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From picnicking and hiking to just enjoying the drive, let us help you plan your next Blue Ridge Parkway encounter. Happy 75th Birthday Blue Ridge Parkway!

Hwy. 194, Valle Crucis 828-963-6511 • 630 W. King St., Boone 828-262-0000 MastGeneralStore.com

Photos courtesy of Grandfather Mountain (Linn Cove Viaduct) and Blue Ridge Parkway 75 (Vicki Dameron).

Outfitting People for Life for Over 125 Years


The Mountain Times Summer Guide



The Mountain Times Summer Guide


TABLE OF CONTENTS Chambers of Commerce.......................5 Welcome.................................................6 Numbers of Note...................................7 Walking Trails........................................8 Cycling...................................................9 Breaking Camp....................................12 Rock Climbing......................................12 Whitewater Guide................................14 Road Races..........................................19 Mountain Biking...................................20 Summer at the Slopes.........................21 Fishing..................................................22 Golf Guide............................................23 Hiking....................................................26 Highland Games..................................28 Grandfather Mountain.........................29 Blue Ridge Parkway 75th...................32 Cone Manor.........................................39 Highway Survival................................40 Scenic Byways....................................41 Daniel Boone Gardens.......................44 Bird Watching.....................................45 Farmers’ Markets................................46 Rhododendrons..................................49 Town Guide.........................................50 Blowing Rock Activities.....................56 Winery.................................................58

Ashe County Guide........................62-65 ASU Performing Arts..........................68 Horn in the West..................................74 Festivals...............................................77 Mystery Hill..........................................81 Tweetsie Railroad................................82 Linville Caverns...................................83 Horsing Around...................................86 Gem Mines...........................................87 Ziplines.................................................88 Watauga Lake......................................89 Jones House........................................93 Calendar.............................................100 Worship in the High Country............103 Advertising Index...............................105 Our cover of the Linn Cove Viaduct is by area photographer Todd Bush. His photos have been published internationally and can be viewed or purchased online at: www. bushphoto.com. This image is being used in conjunction honoring the 75th Anniversary of the Blue Ride Parkway for Rock the Blue Ridge. An upcoming cycling event tracing the spectacular ridges of the NC High Country. With 75 mile & 35 mile un-timed routes and a heritage-themed après-ride party, the event is set for Sunday, August 29th, 2010 and stages at Appalachian Ski Mountain outside of Blowing Rock. Details see: www. RockTheBlueRidge.com.


A Host of Answers W


The Mountain Times Summer Guide

Visitors Center Can Answer Just About Any Question

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


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

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

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

Area Chambers of Comme r c e

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

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

Blowing Rock

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

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

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

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

as the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games & Gathering of the Scottish Clans and the Woolly Worm Festival. Days & Hours Of Operation: 10 - 4 p.m. 7 days a week. Location: #2 Shoppes of Tyne Castle at the corner of Hwy 105 and 184. Mailing Address: 4501 Tynecastle Highway, Suite 2, Banner Elk, NC 28604 Phone: (828) 898-5605 & (800) 972-2183 FAX: (828) 898-8287 E-MAIL: chamber@averycounty.com WEB SITE: www.averycounty.com

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

Ashe County

Ashe County, with its dual communities of Jefferson and West Jefferson, is just about as far as you can go in the High Country before entering Southwestern Virginia. The county is, in many respects, “a step back in time” to the way the Appalachian Mountains use to be. The Chamber can direct travelers through this sparsely populated area of Christmas tree farms and rugged mountain landscapes and offers a good selection of brochures and maps.

Days & Hours Of Operation: Monday-Saturday, 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Location: 303 E. 2nd St., West Jefferson Mailing Address: P.O. Box 31, West Jefferson, NC 28694 Phone: (336) 846-9550 & (888) 343-2743 FAX: (336) 846-8671 E-MAIL: ashechamber@skybest.com WEB SITE: www.ashechamber.com

Elizabethton, TN

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




The High Country region, which covers Ashe, Avery and Watauga Counties, has many different attractions to offer, and for this reason, has become one of the nation’s top tourist destinations. This reputation as a wonderful spot for vacationers, pleasure-seekers and for those who just “want to get away from it all”, however, is not a new one: People from all area’s of the country have been making the trek to the beautiful Blue Ridge for over a century. While some new modern conveniences and attractions have been added over the years, many of the top scenic attractions here have been in existence for eons. Grandfather Mountain, Linville Falls, the Blowing Rock, the region’s numerous breathtaking waterfalls, rivers and streams, and the grand views of the Appalachians themselves offer priceless moments and memories that cannot be purchased at any cost — they must be experienced. To experience the best of the High Country’s past, take some time to browse through your copy of The Mountain Times Summer Times. As your “Guide to the High Country,” it will become a valuable asset as you travel through the region and discover many of its wonderful treasures. From the Blue Ridge Parkway, to Grandfather Mountain, to our many spectacular “high roads and by-roads,” The Mountain Times Summer Times will direct you towards the area’s most beautiful scenic attractions. In addition, your guide will provide you with an overview of the area’s history, culture and traditions, along with information on where to go to learn more! Your copy of The Mountain Times Summer Times will also serve as a valuable tool in locating the area’s best dining and lodging establishments, the finest in arts and entertainment, and the best in family recreation.


