To purchase tickets call the Hayes Center Box Office at 828-295-9627.

Concerts on the Lawn The free Concerts on the Lawn at the Jones House in downtown Boone are held on Fridays starting at 5 p.m. Bring your own chair. Featured this evening will the Watauga Women Songwriters with Crys Mathews, Becca Eggers-Gryder, Deborah Jean Sheets, Monida Woodward, Lisa Baldwin, Ruth Smith and Susan Pepper Presented by the Watauga Arts Council.

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Summer Times 2009  

Mountain Times Publications Summer Times 2009

Summer Times 2009  

Mountain Times Publications Summer Times 2009