Page 1




Summer in the



Bike or Hike the

TRAILS Boone Banner Elk Blowing Rock West Jefferson and all of the High Country

Plus: Dining, Lodging, Shopping, Art Galleries, Entertainment and Outdoor Activities





An Appalachian Summer Festival .....80 Art ........................................................76 Art Crawls ...........................................78 Ashe Arts Council ...............................76 Ashe County .......................................36 Banner Elk...........................................90 Boone Shopping .................................26 The Blowing Rock ..............................57 Blowing Rock Lodging .......................42 Blowing Rock Shopping.....................32 Blue Ridge Parkway ...........................64 Breweries ............................................88 Calendar..............................................92 Camping..............................................28 Cell Phone Service .............................62 Chambers of Commerce ......................8 Climbing ..............................................20 Cycling ................................................52 Daniel Boone Native Gardens ............68 Disc Golf .............................................43 Farmers’ Markets ...............................92 Fishing ................................................34 Grandfather Mountain ........................56 High Country Host ................................8 Highland Games ................................81 Hiking ..................................................30 Horse Activities...................................66 Linville Caverns ..................................58 Music Festivals ...................................71 Numbers of Note ..................................6 Outdoor Concerts ...............................72 Pet-Friendly Places ............................91 Pet Page .............................................25 Restaurant Listing .............................83 Rocky Knob Mountain Bike Park .......54 Sugar Mountain ..................................41 Theater ................................................79 Towns of the High Country.................10 Tweetsie Railroad ...............................63 Valle Crucis .........................................35 Virginia Creeper .................................45 Watauga Arts Council.........................77 Water Sports .......................................22 Wineries ..............................................89 Ziplines................................................39




Waterfalls abound in the High Country, complementing some of the area’s most popular swimming holes. PHOTO BY ROB MOORE | MTNSNAPSHOTS.COM




Rooms starting at $69.95 + tax

Best Rates in Town Guaranteed! Amazing Views

Enjoy complimentary hot breakfast at our award winning restaurant "Winner's Circle"

Only Seconds to Shopping & Restaurants Ashe County Hospitality

Exercise Facility

Continental Breakfast

Great Views

King and Non-Smoking Rooms

Free High Speed Internet

Microwave & Refrigerators in All Rooms Fax

Extended Cable & Free HBO

Extended Cable & HBO

Refrigerators & Microwaves in Rooms

Complimentary Computer Station with Internet in Lobby

Walking Distance to Shopping and Restaurants

Free Wireless Internet

829 E. Main Street | Jefferson | 336-246-8845 | Reservations: 800-221-8802



Summer in the Mountains

There’s summer, and there’s High Country summer. We prefer the latter and think you will, too. Call it a hunch. Whatever your taste, summers in the High Country are, simply put, perfect. It’s a place we’re happy to call home, and summertime is a season we welcome with open arms and windows. Whether it’s taking a hike along the Blue Ridge Park-

way or the shop-lined streets of area towns; casting a line on the New River or a bid on some local artwork; or sharing s’mores around the campfire or ice cream in West Jefferson, the options are many. 2013’s Summer Times is here to help, delivering comprehensive, fact-filled rundowns of attractions, activities, restaurants, galleries, music, theater and all the High Country has to offer. And since new events and things to do are always cropping up, be sure to grab a copy of The Mountain Times for up-to-date information on what’s happening in the High Country. Till then, welcome to your summer in the mountains. Sincerely, Frank Ruggiero Editor The Mountain Times

NUMBERS OF NOTE LAW ENFORCEMENT WATAUGA COUNTY Watauga County Sheriff’s Office (828) 264-3761 Boone Police Department (828) 268-6900 Blowing Rock Police Department (828) 295-5210 Appalachian Regional Healthcare System Police (828) 262-4168 Appalachian State University Police Department (828) 262-2150

ASHE COUNTY Ashe County Sheriff’s Office (336) 846-5633 Jefferson Police Department (336) 846-5529

West Jefferson Police Department (336) 246-9410


Blowing Rock Hospital (828) 295-3136 Cannon Memorial Hospital (Linville) (828) 737-7000

Avery County Sheriff’s Office (828) 733-2071

Ashe Memorial Hospital (Jefferson) (336) 846-7101

Banner Elk Police Department (828) 898-4300

FastMed Urgent Care (Boone) (828) 265-7146

Elk Park Police Department (828) 733-9573

App Urgent Care (Boone) (828) 265-5501

Newland Police Department (828) 733-2024


Seven Devils Police Department (828) 963-6760

Watauga County Animal Control (828) 262-1672

Sugar Mountain Police Department (828) 898-4349

Watauga Humane Society (828) 264-7865

Beech Mountain Police Department (828) 387-2342

Ashe County Animal Control (336) 982-4060

HEALTH CARE Watauga Medical Center (Boone) (828) 262-4100

Avery County Humane Society (828) 733-2333 Animal Emergency & Pet Care Clinic (828) 268-2833


2013 Summer Times Staff Gene Fowler Jr. Publisher Frank Ruggiero Editor Charlie Price Advertising Director Johnny Hayes Layout Editor Jennifer Canosa Graphics Manager Andy Gainey Circulation Manager Sam Calhoun, Jesse Campbell, Allison Haver, Matthew Hundley, Kellen Moore, Anna Oakes, Adam Orr, Amy Renfranz, Heather Samudio, Jamie Shell and Sandy Shook Writers Mark Mitchell, Deck Moser, Radd Nesbit, Lisa Randolph and Rick Tobin Sales Sarah Becky Hutchins, Daniel Michaloski, Rob Moore and Meleah Petty Graphics 474 Industrial Park Drive Boone, N.C. 28607 (828) 264-6397 • A publication of Mountain Times Publications and Jones Media Inc., Greeneville, Tenn.

On the front: Valle Crucis Community Park offers access to the scenic Watauga River, a popular destination for tubing, fishing and summer fun. PHOTO BY FRANK RUGGIERO




Rowland’s Summer Menu STARTERS Garden Salad Local Organic Vegetables, Tarragon, Local Goat Cheese, Almond Bonnie's Heirloom Tomato Salad Ricotta Salata, Aged Balsamic, Organic Greens Baby Romaine Salad Olive, Mustard, Buttermilk, Lemon, Parmesan, Duck Yolk Soup Du Jour Eggplant Babaganoush, Fried, Heirloom Tomatos, Mozzerella, Aged Balsamic Prawns Edamame, Tomato, Butter, Garlic, Baguette Ora King Salmon Sashimi Yuzu, Edamame, Soy Glaze, Bamboo Rice ENTREES Grilled Beef Tenderloin Roasted Tomato Espuma, Collards, Potato, Bacon Broiled Rack of Lamb Wild Mushroom, Summer Squash, Carrot, Dirty Rice, Pesto Pork Tenderloin Sweet Tea, Farro, Squash, Mustard, Chard, Mint (Vegetarian option available) Grilled Lobster Orange, Ivory Lentils, Zucchini, Squash, Buttermilk Pan Roasted Salmon Israeli Cous Cous, Cucumber, Tomato, Saffron

TripAdvisor 2013 American’s Top 25 Small Hotels

Voted #2 “Destination Spa in the World” 2011 World’s Best Awards by Travel + Leaisure Magazine

Spa Finder 2010 Readers’ Choice Awards Best Boutique Hotel, Best for Romance, Best for Cuisine, Best for Hiking

Roasted Chicken and Potato Gnocchi Shittake, Bourbon Brown Butter, Smoked Ricotta, Cauliflower, Summer Squash (Vegetarian option available) Sea Bass Black Rice, Bok Choy, Carrot, Wasabi Chef’s Tasting of Summer Vegetables DESSERTS Chocolate Torte Honey, Hazelnuts, Mint Ice Cream Peaches and Cream Peaches, Creme Fraiche, White Chocolate, Shortcake Lemon Cake Berries, White Chocolate Mousse, Almond Tuille Chocolate Earth Custard, Bisque, Soil Naner Puddin Vanilla, Banana, Wafers, Pudding Berry Crisp Local Organic Granola, Vanilla Ice Cream

WINE TASTINGS Join us every Wednesday at the Library Bar from 5:30pm 6:30pm for a complimentary public tasting of fine boutique wines and hors d'oeuvres. No reservations are required. Follow 'Friends of Westglow Resort & Spa' on facebook to keep up to date on what wines and winemakers we'll be featuring each week!


Blowing Rock, North Carolina 800-562-0807




High Country Host employee Norma Murphy stands next to a scenic mural she created for customers coming into the visitor center to enjoy. PHOTO BY ALLISON HAVER

The warm breezes of the summer season beckon a multitude of people from around the country to the High Country of Western North Carolina. For many of these tourists, this summer will be their first visit to the solace of the cooler summer nights; however, for others, it is the continuation of a family tradition. Whatever the circumstance, the High Country Host Visitor Center is prepared to assist travelers according to their needs and wants. “People like to come here for the natural beauty and traditional music,” High Country Host marketing director Candice Cook said. “I never thought I’d meet so many people from all over the world in this center.” During the busy summer months, the center will serve 100 to 150 people a day. Whether a visitor has a planned itinerary or has no idea what they want to do while vacationing, the staff of the High Country Host is there to accommodate and help them plan an enjoyable stay. Employee Norma Murphy said she, along with her coworkers, consider themselves “traveling consultants.” When you come to the High Country Host this year, you will see a scenic mural created by Murphy, as well as a few pieces of her art, hanging on the walls inside the center.


High Country Host Visitor Center Murphy has been working at the visitor center for almost a year, but she, like most of the High Country Host employees, has lived in Watauga County all her life. “I enjoy helping customers find places to go or stay around the area, and my co-workers are wonderful,” she said. There are many different types of travelers who stream in and out of the center. There are families who just want to find activities for the kids to enjoy to the other extreme, the daredevils who what to know, “Where can I go jump off waterfalls?” Murphy said the staff has been asked every question possible, and by the off chance they do not have an answer, they will look it up for customers. “I grew up here, but I’m still learning a lot and picking up new information about Watauga County,” Murphy said. The High Country Host is open for business from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. For those who miss the center’s operating hours or would like to take the technological approach can find a plethora of information at and the High Country Host Facebook page. For more information, stop by the High Country Host Visitor Center at 1700 Blowing Rock Road in Boone (next to KFC) or call (828) 264-1299.

High Country Chambers of Commerce ASHE COUNTY Ashe County, home to the Jeffersons (West Jefferson and Jefferson, that is), is just about as far as you can go in the High Country before entering Southwestern Virginia. The county is considered, in many respects, “a step back in time” to the way the Appalachian Mountains used to be. The chamber can direct travelers through the scenic and sparsely populated area of Christmas tree farms and rugged mountain landscapes. 1 N. Jefferson Ave., Suite C P.O. Box 31 West Jefferson, N.C. 28694 (336) 846-9550

AVERY COUNTY The Boone Area Chamber of Commerce presents an award to Hospitality House of Boone. FILE PHOTO

The Avery County Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center is located in the Shoppes at Tynecastle at the intersection of N.C. 105 and N.C. 184. The center offers information on lodging, dining, attractions,

shopping and other businesses in Avery County. The friendly, knowledgeable staff is on duty from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday. 4501 Tynecastle Highway, No. 2 Banner Elk, N.C. 28604 (828) 898-5605

BANNER ELK The Banner Elk Chamber of Commerce promotes the area as a unique place to live in, work and visit. Information on area lodging, dining, shopping and more is available from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and all the time by visiting 100 W. Main St. Banner Elk, N.C. 28604 (828) 898-8395





BEECH MOUNTAIN Whether you’re looking for a North Carolina mountain vacation full of adventure or just a few days to relax and breathe the fresh mountain air, Beech Mountain – at an elevation of 5,506 feet – will give your soul something to smile about. The area offers plenty of activities and attractions for the whole family to enjoy, but also plenty of peace and quiet for a relaxing and rejuvenating time. The Beech Mountain Chamber of Commerce is here to help. 403-A Beech Mountain Parkway, Beech Mountain, N.C. 28604 (828) 387-9283 or (800) 468-5506

BLOWING ROCK Blowing Rock is considered one of the crown jewels of the Blue Ridge. Its chamber of commerce knows this tight-knit community as no one else, and its representatives are always will-


ing to share this knowledge with visitors. Aside from general information, lists of camping and fishing sites and brochures, the Blowing Rock Chamber also has a generous stock of menus from Blowing Rock’s many eateries. 132 Park Ave. Blowing Rock, N.C. 28605 (800) 295-7851

Chestnut Grille

BOONE AREA The Boone Area Chamber of Commerce is one of the High Country’s most active, with both a dedicated membership and an overall commitment to the betterment of the area as both a vacation destination and business hub. Now at a new location in downtown Boone on King Street, the chamber is an ideal place to stop for information on area activities, brochures and maps of the community.

James Welch, Chef

870 W. King St., Suite A, Boone, N.C. 28607 (828) 264-2225

wine gift & BEER baskets


& party




FOOD Chestnut Grille





Serving Nightly Tuesday thru Sunday


9239 Valley Blvd Blowing Rock, NC 28605 | 828.414.9230 828.264.9476 1104 HWY 105, Boone FOLLOW US ON




r u O -Leah Parks, NKBA Associate Certified Designer



The towns that make up this area are diverse and quaint, offering visitors a wide variety of activities, including dining, lodging, shopping, entertainment and more.

Watauga County Boone

No matter which activity draws you to the High Country, it’s likely that you’ll end up in Boone at some point during your visit. Boone is the hub of Watauga County, the gathering place for people of all walks of life, whether resident or visitor, student or retiree, socialite or seeker of peace and quiet. The town is home to Appalachian State University, one of the 16 colleges and universities that makes up the University of North Carolina system and draws about 17,000 students. Interest in ASU boomed after the Mountaineers’ football team won three consecutive NCAA Division I national championships in 2005, 2006 and 2007. The university’s presence helps create a young and friendly vibe throughout the town. Just make sure not to cross anyone by mispronouncing the name: It’s “Appuh-latch-un.”

Shoppes at Twin Rivers, Foscoe 7883 Hwy. 105 South

Adjacent to the university is King Street and the surrounding area, one of the town’s best shopping destinations. One-ofa-kind stores and eclectic boutiques dot the landscape, interspersed with legal offices and delicious restaurants. Departing from downtown, big-box stores and other shopping areas ensure that residents and visitors lack nothing in the way of modern conveniences. But Boone has an eye on its past, too. Named for the pioneer and explorer Daniel Boone, the town dates back to about 1800, when Jordan Councill opened a store on what is now King Street. In 1820, he opened a post office, and other homes and stores began to spring up nearby. When Watauga County was created in 1849, Boone was picked as the county seat. It remained a typical small town until the university began to grow in the 1960s. A relic of Boone’s storied past, the historic Jones House Community Center, is located right on King Street. The house was built in 1908 and was given to the town in the early 1980s. Today, the home is a go-to source for art and community functions. Boone is a town where old and new mix, and visitors are made to feel like part of the family. For more information, visit www.


(828) 963-9633 Call us today to get started!

One-of-a-kind stores and eclectic boutiques dot the landscape of downtown Boone. PHOTO BY FRANK RUGGIERO



Our Towns

The less-traveled Broyhill Park down Laurel Lane paints the perfect summer scene, complete with a shady gazebo and glistening pond. The trails surrounding Moses Cone Memorial Park and Bass Lake offer another scenic stroll. The picturesque town of Blowing Rock is the perfect place to have an active vacation — or to relax and do nothing at all. For more information, visit www.


Blowing Rock

Blowing Rock manages to cram a ton of beauty and fun into just three square miles. The town’s name comes from an immense cliff overlooking Johns River Gorge where the winds whip in such a way that light objects thrown over the rock float back to their owners. Anyone wishing to experience the phenomenon firsthand can visit The Blowing Rock attraction, showcasing the town’s namesake and the Native American legend that surrounds it. For another dose of history, visit the renovated and restored Green Park Inn, a site on the National Register of Historic Places that has been a hotel since 1882. After closing due to age and the recession in May 2009, the building was purchased a year later by Irace Realty Associates and immediately underwent a complete overhaul. While clinging to the small-town charm and Southern graciousness of its past, Blowing Rock also includes nearly


Valle Crucis

Shopping and dining aside, the town of Blowing Rock also has a popular public pool. PHOTO BY LINDSEY HAMBY

20 hotels and inns and more than 100 shops. Find a place to park early in the morning and spend the rest of the day on foot, exploring the shops and parks of downtown. Clothing, antiques, home furnishings, mementos and delicious treats will fill your shopping bags and your stomach

as you examine the town’s treasures. Make sure to visit Tanger Shoppes on the Parkway on U.S. 321 to find namebrand items at outlet prices. The benches in Memorial Park at the center of Main Street make the perfect spot to settle down with coffee or hot chocolate and watch the world go by.

Just off N.C. 105 south of Boone, Valle Crucis offers simplicity and serenity in a pastoral riverside community. The valley contains the site of the only known Native American village in the immediate area. The first European settler of Watauga County, Samuel Hicks, also built a fort in the area during the American Revolution. Today, the community offers several historic inns, art galleries, farms and churches that provide service and comfort to all who enter. The Episcopal church has played a role throughout the community’s history. An




Our Towns

For more information, visit



Episcopal bishop entered the community in 1842 and provided its name, which is Latin for the “Vale of the Cross.” The Valle Crucis Conference Center, on the National Register of Historic Places, stays busy with retreats for numerous groups, and Crab Orchard Falls is a short hike from the conference center. The original Mast General Store provides a central gathering space in the community, as it has since 1883. Residents appreciate the store for its post office, morning news and coffee, while visitors can also find gifts, apparel and souvenirs. Just down the road is the Mast Store Annex, which opened about 25 years later. Behind the annex is a gravel road to the Valle Crucis Park, a recreational area with walking paths, riverfront, picnic areas and sports fields. Dining highlights include the 1861 Farmhouse & Winery, along with the 1861 Farmhouse Market, formerly the Ham Shoppe, which boasts some of the best sandwiches in the High Country.

Todd is a town so nice it’s claimed by both Watauga and Ashe counties. The community’s main drag, Railroad Grade Road, is popular with bicyclists and walking tours as it winds along with the New River, one of the few rivers in the world that flow north. The Todd General Store is an oldfashioned mercantile that dates back to 1914 and was built in anticipation of the Norfolk and Western “Virginia Creeper” railroad. Todd was the last stop of the route and got much of its supplies from the train. Today, the store offers dinner, bluegrass, book signings and demonstrations. The Todd Mercantile features the work of local artists and crafters, as well as mountain honey and other local goods. The “Todd Mahal Bakery” serves fresh delights to satisfy the sweet tooth, and the mercantile also hosts monthly square and contra dances, with traditional mountain music by local performers. The ever-crafty Elkland Art Center, known for its colorful parades and environmentally conscious puppet shows,

offers summer workshops and programs for those with a flair for creativity. The river itself provides plenty to do, from canoeing and kayaking to excellent fishing. Several companies, including RiverGirl Fishing Company and Wahoo’s Adventures, have outposts near Todd to provide gear and instruction for anyone interested in hitting the river. For more information, visit www.

Seven Devils

From elevations of some 5,200 feet, the town of Seven Devils straddles both Watauga and Avery counties. From many areas in the town, one has views of Grandfather Mountain, as well as Beech Mountain, Sugar Mountain, Rich Mountain and Mount Rogers in Virginia. Seven Devils is just a few minutes from Boone, Blowing Rock, Banner Elk and Valle Crucis and can be found off N.C. 105. One of the smaller towns in the region, Seven Devils began life in the 1960s as the Seven Devils Resort, and, in 1979, the resort became incorporated as the town. How did it get its name? According


to the Seven Devils website, “The L.A. Reynolds Industrial District of WinstonSalem, N.C., formed the resort in 1965 and the founders were met with the challenge of naming the resort. At this time, there was a rumor about an old man on the mountain who had seven sons ‘as mean as the devil.’ People were heard commenting that in the winter the mountain was ‘as cold as the devils’ or ‘as windy as the devil.’ “The founders wanted a catchy, unique name that would bring attention to the mountain. They noticed the repeated appearance of the number seven, including the seven predominant rocky peaks surrounding Valley Creek, as well as the many coincidental references to ‘devils.’ ‘Seven Devils’ seemed to suggest a frivolous, mischievous resort where people could ‘experience the temptation of Seven Devils.’” In the 1960s, the town grew with a golf course, ski slope, lake, riding ground and camping area. After the resort venture experience financial trouble, the town was incorporated. While the golf course and ski slope have been closed for a number of years, Hawksnest has become one of the town’s


Discover Timeless Treasures

22,000 SQUARE FEET OVER A MILLION ITEMS Largest Antique Mall in the High Country Browse our extensive selection of antiques, collectibles, coins & paper money, jewelry & more Summer Events at Fred’s • Beech Mt. Sunday Sunset Concerts Check our website for details: • Crafts on the Green

Come visit us at Eastern America’s Highest Town

OPEN Monday-Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Sunday 1 – 5 p.m.

842 S. Jefferson Ave., West Jefferson 336-846-1231 or 336-977-9165





centerpieces. Among the attractions at Hawksnest (www.hawksnest-resort. com), a private entity, is snow tubing in the winter and ziplines at other times. Hawksnest is recognized as the largest snow tubing park on the East Coast, and the company boasts the longest zipline tour, as well, featuring 10 cables, two of which are known in the zipline industry as super- or mega-zips. For more information and events at Seven Devils, visit

Avery County Banner Elk

The mountain valley town of Banner Elk has grown from a tiny hamlet to a town offering year-round amenities and memorable vacations for the entire family. Banner Elk is home to Lees-McRae College, a small, private, four-year coeducational liberal arts college affiliated with Presbyterian Church U.S.A., with more than 900 students from more than 20 states and countries. The town hosts numerous shops

The mountain valley town of Banner Elk has grown from a tiny hamlet to a town offering yearround amenities and memorable vacations for the entire family. PHOTO BY LINDSEY HAMBY

At 5,506 feet, Beech Mountain is the highest town in eastern North America. PHOTO BY LINDSEY HAMBY

and restaurants, and stays abuzz with activities and events. Visitors can picnic or walk in the town park, hear live music, enjoy exquisite shopping or simply relax by the mill pond and stay in one of the inns after dinner in a fine restaurant. Banner Elk is in the heart of the High Country’s many attractions, and just a short drive will take you to numerous natural settings where you can relax and revel in nature’s beauty. Banner Elk also offers many cultural happenings, with an esteemed summer theater program by LeesMcRae and art festivals by some of the area’s many galleries and artisans. Visitors are encouraged to return to Banner Elk each autumn for its annual Woolly Worm Festival, attracting close to 20,000 people each year. Cutting between the peaks of Sugar Mountain, Beech Mountain and Grandfather Mountain, the topography of the town provides natural definition and gentle undulation through the town’s boundaries. For more information or a calendar of events, call Banner Elk Chamber of Commerce at (828) 898-5605 or visit

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, and, of importance right now, is that even on the hottest day of the 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 atop Beech. The rest of the world seems distant when you settle down on the front porch of a rental condominium 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 in the lower elevations. Beech Mountain is a four-season resort. There are more than 5,000 beds available on top of the mountain. These range from rustic cabins to mountain chalets to luxury condominiums. When it’s time to eat, you can CONTINUED ON PAGE 14

Gourmet Kitchen and Home Accessories

828-963-5267 7 days a week 10-5 M-S 12-5 Sun





enjoy anything from a deli sandwich to pizza to a gourmet meal by candlelight. During the day, 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 offered in the eastern United States. 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 farmland. And 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. For more information,visit www.