2010 Summer Times Staff

Melanie Marshall, Jeff Eason, Ron Fitzwater, Michael Gebelein, Mark Mitchell, Corrinne Loucks Assad, Scott Nicholson, Lauren Ohnesorge, Frank Ruggiero, Sherrie Norris, Jason Reagan




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


Ashe County

Law Enforcement: Sheriff’s Department: (336) 219-2600 Jefferson Police: (910) 246-9368 West Jefferson Police: (336) 246-9410 Fire & Rescue: Creston Volunteer Fire Department: (336) 385-6500 Fleetwood Volunteer Fire Department: (336) 877-5100 Glendale Springs Volunteer Fire Department: (336) 9823539 Helton Township, Inc. Volunteer Fire Department : (336) 384-2420 Jefferson Volunteer Fire Department: (336) 246-9149 Lansing Volunteer Fire Department: (336) 384-4545 New River Volunteer Fire Department: (336) 982-4700 Pond Mountain Volunteer Fire Department: (336) 385-6090 Todd Volunteer Fire Department: (336) 877-1234 Warrensville Volunteer Fire Department: (336) 384-3700 West Jefferson Volunteer Fire Department: (336) 246-3551 Animal Control: (336) 982-4060


Avery County

Law Enforcement: Sheriff’s Department: (828) 733-2071 Banner Elk Police Department: (828) 898-4300 Elk Park Police Department: (828) 733-9573

Newland Police: (828) 733-2023 Seven Devils Police Department: (828) 963-6760 Sugar Mountain Police Department: (828) 898-4349 Fire & Rescue: Avery County Rescue Squad: (828) 733-2607 Linville Central Rescue Squad: (828) 733-2346 Banner Elk Fire Deptartment: (828) 898-4623 Crossnore Volunteer Fire Department: (828) 733-4304 Elk Park Volunteer Fire Department: (828) 733-0516 Elk Park Fire Department: (828) 733-5555 Fall Creek Volunteer Fire Department: (828) 898-5021 Frank Volunteer Fire Department: (828) 733-9336 Green Valley Volunteer Fire Department: (828) 765-9465 Linville Volunteer Fire Department: (828) 733-2188 Newland Volunteer Fire Department: (828) 733-4011 Animal Control: (828) 733-6312 Avery County has no county-operated animal control office; the number listed is for the Avery County Humane Society.


Watauga Count County

Law Enforcement: Watauga County Sheriff’s Office: (828) 264-3761 Boone Police Department: (828) 262-4500 Beech Mountain Police Department: (828) 387-2342 Blowing Rock Police Department: (828) 295-5210 Appalachian Regional Healthcare System Police: (828) 262-4168

Appalachian State University Police Department: (828) 262-2150 Fire and Rescue: Beaver Dam Volunteer Fire Department: (828) 297-4393 Beech Mountain Fire Department: (828) 387-4612 Blowing Rock Fire Department: (828) 295-5221 Blowing Rock Rescue: (828) 295-3504 Boone Fire Department: (828) 262-4520 Cove Creek Volunteer Fire Department: (828) 297-1375 Deep Gap Volunteer Fire Department: (828) 262-0635 Foscoe Volunteer Fire Department: (828) 963-6305 Meat Camp Volunteer Fire Department: (828) 264-3668 Seven Devils Fire Department: (828) 963-5343 Shawneehaw Volunteer Fire Department: (828) 9634180 Stewart Simmons Volunteer Fire Department: (828) 2641112 Watauga Rescue Squad: (828) 264-2426 Zionville Volunteer Fire Department: (828) 297-4812 Watauga County Animal Control: (828) 262-1672

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





These trails are made for

here is no shortage of paved walking trails around the High Country with parks, trail systems and recreation areas providing ample greenway opportunities. Walking/hiking are among the most popular outdoor activities locally, with numerous walkways and trails appropriate for any level of fitness or interest. It’s a great way to take in the best that nature has to offer. For those looking for a trail to stroll comfortably ¬¬– or run, jog or bike – the Lee and Vivian Reynolds Greenway Trail is the answer. With its main entrance located near the Watauga County Recreation Complex in Boone and winding through the woods by the animal shelter, the popular Greenway Trail was expanded over a mile last year and is now nearly five miles long. Plans are on the table for additional expansions in the future. It’s a great place for folks of all ages to enjoy the quiet beauty that surrounds Boone, where young mothers pushing strollers are as comfortable as youngsters with training wheels and their older siblings and grandparents walking or jogging at their own pace. The Banner Elk Greenway is a project of the Town of Banner Elk funded from local occupancy taxes. The Greenway extends from an existing three-quarter mile path at Tate-Evans Park in Banner Elk. A new 1.5-mile section begins at the entrance to the town by the fire station, follows a staircase up to the top of a ridge, continues across the ridge on an elevated boardwalk and arrives at the old cheese house building, home to the Avery Arts Council. From there, the trail continues on a boardwalk across the mill pond, on by the Lees-McRae College athletic field, crosses the Elk River and finishes near the edge of the college property. It’s possible that the trail will one day join with one being built in the Village of Sugar Mountain.

Basin Creek Trail: 6.6 miles, (moderate); Fodder Stack Trail: 2 miles, (moderate). One of the Blue Ridge Parkway’s most scenic trails—and one of its easiest—this 0.5 mile turn-around leads to the scenic Cascades waterfalls. It begins at the Cascades parking lot, about three miles north of Deep Gap, Milepost 271.9 On the Parkway and closer to Grandfather Mountain/Linville area, there are numerous popular hiking sites. Grandfather Mountain offers many well-maintained hiking trails that are mostly for more experienced hikers. On these trails, hikers must go over cliff-faces that lead to Grandfather’s three highest peaks. It’s a great way to view the Blue Ridge Mountains – for miles and miles. Further south, the Linville Falls Trail takes hikers to the upper part of Linville Falls and the gorge as the river runs through it. When walking and/or hiking, be sure to wear appropriate shoes and clothing, take along a cell phone (but remember, service might not be accessible far back into the woods); flashlight, compass or trail map, and a whistle in case times of emergencies. Make sure someone back at home or at the camp knows the direction in which you plan to travel and try to stick as closely as you can to your plan. It’s not a bad idea to take some extra snacks and water . . .just in case. Walking the High Country’s trails is a great family outing. It’s inexpensive, enjoyable, educational and physically rewarding, and it also encourages you to appreciate and respect the environment. Trails all around the High Country offer hiker just about any level of trekking their hearts might desire. Some are long and challenging, others are short loops leading to waterfalls or scenic vistas. Either way, the walker is the winner. (This compilation is not all inclusive of the many walking opportunities in the High Country –just some of the most familiar.) — Sherrie Norris


The Valle Crucis Park walkway is a short, paved track located close to the Mast Store Annex, near the river and always a popular family spot. For those looking for a more strenuous “walk,” many great hiking trails can be found all along the Blue Ridge Parkway

and near area parks. Among some of the most popular are: The Julian Price Memorial Park, covering 4,200 acres, has seven trails, including a 2.5-mile loop trail around Price Lake that’s easier than the more challenging 5-mile Boone Fork Loop Trail. The Tanawha Trail is 13.5 miles and passes under the Linn Cove Viaduct and wraps around Grandfather Mountain.[ The Moses H. Cone Memorial Park contains 3,500 acres and 25 miles of carriage trails for hiking and horses. A “moderate” walking trail is the Flat Top Mountain Carriage Trail to the fire/observation tower where one can get a complete view of the park. The observation tower is 2.8 miles away from Flat Top Manor. The leisurely pathways to Bass Lake and Trout Lake go for a couple of miles. The Cone family cemetery is a popular mile walk from the Manor. Ashe County’s Doughton Park, located near Laurel Springs, has over 30 miles of hiking trails ranging from modest strolls to day-long outings and include: Bluff Mountain Trail: 7.5 miles, (moderate); Cedar Ridge Trail: 4.4 miles, (strenuous); Grassy Gap Fire Road: 6.5 miles, easy for humans and horses;



Pedal Up! Get your bike on across the High Country


he avid cyclist needs to look no further than the High Country to satisfy all of their summer cycling desires. Whether one is wanting to purchase a bike, maintain a bike, or simply, take their bike for a spin, the right place is right here. In fact, the road cycling opportunities in the area are so vast and impressive that cycling legend Lance Armstrong called the High Country “the best area for training in the whole of the United States.” Just remember to don that helmet when taking to the streets as Boone requires riders to wear a helmet or be subject to a $50 fine. So, let’s look at some of the businesses who can handle your cycling needs, whether rentals, repairs or purchases.

Cycle 4 Life

Cycle 4 Life Bicycle shop is located in Banner Elk. We offer new bike sales, used bike sales, bike rentals and a full service repair shop. The business is located between Sugar and Beech Mountains. On the Web at: site.cycle4lifebikeshop. com or call (828) 898-5445.

Magic Cycles

Located on Depot Street in downtown Boone, Magic Cycles carries a wide array of both road and mountain bikes. Magic Cycles also offers bike rentals and a full service shop. Go to www.magiccycles.com for information or call (828) 265-2211.

Boone Bike and Touring

In business for more than 25 years, Boone Bike and Touring is located across from McDonald’s on Highway 321 (Blowing Rock Road) in Boone. Boone Bike also carries an enormous selection of mountain bikes and road bikes as well. Boone Bike and Touring offers a full-service repair shop, as well as bike rentals. Call (828) 262-5750 or go to www.boonebike. com for more information.

Rivergirl Fishing Company

Located in the historic district of Todd, Rivergirl Fishing Company has just updated their selection of bike rentals for 2010. Bike rentals are available for $10 per hour; $25 for a half day; and $35 for a full day of riding pleasure. For more information, or to check on bike availability, call (336) 877-3099 or go to www.rivergirlfishing.com. Now that we have all the cycling equipment needs covered, here’s a look at some of the rides the High Country offers during the summer of 2010.

Bistro Roca’s Monday Ride

This ride meets every Monday at 5:30 p.m. This ride is geared towards two levels of riders: beginners and intermediates. The two levels will roll out together and follow the same route- down Hwy 221 to Holloway Mtn. Road. to the Blue Ridge Parkway North. Beginners will split from the Intermediates where the Pkwy meets Hwy 221/Shull’s Mill Rd. and return to Bistro Roca via the Wonderland Trail neighborhood. Intermediates will continue north on the Pkwy to Green Hill Road, returning to Bistro Roca through downtown Blowing Rock. As daylight increases the intermediate riders will increase the route to include Hwy 221 to Grandfather Mtn. If the weather looks questionable and you want to know if this ride is still going on, call the Bistro Roca (828) 295-4008 or Boone Bike (828) 262-5750. After the ride, feel free to stick around for pizza and a pint or any other tasty dish from the Bistro Roca.

Boone Bike’s Tuesday Night Ride

This group meets at Boone Bike and Touring every Tuesday at 6:00 p.m. “closing time”. This ride is geared

towards experienced riders. The route varies week to week, but typically heads to Blowing Rock via Winkler’s Creek road or Hwy 321. Once in Blowing Rock riders follow the Blue Ridge Parkway or Hwy 221 to Holloway Mtn. Road. When daylight increases, the route will be extended to include the entire “Viaduct Loop”. Riders then return to Boone via Hwy 321 or George Hayes Rd., do a loop around downtown Boone and then head back to Boone Bike. If the weather looks questionable, call Boone Bike (828) 262-5750.

Tuesday East Side Ramblers Ride

Starting on April 6, this group meets at the Food Lion off Hwy 421 every Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. This ride is geared towards all levels of riders. The route varies week to week, but typically covers 25-30 miles on the east side of Watauga County. If the weather looks questionable, call Wayne King at (828) 773-7399.