Crossnore is a town steeped in educational history. The town is home to Crossnore Academy, founded by Drs. Eustace and Mary Martin Sloop. The Sloops traveled the steep dirt trails in isolated mountain valleys to bring medicine to the people and convince farmers to let their children come to school. Because

Linville is home to Grandfather Mountain, which is home to the popular Mile High Swinging Bridge. PHOTO BY LINDSEY HAMBY

of poverty and distance, the Sloop school in Crossnore eventually took in boarders and built dormitories to accommodate them. It gained a national reputation for effectiveness in changing lives and in breaking the cycle of poverty, moonshine and child marriages of mountain families. Mrs. Sloop eventually put these tales to paper in her autobiography, “Miracle in the Hills,” which has since been used as the basis for a drama of the same name that takes place

The Crossnore School in Crossnore is home to Miracle Grounds Coffee Café & Creamery, a working vocational classroom. PHOTO BY LINDSEY HAMBY

each summer in present-day Crossnore. The Sloops built a school, hospital, dental clinic and, eventually, a boarding school to give children the basis for an improved life. They brought to Avery County the first electricity, telephone, paved road and boarding school. Through the Sloops’ advocacy, public schools flourished in Avery County. Today, Crossnore Academy carries on the work of the original school and has reclaimed the educational foundation beneath its commitment to give hurting children a chance for a better life. The school’s teachers enable it to meet not only the special needs of Crossnore residents, but also the needs of area students who live at home and whose educational needs are best met at Crossnore. The school is also home to Miracle Grounds Coffee Café & Creamery, a working vocational classroom, featuring specialty coffee, homemade snacks, sandwiches, milkshakes, ice cream, WiFi and more. Crossnore is famous for its Independence Day parade and celebration, and the town’s Meeting House is home to the Crossnore Jam, a series of gatherings and concerts by local musicians through the summer and fall months. For more information, visit

Elk Park

The town of Elk Park borders the state of Tennessee and offers a unique visiting experience. From the old-time feel of Brinkley’s Hardware Store to the additional Lower Street antique shops and classic barbershop, Elk Park takes visitors back to a simpler time. The town’s original thoroughfare, Lower Street, and many businesses originated when Elk Park hosted a train depot for the old East Tennessee and Western North Carolina Railroad. Elk Park thrived due to the industry and remained vibrant after the trains stopped running through town. For more information, call Elk Park Town Hall at (828) 733-9573.


The community of Linville is located just south of the intersection of U.S. 221 and N.C. 105 in Avery County. The community was founded in 1883, designed by Samuel T. Kelsey of Kansas and named for William and John Linville, who were killed by Cherokees in 1766. East Tennessee and Western North Carolina Railroad passed through the CONTINUED ON PAGE 16







$5 OFF

10% OFF








WWW.RAFTCAVEHIKE.COM 828.355.9797 1655 HWY 105 BOONE, NC




community from 1916 through 1940, when a major flood washed away the tracks. The old rail route later became N.C. 105 in 1956. Linville has three country clubs in the area: Linville Golf Course, Grandfather Golf and Country Club and Linville Ridge; all open late spring to early fall. Eseeola Lodge is also a popular destination for golf and lodging during the summer months. A number of local tourist areas within a short drive share the Linville name, including the Linville River and majestic Linville Falls, Linville Caverns on U.S. 221 and Linville Gorge wilderness area. For visitors considering making Linville a part or full-time home, they can visit Linville Land Harbor, where units are available for sale or rent in a cozy community featuring its own golf course and amenities. A number of residents reside at Land Harbor part time, while others stay year round to enjoy the beauty of the area’s four seasons. During the winter months, Linville is only a short drive to nearby ski slopes at Sugar Mountain and Beech Mountain, popular skiing and snow-tubing destinations.

The town of Newland was incorporated in 1913 as the county seat of Avery County. PHOTO BY LINDSEY HAMBY


Perhaps the most popular tourist attraction at Linville is Grandfather Mountain. The newest among North Carolina’s state parks, Grandfather Mountain offers hiking trails, picturesque views during all four seasons, animal habitats and attractions and the famous Mile High Swinging Bridge.


With the highest county seat east of the Mississippi River at 3,589 feet, the town of Newland was incorporated in 1913 as the county seat of the newly formed Avery County. Its original name was “Old Fields of Toe” because it is located in a broad flat valley and is at the headwaters of the Toe River. Newland was a mustering place for Civil War troops. Toe is short for “Estatoe,” an Indian chief’s daughter who drowned herself in the river in despair because she could not marry a brave from another tribe. The town of around 700 residents, Newland succeeded over three other areas for the honor of county seat. The recently renovated courthouse, originally constructed in 1913, overlooks a classic town square, bordered by shops and churches and complete with a memorial to Avery County veterans. Adjacent to the courthouse building is the original jail, which has been converted into the Avery County Historical Museum. Exhibits in the museum, which is free of charge to visit, include the original jail cells, numerous artifacts and information about the history of Avery County. During the summer and fall months, visitors can check out the farmers’ market is held on Saturday mornings outside of Newland Elementary School, and visitors traveling out of town can picnic or hike at Waterfalls Park, a unique recreation spot sponsored by Newland Volunteer Fire Department. Heritage Park hosts rodeo events on weekends during the summer and is the permanent home for the county’s annual Agriculture and Heritage Fair each September. With a number of restaurants and boutiques downtown, Newland is a prime destination for dining and shopping or just to stop in from a visit to nearby Roan Mountain, Tenn., or Grandfather Mountain. For more information, visit www.

Although popular for its ski slopes, the village of Sugar Mountain offers plenty of summer fun. PHOTO BY LINDSEY HAMBY

Sugar Mountain

If outdoor activity is your thing, look no further than the village of Sugar Mountain. Offering more than just great skiing in the wintertime, Sugar Mountain also provides its visitors with an array of ways to get outside and enjoy the beauty of the High Country. One attraction is the summer lift rides at Sugar Mountain. On weekends, weather permitting, visitors can ride the ski lift to the 5,300-foot peak of Sugar Mountain. The 40-minute round-trip ride features a spectacular view of the High Country and runs from Independence Day weekend to Labor Day weekend. If heights aren’t what you’re looking for, 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 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. For more information, visit www.

Ashe County Creston

Located in the northwestern corner of Ashe County, Creston lies on the border of Tennessee. The curvy winding roads can offer travelers some of the most beautiful scenic byways in the area. The Riverview Community Center is located off of N.C. 88 West in Creston and is home to festivals and other events all year long. Worth’s Chapel at Creston United Methodist Church is located in Creston and was listed as a National Historic Building in 2005. The chapel was built about 1902. The interior of the chapel is finished, in part, with American chestnut wood, harvested before the blight reached the northwestern mountains of North Carolina.


Located just off U.S. 221 between West Jefferson and Deep Gap, Fleetwood is home of community gatherings at the Fleetwood Community Center and the local volunteer fire department. On your way to and from the busy towns of Boone and West Jefferson, stop by to look at local crafts, antiques and civic pride.





Glendale Springs

Home of the breathtaking and aweaspiring fresco painting by Ben Long at Holy Trinity Episcopalian Church, Glendale Springs has become revered for its budding arts scene. The community has become a must for anyone visiting Ashe County this summer. Proximity to the Blue Ridge Parkway is an added bonus as summer sets in and fall colors begin to explode.

Grassy Creek

Just south of the North CarolinaVirginia border, Grassy Creek is a tightly knit community that is dotted with smiling faces and countless rows of Fraser fir Christmas trees. Check out the sights around the nationally renowned New River, where you will also find the River House Country Inn and Restaurant for exquisite dinners.


A rich history, dating from 1799, lies in the picturesque town of Jefferson. Jefferson was founded prior to its counterpart, West Jefferson, and stood at the base of Mount Jefferson. The town was first known as Jeffersonton, but then became Jefferson, and was one of the first towns in the nation to bear the name of U.S. founding father Thomas Jefferson. The town is the county seat of Ashe and is home to the new courthouse, as well as the historic 1904 Courthouse. The Museum of Ashe County History is located in Jefferson and can be found in the 1904 Courthouse. The museum, through items collected and on display, offers a look at who the citizens of the county are, where they came from, how they got to the town, what did they do on the way and where do they go next? Some of the museum’s exhibits include the story of the 1904 Courthouse, introduction to Ashe County and a Virginia Creeper train display, as well as a veterans exhibit. There is no admission fee. For more information about the event and times, call the museum at (336) 846-1904. Ashe County Park and Foster Tyson Park are also located in Jefferson, and Ashe County Park has a disc golf course.


Whether you’re looking for a town reminiscent of the past or a town that offers whispers of tomorrow, the small, friendly town of Lansing beckons to travelers from near and far to visit and relax while browsing its shops, trying some home cooking and tasting some locally made wine. The town, in the northwestern section of Ashe County, is 20 minutes from Jefferson and West Jefferson and is only 45 minutes from Boone. Travelers can arrive in the town in less than an hour from Abingdon, Va., or Mountain City, Tenn. The town has one red light, and several businesses line the street. Home-cooked meals can be found at Country House Restaurant, while pizza, sandwiches and salad, along with specialty teas and fresh roasted coffee, are available at Pie on the Mountain. The first post office in the town was established in 1882 and served a rural community, made up of a village and outlying farms until the railroad made its appearance, according to The economy and population began to take off by 1914 as the Norfolk and Western Railroad, better known as the Virginia Creeper, came to town. A big commodity for area residents was iron ore mined from the mountains. The railroad served as an avenue to transport the ore to markets in Richmond, Va., and Pittsburgh, Pa. During its history, Lansing had a cheese plant, clothing store, coffin shop, doctor’s office, bank and a restaurant, according to the town’s website. The cheese plant allowed area farmers to bring their goods to sale instead of having to travel into West Jefferson. The town was chartered and incorporated in 1928. Lansing faced two devastating fires in the 1930s and 1940s and faced Hurricane Hugo later that century. Despite these setbacks, the town continued to flourish and expand. The Works and Progress Administration built the Lansing High School in 1941, using local granite stone. The school still stands today and is home to New River Winery. The scenic Virginia Creeper biking trail is available to visitors, as is the town’s park. For more information about Lansing, visit CONTINUED ON PAGE 18






Laurel Springs

Another border community, Laurel Springs prides itself with small town charm and beauty that entices motorists from the Blue Ridge Parkway for a quick bite to eat before continuing their adventure on the scenic byway. Although it is located at the top mountain and touches Wilkes, Alleghany and Ashe counties, Laurel Springs is never more than a 30-minute drive from the listed county seats. Also, be sure to stop by the Thistle Meadow Winery for individualized tours of a family-owned wine business.

West Jefferson

With a thriving arts district and Christmas trees galore, West Jefferson makes its mark on the High Country as a destination for locals, as well as visitors. The town was built around the Virginia-Carolina Railroad depot during the early 1900s. According to the town’s history, the first ownership of the valley, now known as West Jefferson, began in

West Jefferson is home to Ashe County Cheese, known as the only operating cheese factory in North Carolina. PHOTO BY LINDSEY HAMBY

1779 when N.C. Gov. Richard Caswell granted 320 acres to Col. Ben Cleveland, who battled the British at King’s Mountain. More than a century later, the West Jefferson Land Company surveyed the new town and fixed its limits as a square one-half mile north, south, east and west of the Virginia-Carolina Depot. The town was chartered in 1915. The town’s initial growth came from the railroad, but early development was

also spurred by the opening of the First National Bank of West Jefferson in 1915. The bank’s branch office, built in 1962, is now home to West Jefferson Town Hall. The town continues to thrive today and has something for everyone. Those visiting the town can browse one of the many art galleries, gift shops and retail stores. West Jefferson is home to many varieties of artwork, from paintings and photographs to sculptures and quilted

Established 1989

items. More information about the area’s art district can be found at the Ashe Arts Center, located at 303 School Ave., just off East Main Street. The center is home to the Ashe County Arts Council, which sponsors a variety of community programming and exhibits throughout the year. A popular spot in the town is the Ashe County Cheese Plant, where visitors can see cheese made and go across the street to the Ashe County Cheese Store to purchase a variety of cheeses, from cheddar to pepperjack and the celebrated cheese curds. Old-fashioned snacks and candies and locally made wines can also be purchased at the store. The cheese plant is open year round and located at 106 E. Main St. in West Jefferson. Just outside West Jefferson, in the Beaver Creek community, St. Mary’s Episcopal Church can be found. The church is the location of a fresco of Jesus on the cross by renowned artist Ben Long. A painting of the Madonna with child also hangs on the sanctuary wall. Local eateries and cafes offer all sorts of tasty treats, coffee, spirits and more, from one end of the town to the other. For more information, visit www.


West Jefferson, NC

LARGE LOG HOME IN STONEBRIDGE! Private 2-eR plus loft/2-BA, wide plank wood Àrs, stone FPL, large kitchen/dining area, bright & cheery sunroom, extensive decking, beautifully landscaped setting w/2 small ponds & detached garage w/studio. $329,900 B173 #166452

CUSTOM BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY CABIN WITH ACREAGE! 2-BR/2-BA, Australian Cypress wood À rs, stone fpl, Hickory cabinetry, chiseled granite countertops, covered front porch, private meticulous landscaped 6+ acre setting just off the Blue Ridge Parkway. $349,999 M161 #171571

PRIVATE VA MTN FARM-LOG CABIN & 55+ ACRES! 3-BR/2-BA timber frame log cabin. Wood À rs, vaulted wood ceiling, stone FPL, covered porch, open deck, long range views, beautiful 55+ acre setting with lush pastures, pond, woodlands, & wildlife. Equestrian estate, cattle or tree farm, Vineyard . . . $599,000 H106 #177055

GOLF COURSE HOME IN OLDE BEAU! 3-BR/2BA, stone fpl, vaulted ceiling, wood Àrs, granite counters, spacious covered porch for outdoor entertaining & relaxation, peaceful setting next to #7 tee in Olde Beau Golf Club, Alleghany County. $229,000 K129 #173698

COZY RUSTIC LOG CABIN IN STONEBRIDGE! Enjoy true log cabin living in this charming 2-BR/1-BA antique log cabin with stone ¿replace, wood Àoors, covered front porch and side deck to enjoy the natural setting & views. $179,000 W165 #172233

RIVERFRONT COTTAGE ON 2+ ACRES! 3-BR/2-BA, totally renovated cottage w/many custom details. Crown molding, recessed lighting, wood À rs, gas log FPL, southern covered rocking chair front porch, 2+ acre setting with 140’ of river frontage. $349,000 F133 #178136

FURNISHED RIVERFRONT HOME WITH ACREAGE! 2-BR/2-BA home completely renovated, covered porch, detached garage, workshop and 6 acres with small stream, waterfalls, river views & 400+ feet frontage on New River. Completely furnished & ready to move into. $237,500 H103 #175210

MOUNTAIN CABIN - 14 ACRES - RIVERFRONT! A cool porch for hot summer days, a crackling ¿ re from the FPL for cool evenings, acreage for privacy, hunting & exploring, river frontage for canoeing, ¿ shing & tubing. There is something for everyone. 2-BR/2-BA cabin. $312,000 J148 #174963

RIVERFRONT COUNTRY COTTAGE ON 29+ ACRES! 3-BR, 2-BA. Evenings by a toasty ¿re in the fpl, cozy meals in the dining room or on the covered porch. Cool mtn breezes, sounds of New River, pasture for horses, woodlands for exploring & 400ƍ level river frontage. $525,000 G166 #176747

LIKE NEW BUILDER’S HOME CLOSE TO TOWN! 4-BR/2-BA, hardwood Àrs throughout, custom cabinetry, stainless appliances, gas log stove, partially covered deck, private setting just minutes to Golf Course, Boone & downtown West Jefferson. Reduced! $339,500 W156 #171336





Solid Wood Furniture Full Line of Outdoor Furniture Home Accessories Over 25 Years Experience

Interior Design Service Impeccable Service 11 miles from Boone on Highway 105 South 5320 Highway 105 South • Banner Elk, NC Mon-Sat 10am - 5pm • OPEN ALL YEAR • 828 963 6466





The High Country area is a magnet for rock climbers of every skill level and for good reason. There are multiple locations for rock climbing in and around Boone for both the novice and the experienced climber. Individuals can improve their climbing skills or learn the basics as a beginner in Boone. The bonus is climbing puts you right in the middle of the High Country’s most expansive views. Whether you would like to try rock climbing for the first time or hone your skills, Rock Dimensions in downtown Boone is ready to assist you. Just look for the 40-foot climbing tower located off Depot Street in downtown Boone. With modern climbing equipment and trained climbing guides, anyone — from children to grandparents — can climb safely and efficiently. Jenny Allen, co-owner of Rock Dimensions, suggests that those starting out in the sport to get instruction first. “Buy the gear, but get instruction first, so you can

North Carolina’s Oldest Tourist Attraction

Climbers in the High Country enjoy fantastic scenery, while overcoming mental and physical challenges. PHOTOS COURTESY OF ROCK DIMENSIONS

know how to properly use the gear,” she said. Summer is a full of activity in the High Country, especially for Rock Dimensions. Travelers from all over wanting to rock

Unique Gift Shop Iconic Panoramic Long Range and Valley Views • 828-295-7111 • Hwy 321 South • Blowing Rock

climb often choose to take advantage of the half-day trips offered by the service. “The half-day trips are great for people to get out on the rock and get a taste for it,” Allen said. “The nice part about the places we take people to climb is that there are beginner and intermediate level areas,” she said. “Everyone gets challenged, no matter what skill level they have. The half-day trip also fits well into busy vacation itineraries. “It’s not a huge time or money commitment for those who haven’t climbed before and want to try it out. And people don’t have to wake up really early for it.” Rock Dimensions provides all equipment needed, including harnesses, helmets, ropes, belay and rappel devices, anchoring equipment and climbing shoes. While half-day trips are close to Boone, Rock Dimensions also offers full-day trips in Linville Gorge and other areas of Pisgah National Forest. The trips involve a longer drive and hike, with scenic views throughout the day. Both are suitable for beginners. For those who are a little timid about starting out on the rocks, Rock Dimensions welcomes them to practice on the 40-foot-high tower. With guides from Rock Dimensions present for assistance, you can learn and practice rock-climbing skills that can be later taken to the “real” rock tower. While most of the half-day trip partici-

pants are at the beginner level, experienced climbers are welcome to join. For those who have been climbing for a while, but are new to the area, Rock Dimensions offers helpful information and directions on where to go for exciting climbing excursions. All of the employees are knowledgeable on where the “hotspots” are located for climbing. Guidebooks for climbing in North Carolina and also smaller guides for local areas are sold at Footsloggers Outdoor Travel Outfitters, which houses Rock Dimensions. For those who are interested in bouldering, a handout with directions and a map to bouldering areas is also sold at Footsloggers. Proceeds from the handout go toward Access Fund, a national advocacy organization that keeps U.S. climbing areas open and conserves the climbing environment. Everyone who decides to go on the guided trips or wants to try out the rock tower is in capable hands; all of the climbing guides at Rock Dimensions are experienced climbers and certified through the Professional Climbing Instructors Association. Allen has been climbing for 15 years, and co-owner Ryan Beasley has been climbing for 27 years. In addition to climbing, Rock Dimensions offers a ropes course, children is summer camps and caving expeditions. For more information, call (828) 2653544 or visit







Water sports, including whitewater rafting, abound in the High Country. PHOTO SUBMITTED

H20 yeah! Water sports options abound in High Country BY JAMIE SHELL

Nothing cools a person on a hot day like some fun in the water. Throughout the High Country, outdoor enthusiasts have myriad options when it

comes to enjoying the region’s rivers and lakes through various water sports. Whether canoeing, fishing, kayaking, swimming or whitewater rafting is your







NG VI 5 CA $5

RA FT $3 IN 9 G


WWW.WATAUGAKAYAK.COM • (423) 542-6777

If rapids aren’t your liking, try a relaxing float in a High Country lake. PHOTO BY ANNA OAKES


cup of tea, there is guaranteed to be a place to kick back and enjoy the adventures awaiting you. For whitewater rafting, canoeing, kayaking or tubing, look no further than Wahoo’s Adventures of Boone (www. Earning multiple awards as Professional Paddlesports Association’s “Outfitter of the Year,” Wahoo’s is the High Country’s oldest whitewater outfitter, celebrating its 35th anniversary in 2013.

Wahoo’s has provided thousands of guests with premier whitewater vacations in the Asheville, Boone, Blowing Rock and the Banner Elk areas and has been committed to providing guests with a wide range of trips that will be sure to meet the needs of any visitor to the High Country. “We offer anything from the mildest adventure for the smallest of children and seniors up to extreme whitewater,” Wahoo’s owner Jeff Stanley said. Wahoo’s Adventures prides itself on being the only outfitter that offers outposts at each of the region’s premier river locations, including the New River, CONTINUED ON PAGE 24

Appalachian Heritage Museum Native American Artifacts Museum

Specializing In Local North Carolina Gemstones, We Have A Wide Variety Of Specimens & Fossils From Around The World! “You Find’em, We Shine’em!”

Professor Finnegan’s Old Time Photos

PHOTOS FOR ALL OCCASIONS We Have A Wide Selection Of Costumes On Hand.




Watauga River and Nolichucky River. Wahoo’s provides a private, gated parking lot, covered picnic shelter, tree house accommodations, primitive camping and bathrooms. If you want to go whitewater rafting on either the Nolichucky or Watauga rivers, Wahoo’s provides groups with river stores, clean restrooms, private changing rooms before the trip, and clean, hot showers for after your water adventure. Picnic areas are located on the banks of the Watauga River, in addition to a large dining facility fully covered and screened in that overlooks the fast moving river with seating for 60 people. For additional whitewater rafting adventures, Boone’s River & Earth Adventures ( offers expeditions on the Watauga, lower Nolichucky and French Broad rivers in half-day or full-day increments, along with canoeing in Todd. River & Earth Adventures also offers additional outdoor activities, including rock climbing, caving and gem mining.

THE MOUNTAIN TIMES SUMMER GUIDE In the Ashe County area, enthusiasts can spend a day or weekend with RiverCamp USA, located in Piney Creek (, near the Virginia border. Based along the New River, RiverCamp USA offers a variety of outdoor activities that include canoeing, fishing, hiking, biking or just relaxing in the cool mountain air. The country store has snacks, beverages, beer and wine, ice, firewood, fishing supplies, bait and limited groceries. If a day fishing at the lake is more your speed, several great High Country lakes beckon for your fishing rod and reel. Wildcat Lake in Banner Elk, located on Hickory Nut Gap Road, offers a sandy beach, playground, picnic area and water for swimming, canoeing and trout fishing. Lifeguards are on duty during summer hours. Boating and fishing enthusiasts, as well as swimmers, sailors and picnickers, can make the short jaunt across the state line into Tennessee to visit Watauga Lake. A number of marinas along the lake offers rentals of pontoon boats, jet skis and speedboats, with local restaurants dotting the shore with seafood and varieties of country or fine cuisine.

River Outfitters EDGE OF THE WORLD 394 Shawneehaw Ave. Banner Elk, N.C. 28604 (828) 898-9550

HIGH MOUNTAIN EXPEDITIONS 1380 N.C. 105 Boone, N.C. 28607 (828) 264-7368

RIVER & EARTH ADVENTURES 1655 N.C. 105 South Boone, N.C. 28692 (828) 963-5491

RIVERCAMP USA 2221 Kings Creek Road Piney Creek, N.C. 28663 (336) 359-2267


WAHOO’S ADVENTURES 3385 South U.S. 321 Boone, N.C. 28607 (828) 262-5774 or (800) 444-RAFT

WATAUGA KAYAK 1409 Broad St. Elizabethton, Tenn. 37643 (423) 542-6777

ZALOO’S CANOES 3874 N.C. 16 South Jefferson, N.C. 28640 (800) 535-4027

Watauga Lake Marinas COVE RIDGE MARINA 947 Piercetown Road Butler, Tenn. 37640

(423) 768-3741

FISH SPRINGS MARINA 191 Fish Springs Road Hampton, Tenn. 37658 (423) 768-2336

LAKESHORE MARINA 2285 U.S. 321 Hampton, Tenn. 37658 (423) 725-2201

PIONEER LANDING MARINA AND CAMPGROUND 105 Cowan Town Road Butler, Tenn. 37640 (423) 768-3164

THE HIGH COUNTRY’S PREMIER DOG AND CAT BOUTIQUE Highest Quality Dog and Cat Foods + Raw ·Organic Treats and Gourmet Bakery Items ·All Foods and Treats USA and Canada Only ·Holistic Nutritional Supplements ·Toys ·Raincoats, Sweaters, Collars, Harnesses ·Outdoor Gear and Travel Goods ·Gifts for People and Pets ·Grooming Supplies ·Quality Beds and Blankets ·World Fair Trade Products LOCALLY OWNED Specializing in USA Made and Organic Products


Beautiful Mountain Aire Golf Club is a public course just thirty minutes from Boone. Come enjoy a round of golf on a true mountain course. Changing elevations and amazing views will make this one of your favorite courses. Reasonable rates and a friendly atmosphere await you. Call ahead for tee times or book online.





“How I spent my summer vacation”

JOHN QUY Dog Trainer/ Behavior Consultant

40 Years experience 20 Years in the High Country John has trained over 5,000 dogs! Clients say he’s “The REAL Dog Whisperer & The South’s Best Dog Trainer” Cornell University Trained Developer of SoftTouch Dog Training & StartRight Class for Pups 6-14 weeks of age Boarding available for clients.

(336) 384-4399

of the high country YOUR COMPLETE HOMETOWN SOURCE for all your pet needs!

$3 OFF

Locally Owned & Operated

One coupon per visit. Excludes dog and cat food purchases. Expires September 2013.

*Excludes dog and cat food. Offer expires 9/30/13.

Home Baked


(made from wholesome, natural ingredients)

· 24-hour Emergency Care · Vaccinations · Routine Surgeries · Dental Care · Stem Cell Therapy · Ultrasonography · Soft Tissue and Orthopedic Procedures

Special Occasion Cakes & Party Supplies Food Raw & Freeze Dried Raw Diets Healthy Treats Natural Supplements Interactive Toys For Dogs & Cats Appare & Outdoor Gear Collars, Leashes, Beds, Bath Supplies and much more! (828)898-5625 High Quality Dog & Cat

(828) 268-2833



OFF your

purchase of $25 or more.

$20 OR MORE*



Follow us on

176 Shawneehaw Ave. Downtown Banner Elk

1710 NC Highway 105 • Boone, NC 28607













Wide variety of gourmet SOUPS, SANDWICHES AND HOME-MADE DESERTS LOCAL AND ORGANIC in-season ingredients Large selection of CRAFT BREWS 627 W. KING ST. (ACROSS FROM MAST STORE) | 828.264.0173 2

Hob Nob Farm Café


Local Food Global Flavors (828) 262-5000


Outdoor dining in Downtown A Boone Original Since 1988

693 W. King St. | 828.264.0302 | 3




LUNCH Try our Homemade Salads, Chili, and overstuffed Deli Sandwiches

Now Offering Gluten Free Bagels FREE WI-FI

Open Daily

MON-SAT 6am-5pm, SUN 7am-3pm, FRI & SAT Nights 11pm - 3am 516 W. King St. • 262-5585 • Major Credit Cards Accepted • 5% Cash Discount


Breakfast and Lunch Local Eggs & Beef

828.865.7425 11

Global Gifts CHECK US OUT ON

On the Corner of King and Depot Street in Boone

828.263.0300 •

703 W. King Street, Boone, NC






FREE CONCERTS Every Friday night June-September at the Jones House. Concerts start at 5:00 p.m. Bring your lawn chair and enjoy the music!


Visit downtown Boone the First Friday of every month for refreshments, entertainment and local art. July 5th, August 2nd and September 6th. 5:30 - 8:30 p.m.


Jones House Community & Cultural Center - 604 W. King St., Boone, NC • 828.262.4576 • 13



Cha Da Thai Exquisite Authentic Thai Cuisine



828.268.7525 • 783 W. KING STREET • BOONE, NC





A 501-(3)C Organization • Donations Accepted SPONSORED BY RESORT AREA MINISTRIES

Lunch: M-F 11-3 Sat-Sun 11:30-3 Dinner: 5-10 PM 173 Howard Street Boone, NC 828.268.0434 828.268.0439 fax

• Used Furniture • Clothing & Accessories • Small Household Items • Books


Monday-Saturday 9:00am - 5:00pm

Call for Donation Pick-Up Information

877 West King St. Downtown Boone 828-262-5029





"Home of a hundred hops" • Grains • • Yeast • • Winemaking supplies • • Distilling supplies • 904 W. King Street • Boone N.C. • 828.386.1018 Open 7 days a week throughout summer

furniture • glassware • primitives • jewelry • pottery 199 howard st • 828-262-1957 • open 7 days a week 15


sha k es I n M il k To t w es n HILL TOP B


Old Fashioned Hamburgers, Hotdogs & Fries Home of the “Snack Burger” for $4.75

Free daily tastings

Curb Hop Friday & Saturday 4PM - 9PM Open 6 Days

Over 40 varieties of oil & vinegar on tap wine • pasta • spices• cheese • art • chocolate 828 355 9313 • 819 West King Street




10 9

HOWARD STREET 17 16 15 14



















2530 Highway 421 North • Boone, NC Call 828-297-2621 for Take-Outs




Mon-Thur: 11AM - 8PM • Fri: 11AM - 9PM • Sat: 11:30AM - 9PM





High Country Camping BY KELLEN MOORE

There’s nothing like a night spent sleeping under the stars to cure a severe case of nature deficiency. And the High Country is just what the doctor ordered, offering dozens of well-appointed campgrounds and just as many opportunities for roughing it in the backcountry. Whatever your fancy, take a break during your summer vacation to learn what the locals already know: that some of the High Country’s best accommodations are literally in our own backyards.

Backcountry Camping ELK KNOB STATE PARK Located in the Meat Camp community, Elk Knob State Park is one of North Carolina’s newest state parks and began offering camping opportunities in fall 2012. A one- to two-mile hike from the parking area leads to the camping sites. A limited number of individual sites, zone sites and group sites are available for a nominal fee. Campfires are not permitted, so camp stoves must be used for cooking. During your visit, check out the 1.9-mile Summit Trail to see the long-range views from the top of the knob. For more information or to reserve a group site, call the park office at (828) 297-7261.

GRANDFATHER MOUNTAIN STATE PARK The Grandfather Mountain State Park offers 13 camping sites for backpackers along its 12-mile trail system, including one site at the Hi-Balsam Shelter. Several of the strenuous trails include ladders and cables to complete the climbs. Hikers and campers are required to register for free permits at the trailheads. At present, reservations are not offered for camping sites. Fires are permitted only in certain areas, and water from several streams must be filtered or boiled before use. Grandfather Mountain is home to 70 rare and endangered species and offers several long-range vistas along the hiking trails. For more information, call (828) 963-9522.

LINVILLE GORGE WILDERNESS Camping is permitted in the area known as the “Grand Canyon of North Carolina,” but it’s not for the first-timer. Trails are designated at the trailheads, but are not signed or blazed inside the wilderness, so hikers and campers should be able to read a topographical map and use a compass. A part of the Pisgah National Forest, the Linville Gorge Wilderness includes steep terrain with rock formations and dense hardwood and pine forests. Rock climbing, fishing and less strenuous day hikes are also available. For more information, contact the Grandfather Ranger District at (828) 652-2144.

Pitch your tent and let nature take care of the rest during your camping trip in the High Country. PHOTOS SUBMITTED

Family-Friendly Camping JULIAN PRICE MEMORIAL PARK CAMPGROUND Blue Ridge Parkway milepost 270 (828) 963-5911 Located a few miles south of Blowing Rock on one of America’s most scenic drives, Julian Price Memorial Park Campground is one of the parkway’s largest and busiest sites. The campground offers 129 tent sites and 68 RV sites, as well as bathrooms and drinking water facilities. The park also includes a backcountry site after a mile-and-a-half hike. A free permit is required for the backcountry site. Campers can conveniently access hiking trails, picnic areas, fishing and boat rentals on Price Lake.

LINVILLE FALLS CAMPGROUND Blue Ridge Parkway Milepost 316 (828) 765-6082

The Linville Falls campground includes 50 tent sites, 20 RV sites, a large picnic area, hiking trails, fishing and a visitors center nearby. Linville Falls also has room for larger group camping. Linville Falls, located nearby, is among the most famous waterfalls in the Blue Ridge.

DOUGHTON PARK CAMPGROUND Blue Ridge Parkway milepost 241 (336) 372-8568 Doughton Park will have two loops open for the 2013 season: one for RVs and one for vans, trailers and tents. The park is near Basin Cove and includes an extensive trail system. The campground does have one backcountry camp, about a mile-and-a-half hike in. The backcountry spot has about eight tent sites and is along a spring and hemlock strand.



High Country Camping CONTINUED FROM PAGE 28

BOONE KOA 123 Harmony Lane, Boone, N.C. 28607 (828) 264-7250 Located just outside the Boone town limits off N.C. 194, the Boone KOA campground has tent sites, cabins and full RV hookups, as well as a pool, mini golf, arcade games and a farm animal mini-zoo.

GRANDFATHER CAMPGROUND 125 Profile View Road Banner Elk, N.C. 28604 (828) 355-4535

Located just off N.C. 105 about 10 miles south of Boone, Grandfather Campground offers full RV hookups, primitive tent sites and fully furnished cabin rentals. Features and amenities include three bathhouses with hot showers, a camp store with firewood, ice and laundry machines, free WiFi access, a hiking trail and playground. The campground borders the Watauga River. Pets are allowed on a leash in the campground, but not in the cabins.

THE MOUNTAIN TIMES SUMMER GUIDE HONEY BEAR CAMPGROUND 229 Honey Bear Campground Road Boone, N.C. 28607 (828) 963-4586 Honey Bear Campground features wooded camping sites, a small pond and a hiking trail. Pets are allowed, and a guest laundry service is available.

FLINTLOCK CAMPGROUND 171 Flintlock Campground Drive Boone, N.C. 28607 (828) 963-5325 Located off N.C. 105 between Boone and the Foscoe community, Flintlock Campground offers tent sites, cabin rentals and full RV hookups. Also featured are hot showers, free WiFi, picnic tables, laundry services, a camp store and a covered pavilion.

BLUE BEAR MOUNTAIN CAMP 196 Blue Bear Mountain Road Todd, N.C. 28684 (828) 406-4226 Blue Bear Mountain Campground is located eight miles from Boone in the community of Todd. The


number of campsites is limited to provide spacious, private, low-density camping for RVs and tents. The new campground offers full hookups, hot showers, a laundry room, camping supplies and trout fishing.

VANDERPOOL CAMPGROUND 120 Campground Road Vilas, N.C. 28692 (828) 297-3486 Vanderpool Campground in Vilas offers RV and tent camping. No alcohol, firearms or foul language are allowed. The campground includes a camp store that sells ice, firewood, snacks and RV supplies. The facility also offers WiFi access and outdoor games.

HELTON CREEK CAMPGROUND 2047 Helton Road Grassy Creek, N.C. 28631 (336) 384-3474 Helton Creek Campground is nestled on the banks of Helton Creek in Ashe County. The campground is minutes away from the New River, Virginia Creeper Trail, Shatley Springs and Mount Rogers. Shady and peaceful sites are available for tents and RV hookups.




336-973-3325 Always protect the environment and wear your seat belt, helmet, eye protection and protective clothing. Never ride

Located directly on the New River, RiverCamp USA provides sites for tents, pop-ups and RVs with full hookups. Guests will enjoy many outdoor activities, including fishing, hiking and biking. Canoes, kayaks and tubes are available for rent. The country store sells snacks, beverages, beer and wine, ice, firewood, fishing supplies and limited groceries. Picnic tables, fire rings, playground, laundry and hot showers are available to all campers.

“Where Winners Never Finish 2nd!” 4641 Hwy 421 N. • Wilkesboro, NC 28697


Honda of Wilkesboro

High Country Camping

RIVERCAMP USA 2221 Kings Creek Road Piney Creek, N.C. 28663 (336) 982-2267

RACCOON HOLLER CAMPGROUND 493 Raccoon Holler Road Glendale Springs, N.C. 28629 (336) 982-2706 Raccoon Holler is located just off the Blue Ridge Parkway between mileposts 257 and 258. The campground offers 150 sites with full hookups and 25 sites with water and electricity. Modern bathhouses, laundry facilities and cable access are available. The site also features a recreation building, playground and activity field.


TWIN RIVERS CAMPGROUND 1863 Garvey Bridge Road Crumpler, N.C. 28617 (828) 982-3456 Twin Rivers offers dozens of sites with full hookups, as well as tent and primitive sites, adjacent to the serene New River. The campground has clean bathhouses with hot showers, fire pits, picnic tables and a play area for children. The campground also sells firework, ice and bait and offers inner tube rentals.

DOWN BY THE RIVER CAMPGROUND 292 River Campground Road Pineola, N.C. 28662 (828) 733-5057 Down by the River Campground offers RV and tent sites, an indoor activity center, a small outdoor pavilion and laundry services. Pets are allowed.

BUCK HILL CAMPGROUND 6401 South U.S. 19E Plumtree, N.C. 28664 (828) 766-6162 Located along 1,600 feet of the North Toe River, Buck Hill Campground offers 60 large, shady RV sites, each equipped with picnic tables, fire pits and full hookups. Enjoy a lazy ride down the river on your inner tube or spend the day fishing from trout-filled waters.

Hike the High Country BY MATTHEW HUNDLEY

Viewing the expansive forests of the High Country from a roadside is all well and good, but the real experience can only be had on foot — hiking the trails of the national forests and state parks that envelop the High Country. A great hike is always easy to find and never far away, but going in with a plan always makes a hike more enjoyable and safer. To learn more about hiking in the High Country, visit for one of the best resources, including trail searches, recommendations and area information.

GRANDFATHER MOUNTAIN Many people are familiar with Grandfather Mountain’s native animal habitats and its famous Mile High Swinging Bridge. What many may not realize is that those attractions encompass only one third of the entire park, which in-

cludes miles of backcountry hiking trails, in addition to trails within the park. Access to all 11 trails is included in the price of admission. Admission is not required to hike trails that begin at nearby sites, such as the Blue Ridge Parkway or Highway 105’s Profile Trailhead and then proceed toward the summit. The backcountry trails provide access to the highest points on the mountain. For a complete map of all backcountry trails on Grandfather Mountain, along with a wealth of other information on each of the site’s major trails, visit walking-hiking/. Backcountry trails are recommended for more experienced hikers. The in-park trails are often more gentle, but still provide access to a wide variety of ecosystems not to be found anywhere else in the South. To get the most out of your Grandfather Mountain hiking experience, schedule an appointment with an interpretive ranger. Guided hikes with interpretive





rangers are worth a small additional fee to have an expert on the mountain’s ecology, geology and safety along for the walk. To learn more about Grandfather Mountain and its hiking opportunities, visit www.

LINVILLE GORGE A designated wilderness area, Linville Gorge offers some of the most breathtaking views of an unspoiled expanse of wilderness available anywhere in Western North Carolina. With many points of access in southern Avery County, many inroads into Linville Gorge Wilderness Area can be found along highways 181 and 183 and even from the Blue Ridge Parkway, which offers an easy hike to view the gorge’s headwaters, Linville Falls, one of the area’s most spectacular natural wonders. Wiseman’s View Road offers


many points of access along the edge of the gorge, as does Table Rock Road on the gorge’s eastern rim, which has parking for trails to the famous Table Rock Mountain and Hawksbill Mountain. A trip into the gorge’s interior is recommended only for experienced hikers. To learn more about backcountry hikes into Linville Gorge Wilderness Area, search for Linville Gorge Wilderness Area by visiting www.

BEECH MOUNTAIN The town of Beech Mountain maintains more than 20 miles of hiking trails that offer access to all sides of Beech Mountain. The trails are designed to be accessible for all age groups and most levels of physical ability. Visit to learn about each of the seven separate trails that compose Beech Mountain’s own trail system.

Linville Gorge offers enough trails and vistas to keep even the most-dedicated hiker moving for years. PHOTO SUBMITTED





Relax enjoy... 2

Unique accents for your home & patio Open 7 days a week 828.295.3330 • 1179 Main Street #106 • Blowing Rock


Take $25 Off Entire Purchase Valid in any Doncaster retail store. Not valid on prior purchases or merchandise discounted more

Across from the Chetola Resort

537 North Main Street • Blowing Rock • 828.295.4200 Mon-Sat 10 - 6 & Sun 1 - 5

Missy, Petite & Women’s sizes available

Where prior season fashions create current season looks. Doncaster Never Goes Out of Style!








SUMMER 2013 CALENDAR Every Blowing Rock Farmers’ Market Thursday (828)295-7851

June Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show 6-9 (828)295-4700 June Art in the Park 15 (828)295-7851 June Concert in the Park 16 (828)295-7851 July Independence Day Parade 6 (828)295-5222 July Art in the Park 13 (828)295-7851 July Symphony By The Lake 26 (828)295-7851 July St. Mary’s Tour of Homes 26 (828)295-7323 July Blowing Rock 23-28 Charity Horse Show (828)295-4700 August Art in the Park 10 (828)295-7851 September Art in the Park 7 (828)295-7851




Village of Organic Wheat/ Organic/ dog corn free vegan treats dog treats shampoos

Affordable Southern Charm You will love our prices!!

• Whimsical gifts for the home and garden • Boutique apparel, jewelry, and accessories featuring Custom YaYa charm necklaces • Kameleon "jewel pop" sterling collection from reclaimed materials

It’s a Dog’s Life


Blowing Rock Bolick and Traditions Pottery


• Local Pottery • Christian Gifts and Books • Home and Garden Decor

Quotation box signs Fairy garden miniatures Unique gifts and decor Winecork cages

(828) 295-6128

1116-2 Main St. in the Martin House Complex


Featuring bedding and pillows

1179 Main Street · Blowing Rock, NC 28605 | 828-295-8883



Bolick and Traditions Pottery

Located at 1179 Main St. Blowing Rock, NC (beside Monkees) Mon-Sat 10-6 Sunday 1-5 828-295-4277




6 10

EYEWEAR (hundreds available to fit your style)








Clear Readers Sun Readers Polarized-Bifocal


SouthMarke P1 • 1179 Main Street Blowing Rock, NC 28605 Phone: 828.320.6408 Email:







Get Reel


Fishing in the High Country


There’s no such thing as a bad day of fishing. Especially when you’re in the cold, clear waters of the High Country, where the sun shines bright and the trout bite hard. The mountain streams of Watauga, Ashe and Avery counties hold promise for both the seasoned fisherman and the novice. According to a 2009 study conducted on behalf of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, an estimated 92,765 anglers fished for trout statewide in 2008. But it was the western counties of Transylvania, Watauga, Haywood, Cherokee, Henderson, Jackson and Ashe that saw the most fishing activity, the study found. Kevin Hining, a fisheries biologist with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, has a guess at why Western North Carolina is so popular with anglers. “I think a lot of it is just the scenery —

Brown trout are among the most sought-after fish in the High Country. PHOTOS COURTESY OF KEVIN HINING | N.C. WILDLIFE RESOURCES COMMISSION

for the same reason folks want to go to the mountains in general,” Hining said. Besides the visual gift, the mountain waters offer a shot at three types of trout:

brook, brown and rainbow. Those who want to catch them all should try dry flies, streamer or nymphs that imitate natural foods. Worms or corn work well

for hatchery-raised trout, and spinners, spoons and crankbaits also can work, the commission says. CONTINUED ON PAGE 38




A haven for travelers since the 1800s, Valle Crucis, a National Rural Historic District, offers shops, beautiful bed and breakfast inns, delicious cuisine, wine tasting, rustic cabins, horseback riding, adventure and more.

Rivercross Made in USA 828-963-8623

The 1861 Farmhouse Restaurant & Winery 828-963-6301

Taylor House Inn Bed & Breakfast ca. 1911 800-963-5581

Valle Crucis Community Web Directory 1861 Farmhouse - Apple Hill Farm - Baird House - Blue Ridge Vacation Cabins - Dutch Creek Trails - Lazy Bear Lodge - Mast Farm Inn - Mast General Store - Mountainside Lodge B&B - Rivercross Made in USA - Taylor House Inn - Valle Crucis Bed & Breakfast - Valle Crucis Log Cabin Rentals & Sales -

Blue Ridge Vacation Cabins 828-963-2393




Make the most The most unique gift & design shop in the high country! Custom silk arrangements for home or business Lamps • Candles • Home decor Pottery • Greeting cards

Petal Pusher Designs & Gifts 08-B South Jefferson Ave West Jefferson (336) 846-1687

VOTED BEST PIZZA IN ASHE COUNTY 2 YEARS IN A ROW!! Monday thru Thursday - 11:00 am to 8:00 pm Friday & Saturday - 11:00 am to 9:00 pm Sunday - Noon to 4:00 pm (336) 846-5400

Brings art to every part of your life! Antiques, Clothing, Fun Art Parties & a Great Place to Be!

Beautiful Stained Glass Commissions available!

Join Us for the Lunch OR Full Dinner Buffet OR Order From Our Menu

Huge selection of scarves & hats! One-of-a-kind ceramic ornaments, Custom leather & slipcover furniture

336 846 3355

and Art Parties! Homegrown and Handmade!


Be Sure to Reserve Our Gorgeous Dining Room For Your Next Event!

Like Us on FaceBook: Casa Bella, Ashe County You Can See Our Specials There, Too!

Saturdays (April-October) Wednesdays (June-September) On the Backstreet, Downtown West Jefferson Committed to Excellence - Dedicated to Community

108 S. Jefferson Ave, West Jefferson




of your summer

in Ashe County

Have some fun! for over 30 years The coolest corner of North Carolina.

$VKH&RXQW\&KDPEHU‡ We ha v in sto e ck!


Providing exceptional service with integrity is our goal

Sectionals in fabric & leather

- $699

lift chairs in stock

Mon - Fri 9 - 5 PM Sat. 9 - 3PM • Free local delivery! 336-384-2929 • 160 Northwest School Rd •Warrensville, NC

Don’t make a move without us!