Magic’s Wednesday Night Ride

This ride will begin on Wednesday, April 7, and meet every Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. This ride regroups at three spots along the route. Departing from Magic Cycles in downtown Boone, the ride leaves Boone via George Hayes Rd., regrouping at the top of the climb. Then follow the Blue Ridge Parkway to Green Hill Road, regrouping at the Green Park Inn. The route then goes through Blowing Rock to Hwy 221, connects onto the Parkway and heads north past the Cone Manor House, and regroups at the Hwy 321 Bridge. After the final regrouping riders then return to Boone via Hwy 321. If the weather looks questionable, call Magic Cycles (828) 265-2211.

Thursday West Side Story Ride

Starting on April 8, this group meets at the Valle Crucis Elementary School right side parking lot every Thursday at 5:30 p.m. This ride is geared towards all levels of riders. The route is an out-and-back to Zionville, approximately 25-30 miles on the west side of Watauga County. If the weather looks questionable, call Wayne King at (828) 773-7399.

Boone Bike’s Saturday Ride

If you’re new to riding on the road, just learning clipless pedals, or have never ridden with a group before, this ride is for you No man or woman will be left behind. Everyone is welcome to join. This ride will begin on Saturday, April 10, and meet every Saturday at 9:00 a.m. at the gravel parking lot at the intersection of Railroad Grade Road and Castle Ford Road in Todd. Even though bridge repair is happening on Railroad Grade Road, riders will be able to do a 10-12 mile flat ride. This year, organizers will be adding the option to do an additional eightmile hilly route at the end of the flat ride for anyone wanting a bit of a challenge. Those of you with experience may join for a chill/recovery ride and share wisdom. For directions or other questions, call Boone Bike (828) 262-5750.



The Mountain Times Summer Guide



The Mountain Times Summer Guide




Back to Nature


Plenty of room to break camp


enry David Thoreau once said, “We now no longer camp as for a night, but have settled down on Earth and forgotten heaven.” Watauga County and the surrounding area offer just the kind of getaway Thoreau was about with its beautiful

talking scenic views and camping spots. But with the abundance of places to camp and ways to do it, for the visitor to these mountains the task can seem overwhelming. To truly experience everything that the Blue Ridge Mountains have to offer, however, it’s best to brave through all the information and spend a few nights under the stars at one of the area’s many great camping spots. Before any camping trip it is of the utmost importance to acquire all the necessary gear and supplies. In Boone there are several locations that provide the opportunity to purchase all the equipment that a family could need to have a great weekend in the wilderness. The Mast General Store, with locations in downtown Boone, Sugar Grove, and Valle Crucis was originally established in 1883 as a general mercantile store, and has since grown into a purveyor of outdoor goods in a family-friendly atmosphere. Their stores carry an extensive selection of cookware, tents,

Rock Climbing:


clothing, and other general supplies that no camper should be without. Footsloggers has locations in downtown Boone and on Main Street in Blowing Rock. They specialize in footwear but also stock a variety of products for outdoor adventures, including hammocks, tents, lighting accessories, GPS systems, and other camping tools. When it comes to choosing a campsite, there are many family-friendly locations that feature all the best outdoor activities that the High Country has to offer. Bear Den Campground is located on the Blue Ridge Parkway at mile marker 324.8 in the Pisgah National Forest. There are no signs indicating the campground’s location because of federal regulations related to the Parkway. Bear Den has hot-water bathrooms, a lake for swimming and fishing, and a large variety of outdoor games. Pets are allowed at Bear Den. Each campsite has water, electricity, and fire pits. Bear Den specializes in a family-friendly camping experience. The Flintlock Campground is a bit more easily accessible, located on Highway 105 in Boone, and boasts all the amenities that the city-slicker camper could need including wireless internet, hot showers, and cable television. The campground is not all designed around bringing the indoors outside, however. Families can enjoy outdoor play areas, a stream that runs through the campground, picnic areas, and the camp store. CONTINUED ON PAGE 13 

From Mountains to Tower

he sport of climbing has grown rapidly in the High Country because of the location and diversity of terrain. There are several popular places to go, including the Blue Ridge Parkway and Linville Falls, which offer a variety of climbing experiences such as bouldering, lead and top-rope climbing. Downtown Boone also features a climbing tower so beginners can hone their skills before tackling the wilderness. A good place for a few hours of fun can be found at Ship Rock along the Parkway. It is located near the Rough Ridge hiking trial, and offers a multitude of climbing routes, some of which are already bolted for sport climbing. Most of the routes are within the moderate 5.8 range, but can range from the more easy 5.5 to the more challenging 5.12. If a longer trip is desired, Linville Gorge and Table Rock offer a wide variety of opportunities to climbing enthusiasts. They do, however, require a lengthy drive. To get there, turn south on Highway 105 towards Linville, and then turn left on Highway 181 south to Gingercake acres. There should be signs directing traffic from that point. Table Rock shares the same parking lot as Linville Gorge, Table Rock to the right and Linville Gorge to the left. From that point, a one to five-mile hike is required to reach a particular destination. At Linville Gorge, climbs range anywhere from a 5.4 to an advanced level 5.12, and are mostly multi-pitched routes. Some of the popular climbing areas include the North Carolina Wall and Shortoff Mountain. Linville Gorge is a protected