Honey Beekeeping Supplies 958 West Buffalo Road West Jefferson 7) ‡ 3+  Brian “Docâ€? Adams, Innkeeper

Candles Gifts

See Live Observation Hive! Tues-Sat 9-5 Locally Owned & Operated

6 N. Third h d Ave In Historic Downtown West Jefferson (336) 846-BEES (855) 213-8800

Tis The Season For All Seasons Seasonal Gift Shop

Our inventory is always changing! Unique Toys & baby items MUD PIE JIM SHORE DEPT 56 GREEN LEAF Seasonal Decorations for all major holidays

Cooperative Gallery Dedicated to the Art of Photography

118 N Jefferson Ave, West Jefferson 336-846-1551 Wednesday - Sat 10-5. Sunday 12-5, or by Appointment

Downtown West Jefferson 336-846-9488




Get Reel: Fishing CONTINUED FROM PAGE 34

But trout aren’t the only fish worth catching. “Up here, what we’ve found historically has been trout fishing, but we’re finding more and more people that are getting interested in smallmouth fishing,” Hining said. The region’s rivers — including the New, the Watauga and the Nolichucky — all have solid smallmouth fisheries, he said. Known for their “fight,” smallmouth bass will bite a variety of artificial baits, especially those in orange and brown patterns that resemble crayfish, the commission says. Hining said two things are important to note before embarking on a fishing trip in the mountains. First is safety: the river bottoms will try to trip the overconfident. “They’re slick, and they’re hard when you fall,” he said, adding that it’s best to take a partner or tell someone exactly where you’re headed to fish. The second thing to keep in mind is access, he said. A vast majority of local streams will require crossing private property, so keep an eye out for no trespassing signs. If you’re not sure whether you’re allowed on the property, check with the landowner first, he said. Those who are looking for a family-friendly adventure will find a number of local ponds and lakes stocked with fish, including some with piers. In Watauga County, Price Lake outside Blowing Rock

Worms or corn work well for hatchery-raised trout, and spinners, spoons and crankbaits also can work as well.

is stocked with brook, brown and rainbow trout, as well as bullhead and redbreast sunfish. Lake Coffey on Beech Mountain also includes a pier for easy access. Banner Elk’s Wildcat Lake and the Ashe Park Pond in Jefferson also make good family-friendly spots. Getting started — License to fish: Fishing licenses are required for most adults. Licenses range from $10 to $20 for individuals, depending on the type of license sought, and are available at local outdoors shops, general stores and superstores. — Learn the ropes: Some river portions allow only

Fishing Outfitters APPALACHIAN ANGLER 174 Old Shulls Mill Road, Boone (828) 963-5050

A fun place to shop for kids and adults! Specializing in quality toys, unique games and old fashion customer service.

3411 Hwy. 321 S Blowing Rock 828-264-1422

ELK CREEK OUTFITTERS 1560 N.C. 105, Boone (828) 264-6497

FOSCOE FISHING COMPANY & OUTFITTERS 8857 N.C. 105, Boone (828) 963-6556

artificial, single-barb lures or require catch-and-release during certain seasons. — Stake out your spot: The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission offers a searchable “Where to Fish” map online at WheretoFish.aspx. The map allows fishermen to view public fishing areas and trout streams based on location, fish species or by the type of access (piers, boat ramps, universal access). — Go big or go home: The largest brown trout caught with hook and line in North Carolina was Robert Lee Dyer’s 24-pound, 10-ounce monster caught in 1998 on the Nantahala River. Feel like a challenge?

GRANDFATHER TROUT FARM 10767 N.C. 105, Banner Elk (828) 963-5098

RICK’S SMALLMOUTH ADVENTURES 1757 Pleasant Home Road, Sparta (336) 372-8321

RIVERGIRL FISHING CO. 4041 Todd Railroad Grade Road, Todd (336) 877-3099

WATAUGA RIVER ANGLERS 5712 N.C. 105, Vilas (828) 963-5463




Ziplines a high-flying good time BY MATTHEW HUNDLEY

A zipline is simple in principle: give guests the opportunities to fly above the ground, soaring through the mountains, speeding through the trees and open air and gaining a bird’s-eye view of the vistas that make the High Country famous. Many people grew up with a backyard zipline. For these modern attractions, the principle is the same, but the scale is vastly greater. Naturally, safety is a prime concern, so all participants wear harnesses and head protection while flying through the air.

HAWKSNEST ZIPLINES Hawksnest Ziplines has continued to expand, now featuring more than four miles of cables ready to thrill adventuresome visitors. The 40 miles are broken up across 20 different ziplines, including two that stretch more than 2,000 feet and two that stretch more than 1,500 feet. Hawksnest is located in Seven Devils, just off N.C. 105 between Boone and Banner Elk. It is important to call ahead to reserve your trip. Hawksnest cannot offer tours to single participants, so get the family and friends together. Two different canopy tours are available, the Hawk Tour, which costs $75 per person, and the Eagle Tour, which costs $85 per person. Once your reservations are made, try to arrive at least 30 minutes before you are scheduled to begin your tour, and plan to stay for at least the two hours each tour usually requires. For more information about Hawksnest’s zipline canopy tours, visit or call (800) 822-4295.

mation. To get to Sky Valley, turn left off U.S. 321 in Boone onto Winkler’s Creek Road. Turn right shortly after the Boone Mall to continue on Winkler’s Creek Road. Travel about 2.5 miles until you see Camp Sky Ranch on the left.

SCREAMING ZIPLINES Visitors will ride a 6WD Swiss army vehicle to the top of the mountain to begin the series of six zips, totaling more than a mile in cable. The tour begins with the shortest zip at 450 feet long, and the cables get longer and longer from there, including the 2,000-foot “Super Zip.” Call (828) 898-5404 or visit www. for more information. To get there, take U.S. 421 North from downtown Boone about 13 miles until you reach 9250 U.S. 421 North in Zionville.

THE BEANSTALK JOURNEY Located in Catawba Meadows in Morganton, The Beanstalk Journey is more than just a zipline. Described as a “life-size Ewok Village,” the attraction includes canopy-top ziplines, ropes courses and bridges that connect “islands” tucked away into the foliage. The facility is extremely safe, accommodating large groups, birthday parties and participants as young as four years of age. For more information about the safety precautions in place at The Beanstalk Journey, visit www.beanstalkjourneys. com. To make reservations or for more information, call (828) 430-3440 or visit



Sky Valley Zip Tours is the area’s newest zipline experience, opening in May 2012, just three miles from Boone. “Canopy rangers” guide guests on nine zips, totaling more than on mile in length, and the two longest lines are about 300 feet off the ground, according to Sky Valley staff. Sky Valley also offers two “skyjumps,” in which guests jump from a 35-foot rock face and 55-foot platform, offering a few seconds of freefall before the belay feature kicks in. Call (855) 4-SKY-ZIP or visit www. for more infor-

Visitors at Plumtree Canopy Tours will have the opportunity to experience a canopy tour and zipline adventure that will take them across nine ziplines and four sky bridges, all while learning about the trees, wildlife and community of Plumtree. Visitors can also learn about the history of Plumtree, including its vast mines. Included with all Plumtree Canopy tours is lunch or Sunday Brunch at the Vance Toe River Lodge. Plumtree Canopy Tours is located on N.C. 19 East, mere miles from a wealth CONTINUED ON PAGE 40

Emily Johnson rides the zipline at Sky Valley Zip Tours near Boone. PHOTO COURTESY OF SKY VALLEY ZIP TOURS




We carry locally handcrafted items:

Cabin Decor Soaps & Candles Art & Jewelry Local Honey & Jams 8645 Hwy 105, Boone (Foscoe)


Facebook: Store: Watch Dave get a bear out of a log with his

Chainsaw! In our parking lot all Summer.

The Area’s Largest & Oldest Antique Mall

“Something for Everyone” Over 12,000 square feet of... Antiques • Pictures • Tools • Furniture Primitive & Victorian • Quilts Knives • Rare Books • Jewelry & Much, Much More! Glassware including Iron Mountain Stoneware Blue Ridge Pottery • Hull • McCoy Fenton • Westmoreland & Many Others!

GIFT CERTIFICATES AVAILABLE Open 7 Days a Week Mon - Sat 10 am - 5 pm Sun 1 pm - 5 pm For More Information Call 423 727 1950 or Visit 101 South Church Street Downtown Mountain City, TN Just 22 miles north of Boone, N.C.

A zipline rider flies at a considerable height at the Sky Valley Zip Tours outside Boone. PHOTO COURTESY OF SKY VALLEY ZIP TOURS


more, visit



of hiking, camping and fishing opportunities. Plumtree Canopy Tours cost $80 per person and require reservations. To make a reservation or for more information, call (828) 765-9696 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. To learn

Rock Dimensions, which provides the climbing wall at Footsloggers in downtown Boone, also features an extensive, multileveled ropes course ending in an exit via zipline from the highest level. Rock Dimensions’ Discovery

Course is located in Blowing Rock and only features a zipline as a finale. The entire course works in the same vein of high altitude adrenaline, while adding the bonus of an engaging physical challenge. To learn more about Rock Dimensions’ Discovery Course and other outdoor adventure opportunities, including rock climbing and caving, call (828) 265-3544 or visit info@




Village of Sugar Mountain

Caving · Christian Camps · Fishing · Gem Mining · Golf · Hiking · Hot Air Balloon Rides · Kayaking · Rock Climbing · Shopping · Skii · White Water Kayak · Instruction · White Water Rafting

Dennis Lacey Broker • 828-898-5226 Year-round resort offering efficiency, efficiency with loft, 1 & 2 BDR condos. Clubhouse featuring indoor heated swimming pool, hot tub, sauna and computer room. Easy access to hiking & biking trails, public golf and tennis all on Sugar Mountain at an elevation of 4900ft.


303 Sugartop Drive •Sugar Mountain, NC



100 Sugar Ski Drive, Banner Elk, NC 28604

Mountain Girl

Sugar Area Rentals & Real Estate Sales · Sugar Top · Mossy Creek · Skyleaf · The Reserve · Hemlock Knob · The Citadel · Lodges at Elkmont · Ski Country · Sugar Ski & Country · Briarcliff · Cabins

828-898-7800 800-858-9663 800-SUGAR TOP 3440-C Tynecastle Hwy Banner Elk, NC 28604

These Were the Days Antiques and Collectibles

Gallery Locally made items and gifts for folks who love the mountains. New handmade and handcrafted items by local artists and craftsmen have arrived!

Monday-Saturday 10 am to 5 pm 3440 Tynecastle Hwy Banner Elk, NC 28604 828-898-5505 Below Food Lion Shopping Center. Look for signs, drive behind building.

4516 Tynecastle Highway, Banner Elk, NC (828) 898-9581

a’s ek er D

Sugar Mountain


Studio Condos to Six Bedroom Cabins From $85/Night! Golf, tennis, hiking, biking, world-class dining & entertainment just moments from your doorstep For World-Class Wonder Right Outside Your Door Call Today!

106 Sugar Mountain Dr. Sugar Mountain, NC 28604 (828) 545-9475



lodging in Blowing Rock

We are nestled on N. Main St. just off the Blue Ridge Parkway, providing a brief stroll to the shops and restaurants. Our artistically designed rooms offer the choice of one king or two queen size beds. Our one-bedroom villas feature fireplaces and kitchenettes. All units are non-smoking and pet free. Our property is a “Certified Wildlife Habitat” and we make every effort possible to to be a “green” property. We are open April - November. 788 N Main St | | (828)295-7921

We are located in the heart of the village, with an elevation of around 4000’. Thus offering cool temps, refreshing breezes and magnificent mountain vistas around every turn. Our tastefully designed rooms offer the choice of one king or two queen size beds. Our two oversized suites with king size beds feature Jacuzzi tubs. For families our one bedroom suite offers a little extra space featuring a sitting area and wet bar. Our log cabin has a fireplace, Jacuzzi tub and king size bed in the loft. Our one bedroom apartment in completely handicapped accessible with a fireplace, full kitchen and king size bed. All units are non-smoking and pet free. 671 N Main St | | (828)295-9984





Avid local disc golfer Todd Patoprsty fires a tee-shot on Hole No. 2 at High Country Disc Golf Course, located at Ashe County Park in West Jefferson. PHOTOS BY SAM CALHOUN

Proof is in the Putting All-ages, accessible sport finds home in High Country BY SAM CALHOUN

The High Country is known for its world-class mountainous golf courses, as well as for its stable of adventure sports, thus it was only a matter of time before the two worlds combined. Welcome to the High Country Disc Golf Course, located at Ashe County Park in West Jefferson, where the public can experience the beauty and challenge of an 18-hole mountain golf course, sans the expense and formality of a country club. All you need is a disc and an arm, as opposed to a ball and a club. And you can leave those plaid pants at home, too. Built in 2006 and featuring one of the highest elevation drops and placements of the 1,500 courses in the country, the High Country Disc Golf Course was designed by two-time world disc golf champion and world-class designer Harold Duvall of the Innova Disc Golf company. Duvall designed the course to take in all the elevation changes available — the most dramatic east of the Rocky Mountains, he said — but he also made the course accessible and playable for every

disc golf skill level. The result is a course that attracts newcomers to the sport on a weekly basis, as well as a course that hosts professional level tournaments multiple times every year. “It’s a fantastic course,” said Mel Jones, 66, who, with his wife, have traveled the country playing disc golf at more than 130 different courses during a span of five years. “It’s well laid out and at a great elevation. A disc golfer likes elevation changes.” What’s more, admission is always free. “(Disc golf) is one of the fastest growing sports in the country,” Jones said. “It’s a good sport. It’s cheap. You can play by yourself, and there’s no green fees.” Disc golf players stand at a tee and fling a disc toward a “hole,” an elevated metal basket outfitted with a set of chains to catch the disc. Like ball golf, disc golf includes numerous trees, rocks and other hazards — such as massive elevation drops, in the case of Ashe County Park — that must be avoided. All ages of local residents and visiCONTINUED ON PAGE 45



4900 Hickory Blvd • Granite Falls, NC 28630 • 828-496-2262 Open Monday - Saturday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. • Open Sunday 1 p.m. until 5 p.m.

Just North of Hickory Located at corner of 321 & Alex Lee Road at the entrance to MDI

Find Us on




Magic Cycles celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.

Be sure to visit our downtown location for various specials to be running thru out the summer.

Visit our Rental Shop located at the Village of Ski Beech. Mountain bike rentals and lift passes will be available Fri., Sat. and Sun. from June 7th to Sept 30th.

Located at 131B Depot St.

Downtown Boone

Climb the Tower! No experience necessary

Challenge Course and Zipline Blowing Rock Climbing guides are certiďŹ ed through the Professional Climbing Instructors Association (PCIA)

828-265-3544Explore your Vertical World

Guided Outdoor Trips Climbing, rappelling & caving





tors have embraced the emerging sport during the past seven years locally, due in large part to the vision of 20-year disc golf veteran Todd Patoprsty, who started the initiative in 2005 as a way to bring his beloved sport to the High Country. When the town of Boone failed to find a space for a course in 2005, Patoprsty moved his attention to Ashe County, just down the road, where he found a wealth of people who agreed with his mission, as well as a 70-acre template for a worldclass course. Today, the course is continually peppered with players of all skill sets. Each time out, the players — from beginners to experts — perfect their form to improve their game, while seeking out the trademark rattle of the chains: the sound of a putter’s throw hitting its final target. “It literally is something that everybody can do at all ages,” Patoprsty said. “We’ve had senior citizens out there, and you have young kids out there, and it’s


Disc Golf Details DIRECTIONS To get to the course, take U.S. 421 South out of Boone to U.S. 221 North at Deep Gap. After travelling roughly 20 minutes (14 miles), take a left onto Long Street at the second intersection off the highway. Off Long Street, take a right onto Main Street and follow through downtown for a few miles until taking a left at the sign for Ashe County Park.

HOURS Ashe County Park and High Country Disc Golf Course are open from 8 a.m. to dusk every day of the week. Volunteer workdays take place every third Saturday of the month at 10 a.m.

COST Admission is free, every day of the week. great to see.” For more information, visit www., email or



Mount Jefferson provides a breathtaking backdrop for the High Country Disc Golf Course, which winds through open and mountainous terrain for 18 unique holes. Pictured is local disc golfer Todd Patoprsty attempting a drive on Hole No. 3.




Wahoo’s gurantees its quest is the lowest price on the river. Find it lower – we’ll beat it!!!

NG No LO es! bus rid


800•444•RAFT 2 Time Locals: 828•262•5774












Pedal to Medal

High Country turns wheels with cycling options BY JAMIE SHELL

High Country cycling enthusiasts are sure to find everything they want and more, as the region’s natural terrain affords cyclists of various skill levels all the fun or challenge one could ask for. Whether cyclists use their bikes for transportation, recreation or sport, cycling is an ideal form of exercise, an inexpensive method to get around town or over a mountain or simply as a leisurely pastime. “The western part of North Carolina is simply some of the best road riding in the world,” Bicycling magazine said in March 2001. Bicycling options are many and varied across the area. A popular locale for riding is along the 470-mile-long Blue Ridge Parkway that extends throughout the area. The hills are laced with a network of paved, low-traffic back roads that offer both inspiring scenery and

rugged terrain. In addition, Rocky Knob Mountain Bike Park in Boone offers riders of varying degrees of skill and experience more than 180 acres of bridges, trails, jumps and more to get the pulse pounding. A number of premier cycling events are held in the High Country each year, including national championship-quality races. Among races of note is a national-caliber event in Beech Mountain, as USA Cycling hosts its annual Mountain Bike Gravity National Championships, while in Boone, the annual Blood Sweat and Gears 100- and 50-mile rides are a major event that draws cyclists from across the nation and other countries. Appalachian State University and Lees-McRae College are heavily invested in cycling, with competitive college teams.

Appalachian State University’s cycling team hits the road.



Let Us


Your World

Custom Gemstone Cutting Custom Gold & Sterling Jewelry Beautiful Mineral Specimens & Gifts 4416 NC Hwy 105 S Boone, NC 28607 828-963-GEMS(4367)

Gemological Institute of America(GIA)Certified Staff Heated Indoor Flume

10% OFF Gemstone Bucket Bring in this ad! Limit one discount per group per day.




In 2012, LMC became the first college to offer a cycling major, illustrating the pronounced passion of cycling in the High Country community. During Grandfather Mountain’s annual Highland Games, “The Grizzly” bike race is held, a grueling road test of cyclists’ endurance and will. For cyclists in need of quick repairs or desiring to purchase a new bike, a pair of full-service bicycle shops in Boone serves High Country cycling aficionados. Magic Cycles, located on Depot Street in Boone, and Boone Bike & Touring on Blowing Rock Road in Boone have everything that a serious bicycle rider needs to make each experience memorable. In addition, Beyond Category Cycling opened this May off U.S. 321 in Blowing Rock. For cyclists in search of other riders with similar tastes for riding the many twists and turns of High Country terrain, Boone Area Cyclists is a good starting point. Cyclists looking to learn the routes of the High Country and meet

Bike Shops MAGIC CYCLES 140 S. Depot St. Boone, N.C. (828) 265-2211

BOONE BIKE & TOURING 899 Blowing Rock Road Boone, N.C. (828) 262-5750

BEYOND CATEGORY CYCLING 8100 Valley Blvd. Blowing Rock, N.C. (828) 295-8600

fellow cyclists will find BAC an indispensable resource. The club welcomes cyclists of all ages, abilities and styles of riding. BAC’s website offers a wealth of information and links regarding area group rides and routes. For more information, visit





Rocky Knob Mountain Bike Park Trails offer new riding challenges, world-class terrain BY JAMIE SHELL

For the advanced beginning rider through intermediate and expert cyclists, perhaps no park offers the variety of challenges and excitement that is found at Rock Knob Mountain Bike Park, located off U.S. 421, just east of Boone. Although hard to believe, there was no legal mountain biking in Watauga County until Rocky Knob was conceived and constructed. “Several folks got together and started planning this idea to create a mountain bike park in Boone,” said Kristian Jackson, Rocky Knob Mountain Bike Park trail boss. Watauga County Tourism Development Authority and Boone Area Cyclists partnered in 2010 to make the dream of a quality bike park in the Boone area a reality, securing North Carolina Parks and Recreation Trust Fund monies and other grant funding to help pay for construction of the park.

Rocky Knob boasts 4,000-foot elevations at its highest peaks and spreads across 185 rugged acres. The park includes six to eight miles of mountain bike trails for all skill levels, multiple shelters, an adventure playground and picnic areas. In addition, sophisticated and fun skills-development parks are scattered throughout the trail layout, with a “modern-rustic” playground popular with parents and youngsters alike. “When we were thinking about designing this park, we really wanted a place where anybody who could ride a mountain bike could enjoy themselves on a bike,” Jackson said. “When we actually started developing the trails, we realized we were dealing with a very rocky mountain, which did not lend itself to truly beginner trails. What we’ve created is a kind of playground for intermediate riders, maybe advanced beginners, all the way up to more advanced trails.” CONTINUED ON PAGE 55

Rocky Knob boasts 4,000-foot elevations at its highest peaks and spreads across 185 rugged acres. PHOTO BY ROB MOORE | MTNSNAPSHOTS.COM




real estate sales vacation rentals West Jefferson • 336-246-2700

Rocky Branch Trail is one of several challenging trails offered at Rocky Knob Mountain Bike Park in Boone. PHOTO BY KHRISTIAN JACKSON, COURTESY OF ROCKY KNOB MOUNTAIN BIKE PARK


Rocky Knob consists of five primary trails: 1.6-mile Rocky Branch trail loop, the one-mile Middle Earth trail, nearly four-mile Boat Rock Loop, the downhill PBJ Trail and Ol’ Hoss. “Rocky Knob is pretty close to as good as trails can get,” said Wright Tilley, Watauga TDA executive director. “Rocky Knob shows that we’re serious about enhancing outdoor recreation infrastructure for visitors and locals. My son’s reaction was, ‘Can we come here every day?’” Rocky Knob is open and accessible to both cyclists and hikers, so visitors are

asked to be sure to abide by the recommended direction of travel for each, so the two user groups can have easy visual access and have made safe passage. The main trail splits momentarily in a number of locations to provide technical features for more advanced riders. Rocky Knob Mountain Bike Park is located east of Boone toward Wilkesboro on U.S. 421, The entrance is on the right, two miles from the N.C. 194 junction in Boone. Coming from the east, pass the light at the crossing of Old U.S. 421, and 1.4 miles later, make a U-turn beyond the median and turn right into the park after 0.2 miles. For more information, visit www. or www.

• Hot Tubs • Game Tables • Fireplace • Trout Streams • Riverfront • Long Range • Vistas

Serving the High Country! West Jefferson, Boone, Blowing Rock and Surrounding Areas




Grandfather Mountain offers miles of trails, unparalleled scenic vistas, picnic areas, animal habitats, a nature museum, restaurant, gift shops and more. PHOTOS BY LINDSEY HAMBY

Grandfather Mountain ready for summer fun


Mile-high fun returns to Grandfather Mountain this summer with fudge day celebrations, fun facts on the swinging bridge, kids’ festivals, hiking and biking events and more. This year’s fun on the mountain gets off to a sweet start with the National Fudge Day Celebration on Sunday, June 16, with contests and games at the Fudge Shop. Fudge will be on sale all day with special pricing. Summer officially starts with the Summer Saunter Series, which is a fun and interactive walk along the Black Rock trail to explore nature the same way Henry David Thoreau did 150 years ago around Walden Pond in Massachusetts. The program starts at 11 a.m. and lasts approximately one and a half hours. One of the summer’s most popular events, the 58th annual Grandfather Mountain Highland Games will be held July 11 to 14. This gathering of Scottish clans features dancing, Celtic music and a general celebration of Scottish culture and athleticism. Grandfather’s Attic Hike, to be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, July 13, takes hikers to the Attic Window Peak and Indian House Cave over some of the mountain’s more

Otters are one of the many critters found at Grandfather Mountain.

rocky terrain. Interpretive rangers will tag along to regale hikers with stories on the mountain’s history. According to Grandfather Mountain’s website,, hikers will ascend 600 feet in only 1.2 miles. The cost for the hike is $25, plus park admission. Get your marshmallows, graham crackers and chocolate bars ready — the Grandfather Campout is July 26 to 28 in MacRae Meadows. The cost is $30 per campsite per night, plus regular gate admission. Visit the mountain’s website for a full list of campout rules and what you will need to bring.

Have you ever wondered whose idea it was to build a swinging bridge on top of a mountain? You might just find out if you attend the Mile High Swinging Bridge Fun Facts and Historical Tales day Saturday, Aug. 10. The program begins at 11 a.m. As summer begins to wind down, check out some lighthearted fun with Kidfest on Saturday, Sept. 7. The event is designed to get kids excited about the nature and culture of the North Carolina mountains through fun and entertaining activities, according to the park’s website. On Saturday, Sept. 14, Girl Scouts will

be honored with free admission with proof of membership. Staff naturalists will provide free nature programs throughout the day. Call (800) 468-7325 for more information. If you’re looking for fun on Grandfather Mountain, you don’t have to wait for one of the attraction’s predetermined events to pop up on your calendar this summer. Grandfather Mountain is open year round (weather permitting), except for Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day, featuring miles of trails, unparalleled scenic vistas, picnic areas, animal habitats, a nature museum, restaurant, gift shops and more. Park officials recommend you arrive before 11 a.m. or after 3 p.m. on summer weekends, holidays and fall color weekends. Park hours are from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. this summer. Ticket prices for adults ages 13 through 59 are $18. Seniors, age 60 and older, are admitted for $15. Children between the ages of 4 and 12 are admitted for $8. Children younger than 4 receive free admission. For more information, call (800) 4687325 or (828) 733-4337 or visit www.




Bleu Moon Productions Presents

Tom Dooley: A Wilkes County Legend

Stage Adaptation of the Famous Lover’s Triangle behind the Kingston Trio’s Ballad

Overlooking the John’s River Gorge, the Blowing Rock is a vast cliff, standing 4,000 feet above sea level. FILE PHOTO

The Blowing Rock ‘The Only Place in the World Where Snow Falls Upside Down’ BY ALLISON HAVER

The Blowing Rock is a massive cliff 4,000 feet above sea level, overhanging John Rivers Gorge. It received its name because of the rocky walls of the gorge, which form a flume that enables the northwest wind to sweep through with such force that it returns light objects thrown over the void. The current of air flowing upward from the rock inspired the “Ripley’s Believe It or Not!” cartoon about “the only place in the world where snow falls upside down.” The attraction is open year round, weather permitting, and from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. during the summer. Visitors can observe the spectacular view from the observation tower, take a short stroll on the nature trail and stop by The Blowing Rock Gift Shop to grab a memento. For those who forget to pack a lunch, the Blowing Rock Snack Shop serves hot dogs, nachos, popcorn, ice cream and drinks, along with other items. During their visit, guests can also learn about the legend of the Blowing Rock. The legend tells the love story of the daughter of a Chickasaw chieftan and a Cherokee brave. One day, a

strange reddening of the sky brought the lovers 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 pleadings 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, as Ripley’s said, even the snow to fall upside down. School and tour groups are welcome to visit the Blowing Rock attraction. Students can learn about how the rock was formed, what it’s composed of and the history and legend surrounding it. This attraction has brought people to Blowing Rock for years, promising a perfect trip for groups of all ages. The Blowing Rock is located at the edge of the mountain on U.S. 321 South in Blowing Rock. For more information, call (828) 295-7111 or visit

Performance Dates: July 5-6 July 11-13 July 18-20 July 25-27 at 8:30 p.m.

All Performances at 8:30 (group rates available for groups of 10 or more upon request)

Tickets for the 2013 Season are NOW ON SALE


15 $ 12

Adults Students & Seniors

Order tickets by calling 336-838-4278 and leaving your name and number and a representative will get right back to you. "Tom Dooley - A Wilkes County Legend" is a proud member of the Institute of Outdoor Drama and is performed outdoors under the stars at The Forest's Edge Amphitheatre in Historic Fort Hamby Park off of Hwy 421 North on South Recreation Road in Wilkesboro, North Carolina. Mastercard and Visa are accepted. For more info about other outdoor dramas across the state and the U.S. Our visit the Institute of Outdoor Drama's website at and follow us on Facebook "Tom Dooley A Wilkes County Legend"! Season!

13th Tickets are also sold on site on the night of each performance and box office on site is open 90 minutes prior to each performance.




Journey Inside a Mountain BY ADAM ORR

A chance discovery during a fishing expedition in the early 19th century has blossomed into one of the High Country’s most unique experiences — and Linville Caverns could be just what you need to beat the heat this summer. Working his way down a rugged stretch of stream near the Linville Gorge in the early 1800s, Henry Colton was astonished to see trout swimming in and out of what appeared to be solid rock. Armed with nothing more than torches and curiosity, Colton and his companions squeezed through a small opening in the mountainside near the stream and found themselves standing in a giant passage he later called “a grand old cathedral.” “I’ve been inside so many times,” Linville Caverns president Sarah Davis said, “but it would have been neat to be the first to step foot inside this place.” The caverns survived essentially untouched until 1937, until a group of area businessmen first opened the massive complex to the public — a tour, which, at the time, consisted of little more than a slog upstream through the 42-degree

Linville Caverns is located at 19929 U.S. 221 North in Marion. For more information, call (828) 756-4171 or visit Admission: Adults $7.50, seniors 62 and older $6.50, Children 5-12 $5.50, Children younger than 5 are admitted free with adult or senior admission. Hours: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily through Labor Day. water that helped carve the caverns from the side of Humpback Mountain, according to Davis. That first commercialization attempt was swept away by the waters of the massive 1940 flood, Davis said, but grew into the unique, “journey inside a mountain” experience after being reopened by her grandfather in 1941. “We’ve been a family-run enterprise ever since,” Davis said. In the 75 years since, the caverns have been made highly accessible, with the inclusion of wheelchair-ready paths that keep visitors well clear of the frigid


Seasonal Group Exhibitions SPRING: May 25 - July 23 MID-SUMMER: July 27 - September 24 AUTUMN: September 28 - November 22 WINTER: November 29 - April 30 Opening Receptions on Saturdays 2-5 pm May 25, July 27 & September 28 Holiday Open House – November 29, 30 – 10-5 pm

Featured Artists Receptions 4th Saturdays, 2-5 pm, May – October

CARLTON GALLERY Located 10 Miles South of Boone on Highway 105 in Grandfather Community 828-963-4288 | |



Linville Caverns CONTINUED FROM PAGE 52

stream water, freeing them to enjoy a unique example of nature’s artistry, the result of a broad vein of soft limestone meeting mildly acidic mountain spring water. Given hundreds of thousands of years, the acidic water will slowly break down the limestone before depositing it, in microscopic increments, in the water’s current, creating elaborate formations called flowstone, a process that is still underway today. “We’re unique in that we’re one of the few remaining active caverns in the United States today,” Davis said. “The fissures in the ceiling are still open, so groundwater makes its way through and seeps into the cavern, and you get dripping water throughout the entire cavern. That groundwater picks up minerals and deposits those minerals, and they harden and cause the formations to grow.” All those different mineral deposits are responsible for the explosion of different colors throughout the cavern. While the intricate flowstone formations are the highlight of the tour, history buffs can transport themselves back in time along the way — the caverns were used as a hideout by deserters from both sides during the Civil

THE MOUNTAIN TIMES SUMMER GUIDE War — and nature lovers get a chance to encounter the caverns’ famous blind trout and Eastern Pipistrelle bats. Maybe best of all, visitors can trade the heat of summer for the caverns’ cool year-round temperatures, which never surpass 52 degrees. “It’s just amazing what nature has going on under the ground,” Davis said. “Normally, you see a rock and think, ‘Well, that’s nothing,’ but that’s not always the case.” But the most memorable portion of the tour, for many, comes within the deepest portions of the cavern, when guides throw the lights and, for just a moment, plunge visitors into total darkness. “That kind of darkness is hard to recreate outside something like a cavern,” Davis said with a laugh. “People do enjoy turning out the lights, though.” Davis said any kind of sturdy footwear is acceptable for the 35-minute tour, but visitors may want to bring a light jacket. “The cavern is cool, and the ceiling does drip, so visitors may want to cover up a little bit,” Davis said. “It depends on the amount of rain we’ve had, but even in the driest of times, the cave can be a little wet.” Cameras and video cameras are acceptable, according to Davis, with the exception of tripods and external flash devices.


Linville Caverns offers visitors a chance to step inside one of the country’s few active cavern systems. PHOTO COURTESY OF LINVILLE CAVERNS

Swell Day for a Picnic BY KELLEN MOORE

There’s a certain charm to eating “en plein air.” Picnicking is summertime’s ultimate culinary experience, and the High Country has taken note. Those looking for a quiet spot deep within nature will find it along the Blue Ridge Parkway, which features numerous grassy shoulders perfect for spreading a blanket. Those looking for a more civilized experience with table and chairs will find it at Price Park, located at milepost 297 on the parkway. The park offers more than 100 picnic sites, many along babbling creeks, with charcoal grills and facilities nearby for when nature calls. Those who don’t want to drive as far from civilization will enjoy Howard’s Knob Park, which overlooks the town of Boone. A covered picnic pavilion welcomes visitors from dawn to dusk, while overlooks offer a bird’s-eye view of bustling Boone. Boone’s Jaycees Park, located on Horn in the West Drive, also offers an in-town treat. Covered picnic tables allow parents to relax, while the kids play on the swings and playground equipment. In Ashe County, Mount Jefferson State Natural Area hosts a wooded picnic area near the summit, complete with 19 tables and eight grills. A handicapped-accessible picnic shelter also includes a fireplace, large grill and water fountain. Ashe Park is among the county’s largest picnic areas, with three large shelters available for reservation surrounded by ball fields, playgrounds and a disc golf course. New River State Park, which follows the river in Ashe

The High Country offers hundreds of picnic sites, many along babbling creeks, with charcoal grills and facilities nearby for when nature calls. PHOTO BY FRANK RUGGIERO

and Alleghany counties, has a picnic area at each of its access points. The largest is the Wagoner Road Access Area, which has a 10-table covered shelter with grills and fireplace. A grove of apple trees nearby shades 13 tables and two grills. In Avery County, picnickers can pair their meal with a walk at the Newland Town Park, which includes a playground and .8-mile walking track. Tate-Evans Park in downtown Banner Elk also offers a quaint space with a volleyball court, picnic tables with grills, playground and a quarter-mile paved walking track. Wherever you go, practice polite picnicking: Don’t leave trash behind, and don’t feed the wildlife.




Equestrian Adventures in the High Country BY ALLISON HAVER

The mountains of North Carolina have attracted horse lovers from all over the world for more than a century. The cool summers provide enjoyable days for exploring the multitude of riding trails, where riders may follow impressive rivers and clear running streams. Vacationers can take in the beautiful mountain views from astride their own horse or with a guide and horse from local riding stables. Ninety years ago, the first Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show was held on the grounds of the Green Park Inn. Since then, the charity event has brought equestrian enthusiasts and their families to Blowing Rock every August for competition and fellowship. Originally, the event only lasted for five days. However, during more recent years, the show has been extended to about a three-week period. This year, the Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show will be held in three stages. The saddlebred portion of the show will be held Thursday through

Sunday, June 6 to 9, and the hunter/ jumper portion of the show will be held Tuesday through Sunday, July 23 to 28, and Tuesday through Sunday, July 30 to Aug. 4. All three stages of the 90th annual Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show are open to spectators and will be held at the L.M. Tate Horse Show Grounds at the Blowing Equestrian Preserve, located just west of downtown Blowing Rock off of U.S. 221.

CONE MANOR AND BASS LAKE Located on the Blue Ridge Parkway, Moses Cone Memorial Park and Bass Lake both provide well-maintained riding trails that are perfect for horse lovers. Blowing Rock is home to both Moses Cone Memorial Park and Bass Lake. For access to the Moses Cone Park trails, horse owners should drive their trailers to milepost 294 of the Blue Ridge Parkway and pull off at the Cone Manor and Parkway Craft Center. The CONTINUED ON PAGE 61

The 90th annual Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show is open to spectators and will be held at the L.M. Tate Horse Show Grounds at the Blowing Equestrian Preserve, located just west of downtown Blowing Rock off of U.S. 221. PHOTO BY JEFF EASON




stables, where riders can saddle up and access the trails, are just past the manor. For access to Bass Lake trails, horse owners should pull off U.S. 221 just west of Blowing Rock into a large parking area next to the Bass Lake vehicle entrance. For more information, call the National Park Service information desk at Cone Manor at (828) 295-3782.


The Saddle Club at Yonahlossee is located between Boone, Blowing Rock and Hound Ears. This club is just what the discriminating rider ordered. It features a large indoor arena, outdoor arena, a cross-country course and miles of beautiful riding trails with views of Grandfather Mountain and Sugar Mountain. Yonahlossee Saddle Club services include boarding, grooming and exercise for horses whose owners are out

of town. The Saddle Club sells highend horses and currently has quarter horses, quarter ponies, thoroughbreds and Dutch warmbloods for sale. The Yonahlossee Saddle Club is located at 223 Pine Hill Road. For more information, call (828) 387-0390.

DUTCH CREEK TRAILS Located in Vilas, Dutch Creek Trails is open year round for everyone ages 6 and older. Trail rides last a little more than an hour and cost $50 each, payable by cash or check. Participants will enjoy beautiful mountain scenery, while riding through both wooded trails and fields. Dutch Creek Trails also has its own inhouse “cowboy poet,” Keith Ward, who will endlessly entertain guests. Rides start for riders 6 years and older at 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. during the summer Monday through Saturday. Trails are closed on Sunday. It is best to call a week ahead for reservations to ensure you are able to ride on the dates you choose. To make reservations, call (828) 297-7117. For more information, visit

LEATHERWOOD MOUNTAINS Leatherwood Mountains Riding Stables is a “Horse Lovers paradise” that is open to visitors seven days a week. Leatherwood offers full-service boarding accommodations and riding lessons. The hour-long riding lessons are taught rain or shine and require reservations. Leatherwood has more than 75 miles of riding trails, which range from beginner to more advanced levels. Lead line rides are available for younger children ages 2 and older and timid adult riders. Reservations are required for the riding trails. Leatherwood Mountains even offers horseback riding birthday parties for kids who love horses. Leatherwood Mountains is located at 512 Meadow Road in Ferguson, near Boone. For more information, call (800) 462-6867 or visit

BANNER ELK STABLES Banner Elk Stables is a great vacation stop for families who love to ride horses. There are many horses for visitors to choose from, so no matter the level of experience, there is a horse to complement each rider. Riders have


a sizeable number of horses to choose from, including some of which have been featured in films, such as “Shallow Hal,” “National Treasure” and “Cinderella.” There’s even a water buffalo, named Bruno, which stable owners are pretty sure is the only water buffalo in Banner Elk. The riding tours follow a high mountain trail through the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, offering scenic vistas of Beech Mountain. The stables are open year round, promising 365 days of fun for the whole family. Banner Elk Stables is located at 796 Shoemaker Road in Banner Elk. For more information, call (828) 898-5424 or visit

BURNT HILL STABLES Located in Laurel Springs in Ashe County, Burnt Hill Stables offers visitors the chance to explore miles of trails that showcase the Blue Ridge Mountains and their bountiful scenery. Burnt Hill also offers riding lessons, carriage wedding services and horse boarding. Burnt Hill Stables is located at 1102 Burnt Hill Road in Laurel Springs. For more information, call (336) 982-2008 or visit




Dial ‘R’ for ‘Repair’ BY JESSE CAMPBELL

Have a broken cell phone? There’s an app for that, or more like trained professionals ready to serve you this summer in the High Country. Those bruising mountain hikes, perilously close calls with water — which is like Kryptonite to any mobile device — and jarring bike rides on worn mountain paths can prove disastrous to any cell phone. If you find yourself with a broken or damaged cell this summer, think twice before you cash in on your phone’s insurance policy or dishing out hundreds of dollars for a new phone at retail price. Repair technician Joseph Cutrona of Discount Cellular Accessories, located at 1148 N.C. 105 in Boone, said the shop specializes in quick and cheap replacement services. “If we have all of the parts, we typically can do a repair within an hour,” Cutrona said. The advantages of seeking cell repair first could outweigh replacement ser-

vices at your local mobile carrier. “Even if you have insurance, you will get a refurbished phone, but with us you get to keep your same phone, and it looks brand new,” Cutrona said. “You can pay $100 now and have your phone done in an hour instead of waiting for days. Being so convenient, it’s sort of like instant gratification.” Even if your phone has water damage, the technicians at Discount Cellular will, at least, look at your damaged device. “We work on water damaged phones,” Cutrona said. “It’s 50-50 regardless. Water damage is difficult for electronics.” While the summer months typically bring more people to the outdoors and thus more opportunities for phone damage, Cutrona said he doesn’t necessarily see a surge in business.

“With college kids and tourists, it’s all year long,” he said. Also, check with you mobile provider with a list of options, should your phone become unworkable this summer.

Boone Cellular Shops AT&T 1126 Blowing Rock Road (828) 355-4317

CAROLINA WEST WIRELESS 195 New Market Centre 276 Watauga Village Drive (828) 264-6030, (336) 973-5000

DISCOUNT CELLULAR ACCESSORIES 1148 N.C. 105 (828) 355-9232

GEEKS AT WORK 178 Southgate Drive, No. 13 (828) 262-3359

RADIO SHACK 1180 Blowing Rock Road (Boone Mall) (828) 264-3214

Concierge Physician for Seasonal Residents LIMITED NUMBER OF MEMBERSHIPS AVAILABLE 828-733-8998 • Located in Linville Village, Linville

Upcoming events: 6/1 Swap Meet/Bike and Car Show 6/29 Night of Fire 7/13 Moonshine Ride 336-667-1003

1921 HWY 421, WILKESBORO NC, 28697

FREE T-SHIRT! Free CrossRoads HD Ride T-shirt *Redeem this coupon in store for one free Crossroads HD Ride T-shirt per person, Coupon Value $.001, Coupon Expires 9/30/2013

• Coordination and integration of care with all your care providers • Portable Health Record (PHR) and web-based portal, will allow you to have global access to your records. • Health coaching for optimal health • Same day acute care in office, ER, or per house call • No wait for scheduled visits • Unrushed office visits (no back-toback scheduling) • 24-hour access to your physician by phone, pager, email, or video calls

Seasonal Primary Care Physician, Clay Skarda, MD

Dr. Skarda is a board certified Family Physician, who has been working in the ER at Cannon Memorial Hospital since 2003. Seeing the difficulties that the seasonal residents have in accessing health care here, he is opening a Seasonal Concierge Practice committed to prompt, patient centered, comprehensive care of the seasonal residents of the High Country. He is doing this by limiting his practice to 300 patients the first year and never to exceed 600 patients. Care will be coordinated and integrated with all the members’ care providers including their Primary Physician at home, specialists and ancillary care providers.




Tweetsie Railroad returns this summer for Wild West family fun. PHOTO COURTESY OF TWEETSIE RAILROAD

All Aboard for Family Fun Tweetsie Railroad on track for summer For more than a half-century, Tweetsie Railroad and Wild West Theme Park has been providing family fun for folks living in or visiting the High Country. It has become something of a family tradition to spend an entire day at Tweetsie, riding the train, visiting the deer park, watching a saloon show, mining for gems, riding the carnival rides, listening to live music and more. The truth is, you can spend an entire day at Tweetsie and not be able to do everything the park offers. Throughout summer, Tweetsie will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week. Admission is $37 for adults, $23 for children ages 3 to 12 and free for children 2 and younger. Admission includes the train trip, live entertainment, Country Fair rides, deer park and more.

SPECIAL EVENTS Nickelodeon’s Dora and Diego from “Dora the Explorer” and “Go, Diego, Go!” will be at Tweetsie Friday through Sunday, June 21 to 23, and will make special appearances at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. each day. Come see Tweetsie’s Fireworks Extravaganza on Thursday, July 4. The park will be open until 9 p.m. that day, and the fireworks begin soon after that. Parking is free for park attendees and Golden Rail season pass holders and $5 for all others. On Saturdays in July, Tweetsie will offer extended hours until 9 p.m. as part of its “Cool Summer Nights” program. The park will offer special events for the entire family and train rides at dusk. Nickelodeon’s SpongeBob

SquarePants and his best pal, Patrick, will make their Tweetsie debut Friday through Sunday, July 12 to 14, with appearances at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. each day. This rare “on land” appearance of SpongeBob will include a meet-and-greet and a chance to have photos taken with the loveable characters. The “K-9s in Flight Frisbee Dogs” show returns for daily shows July 20 to 28. The shows will be held by the Tweetsie Pavilion every day at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. The cowboy crooners, Riders in the Sky, will return to Tweetsie on Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 10 and 11. The Grammy Award-winning group will be presenting two shows daily at noon and 3 p.m. at the Tweetsie Pavilion. Railroad aficionados will certainly want to circle Sept. 7 and 8 on their calendars, which is when Tweetsie hosts its annual Railroad Heritage Weekend. The event will celebrate the history of the Tweetsie and ET&WNC Railroad. Tweetsie’s Ghost Train and Halloween Festival returns for five weekends (Friday and Saturday nights) this fall, Sept. 27 and 28, Oct. 4 and 5, Oct. 11 and 12, Oct. 18 and 19, Oct. 25 and 26, and Nov. 1 and 2. Gates open each evening at 7:30. The event features the Haunted House, Freaky Forest, 3-D Maze, Black Hole, Halloween shows at the saloon and much more. For more information, including how to get a Golden Rail season pass, visit or call (828) 2649061. Tweetsie Railroad is located at 300 Tweetsie Railroad Road, right off U.S. 321 in Blowing Rock.

Come view our Commemorative Photographs Exhibit Showcasing New Restorations and Exhibits Mid-June through Mid-October Docent-led Tours 7990 Hickory Nut Gap Road, Banner Elk, NC (828) 898-3634




The Blue Ridge Parkway




8562 NC Highway 105 S., Suite 102, Boone, NC 828.963.7981 •

Specialty Beers - Visit our new “BEER CAVE” Wines from the affordable to the rare & collectable Unique cheese from around the world Incredible chocolates Expanded selection of gourmet specialty foods, condiments & oils Gluten-free products Exclusive distributor for Arrigo Olive Oil Gift baskets & party trays, wine & dining accessories Custom wine ordering Professional, certified, helpful staff

Grandfather Center NC105 & NC 184, next to the ABC store Banner Elk, NC / 828.898.9424

Take a picture of the sign at your favorite Blue Ridge Parkway overlook. It will help you to remember the fun you had there. PHOTO BY AMY RENFRANZ

Top 10 Travel Tips for Visiting the Parkway BY AMY RENFRANZ

The Blue Ridge Parkway has been dubbed “America’s Favorite Drive” because, well, it is much more than just a drive. It is a 469-mile national park portal through a rich diversity of Southern culture and nature. But to the newcomer to the area, this behemoth of a park can be intimidating. And rightfully so. A day trip to the parkway can have thousands of possibilities. Do not get discouraged. Below is a list of a few simple tips to keep in mind while travelling the Blue Ridge Parkway. 10. Do your research. There are plenty of websites that provide information about the park. There are also many visitor centers along the Blue Ridge Parkway where you can obtain maps and books. Keep in mind that GPS systems often fail to help visitors successfully navigate the park. They just do not provide the kind of details that a friendly ranger can.