wilderness area, so hikers and climbers should be careful not to leave behind any trash or equipment, and respect the natural environment. Table Rock also offers many multi-pitched routes for a variety of skill levels. The views from these routes are often exposed and overlook the beautiful Pisgah Forest. While rock climbing is fun and exhilarating for many, it takes a little investment in equipment. Most climbers buy their equipment, such as harnesses, ropes and shoes over time. For those with little or no experience climbing, Rock Dimensions in Boone offers courses and guided tours of area locations. They provide all the equipment necessary for climbing, as well as the necessary training in climbing techniques, belaying and repelling. Rock Dimensions offers hourly rates on the climbing tower located at Footsloggers in Boone. For those who desire to get out and explore nature, they also offer half and full-day climbing expeditions. The tower-to-rock program provides basic training on the rock wall, and then a guide takes the climber to one of the many locations around Boone where they get real, hands-on experience climbing a rock face. “The half-day trips are great for beginners because it allows them to experience the sport of rock climbing and see if it is something they enjoy without spending a fortune,” says Ryan Beasley, director of Rock Dimensions. Guides take climbers out to Linville Gorge or Table Rock on full-day trips, which include a good amount of hiking and more intense climbs. “The full-day trips are a full package,” said Beasley. Rock Dimensions also rents climbing equipment at daily rates to those who wish to venture out on their own and has group rates for larger-scale trips. There are a few things that all climbers, whether a beginner or expert should remember. Most importantly, one should never climb alone. Traditional climbing is often a twoperson job, with one person climbing while the other belays. It never hurts to have an extra person or a group around in case

of an emergency. Always check the equipment before use. Over time, ropes, harnesses and other gear can become worn, increasing the risk of injury. Be sure to look for indications of wear, such as torn fabric and cracks or bends in metal. Rock climbing is an intensive and exhausting sport, so it is vital to stay hydrated, especially in the warm summer months. Many climbing locations are not close to a good water source, so each person should carry at least one bottle of water. Many climbing rocks are far out in the woods and it is easy to loose track of time or get lost. Be aware of the surroundings at all times, especially if the group leaves marked trails. It is recommended that climbers do not wait until dark to pack up for the day, but instead reserve ample time to get back to their vehicle. Occasionally certain trails and routes may be closed. A listing of all closed trails can be found at www.accessfund. org. Although rock climbing presents an injury risk, as long as the climber remains cautious and aware, the risks can be minimized. It is a sport that many can enjoy, regardless of skill level, both as a duo and in a large group. Most who have experienced climbing have found it to be a fun, challenging and unique way to enjoy nature up close and personal. Anyone who has been to Boone has probably noticed the climbing tower at Footsloggers. Standing at about 40 feet and centrally located, the top of the tower offers a view of beautiful downtown Boone and the surrounding Appalachian Mountains. The tower has over 4000 square feet of varying climbing terrain and offers opportunities for beginners or seasoned veterans. Color coded routes on the slabs, vertical faces, and steep overhangs give climbers a new way to challenge themselves. Climbing the tower at Footsloggers is the ideal introduction to the sport of rock climbing. The “Tower to Rock” program combines a tower experience with climbing out on real rock all in a day. For more information, contact Rock Dimensions at (828) 265-3544 or visit www.rockdimensions.com.


Back to Nature Continued From Page 12 For more information on supplies and campsites visit the Mast General Store at 630 W. King Street in Boone or call (828) 963-6551 or visit Footsloggers at 139 S. Depot Street in Boone or call (828) 262-5111. Bear Den Campground can be reached at www.bear-den. com where reservations can be made online or at (828) 765-2888. Flintlock Campground campsites can also be reserved online at www. flintlockcampground.com or call (828) 9635325.

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

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

New River State Park The placid water of New River offers bass

The Mountain Times Summer Guide

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

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

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

—Michael Gebelein





Riding the Waves: White water in the High Country


ummer sun means it’s time to get wet, and the High Country is full of options for the weekend warrior looking to cool off. White water is all the rage. The higher the water volume, the faster the rapids, and the more intense the experience becomes. With locales like Wilson’s Creek, the French Broad and the Nolichucky easily accessible to Boone, it’s time to get away from the television set and into the river. Just be sure to wear your helmet.

Training on the French Broad “Everybody to the back of the boat, let’s splat,” Lucas said. It’s intimidating terminology, especially if you’re an amateur, especially if you’re a reporter whose white-water experience is minimal at best. Splatting is where rafters pile to the back of the raft and paddle directly toward a rock. The intended effect is a vertical leap, and Lucas is right, it’s a rush.

“This is our only opportunity to do stuff like this,” Chris said, after the raft slid menacingly upwards, then came to a graceful drift after a swell of white water. “Yeah,” Willy yelled. He wasn’t alone. A guttural sound of excitement echos from each passenger. They just can’t help it. It’s that kind of rush. In June and July, each raft will be full of tourists, and the kids, because that’s what they seem like at first glance, won’t get the opportunity to experiment with the boats. They will be too busy guiding tourists down the level 3 and 4 rapids of the French Broad River. Chris, Lucas and Willy are raft guides with River and Earth Adventures, and the Mountain Times got an exclusive behind-thescenes look at what “river people” do while preparing for the busy season. “It’s the best job. Why would we want to do anything else?” guide Lindy said. She’s right. With warm rays of sunshine complemented by splashes of cool water and scenery straight out of a Mark Twain novel, why wait tables when the river could be your summer job? CONTINUED ON PAGE 15 


Riding the Waves Continued From Page 14

Most of the guides are college kids (outdoor programming majors), but once you spend time with them, there’s nothing “kid-like” about them. They take what they do seriously and, while humor is a vital part of the routine, they’re extremely professional, especially when it comes to safety. Rehearsing safety talks is part of their training. “The T-grip is the most dangerous thing you’ll see on the river,” Chris said, going over his “safety talk.” Each paddle has a T-grip and if you’re not holding it during a rapid, you might lose control and clock someone in the face. “That’s what we call summer teeth. Some are there, some are there, and if you’re lucky, some are still dangling,” Lucas joked. Each customer is given a full safety talk and is advised of the risks, and more importantly, told how to avoid accidents. “Never stand up,” Willy said. Instead, if you ever find yourself outside of a raft, keep your feet up. If you stand, rocks can trap your feet as the current pushes your head into the water. “And that creates a low oxygen environment,” Lucas advised. While the goal, ultimately, is to stay in the raft, a swim or two won’t ruin your trip. A throw rope can easily get you out of the water and back in the boat. During training, it’s something they implement frequently. “Flipping the boat is fun,” Lindy said. While it’s not something they’ll likely do while you’re on the river, it’s all part of the training. As passengers paddle and create momentum, the guide sits at the back of the boat and steers by pulling and pushing the paddle horizontally. “You’ve got to be loud,” Chris said.