Also, the ranger can help explain certain regulations that you need to be aware of in case you plan on fishing, bicycling, riding a motorcycle, camping, etc. in the park. 9. Every mile of the Blue Ridge Parkway is marked with a milepost. Milepost 0 is at Rockfish Gap in Virginia, just outside of Shenandoah National Park. The milepost numbers get progressively higher as you travel south. You can use the milepost numbers to help orient yourself on park maps. Take a picture of the milepost marker at your favorite trail, overlook, fishing spot or visitor center. It will make a great addition to your photo album. 8. The speed limit along most of the parkway is 45 miles per hour. However, it dips down to 35 mph around Grandfather Mountain. This speed limit is strictly enforced by federal park rangers. Do not endanger yourself, those around





The Blue Ridge Parkway by the Numbers

than 130 species of trees and 2,000 species of fungi. In comparison, there is one species of salamander, six reptiles and only a

dozen fungi species that call Yellowstone National Park “home.” A visitor will also find diversity in activities along the Blue Ridge Park-

way. There are 369 miles of trails, 9 campgrounds and 91 historic buildings along the road. For the birding enthusiast, there are 227 species of birds to identify during the park’s ever-changing seasons. For the fisherman or fisherwoman, there are 93 species of fish to be caught in the park’s streams, rivers and lakes. For the hiker, there are 16 peaks above 5,000 feet in elevation. For the shopper, there are 18 book or craft shops. But underlying the incredible diversity found in the park is the need to preserve it. National parks are areas that will be preserved and protected for future generations of American citizens and visitors from abroad. Already, the habitats and creatures found inside the park are becoming rare in areas without the same protection. There are 24 plant communities on or near the parkway that are considered globally rare, seven of which are considered globally imperiled. There are nine species of animals that are federally listed threatened or endangered species. You can learn more about the park and download maps online at www. or by visiting one of the many visitor centers in the area.

the pull-off “spotter.” This way, the driver can keep his or her eyes on the road. 5. Also know that you do not have to be at an official overlook to stop and view the grandiose landscape. Parking is allowed on the shoulders of the Blue Ridge Parkway, unless otherwise posted. Use your “spotter” to help choose a spot where you can pull your car completely off the road. 4. Driver, do not be dismayed. While everyone else is enjoying the views, you will have the opportunity to enjoy the road. While it is fun to drive, it is also much more than that. The layout and placement of the Blue

Ridge Parkway along the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains was the deliberate vision of landscape architect Stanley Abbott. Abbott was given the job of designing the Blue Ridge Parkway in 1937. He was 25 years old. When asked about his work, Abbott once said, “I can’t imagine a more creative job than locating the Blue Ridge Parkway.” 3. Bring Fido and Spot. Dogs are allowed on parkway trails and in picnic areas, unless otherwise posted. Just remember that in all areas of the park they must be kept on a leash. 2. Plan ahead, but do not overplan. Part of the joy of visiting the Blue Ridge

Parkway is that it has such a prolific and diverse span of options. For once in your overplanned life, be spontaneous. Surprise members of your family by doing something that they would not expect. Like dancing under the stars. Telling ghost stories with the ranger in the campground. Or eating what is left of lunch at an overlook, while the sun sets behind the mountains. 1. Take what the park gives you. No one can keep it from raining. The fog will not lift because you have decided it is time for vacation. Find the beauty in whatever season or weather you find yourself in, and do not forget to play.


For most people, when asked to think of a national park, it is visions of Yellowstone, Grand Canyon and Yosemite that come to mind. However, there are many other national park units worthy of the name. The national park system comprises 401 areas, covering more than 84 million acres in every state (except Delaware), the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. These areas include national parks, monuments, battlefields, military parks, historical parks, historic sites, lakeshores, seashores, recreation areas, scenic rivers and trails and the White House. There are 10 national park units in North Carolina alone. At 469 miles long, the Blue Ridge Parkway traverses and protects nearly 90,000 acres of land. Not only is the Blue Ridge Parkway the most visited park in the national park system, it is ranked second in biodiversity. The only park that outranks the parkway in biodiversity is its sister park, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. The Blue Ridge Parkway is home to 67 species of mammals, 43 amphibians, 30 reptiles, hundreds of birds, more

Top 10 Travel Tips CONTINUED FROM PAGE 64

you and wildlife by driving too fast. Slow down and enjoy. 7. Stop often. There are overlooks, trails, picnic areas, visitor centers, craft shops, a music center, and historic buildings around every curve. The entrances to these pull-offs are marked with small park signs. Keep in mind that there will be no billboards advertising the next stop, and the attraction is oftentimes hard to see from the road itself. 6. Assign someone in your vehicle to be

The plethora of salamander species along the Blue Ridge Parkway is one component of the park’s diversity. PHOTO BY AMY RENFRANZ




Blue Ridge Parkway in Bloom: Rhododendrons BY AMY RENFRANZ

Every year, the Blue Ridge Parkway plays host to a colorful showing of rhododendron plants in bloom. Six species of shrubs in the rhododendron genus bloom along the park’s 469mile stretch, five of which bloom during the late spring and early summer. Rhododendron cover thousands of acres in the park, but trying to plan for when they will be in bloom can be challenging. The time at which the native rhododendrons will bloom is dependent on weather and elevation. Parkway botanist Lillian McElrath explained, saying, “The rhododendron on the tops of the mountains will bloom later than those down in the valleys. It’s colder up there.” With that said, all bloom times are relative. Carolina rhododendron typically blooms

in i early l to t mid-May. id M This Thi species i (Rhodo(Rh ( d dendron minus) is also called “punctatum” or “dwarf” rhodendron. Carolina’s blooms range from white to light lavender. It grows best on rocky slopes and is fairly common in the Linville Gorge area. The next to bloom are two species of native azaleas, which are grouped in the rhododendron genus. Pinkshell azaleas can be found on Grandfather Mountain in early June. Flame azaleas range from yellow to orange, peach or red in color, and can be seen all along the park in late May and early June. The botanist who discovered the flame azalea in 1791 described it as being “certainly the most gay and brilliant flowering shrub yet known.” Catawba rhododendron is in bloom from early to mid-June, depending on elevation. CONTINUED ON PAGE 67

Rosebay rhododendron range from white to light pink in color and will bloom in early July. PHOTO BY AMY RENFRANZ


LINVILLE CAVERNS 800-419-0540 19929 US 221, Marion Just 4 mi. south of Blue Ridge Parkway




How-To: Parkway Wildlife Watching

it comes to selecting creatures to observe. Maybe birding is not your thing. Or you do not get a thrill from watching deer. There is still plenty to experience. You can go searching for salamanders, watch minks on the hunt or identify frogs by their calls. What matters is that you are interested. 4. Know what to bring for your trip and properly plan for the expedition. The weather can change rapidly on the Blue Ridge Parkway, so wear layers and bring a jacket. If going alone, make sure to tell someone where you are headed.

5. Leave your dog at home. In most cases, they can interfere with your ability to find wildlife. 6. Arrive early. Headed to watch the beavers become active at sunset? Get there at least an hour early to settle in to a good viewing position somewhere near their dam. 7. Be still and wait. Open your senses to the world around you. Even if the beaver does not make an appearance, this kind of meditation is good for you. 8. Approach wildlife carefully or not at all. Sometimes you might spot an animal at a distance and want to take a closer look. Keep quiet and stay downwind as you use rocks or trees as cover. Keep in mind that it is best to stay at least 100 yards away from black bears. Also, so as to not harm the habitat around you, stay on existing trails whenever possible. 9. Make sure to take advantage of your sense of hearing. In some cases, experiencing wildlife can best be done with your ears. There is nothing like the sound of a whippoorwill at night or a pack of coyotes howling. 10. Record what you experience. Bring a journal and a camera. Note the creatures that you saw and what they were doing. This will make you feel like you are a serious wildlife enthusiast, and you will have something to show your friends about the adventure. Hopefully, the next time you go out, they will want to go, too.

at Roan Mountain State Park, Tenn., on June 15 and 16. Rosebay rhododendron, with its very light pink flowers, is the last to bloom. Although they might not be as showy as their Catawba cousins, there are more of them. Nearly the entire Blue Ridge Parkway will be framed by rosebay flowers in early July.

Blue Ridge Parkway visitor center staff can help guide you to where the flowers will be in bloom. Among many others, there are visitor centers at Moses Cone Park (milepost 294), the Linn Cove Viaduct (milepost 304) and Linville Falls (milepost 316). Drop in, pick up a map and a bloom calendar, and explore.


Even though the Blue Ridge Parkway is one of the most biodiverse places on Earth, a person could visit the park and not notice a single wild animal. This is because the park is mostly lacking the magnificent mega-fauna of the likes at Yellowstone. While elk, wolves and mountain lions used to inhabit the Blue Ridge, overhunting and predator eradication have completely eradicated the species. Today, it takes a patient and vigilant visitor to find the park’s (still abundant) wildlife. Whether you wish to observe beavers at work or skunks at play, this is a list of the most critical things to remember while planning a wildlife watching tour on the Blue Ridge Parkway. 1. Choose a location. There is a diversity of habitats along the park. Rivers, meadows, lakes or forest will each yield their own discoveries. Places to particularly keep in mind are the ecotones. An ecotone is a transition area between two habitats. It is where two communities, such as a lake and the forest, meet and integrate. Oftentimes, the ecotone is the hotspot for wildlife activity. 2. Research particular creatures that reside in your chosen location. Get to know their habits and preferences. This will help you learn when it will be best to visit and where to look. 3. Think outside of the box when

Rhododendrons CONTINUED FROM PAGE 66

As a testament to the beauty of its pink to dark purple flowers, the Roan Mountain Citizens Club will host its 67th annual Rhododendron Festival

You do not need all this equipment to be successful at wildlife watching. What you do need: patience. PHOTO BY AMY RENFRANZ

Kawasaki of Wilkesboro “Where Winners Never Finish 2nd!” 4641 Hwy 421 N. • Wilkesboro, NC 28697

336-973-3325 KAWASKI CARES: Warning: The TERYX® side x side vehicle can be hazardous to operate. For your safety: Always wear a helmet, eye protection and protective clothing. Never operate under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Avoid excessive speeds and stunt driving. Be extra careful on difficult terrain. Protect the environment. The Kawasaki TERYX side x side is an off-highway vehicle only, and is not designed, equipped or manufactured for use on public streets, roads or highways. ©2013 Kawasiki Motors. Corp., U.S.A.

See cheese made at You can visit us year round from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm Monday through Saturday

106 E. Main St. West Jefferson, NC 28694

The Ashe County Cheese viewing room is open year round at no charge. Our cheese making schedule changes from week to week, so be sure to check our cheese making schedule or call ahead and we'll do our best to tell you when we are making.

Ashe County Cheese is Carolina's oldest cheese plant, producing quality cheese since 1930. We are located in the picturesque Blue Ridge Mountains.





Daniel Boone Native Gardens BY ANNA OAKES

The Daniel Boone Native Gardens is not the exclusive environs of botanists and gardeners — no, it’s here that visitors young and not-soyoung come to paint, take photographs, watch birds, exercise and more. The garden, located on Horn in the West Drive, Boone, was established in 1963 as a project of The Garden Club of North Carolina. The garden is celebrating its 50-year anniversary in 2013. Created and maintained over the years, thanks to the dedicated efforts of local women, Daniel Boone Native Gardens features more than 200 species of native plants, including trees, wildflowers and ferns. The mission of the three-acre garden is to educate the public and to conserve rare or endangered species.

“It’s a legacy of this town,” said Sarah Gilley, a garden board member. “It was a life for these women — it was a source of pride.” The gardens are open daily for tours from May to October and are often utilized for weddings and other events. But over the past year or so, Daniel Boone Native Gardens has partnered with other organizations to bring additional programs and activities to the scenic site. The High Country Audubon Society, for example, hosts monthly bird walks at 8:30 a.m. on second Tuesdays from spring to fall. Also during warmer months, Karma Krew offers free yoga classes on Saturday mornings. Area artists visit the gardens to paint outdoors. Several events are planned CONTINUED ON PAGE 69

Located on Horn in the West Drive in Boone, Daniel Boone Native Gardens features more than 200 species of native plants, including trees, wildflowers and ferns. PHOTO BY ANNA OAKES


Authorized Dealer of:

OUTDOOR FURNITURE Wrought Iron Aluminum Wicker


Visit Our Showroom




this summer to celebrate Daniel Boone Native Gardens’ 50th anniversary. On Sunday, July 21, the community is invited to the garden to celebrate with an anniversary party, featuring a wedding reunion for the many couples married

2013 Schedule

at Daniel Boone Native Gardens over the years. On Aug. 10, the third annual Evening in the Gardens will be held, which features a number of local artists and serves as the organization’s largest fundraiser. For more information about Daniel Boone Native Gardens, call (828) 2646390 or (828) 264-1440 or visit www.

• •

“Early Bird Saturdays” 9 to 11 a.m. Free admission during farmers’ market Free Fridays for Seniors June through August Yoga in the Gardens Saturdays at 11 a.m. Free. Donations welcomed Audubon Bird Walk second Tuesday of each month at 8:30 a.m.

• • • •


June 5 – “Strolling Photography” Workshop, 9 to 11 a.m. June 6 – Free “How to keep a Garden Journal,” 9:30 to 11:30






a.m., $5 June 8 – High Country Horticultural Symposium 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at ASU June 16 – Father’s Day, “Bring Dad to the Gardens!” June 17 to 23 – National Pollinator Week July 21 – DBNG 50th Anniversary Party, 2 to 4 p.m. July 27 – “Floral Design” workshop held at Watauga Extension office, 2 to 3 p.m. Aug. 10 – “Evening in the Gardens with Artists,” 5 to 7 p.m. Sept. 27 – “Best Way to Start Native Plants in your Garden” workshop, 1 to 5 p.m. Oct. 12 – Boone Heritage Festival


Celebrating OUR


NG No LO es! bus rid



s e r u t n e v d



RELAX IN STYLE • New Outpost at all Wahoo’s Locations • Restrooms • Hot Showers • Changing Rooms • Concessions • Gift Shops • Picnic Shelters

800•444•RAFT Locals: 828•262•5774

2 Time






Resort Living, Every Day.

Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains on the Historic New River, Jefferson Landing is a gated mountain resort community designed for easy living. Offering an award winning golf course, exceptional dining and beautiful accommodations, Jefferson Landing is a great place to visit and an even better place to live. Just under two hours from the Charlotte and Greensboro airports, Jefferson Landing is located in the Northwest Mountains of North Carolina. Come see for yourself or visit our website at Offering: Golf Memberships Social Memberships

Amenities include Jr. Olympic size swimming pool, 2 clay tennis courts, fitness center, access to our Riverside Park & access to locker rooms & bag storage at the Clubhouse

Contact the following for more information: • Cary Farmer: Director of Membership & Club Services 336 982 6414 • Dean Spainhour: Director of Golf 336 982-7767

• Gary Lee: Director of Lodging 336 982 6400 • Jimmy Miller: Director of Sales 336 982 6416

148 E. Landing Drive • Jefferson, NC




The Music Festivals of Summer BY JESSE CAMPBELL

The hills of Appalachia will fill with the harmonious sounds of traditional mountain music this summer, as stages across the High Country prep for annual music festivals and concert series. The inaugural Siren Mountain Jam is a two-day women’s music and art festival, held at Boone’s High Country Fairgrounds June 21 to 22. In addition to a dozen musical acts, including Joan Osborne, Appalachia Rising and Meshell Ndegeocello, the festival features 30 artist vendors, a healing arts village, workshops and more. On-site camping is available. Visit for more information. One of the region’s most celebrated festivals, “The Doc and Rosa Lee Watson MusicFest ’n Sugar Grove,” is a two-day event that runs July 12 and 13. Advance tickets cost $15 for Friday and $20 for Saturday. As with the previous MusicFest, the 2013 event will feature three stages — the Main Stage, Solar Stage and The Moun-

The Kruger Brothers perform at the annual MusicFest ’n Sugar Grove, now named the Doc and Rosa Lee Watson MusicFest ’n Sugar Grove. PHOTO BY FRANK RUGGIERO

tain Times Pickin’ Parlor, the latter of which will greet festivalgoers with live music as they enter the festival grounds at the Historic Cove Creek School.

Tickets sold at the gate cost $20 Friday and $25 Saturday. Advance tickets are available online at and in person at Boone Drug

(Deerfield Road and Foscoe locations), Mast General Store (Boone and Valle Crucis), Cove Creek Store, Historic Cove Creek School, Ashe Arts Council and Mountain City (Tenn.) Welcome Center. Lansing’s annual Ola Belle Reed Festival in Ashe County might be the former tiny railroad hub’s best kept secret. The festival celebrates the life and work of acclaimed songwriter Ola Belle Reed, who has been recognized by the Smithsonian and the National Endowment for the Arts, among other accolades. This year’s festival takes place in downtown Lansing at the Creeper Trail Park Aug. 9 to 11. According to, this year’s lineup features The Tillers, Wandering Woods, the Mountain Laurels, The Sheets Family Band, Big Country Bluegrass, The Elkville String Band and Wayne Henderson. Admission for the mountain jam is $3 for Friday and $5 for Saturday in the form of a minimum donation. For more information, call (336) 977-1320.




The Banner Elk Summer Concerts in the Park series kicks off June 20. PHOTO SUBMITTED

Mountains + Music =

Summer in the High Country COMPILED BY ANNA OAKES





Tent Sites $16-$24

Cabin Rentals $49-$119

RV Sites $29-$33

If it’s Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday, you have free musical entertainment options in the High Country in a beautiful outdoor setting.

CONCERTS AT THE JONES HOUSE • BOONE Every Friday during the Concerts at the Jones House series, bring a chair or blanket to enjoy the concerts on the front lawn of the Jones House Community Center in downtown Boone, beginning at 5 p.m. For more information, call (828) 262-4576.

• • •

• •

wifi hotspot • cable tv • centrally located • big rig friendly

OPEN ALL YEAR 1-800-788-2582

125 Profile View Road, Banner Elk, NC 28604

• •

June 7 - Forget-Me-Nots, Michael Reno Harrell, Williams & Company June 14 - Major Sevens, Swing Guitars June 21 - Doc Watson Celebration with The Sheets Family, Charles Welch and the Kruger Brothers June 28 - Matthew Weaver & Friends, Amantha Mill July 5 - Soul Benefactor, Native Sons Band July 12 - David Childers, New River Boys

• •

July 19 - The Mercury Dames, Todd Wright & Friends July 26 - Strictly Clean & Decent, Les Paul & Mary Ford Tribute with Tom and Sandy Doyle Aug. 2 - Keith Ward, Elkville String Band featuring Wayne Henderson, Barefoot Movement Aug. 9 - Shane Chalke BE Jazz Band, Lucky Strikes Aug. 16 - Mountain Laurels, Steve and Ruth Smith Aug. 23 - Bluegrass showcase with Sigmon Stringers, Creekside Grass and Carolina Crossing Aug. 30 - Rod Farthing, Tom Shirley, Worthless Son-in-Laws Sept. 6 - Dashboard Hula Boys, Lazybirds, Kim France and Jon Davis Sept. 13 - Trevor McKenzie, Buck Haggard Band Sept. 20 - Traditional music and storytelling showcase

MUSIC IN THE VALLE • VALLE CRUCIS The Music in the Valle series takes place at Valle Crucis Community Park





on Fridays at 7 p.m. through Sept. 6. For information, call (828) 963-9239. • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

June 7 - The Sheets Family Band June 14 - Sound Traveler June 21 - Brother’s Drummonds June 28 - The Worthless Son-inLaws July 5 - CreekSide Grass July 12 - Midnight Sun July 19 - The Mountain Laurels July 26 - The Major Sevens Aug. 2 - Down River Aug. 9 - 8 Miles Apart Aug. 16 - Dashboard Hula Boys Aug. 23 - Whip Daddies Aug. 30 - Zephyr Lightning Bolts Sept. 6 - Folk and Dagger

BACKSTREET PARK CONCERTS • WEST JEFFERSON The West Jefferson Community Partnership presents the Backstreet Park Summer Concerts series every third

and fourth Friday from 5:30 to 7 p.m. on the Backstreet in downtown West Jefferson. Bring a chair, blanket or picnic. In case of rain, concerts will be held at the Ashe Arts Center. For more information, call (866) 607-0093 or visit • • • • • • •

June 21 - King Bees June 28 - Garden Variety String Band July 19 - Crooked Road Ramblers July 26 - Elkville String Band Aug. 16 - Grayson Highlands Band Aug. 23 - Zephyr Lightning Bolts Aug. 30 - Sheets Family Band


Your Great Escape...

For some a weekend

BLUEGRASS AT TODD GENERAL STORE • TODD Every Friday through Thanksgiving at Todd General Store in Todd, enjoy free bluegrass music. Come early for good seating. Dinner is served at 6 p.m., followed by music at 7 p.m. For more information, call (336) 877-1067. CONTINUED ON PAGE 74

W 800-564-8496 New Location: 2999 Hwy 221 N Jefferson, NC 28640

HATEVER your reason, our talented team of professionals can help create your perfect log home getaway with our superior quality products, flexible designs and affordable luxury.

Logs America has been building log home dreams in the High Country since 1994. Our log and timber products are exclusively supplied by Log Homes of America. A local, family owned company manufacturing quality log and timber components supported with integrity for more than 22 years. Come visit our new log showroom Monday – Friday 9-5 and Saturday 10-2 or by appointment.




Music in the HC

at 4 p.m. Bring a chair or blanket. For more information, call (828) 295-7851.


• • •


Every summer, concerts take place at Cook Memorial Park in Todd as part of the Todd Summer Music Series. For more information, call (336) 877-5401 or visit • • • • • •

MUSIC ON THE LAWN The Inn and Ragged Gardens at Blowing Rock hosts Music on the Lawn every Friday, from 5:30 until 8:30 p.m., on the inn’s front lawn. The series will run throughout the summer before wrapping up in October.

June 8 - King Bees June 22 - Sons of Bluegrass July 6 - Laura Boosinger and Josh Goforth July 20 - Eric Ellis Aug. 3 - New River Boys Aug. 17 - Lizzy Ross

FRED’S SUNDAY CONCERTS • BEECH MOUNTAIN Fred’s General Mercantile on Beech Mountain will host Fred’s Summer Sunday Concerts on five Sundays, July 14 to Aug. 11, at 6:30 p.m. Some seats are provided, but bring a chair or blanket just in case. For more information, call (828) 387-4838.

June 16 - The Gray Birds July 14 - Pop Ferguson Aug. 11 - Grandfather Mountain Highlanders Bagpipe Band Sept. 8 - ASU Gospel Choir

The Harris Brothers perform at The Inn at Ragged Gardens in Blowing Rock for the weekly Music on the Lawn series. PHOTO BY FRANK RUGGIERO

July 14 - Joe Shannon and the Mountain Home Bluegrass Boys • July 21 - The Cockman Family • July 28 - Rebecca Eggers-Gryder with Amantha Mill • Aug. 4 - The Sheets Family Band • Aug. 11 - Watauga Community Band

CONCERTS IN THE PARK • BLOWING ROCK Several free concerts take place at Memorial Park in Blowing Rock this summer as part of the Concerts in the Park series, presented by the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce. Concerts begin

• • • • • • •

June 21 - Harris Brothers June 28 - Smokey Breeze July 5 - Harris Brothers July 12 - Worthless Son in Laws July 19 - Harris Brothers July 26 - Soul Benefactor Aug.-Oct. - TBA

SUMMER CONCERTS IN THE PARK • BANNER ELK Presented by the Banner Elk Chamber


Deb it, a n EBT d Acc Cards epte d

n Rair o e n Shi

Saturdays • May to November • 8 a.m.-Noon Horn in the West Parking Lot in Boone, NC • 828-355-4918 Fresh Produce and Plants • Local Meats, Cheeses, and Eggs Homemade Jams and Jellies • Honey • Herbs • Fresh Cut Flowers • Delicious Baked Goods • Handmade Crafts Funding received from a grant from the USDA Farmers Market Promotion Program







of Commerce, the Summer Concerts in the Park series takes place every Thursday from June 20 to Aug. 29 at 6:30 p.m. at Tate-Evans Town Park off N.C. 194. Food vendors will be on-site or bring your own picnic. Raffle tickets are sold, and there’s entertainment for kids. For more information, call (828) 898-8395 or visit • • • • • • • • • • •

June 20 - King Bees June 27 - Dashboard Blue July 4 - The Neighbors July 11 - Wolf Creek July 18 - Party Prophets with Cindy Floyd July 25 - Soul Benefactor Aug. 1 - Johnson Brothers Aug. 8 - The Extraordinaires Aug. 15 - The Flying Saucers Aug. 22 - Red June Aug. 29 - Whip Daddies

89TH ANNUAL SINGING ON THE MOUNTAIN Sunday, June 23, will mark the 89th

annual “Singing on the Mountain” at MacRae Meadows at Grandfather Mountain near Linville. Founded in 1924 as a Sunday school picnic and family gathering by Joe Hartley from Linville, the event is one of the largest and longest running in the South. This year’s event, hosted by Tim Greene of The Greenes, will feature The Chuck Wagon Gang, John’s River Quartet, Michael Combs, Terry Warren, The Cockman Family, Ernie Couch and Revival, Patricia Smith of Abundance Ministries, The Gospel Enforcers and The Greenes. The guest speaker will be Will Graham, grandson of past guest speaker Billy Graham and the son of Franklin Graham. The singing will begin at 8:30 a.m., with the message by Will Graham around 11 a.m. The event is free to the public, and camping without hookups on a firstcome, first-served basis will be available from June 16 to 24. Food and merchandise vendors will also be available. Be sure to bring your lawn chair. For more information about Grandfather Mountain and the event, visit or call (800) 468-7325.






828-898-5175 | Monday - Saturday 10am - 5pm |

DAVID BIRMINGHAM July 4 - 27 Reception July 6, 4-6pm

TONY GRIFFIN NORMA MURPHY July 18 - August 10 August 1 - 24 Reception July 20, 4-6pm Reception August 3, 6-8pm

Paintings from artist Joan Sporn are featured at Alta Vista Gallery in Valle Crucis.

The High Country’s Gabriel Art Galleries


Ofiesh Trunk Shows

JULY 25 - 28 AUGUST 29 - 31


Art buyers and enthusiasts will find that the High Country’s art galleries have much to offer. Home to almost countless venues that host a variety of styles and mediums, there’s a gallery for just about every artistic disposition.

Fit for a Museum

When the Blowing Rock Art and History Museum opened its doors to the public on Oct. 1, 2011, it was the culmination of more than a decade of effort put forth by a dedicated group of supporters determined to make the project a success. The museum was organized in 1999 in response to a local art collector’s desire to find a permanent home for his collection of work by North Carolina native and seasonal Blowing Rock resident Elliott Daingerfield, who was a significant figure in the American art scene at the turn of the 20th century. Boasting three levels with approximately

21,000 square feet, the museum includes five galleries, a large multi purpose community meeting room, a conference room, educational and workshop space, a gift shop and a garden. General admission costs $8, although admission is free to BRAHM members. Special discounts are also available. For hours and a current list of exhibits, workshops and classes, visit www. or call (828) 295-9099.

Seeking Council

The Watauga Arts Council has big plans this summer, including the introduction of a new collaborative gallery and demonstration facility, the Blue Ridge ArtSpace. Founded in 1981 to improve the presence of art in Watauga County, the WAC is a diverse and growing organization heavily




Valle Crucis

Art Galleries



involved in economic development and cultural tourism planning in the community. Located at 377 Shadowline Drive, the new space includes separate galleries, including the Main and Open Door galleries, in addition to the Serendipity and Children’s gallery. The building also houses nine classrooms, a gift shop, meeting room, full kitchen, and an outdoor pickin’ and concert porch. For more information, including a schedule of summer events, call (828) 2641789 or visit The Ashe County Arts Council is a private, non-profit community-based cultural organization that has diligently worked toward bringing the arts to Ashe since 1977. Ongoing community concerts, art exhibits, school assembly programs, the Mountain Arts Program, residencies, murals and special events for all ages have given Ashe County residents countless opportunities in which to experience the arts. Partnerships with various local groups and businesses create situations in which the arts are integrated into the community in a myriad of ways. The continuing goal of the Ashe Arts Council is to enrich the cultural life of Ashe, believing that this will go far in making it a first-class community, which is good for families, the economy, businesses and visitors. The Ashe County Arts Council, including its gallery, is located at 303 School Ave. in West Jefferson. For more information, including a schedule of events, call (336) 8462787 or visit

Continuing Education Appalachian State University’s Turchin Center for the Visual Arts, the largest educational arts facility in the region, presents exhibitions, workshops and visual arts activities. With a focus on new and historically important artwork, the Turchin Center displays nationally and internationally renowned artists, as well as regional artists. The Turchin Center for the Visual Arts is located at 423 W. King St. in Boone. For more information, call (828) 262-3170 or visit


2839 Broadstone Road (828) 963-5247

RIVERCROSS MARKET 3595 N.C. 194 (828) 963-8623

From left, Bob Unchester, exhibits manager at the Cameron Art Museum in Wilmington, and Joann Mitchell, executive director of BRAHM, discuss a new painting, ‘Sunday Morning,’ on display at the Blowing Rock museum. PHOTO BY FRANK RUGGIERO

Other Galleries Banner Elk THE ART CELLAR 920 Shawneehaw Ave. (828) 898-5175

CARLTON GALLERY 10360 N.C. 105 South (828) 963-4288

CLARK GALLERY 393 Shaneehaw Ave. (828) 898-2095

Blowing Rock

Boone ARTWALK 611 W. King St. (828) 264-9998

DOE RIDGE POTTERY 585-D W. King St. (828) 264-1127

HANDS GALLERY 543 W. King St. (828) 262-1970

JONES HOUSE COMMUNITY CENTER 604 W. King St. (828) 262-4576



159 Sunset Dr. (828) 414-9402

182 Howard St.

BLOWING ROCK FRAMEWORKS 7935 Valley Blvd. (828) 295-0041

MORNING STAR GALLERY 257 Sunset Dr. (828) 295-6991

ROCK GALLERIES OF FINE ART 1153 Main St. (828) 295-9752 blowingrock

Crossnore CROSSNORE FINE ARTS GALLERY The Crossnore School 205 Johnson Lane (828) 733-3144

Linville 87 RUFFIN STREET GALLERY 87 Ruffin St. (828) 733-6449

West Jefferson ACORN GALLERY 103 Long St. (336) 246-3388

BOHEMIA 106 N. Jefferson Ave. (336) 846-1498

BROOMFIELDS GALLERY 414 E. 2nd St. (336) 846-4141

CATCH LIGHT GALLERY 118 N. Jefferson Ave. (336) 846-1551

RIPPLES GALLERY 101 N. Jefferson Ave. (336) 219-0089

R.T. MORGAN ART GALLERY & GLASS BY CAMILLE 120 N. Jefferson Ave. (336) 246-3328

THE ARTISTS’ THEATRE 8 E. Main St. (336) 846-3355

ASHE CUSTOM FRAMING & GALLERY 105 S. Jefferson Ave. (336) 846-2218

ORIGINALS ONLY 3-B N. Jefferson Ave. (336) 846-1636



Homes | Golf | Tennis | Fishing


Enjoy an evening (or afternoon) of artistry BY ANNA OAKES

The culture, people, places and picturesque scenery of the High Country are the source of inspiration for many artists, and to showcase their works, the area offers numerous public art events. Whether you’re seeking a new painting for your collection or simply searching for a conversation piece for the living room coffee table, visit these local art events for a diverse sampling.


"Now offering the public the | 828-733-8300 chance to play our s course.” u t



We’re on US 221 three miles south of NC 105/US 221 Intersection in Linville.

The monthly First Friday Art Crawl takes place every first Friday of the month in downtown Boone. Receptions at downtown art galleries and businesses begin around 5 p.m. and continue throughout the evening. Look for exhibitions and studio openings at the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts, Jones House Community Center, Nth° Gallery and Studios, The Collective, Hands Gallery, Shed Studios and Doe Ridge Pottery. In addition, local businesses display rotating works by featured artists, as well. The Downtown Boone Development Association sponsors First Fridays. For more information, call (828) 262-4532.

SECOND SATURDAY GALLERY HOP • WATAUGA Not to be satisfied with just one day a month dedicated to art, the Watauga Arts Council has initiated the Second Saturday Studio and Gallery Hop. Download a map from the council’s website ( or pick one up at Blue Ridge ArtSpace, located on Shadowline Drive in Boone. Participants who gather signatures from studio and gallery representatives on their maps can enter the map into a drawing at Blue Ridge ArtSpace for a donated work of art. For more information, call (828) 2641789 or visit

SUNSET STROLL • BLOWING ROCK Sunset Stroll takes place along Sunset Drive in downtown Blowing Rock from 5 to 7 p.m. on select Fridays. The next stroll takes place Friday, June 14. Art galleries, restaurants and other businesses along Sunset Drive will host open houses with

Downtown Boone’s First Friday Art Crawls take place the first Friday of every month. PHOTO BY FRANK RUGGIERO

live music, food and hors d’oeuvres. For more information, call (828) 4149111.

TOUR DE ART • AVERY AND WATAUGA COUNTIES Returning for a fifth anniversary season is the Greater Avery Tour de Art, which takes place every fourth Saturday from June to November from 9 a.m. to dusk. Thirteen galleries and studios participate this year, including the studio of Pam Brewer, Anvil Arts Studio, Art Cellar Gallery, Alta Vista Gallery, Carlton Gallery, Crossnore Fine Arts Gallery, Kevin Beck Studio, Linville Arts District, Linville River Pottery, Maggie Black Pottery, Rivercross Market, Sally Nooney Gallery and the studio of Mike Hill at Purveyors of Art & Design. Guests are invited to pick up a free map of the tour at any participating venue or at selected locations throughout the High Country. The tour is free and open to the public.

WEST JEFFERSON GALLERY CRAWL The West Jefferson Gallery Crawl takes place in historic downtown West Jefferson on second Fridays of the month from 5 to 8 p.m. More than 15 galleries and studios open their doors to the public. For more information, call (336) 8462787.




Blowing Rock’s Ensemble Stage Company is setting the stage for summer with four new productions. PHOTO SUBMITTED

Stages of Summer: Theater in the Blue Ridge BY JESSE CAMPBELL

Step inside for some cool theatrical offerings this summer at main stages throughout the High Country. Blowing Rock’s Ensemble Stage Company presents a summer season that features four diverse productions — “Searching for Eden” (June 15 to 23), “Mindgame” (July 6 to 14), “A Bench in the Sun” (July 27 to Aug. 4) and “Bedside Manners” (Aug. 24 to Sept. 1). For more information on the upcoming productions or information about tickets and season passes, visit or call (828) 919-6196. The 30th edition of An Appalachian Summer Festival will bring a menagerie of music, dance, theater, visual arts and film productions to the High Country this summer. This year’s festival marks the first performances in the newly renovated Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts, formerly Farthing Auditorium. Tickets for the eclectic mix of offerings range in price from $5 to $47, and package deals are available, as well.

An Appalachian Summer Festival is presented annually in July by the university’s Office of Arts and Cultural Programs. The festival has been named one of the “Top 20 Events in the Southeast” by the Southeast Tourism Society. To purchase tickets, call (800) 841-2787 or (828) 262-4046 or visit The “sun will come out tomorrow” in West Jefferson, with the production of musical favorite “Annie.” Directed by Grady Lonon, with musical direction by Michael Bell and produced by Jane Lonon, “Annie” is set to run from June 27 through July 1. All performances will be held at the Ashe Civic Center, with evening shows on June 27, 28, 29 and July 1, with curtain at 7:30 nightly, and a matinee performance on Sunday, June 30, with curtain at 2 p.m., said Jane Lonon, executive director of the Ashe County Arts Council. In addition to the signature piece, the live orchestra and a cast of 40 bring to life “Hard Knock Life,” “N. Y. C.,” “Easy Street” and more.

Reserved seating for “Annie” is available in advance from the Ashe County Arts Council. Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for students; they are now on sale at the Ashe Arts Center, either in person or by phone at (336) 846-2787. Credit cards are accepted. For more information, call the Ashe County Arts Council at (336) 846-ARTS. The Roaring ’20s are revived at Hayes Auditorium at Lees-McRae College with three era-driven productions billed as the “real McCoys” and “bee’s knees” of Banner Elk this summer. Betrayal, murder and the search for the American Dream highlight the on-stage musical drama, “Chicago.” In this story of scorned love, the conniving Roxie Hart tries to frame her husband, Amos, for the murder of a jilted lover that she committed. Before she can build a life on the lam, Amos eventually wises up and turns on Roxie. While behind bars in a state prison, Roxie and another inmate vie for the spotlight, before joining forces for a greater cause. “Chicago” hits the stage at LMC on July

3, 6 and 7, with early bird showings at 2 p.m. The 7 p.m. showings will be held on July 1, 3, 5 and 6. The college’s second show of the season is “The 39 Steps,” which was once Broadway’s longest-running comedy. The plot features an ordinary man, who is convinced he’s living a mundane life. That is until he meets a dame with a thick accent that says she is a spy. When he takes her home, she is murdered, and soon a mysterious organization is hot on the man’s trail. According to LMC, “The 39 Steps” will appear on stage at 7 p.m. July 17, 18, 19, 20 and 21. A 2 p.m. showing will be held July 20. “Singin’ in the Rain” is set in the swanky Hollywood of the 1920s in this lighthearted, classic comedy about the early days of sound in film and how the movie industry dealt with changes in production. “Singin’ in the Rain” will be shown Aug. 5, 7, 8 and 9 at 7 p.m. A 2 p.m. showing will be held on Aug. 4, 8 and 10. For tickets or more information, call (828) 898-8709 or visit SummerTheatre.




An Appalachian Summer Festival BY FRANK RUGGIERO

In the High Country, summer isn’t just a season. It’s An Appalachian Summer Festival. Appalachian State University’s premier celebration of the arts returns this July, packing practically a year’s worth of performances and activities into one month. And with the transformation of Farthing Auditorium into the state-of-the-art Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts, this year’s festival promises a summer like no other. From Lyle Lovett to the Eastern Festival Orchestra to The Band Perry, the festival strikes a chord when it comes to music, but other acts, such as Triad Stage’s production of “Tennessee Playboy,” the Independent Films from Around the World series and the Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Walk, ensure that variety takes center stage. Tickets to An Appalachian Summer Festival performances are on sale now and available by visiting www.

THE LINEUP • June 19: Museum Bus Trip: Mint Museum and Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, 7:30 a.m. • July 5: TCVA Summer Exhibition Celebration – Turchin Center for the Visual Arts, 7 to 9 p.m. • July 6: Outdoor Fireworks Concert: The Band Perry – Kidd Brewer Stadium, 7:30 p.m. • July 7: Independent Films from Around the World: “The Other Son” – Valborg Theatre, 8 p.m. • July 8: Broyhill Chamber Ensemble – Rosen Concert Hall, 8 p.m. • July 10: Lunch & Learn – Turchin Center for the Visual Arts, noon • July 10: Broyhill Chamber Ensemble – Rosen Concert Hall, 8 p.m. • July 12: Triad Stage – “Tennessee Playboy” – Valborg Theatre, 8 p.m. • July 13: TCVA Family Day – Turchin Center for the Visual Arts, 11 a.m. • July 13: Triad Stage – “Tennessee Playboy” – Valborg Theatre, 8 p.m. • July 14: EMF Young Artist Orchestra: “Peter and the Wolf” – Rosen Concert Hall, 4 p.m. • July 15: Independent Films from Around the World: “No” – Valborg Theatre, 8p.m. • July 17: Lunch & Learn – Turhcin Center for the Visual Arts, noon • July 18: Belk Distinguished Lecture: Joseph Bathanti – Belk Library, Room 114, 3:30 p.m. • July 18: Idina Menzel with the Eastern Festival Orchestra – Schaefer Center, 8 p.m. • July 19: Eric Carle: Lecture – Reich College of Education, 4 p.m. • July 19: Family Film Night – Schaefer Center, 7 p.m. • July 20: Boz Scaggs – Schaefer Center, 8 p.m. • July 21: Eastern Festival Orchestra: Andre Watts andJulian Schwartz – Schaefer Center, 8 p.m. • July 22: Broyhill Chamber Ensemble, Rosen Concert Hall, 8 p.m.

Idina Menzel will perform with the Eastern Festival Orchestra July 18 at Appalachian State. PHOTO BY ROBIN WONG

• July 24: Lunch & Learn – Turchin Center for the Visual Arts, noon • July 24: Broyhill Chamber Ensemble – Rosen Concert Hall, 8 p.m. • July 25: Carolina Ballet: “A Balanchine Celebration, featuring Rubies” – Schaefer Center, 8 p.m. • July 26: Independent Films from Around the World: “11 Flowers” – Schaefer Center, 8 p.m. • July 27: 27th Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Walk – Schaefer Center, 10 a.m. • July 27: An Evening with Lyle Lovett and his Acoustic Group – Schaefer Center, 8 p.m. • July 28: Rosen-Schaffel Competition for Young and Emerging Artists – Rosen Concert Hall, 1 p.m. • July 29: Independent Films from Around the World: “La Rafle” – Schaefer Center, 8 p.m. • July 31: Lunch & Learn – Turchin Center for the Visual Arts, noon • Aug. 1: An Acoustic Evening with Mary Chapin Carpenter & Shawn Colvin with special guest Suzanne Vega – Schaefer Center, 8 p.m.




Yamaha of Wilkesboro The most colorful event of the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games happens on Sunday, when representatives from each Scottish clan in attendance march behind tartan banners in the Parade of Tartans. So many people participate that the parade circles the track twice before all participants are on the field. PHOTO BY HUGH MORTON

Calling All Clans! Grandfather Mountain Highlands Games


One of the best-known and highly attended events in the High Country is the annual gathering of the Scottish clans on Grandfather Mountain’s MacRae Meadows for the annual Grandfather Mountain Highland Games. Based on Scotland’s Braemar Gathering and founded in 1956 by Agnes MacRae Morton and former reporter for The Charlotte News Donald MacDonald, GMHG has become one of the signature Scottish gatherings and games in the entire country. Both local residents and visitors from far and wide make the pilgrimage to the mountain near Linville to reconnect with their heritage, take part in myriad athletic competitions, taste the variety of food options — ranging from Scottish traditional dishes to all-American foods and snacks — reminisce with kith and kin or simply sit back and enjoy the dulcet tones of traditional music of pipes and drums. GMHG is held beside and within a 440-yard oval running track, as athletic running reflects the origins of Scottish games. The GMHG is one of the few Scottish events in the United States to have its own track. MacRae Meadows, high on the slopes of historic Grandfather Mountain, closely resembles Kintail in Scotland’s Wester Ross. Also similar in nature is the mountain’s terrain, native wildflowers and even the weather and climate.

Each year, GMHG opens with the running of The Bear, an event added in 1995 that tests the endurance of participants courageous enough to tackle the challenging course. The event begins in downtown Linville and extends five miles, climbing greater than 1,500 feet in elevation with a finish at the picturesque Mile High Swinging Bridge atop the mountain. Numerous events dot the landscape at the Highland Games. The traditional torchlight ceremony, gathering of clans and parade of tartans signal the official beginning of the games, with varied entertainment. Scottish music fans are treated to a “Celtic Jam” on Friday, spotlighting the best and brightest in Scottish music in genres as diverse as traditional pipe tunes and heavy metal music. Scottish country dancing, classical bagpipe music, sheepherding exhibitions and athletics keep MacRae Meadows abuzz with activity. Grandfather Mountain Highland Games Inc. is a charitable organization with proceeds from each year’s event benefiting an annual scholarship fund, which at one time awarded scholarships to graduate students wishing to study in Scotland, but now assists local students with furthering their education in this country. The 2013 Grandfather Mountain Highland Games takes place Thursday to Sunday, July 11 to 14. For more information, call (828) 733-1333, or visit www.gmhg. org.

“Where Winners Never Finish 2nd!” 4641 Hwy 421 N. • Wilkesboro, NC 28697


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, before, we’ll be happy to help you get started.


For some people, cleaning their catch is part of will clean them for you. We can whole, then double bag and ice down your catch. HWY. 105, 10 MILES SOUTH OF BOONE (across from entrance to Town of Seven Devils)









Intelligent food for the Common Craving Lunch and Dinner Closed Tuesday • Bar open till Midnight

828-295-4008 Reservations online


SANDWICHES (Served on our homemade bread)

Pies • Cakes • Shepherd’s Pie • Steak & Ale Pie Chicken Pot Pie • English Specialties (on request) • Gourmet To Go • Catering

828.963.8228 • Dinner Served on Thursdays -- Twice a Month Reservations Recommended

Fabulous British Chef/Owner


Open Tuesday - Saturday • 10 a.m-5 p.m. 9872 Hwy. 105 S. in Foscoe (across from Mountain Lumber)





14 Drafts Import & Micro Brews

S Serve M Menu: Sunday - Thursday 11:00am − 10:30pm Friday and Saturday 11:00am − Midnight Bar Always Open until 2am Enjoy our Excellence in Courtesy & Customer Service. 1121 Main Street • Blowing Rock · 828-295-3155 •






CHINESE RESTAURANT Hunan/Szechuan/ Mandarin Cuisine Now offering Thai and Sushi Menus Voted 2009 & 2008 National Top 100 Chinese Restaurants Voted Best of the Best 2011, 2012 & 2013

214 Southgate Dr., Boone (Across from Walmart) • Dine In or Take Out Open 7 Days a Week • (828) 262-0555 •

Step Back 150 Years... Lunch & Wine Tastings Daily Dinner Thursday - Saturday (Call or visit website for additional dinner nights throughout the Summer!)

Fabulous Sunday Brunch Organic Garden Children Welcome Outdoor Dining with a View! 1861 Award Winning Wines

“A Twist on the Ordinary” 15 Beers on Tap, including numerous N.C. Beers

The 1861 Farmhouse See Full Menu & Hours at Across from the Original Mast General Store, Valle Crucis • 828-963-6301

Hours are Sunday 11:00 A.M. - 9:30 P.M. Monday-Saturday 11:30 A.M. - 9:30 P.M.