The Mountain Times Summer Guide A guide must instruct passengers as to when to paddle forward, backwards, and when to stop and let the current take over. It’s harder than it looks. Pulling the paddle to push the boat requires strength and a good eye for reading the water. It all comes down to practice, and guides get a lot of it before leading you into their rafts. The Forest Service requires the raft guides to train a minimum of seven times on the French Broad River, but River and Earth Adventures’ owner Grant Seldomridge said it depends on the guide. Seldomridge said what sets River and Earth apart is the eco-education guides receive, allowing them to engage rafters in the environment. With guides as passionate as Chris and Lindy, it’s impossible not to feel the addictive pull of the river.

A day trip on the Nolichucky Meet Patrick Mannion. As Jeff Stanley at Wahoo’s Adventures will tell you, he’s a “character.” “The name of the game is staying in the boat,” Mannion said, and it’s a game he usually wins. “But sometimes people just want to swim,” he said. On beautiful days like this, you’ll find him on the Nolichucky, guiding tourists through level 2, 3 and 4 rapids on rubber rafts. While white water may seem intimidating, the rocks aren’t nearly as sharp as Mannion’s wit. “If it’s your first time, don’t feel alone. It’s my first time, too,” he joked, even though in actuality, Mannion has more than 10 years of guide experience. He calls helmets “brain buckets” and paddles “participation sticks,” but intertwined with the humor is an intriguing mesh of CONTINUED ON PAGE 18 






The Mountain Times Summer Guide




The Mountain Times Summer Guide

Riding the Waves Continued From Page 15

professionalism and trivia. He can tell you exactly what movies were filmed in Eastern Tennessee and the name of the bird flying overhead (osprey). His stories range from that time he panned out on the level 5+ rapids of the Gauley River to his experiences with the “natives” in Erwin, Tenn. No matter what comes out of Mannion’s mouth, however, it’s sure to be entertaining, and that’s part of the Nolichucky experience. “River people are a different breed,” he said. Different or not, he gets all kinds of invitations from customers, thanks to his addictive attitude. Florida couple Dee and Randy Jones told Mannion he has a place to stay in West Palm. “How do you know a river guide is house sitting for you? You come home to find a hairy bearded guy in your house,” Mannion joked. He fine tunes his humor toward his particular audience, and he’s good at reading people. Even his fellow guides can’t get enough of Mannion. “I know he’s quiet, but don’t worry, he’ll open up,” guide John Sheffield joked. Couple the humor with the excitement of the river, and you have a full day’s experience, one that attracts tourists from all over. It was Dee Jones’ first time on the river, and she’d do it again. “I was a little scared at first, but after the first little rapid, you’re good,” she said. With menacing names like “Jaws” and “Rollercoaster Rapid,” the rapids seem intimidating. The determined way Mannion cuts through the river, however, puts anyone at ease. The journey and the picnic lunch (complete with Mannion and Sheffield decked in aprons and water-proof “chef’s hats”) make the guide a part of the family, at least for the


Small family trips like this are Wahoo’s specialty, owner Jeff Stanley said. “We specialize in families,” he said. The first river guide service in the area, Wahoo’s boasts about more than the “character” of its guides and the cheap prices. It brags about a history of safety. “The only real injury we’ve had is a skinned knee,” Stanley said, and that didn’t even happen on the river. While Jeff and Mannion are used to showing rafters a good time, occasionally a tourist will take it to the next level. Take Dee Jones’ son, Justin Figueroa, for example. Currently in the hospitality business near Melborne, Fla., his experience on the water helped him make an important decision on where to go to college. “I’m definitely moving here,” he said. As for the Nolichucky? “I’ll definitely be back,” he said.

Adventure companies also offer hiking, rock climbing, caving, kayaking, canoeing and tubing trips. Call individual companies for seasonal rates. — Lauren K. Ohnesorge Edge of the World: www.edgeoworld.com; 1-800-789-3343. River and Earth Adventures: www.raftcavehike.com; 828-963-5491. Wahoo’s Adventures: www.wahoosadventures.com; 1-800-444-Raft.

The Mountain Times Summer Guide


On the RUN


A Rash of Road Races

ummer’s here with warmer temps abound, and the time to lace up those sneakers and head off for a run is now here. The High Country offers a plethora of running and racing possibilities, and with that in mind, let’s take a look at some of these chances an avid runner has to put foot to pavement. The Greenway Trail in Boone is home to many races, and the Greenway Trail will be the site for the 3rd Annual Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America 5K Run, which will be held on June 12. A short drive down Highway 105 will take you to the Cubby Bear 5K, which will be held on May 15 at Camp Yonahnoka at Eseeola Lodge in Linville. Registration begins at 7 a.m., with the race beginning at 8 a.m. The registration fee of $25, in advance, or $30 for the day of the race includes a free T-shirt. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Cannon Memorial Hospital’s Habitat for Humanity House Fund. To register online, visit https://www.apprhs.org/cubby-bear-5k to download the registration form. You may also visit the site to submit your payment for the Cubby Bear 5K. For more information, contact Sallie Woodring at (828) 737-7538 or email to swoodring@apprhs.org. The High Country Kids’ Triathlon takes place on June 5 at the Watauga Parks and Recreation Complex in Boone. The race begins at 10 a.m., with registration beginning at 9 a.m. The fee for the event is $20 before May 22, and $25 after