Phone #: 828-295-7262 website:








4004 NC Highway 105 Banner Elk

828.898.7838 Monday - Saturday 10am to 8pm Sunday 11am to 6pm





RESTAURANTS Unique and varied menu offerings that you’ll want to experience again and again!

Serving the High Country for 32 Years!

Dine in the cool mountain air, rain or shine, on our covered outdoor patio! 227 Hardin Street, Boone, NC 28607


Valid through 8/31/13 at participating locations. Not valid with any other offer or if copied, transferred or where prohibited. Good for 4 people. VALID AT THESE LOCATIONS ONLY: 187 WATAUGA VILLAGE DR. • BOONE, NC

Catering of all sizes Make reservations online at & click on "Reservations" 828 262 5128 • Highway 105 South • Boone For Private Parties & Catering Call 828 406 7085




Welcome to Beer Country BY ANNA OAKES

Boone may have approved mixed drink sales a few years ago, but the beer culture remains strong and vibrant in the High Country. In February of this year, Appalachian Mountain Brewery became the first brewery to open in Boone since the Cottonwood brewpub closed more than a decade ago. AMB offers more than a dozen brews on tap and donates a portion of proceeds to area nonprofits. The taproom also plays host to live music and yard games. The brewery and taproom is located at 163 Boone Creek Drive and is open Mondays through Wednesdays from 4 to 10 p.m., Thursdays and Fridays from 4 to 11 p.m., Saturdays from 3 to 11 p.m. and Sundays from 3 to 9 p.m. For more information, visit or look the brewery up on Facebook. Boone Brewing Company debuted Blowing Rock Ale several years ago and is soon slated to open a brewery at the former Maple Lodge on Sunset Drive

A July afternoon atop cool Beech Mountain is the perfect setting for the Bikes, Brews ’n’ Views festival, taking place at Beech Mountain Resort July 19 through 21. The beer tasting takes place Saturday, July 20, from 3 to 7 p.m. PHOTO BY ANNA OAKES

in Blowing Rock. The location will be renamed Blowing Rock Ale House & Inn, with eight rooms and a full pub, according to its website. In the meantime, look for Blowing Rock Ale at area stores and grocers. More information can be found at www.blowing- Peabody’s Wine and Beer Merchants offers regular beer tastings at its retail location on N.C. 105 in Boone, while Bulldog Beer & Wine and Glug on King Street also carry wide selections. Beer tasting festivals have been a grow-



Great Landscapes Take Knowledge & Experience perience While Extraordinary Landscapes dscap pes Take Tak ake e Passion Pass Pa ssio ion n & Vision Visi Vi sion on The Garden Goddess Theresa Foxx

Serving the High Country since 1976 Customized maintenance and landscape plants tailored to your lifestyle Establish unique new landscapes and renovate “tired” ones Cater to our client’s discriminating tastes by offering a wide range of exceptional products and services

Proud to be a Local Woman-owned Business

Recognized as one of the most progressive green industry businesses in the North Carolina High Country Committed to excellence in every phase of operation Our vision and passion makes us the landscape leaders in the High Country!

11466 Hwy 105 • Banner Elk, NC 28604 • PHONE: (828) 963-5025 • FAX: (828) 963-7637 Grandfather Mountain Nursery Garden Center and Landscaping

Retail Shop COUPON

$10 coupon to use on your purchase of $50 (pre-tax) or more at the Garden Center. In store use only. Can’t be used for maintenance or landscape contracts, previous jobs, or previous purchases. Cannot be used for gift certificates, sale items, not redeemable for cash. Must be surrendered at time of purchase. Not to be combined with any other offers. Valid June 17, 2013 thru August 30, 2013


ing success in the High Country in recent years, with the High Country Craft Food and Beverage Festival (formerly High Country Beer Fest) leading the way. The 2013 festival is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 13, from 3 to 7 p.m. at the former Broyhill Events Center at ASU. Tickets are $35 or $10 for designated drivers. Proceeds benefit the ASU fermentation sciences program, the N.C. Brewers Guild and Mountain Alliance. For more information, visit SugarBrew is on tap at Sugar Mountain Resort Saturday, Aug. 3, from noon to 6 p.m. Tickets are $30 online and $35 at the event. Visit or call (800) SUGAR-MT. Also, mark your calendars for Sugar Mountain Resort’s 23rd annual Oktoberfest Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 12 and 13. Bikes, Brews ’n Views takes place at Beech Mountain Resort July 19 through 21, with the beer tasting on Saturday, July 20, from 3 to 7 p.m. While you’re there, check out the dual slalom mountain bike competition.




Uncork the High Country BY KELLEN MOORE

Pop the corks and plan the toasts — the High Country is wine country. North Carolina is home to more than 100 wineries and vineyards and ranks ninth in wine production nationwide, according to the N.C. Department of Commerce. In fact, the state is one of the only regions on earth that supports every major type of grape grown in the world. But while North Carolina wine making is big business, the owners of Grandfather Vineyard Winery in Foscoe consider it a homegrown hobby. Owners Steve and Sally Tatum planted grapevines in the backyard in 2003, a pastime that eventually led to the opening of Watauga County’s first producing winery in May 2011. What started as a hobby morphed into a family business with the help of their son, Dylan Tatum, who studied viticulture and enology at Surry Community College. The family now produces a range of wines from grapes raised on-site and off. There’s one classic, though, that they are particularly proud of. “Our claim to fame is really our ice wine,” Dylan Tatum said. “We make it in a true ice wine style, where we let the grapes freeze on the vine, and then we harvest them while they’re frozen.” Squeeze those grapes, and the result is a sweet wine, ideal for dessert, that offers the pure essence of the fruit. Other favorites grown and produced on-site include the Terraced Gold, described as a clean and crisp white wine with layers of refreshing fruit and a light touch of oak and butter. The third estate-grown option is the Profile Red, a medium-bodied wine with flavors of toasted oak, cocoa, apple and cherry with a light smoky finish. Tatum said the winery is always trying new things. “We’ve just released five new wines in the last week,” he said in late May. Of course, the appeal of a winery is not limited to enjoying the reds and whites. The tranquil atmosphere of the vineyards, tucked at the base of Grandfather Mountain along the Watauga River, beckons visitors to relax, refill the glass and stay a while. Visitors can request a tour of the

Area Wineries 1861 FARMHOUSE 3608 N.C. 194 South Valle Crucis, N.C. 28691 (828) 963-6301

BANNER ELK WINERY & VILLA 60 Deer Run Banner Elk, N.C. 28604 (828) 898-9090

LINVILLE FALLS WINERY 9557 Linville Falls Highway Newland, N.C. 28657 (828) 765-1400

THISTLE MEADOW WINERY 102 Thistle Meadow Laurel Springs, N.C. 28644 (800) 233-1505

NEW RIVER WINERY 165 Piney Creek Road Lansing, N.C. 28643 (336) 384-1213 grounds and production space or bring a picnic and spend the afternoon, Tatum said. Live music will be offered once or twice a month on Sundays during the summer, he said. To really get the full impression, the tasting room offers a variety of dry white and red wines, and guests can keep their wine glass as a memento. Summer hours are noon to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday and noon to 6 p.m. Monday. The tasting room is closed Tuesday. Of course, Grandfather Vineyard Winery isn’t the only High Country hotspot for wine production. Several other award-winning wineries offer visitors and residents alike a unique local option. Some visitors create their own Tour de Wineries, sampling from all of the nearby sites. It’s an action Tatum said he encourages. “We don’t really see each other as competitors; we see each other as synergy,” Tatum said.

North Carolina is one of the only regions on earth that supports every major type of grape grown in the world. PHOTO BY FRANK RUGGIERO







Barking Up the Right Tree Pet-friendly options aplenty this summer BY ADAM ORR

Can’t leave home without your furry best friend? Don’t worry — the High Country offers plenty of pet-friendly options catered to you and your canine companion. “The High Country is definitely a pet-friendly vacation destination,” High Country Host marketing director Candice Cook said. “That always tops the lists of questions we get about this area. ‘Is there anything I can do with my dog?’ Absolutely, there is.” Cook said outdoor festivals, including the 11th annual Beech Mountain Mile High Kite Festival and Blowing Rock Independence Day Celebration, welcome dogs, and Melanie’s Food Fantasy, Hob Nob Farm Café and Murphy’s Restaurant & Pub in Boone and Quizno’s in Banner Elk are all pet friendly. Beech Mountain’s The Alpen Restaurant and Bistro Roca in Blowing Rock also allow pets on the porch with diners in the summer. Ashe County Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center coordinator Kathleen George did caution that West Jefferson’s annual Christmas in July festival, for example, is not dog-friendly, so it’s best to check ahead with each venue before you go. Leash laws apply, but also keep your eye out for dangers hidden closer to ground level when venturing off the beaten path — poisonous mushrooms and snakes call that same greenery home, so remain vigilant.

Favorite Places to Walk THE BOONE GREENWAY Boone’s most popular dog walking destination, complete with creeks, greenery and pretty views, the Boone Greenway incorporates nearly five miles of paved trails with river access points in case your dog wants to take a dip. Just be sure to take advantage of the dog litter stations and obey the leash law. Softball fields do not allow dogs, but you and your canine can sit by the fence and watch Watauga County kids run the bases. Clawson-Burnley Park offers a shorter trek on Hunting Hills Lane next to the Deerfield Road greenway access and is full of pretty views and benches.

Mick and Gracie love summer afternoons in Todd Island Park, a five-acre island in the middle of the South Fork of the New River. PHOTO SUBMITTED

GRANDFATHER MOUNTAIN STATE PARK Grandfather Mountain State Park offers 11 trails that have something for both experienced and inexperienced trail dogs — just be sure to bring plenty of water. Grandfather Mountain is home to more than a dozen distinct ecosystems, including more than 73 rare and endangered species, and with easily accessible trailheads on U.S. 221 and N.C. 105, Grandfather is the perfect place for nature lovers.

VALLE CRUCIS COMMUNITY PARK Valle Crucis Community Park is super family-friendly and has picnic shelters, playground equipment and the perfect walking trail for your pet. There’s even a fishpond. Leash laws are enforced here. The park is located behind the Mast General Store at 3657 N.C. 194.

ELK KNOB STATE PARK Home to more than 3,400 acres at 5,500

feet elevation, Elk Knob State Park is one of the state’s newest state parks, opening in 2003. Visitors can expect gorgeous views of Long Hope Valley, Mount Jefferson, Grandfather Mountain and Mount Mitchell from the summit of Elk Knob, Watauga County’s second highest peak. Located on Meat Camp Road off N.C. 194, the park is 9.5 miles north of Boone.

take a dip. You might also try a picnic at Cook Memorial Park across from the Todd General Store or relax at the Riverside Restaurant at Brownwood.


Nestled in downtown Jefferson, Foster Tyson Park offers a peaceful place for individuals and families to walk along paved trails next to a beautiful stream and includes a picnic area.

With 25 miles of carriage trails, Moses Cone Memorial Park in Blowing Rock is ideal for both you and your four-legged friends. Named in honor of the textile entrepreneur and philanthropist, the park sits on the Blue Ridge Parkway on Cone’s 3,500-acre estate. Check out the 20-minute loop walk around the Cone Manor, which is said to have been walked by the Cones each morning.



For those who love relaxing riverfront walks, check out Big Hill Road or Railroad Grade Road in Todd. You’ll see kayaks, canoes and tubes full of folks enjoying the sunshine, and both stretches offer plenty of access points for you and your pooch to

While Memorial Park in downtown Blowing Rock isn’t dog-friendly, the benches at the front of the park on Main Street allow dogs, as does Broyhill Park and Davant Field, all within easy walking distance of your favorite window shopping.




Farm Fresh


Farmers’ markets offer local foods, handmade crafts


Farmers’ markets offer a place for area farmers and craftsmen to interact with customers and sell their handmade items, homemade crafts, fresh baked goods and various plants and nursery items. No matter which part of the High Country you live in or are visiting, it’s likely you can find a market nearby. From Alleghany to Wilkes, listed below are farmers’ markets that can be found in the area.

ALLEGHANY FARMERS’ MARKET The Alleghany market is looking for a permanent location for 2014, but it’s currently located on N.C. 18 North at Crouse Park in Sparta. The hours are 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. on Saturdays through Oct. 12, and 4 to 6 p.m. on Thursdays, June 13 through Oct. 29. Organic produce, fresh baked goods, pastured meats and eggs, cheeses and artisan crafts can be found at the market. There are restrooms, picnic areas and a playground area for children at the park. Events held by the market include chef demonstrations, children’s activities, music and more. For more information or to meet the vendors, visit

ASHE COUNTY FARMER’S MARKET The Ashe market is located on the Backstreet in downtown West Jefferson. The hours are 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturdays through October and on Wednesdays through September. The market is now set up to accept EBT cards and WIC vouchers. Items available at the market include nursery items and plants, homegrown foods, barn quilts and a variety of handmade crafts. Various events at the market include fly-fishing demonstrations, fly-tying demonstrations and trout-grilling demonstrations. Contests for best berry pie, salsa, apple pie and cobbler are planned. For more information about the market and its vendors, visit

AVERY COUNTY FARMERS’ MARKET In Avery, the market is open from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursdays on Tate Lawn at LeesMcRae College, on Main Street West in

The Watauga County Farmers’ Market is open rain or shine each Saturday through November. PHOTO BY HEATHER SAMUDIO

Banner Elk. On June 21, the market is open from 5 to 7 p.m. at Newland Town Park on 220 Linville St. in Newland. The market features grass fed beef, maple syrup, chicken, handmade crafts, artisan breads, fresh flowers, jellies and produce. For more information about the market, call (828) 789-9246, email info@ or visit

BLOWING ROCK FARMERS’ MARKET The Blowing Rock market is located in downtown by the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce office on Park Avenue, off Main Street. Market hours are 4 to 6 p.m. every Thursday through Oct. 10. The market will be held rain or shine. Fresh fruits, vegetables, whole foods and meats from local farmers can be purchased at the market. A list of vendors and their products can be found at farmersmarket. For more information, contact the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce at (828) 295-7851.

LANSING FARMERS’ MARKET The Lansing market is new this year, adding to the activity taking place in Lan-

sing around the downtown area and the Virginia Creeper Trail Park. The market is open from 1 to 6 p.m. every Thursday through Sept. 12 and is located beside the Lansing Volunteer Fire Department. Items available include fruits, vegetables, jams, jellies, meats, cheese, bread and bedding plants. For more information, visit www.

accept those coupons can be picked up at the manager’s booth. Debit cards are not accepted at the market, but can be used at the manager’s booth to purchase “Carrot Credit” tokens that some vendors accept. There is a $1.50 fee for the use of the token program. For more information, call (828) 3554918 or email



The Watauga market opened in 1974 and today features a variety of vendors each Saturday, with Kids’ Mini-Markets held a couple times per month. The market is open from 8 a.m. to noon May through November, rain or shine. The market is located beside Horn in the West on Horn in the West Drive in Boone. Kids’ mini-markets are planned for June 15 and 29, July 13 and 27, Aug. 10 and 24, Sept. 7 and 21, Oct. 5 and 19 and Nov. 2, 16 and 30. SNAP and EBT customers can use their cards by visiting the manager’s booth to purchase “Beet Bucks” that some vendors accept; however, vendors cannot accept the cards directly. WIC and Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program coupons can be used at the market, and a map of the vendors who

The market is open from 4 to 8 p.m. on Fridays through Oct. 18. It is located at 102 W. Main St. in Wilkesboro, adjacent to the Wilkes Heritage Museum. Fresh from the farm produce and handcrafted items are featured each Friday. Third Friday special events are held each month through August, highlighting vendors, offering demonstrations and live music from 4 to 9 p.m. Scheduled events include Jazz in June on June 21, A Berry Independence Festival on July 19, Hot! Hot! Hot! Car show, hot wing contest and cornhole competition on Aug. 16 and WoofStock ’13 on Sept. 20. For more information, call (336) 8383951, email or visit




Your Summer Times Calendar JUNE 23 NATURE HIKE: Mount Jefferson State Natural Area in Ashe County will hold a nature hike at 2 p.m. June 23; meet at the picnic shelter. Hike the ridgeline of Mount Jefferson and explore the natural world of wildflowers and wildlife on the summit and rhododendron trails. Natural history and folklore will be discussed. Appropriate clothing and sturdy footwear are recommended. The program is free. For more information, call (336) 246-9653. Mount Jefferson is located at 1481 Mt. Jefferson State Park Road, just off U.S. 221 in West Jefferson.

JUNE 28 HORN OPENS: Boone’s outdoor drama, “Horn in the West,” will open the 2013 season June 28, with nightly performances, except Mondays, through Aug. 17. The preshow opens at 7:30 p.m., with the main performance at 8 p.m. Admission charged.

JUNE 29 FESTIVAL: Riverfest returns to Valle Crucis Community Park June 29. Riverfest is currently seeking demonstrators and nonprofit vendors with a focus on natural resources and sustainability. To be a part of Riverfest 2013, contact Ashley Wilson at ashley@ KIDS FISHING: The Kiddo Fishing Derby in Beech Mountain June 29 is open to all children ages 4 to 12 (younger than 10 must have adult supervision). The event is free and is sponsored by the member businesses that comprise the Beech Mountain Chamber of Commerce. Prizes and trophies are awarded for boys and girls who catch the first trout, largest trout, heaviest trout, and the first to catch the limit of four trout. Just bring your fishing gear and favorite bait. Registration is at 8 a.m. and the derby begins at 9 a.m. Call (828) 387-9283 or (800) 468-5506 for additional information. DINNER THEATRE: The Blue Ridge Dinner Theater in West Jefferson will present a Dolly Parton and Garth Brooks Tribute Show on June 29. Tickets, which include a buffet, are $30 preordered; $35 at the door. For more information, call (336) 246-2900.


PARADE: Banner Elk’s Independence Day Parade will be held July 4. The parade will start at 11 a.m. on Main Street at the Lees-McRae College Library to end at Tate-Evans Town Park. Following the parade, Kiwanis will have a used book sale, rubber duck races, games for children of all ages, food and crafts at TateEvans Town Park. For more information, call (828) 898-8398. BOONE PARADE: Boone’s annual Fourth of July Parade through downtown Boone will be held at 11 a.m. July 4. The parade will celebrate volunteers in the community, and the grand marshals will be Robert and Agnes Shipley. The parade will travel down King Street in downtown Boone and will conclude at the Poplar Grove Extension. The town of Boone will host evening festivities at the Clawson and Burnley Park off of Hunting Hills Lane starting at 7 p.m. with family activities and fireworks at 9:30 p.m. LIBERTY PARADE: The theme for the Liberty Parade in Todd this year is the element of fire. Anyone who wishes to participate and dress in costume for the July 4 parade should meet at the field across the bridge at the corner of N.C. 194 North and Railroad Grade Road in Todd at 10:30 a.m. The parade begins at 11 a.m. CELEBRATION: Hickory Ridge Living History Museum at the Horn in the West in Boone will host the “Burning in Effigy of King George III” from 5 to 6 p.m. July 4. Beginning at 5 p.m., the Declaration of Independence will be read aloud, while members of the audience will have an opportunity to participate in the reading of 13 toasts to 13 colonies. The audience will also hear a eulogy for King George III, while his dummy is burned in effigy. Those in attendance will toast with apple cider, reminiscent of the Toasts of Halifax. Volunteers from the audience will read the 13 toasts provided, each followed by a gun salute from flintlock rifles. Admission is free, donations are encouraged.

CHRISTMAS IN JULY: The Christmas in July festival will be held from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. July 6 in West Jefferson. It is a full-day and Friday night free-admission event, featuring traditional mountain music, handmade crafts, concessions, children’s activities and more. For more information, visit

JULY 26 HOME TOUR: St. Mary Tour of Homes will be held from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. July 26 in Blowing Rock. It is the 55th annual fundraiser for St. Mary of the Hills Episcopal Church. Admission. Call (828) 295-7323 for more information.

JULY 27 DINNER THEATER: The Blue Ridge Dinner Theater in West Jefferson will present a Rod Stewart Tribute Show July 27. Tickets include both buffet and show; $30 preordered, $35 at the door. Buffet opens at 6 p.m.; show begins at 7:30 p.m. For more information, visit

AUG. 1 ANTIQUES SHOW: The Blowing Rock Art and History Museum’s Art and Antiques Weekend Event will be Aug. 1 to 4. View hundreds of antiques and art pieces at the annual exhibition and sale. For more information, call (828) 295-9099. GEM FEST: The North Carolina Mineral and Gem Festival will be held Aug. 1-4 in Spruce Pine. Dealers from around the world present fine jewelry, minerals, fossils and more. For more information, call (800) 2273912 or visit

AUG. 3 CRAFT FESTIVAL: The 32nd annual Crafts on the Green will be held Aug. 3 at Beech Mountain. The festival will feature local artisans and handmade crafts, soaps, candles, preserves and more. For more information, call (828) 387-4838 or visit


AUG. 11

PARADE: Blowing Rock will hold its fourth of July Festival and Parade on July 6 in downtown Blowing Rock. There will be games, music and more in addition to the parade. For more information, call (828) 295-5222.

JAZZ CONCERT: The Blowing Rock Jazz Society Concert will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Meadowbrook Inn in Blowing Rock. Featured will be the Noel Friedline Quintet. Tickets are $20 per person and $5 for students. BRJS members get in free. Fore more information, call (828) 295-4300.

FIREWORKS: A Fireworks Extravaganza takes place at Tweetsie Railroad theme park, located between Boone and Blowing Rock, on July 4. The theme park will be open to 9 p.m. Parking for the fireworks show is $5; free for theme park season pass holders.

ANNUAL ROASTING: The 47th annual Roasting of the Hog will be held from 6 to 10 p.m. July 6 at Beech Mountain Resort. Serving at 6 p.m. and fireworks at dark. For more information, call (828) 3879283 or

PICNIC: Celebrate the Fourth of July at one of the highest elevations in the eastern half of the United States. The Beech Mountain Independence Day Picnic will be held on July 4 and will feature live music, games for all ages, and food. For more information, visit or call (800) 468-5506.

CONCERT: Summer Concerts in Todd continues with a free event at 6 p.m. July 6 featuring Laura Boosinger and Josh Goforth. Bring a lawn chair or blanket. The sponsor, Todd Community Preservation Organization, will have concessions for sale. For more information, visit

AUG. 17 GOLF TOURNAMENT: The inaugural Take a Swing at Cancer Golf Tournament, sponsored by the Avery Cancer Resource Center, will take place at Sugar Mountain Golf Course on Aug. 17. The shotgun start begins at 8:30 a.m., and the tournament will follow a four-man captain’s choice format. The entry fee is $75 per player and includes green fee, cart, lunch and door prizes. For more information, contact Sallie Woodring at (828) 737-7538.




T hank you for 3 great years of support. From our family to yours We pledge continued community service to Ashe County and surrounding areas for many years to come.

l e t a P r a m A Team and

The High Country’s Hotel of Choice 203 Hampton Place Court West Jefferson, NC 28694 Phone 336.846.4000 Fax 336.846.4045

990 Main Street Blowing Rock, NC 28605 P (828) 295-7373

Let Us C Your Neater Event! xt

850 100 espresso gourmet cigars specialty wines craft beers bar deli foods

Barker Realty Group


Luxury Homes

“Meet Me at the Market!”

Summer Times  

2013 Edition of Mountain Times Publications' Summer Times

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you