that date. Proceeds from the triathlon will go to Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child. All participants will receive T-shirts from Samaritan’ Purse, and in addition, will receive a goody bag. If you are up for a grueling challenge, then July 8 is your day as The Bear takes to the roads of Grandfather Mountain. The Bear features a five-mile course which takes runners to the top of Grandfather Mountain, finishing at the entrance to the Mile High Swinging Bridge. Next up is the Boone Runners’ Club Grandfather Mountain Marathon. The marathon, which will take place on July 10, begins at Kidd Brewer Stadium on the Appalachian State University campus at 7 a.m. Beginning at an elevation of 3,333 feet, the route climbs to 4,279 feet where it ends on Grandfather Mountain in Linville. The race will be run primarily on asphalt, with three miles of the course run on gravel. The marathon ends at McRae Meadows during the Highland Games. We end our summer tour of running events with the Run for the Red Marathon and Half Marathon, which will be held on Sept. 18 at the Valle Crucis School in Valle Crucis. The marathon begins at 7 a.m., with the half marathon starting at 7:30 a.m. The event supports the Watauga County Chapter of the American Red Cross. For registration information, go to www.wataugaredcross.com. — Mark Mitchell




Off the Path


A Mountain Biking Guide


ajestic mountains, green grass and winding water formations await the avid mountain biker in the High Country during the summer season. With summer here, let’s take a look at some of the options a mountain biker has in the area.

Sugar Mountain

Sugar Mountain Resort’s summer season www.skisugar.com/summer begins on May 1 with the opening of the area’s hiking and biking trails and concludes on Oct. 10 following the 20th Annual Oktoberfest celebration www. skisugar.com/oktoberfest. Miles of hiking and biking trails intertwine throughout the Village of Sugar Mountain and are accessible from many points throughout the Village of Sugar Mountain and Sugar Mountain Resort. Daily trail access is free of charge Photos by Rob Moore from May through October from dawn until dusk. Trail maps are available online www.skisugar.com/liftrides in a mailbox located at the base of Sugar Mountain’s Flying Mile slope or when purchasing a lift ride ticket at the bottom station of the Summit #2/Gray lift. Trails are constantly being maintained and do change as a result

of weather and other variables. While riding a bike within the Village limits, helmets are required.

Boone’s 18-Mile Ride Some mountain bikers disdain gravel road trips, preferring singletrack or nothing. However, even the staunchest singletracker may be persuaded that some gravel roads must be ridden. The ride begins on the northern end in a small community near Maple Grove Church. There are some dogs living nearby who seem to enjoy chasing bikers, and for that reason, you may want to move farther on before parking and beginning the series of long, winding switchbacks. This ride is typically arranged with a shuttle; however, it can just as easily be ridden as an out-and-back with half done form on trailhead, and the other half done from the opposite trailhead -- on different days, of course. Spectacular views to the northeast and southeast, the Johns River valley, plus mountains, mountains everywhere.

Blowing Rock’s Benson Hollow This 5.5-mile loop inside Boone Fork Recreation Area can be pieced together with some trails that bisect the main loop. The doubletrack portion of the loop (about three and a half miles) has at least two other sections of singletrack. Stronger riders

may combine Buckeye Trail for a figure-eight ride. Scenery: A circumnavigation of the bowl of Benson Hollow, with an exceptional display of creeping cedar.

Blowing Rock’s Buckeye Trail

Buckeye was built with the whole family in mind. Elevation is gained slowly for the most part. Long, slow switchbacks follow the contours of a mature forest of oaks, hemlocks, and maples shading dark green areas of laurel and rhododendron. Scenery: Boone Fork Recreation Area, creek crossings, and open views on Benson Hollow and Hays Knob.

Rocky Knob Biking Trail System

Opening late-summer 2010 The mountain bike system will include a stacked loop design in which trails become more challenging with each successive trail loop. The first trail, approximately 1.5 – 2.5 miles, will accommodate all levels of cyclists. The moderate and advanced loops will be accessible farther from the parking area. Finally, a downhill trail can be accessed near the top of the knob. We hope to construct 10–12 miles of trail at Rocky Knob. Hikers will also be accommodated at Rocky Knob through dual use trail design techniques that allow for hiking and biking users to safely share trails. —Mark Mitchell



Minus Snow


Ski Slopes offer summer fun


hough the snow is long gone, some area ski resorts have non-winter offerings for family fun. Sugar Mountain Resort’s summer season begins Friday, May 1st with the opening of the areas hiking and biking trails and concludes on Sunday, Oct. 10 following the 20th Annual Oktoberfest celebration. Miles of hiking and biking trails intertwine throughout the Village of Sugar Mountain and are accessible from many points throughout the Village of Sugar Mountain and Sugar Mountain Resort. Daily trail access is free of charge from dawn until dusk. Trail maps are available in a mailbox located at the base of Sugar Mountain’s Flying Mile slope or when purchasing a lift ride ticket at the bottom station of the Summit #2/Gray lift. Trails are constantly being maintained and do change as a result of weather and other variables. While riding a bike within the Village limits, helmets are required. Scenic chairlift rides to Sugar’s 5,300 foot peak begin Friday, July 2 and end Monday, Sept. 6. Scenic chairlift rides operate every Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. Bring the whole family, a picnic lunch, your mountain bike, a friend and enjoy a breathtaking 45 minute roundtrip lift-ride. For mountain bikers, special hooks mounted on the back of the Summit #2/Gray lift-chairs carry bikes to the top of Sugar Mountain. Lift ticket prices are $12 for a one-time round trip ride and $25 for an all-day ticket. Kids 4 and under ride free with a ticketed adult. Groups of 20 or more may purchase onetime ride tickets for $6. Advanced reservations are required for group rates. Call (828) 898-4521 x 261 for group reservations. For additional information, visit www.skisugar.com. Hawksnest Resort in Seven Devils has Zip Line rides

Photo by Rob Moore

that go year-round. Daily tours start 10 a.m., 12 noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. The resort claims the longest Zip Line course on the East Coast, with more than 1.5 miles of cable riding. The 10 different cables take you through the trees and over creeks and even over snow tubers during the winter months. The Zip Line course is set in the middle of some of the best views in the High Country. Children must be 5 years old to ride. The riding harness will accommodate a 40- inch waist with a maximum weight of 250 lbs. Remember to wear shoes which strap to your feet and

are good for walking in the woods. Call ahead for reservations, as some sessions will sell out. Posted summer rates are $75 for a 10-cable tour, which takes from 90 to 120 minutes to complete. Single Zip Line tours aren’t available, so groups must have two or more people. Active military personnel get a $5 discount. To make reservations or learn more, visit www. hawksnest-resort.com or call (828) 963-6561.

—Scott Nicholson


The Mountain Times Summer Guide

Casting a Line B

oone and the surrounding areas are known to be home to some of the best fly fishing in the country. Watauga County is home to several rivers and creeks that are hatchery-supported, in addition to several wild trout rivers. For the amateur outdoorsman there are several local companies that specialize in guided tours of the local waters. The Foscoe Fishing Company was formed in the mid-1980’s as the High Country Fly Fishing Company and was a licensed Orvis dealer. At their newest location on the Watauga River in Foscoe the guides are able to take visitors on tours of the pristine waters while also providing all the necessary gear and classes on-site. The Foscoe Fishing Company offers half-day and full-day local wade trips in the area surrounding the shop. Fishermen can also take private water wade trips where more advanced anglers have the opportunity to catch trophy trout and smallmouth bass trips on the New River, Holston Proper, and the Nolichucky River. Appalachian Angler, located on Old Shull’s Mill Road just outside of Boone specializes in some of the best catch and release fly fishing in Watauga County. Appalachian Angler’s guides fish using single “barbless” books on the South Holston and Watauga


Fishing the HighCountry

Rivers. The company was founded on the premise that it is the angler’s responsibility to preserve the natural qualities of the fishery which is why the company practices catch and release and uses the tackle that they do. Appalachian Angler offers guided tours of the Nolichucky, Watauga, and Holston Rivers including day wade and floating trips, overnight trips, and a five-mile floating trophy section. The company also features a full-service fly shop where guides can offer advice on the best new gear, and offer maps of the area and a large collection of flies. The Watauga River, one of the most popular in western N.C. for fishermen, has its headwaters on Grandfather Mountain and runs for 60 miles. In it, anglers can catch rainbow trout, brown trout, brook trout, and striped bass. The Watauga River houses around 5,000 trout per mile. There are several tips that both experienced anglers and the amateur fisherman should remember during their trips on the river. Before touching a fish the angler should always wash his hands, to avoid removing the mucous coating on the fishes’ scales that protects them from disease and infection. If at all possible the angler should avoid removing the fish from the water, and should instead try to remove the hook with a set of needle-nose pliers while the fish is still under water. Fishermen

should also not wear bright colors of talk too loudly, as they may scare the fish away and generally annoy other anglers. It is also a good idea to wear appropriate clothing for protection from the sun, including sunscreen and a hat. For more information contact either the Foscoe Fishing Company at (828) 963-6556 or Appalachian Angler at (828) 963-5050. For advice on what streams are in the area consult a local map or contact the Boone Chamber of Commerce at (828) 264-2225.

Tee Off!




A Guide to Local Courses

Boone Golf Club, Boone May 28 through September 6 Monday-Thursday a.m.: $56, includes cart. Friday-Sunday, Holidays a.m.: $59, includes cart. Sunday-Thursday p.m.: $49, includes cart Friday-Saturday, Holidays p.m.: $59, includes cart After 4 p.m.-seven days: $40, includes cart After 5:30 p.m.-seven days: $28.50, includes cart (828) 264-8760

Red Tail Mountain, Mountain City, Tenn. Monday-Thursday: $45, includes cart. Friday: $50, includes cart Weekends and holidays: $55includes cart. Specials: Monday - Ladies Day $38 includes cart. Tuesday - Senior’s Day (Ages 55 and older) $38 includes cart. Wednesday – Men’s Day $38 includes cart. All Days – After 2:00 p.m. - $38 includes cart (423) 727-7931 10-round pass-Valid all seven days-$400

Jefferson Landing Club, Jefferson Guests accompanied by member Monday-Thursday: $55 Friday-Sunday: $75 Unaccompanied guests Monday-Thursday: $75 Friday-Sunday: $95 (336) 982-7767

Mountain Aire Golf Club, West Jefferson May15-June 25 Weekdays before 1 p.m.: $37

Weekdays after 1 p.m.: $32 Weekends before 2 p.m.: $47 Weekends after 2 p.m.: $41 June 26-September 20 Weekdays before 1 p.m.: $39 Weekdays after 1 p.m.: $34 Weekends, before 2 p.m.: $49 Weekends, after 2 p.m.: $43 (336) 877-4716

Mountain Glen Golf Club, Newland Present-Sept. 15 Monday-Thursday: $55.25, includes cart Friday-Sunday: $60.25, includes cart After 4 p.m.: $30, includes cart (828) 733-5804

Sugar Mountain Golf Course, Banner Elk Present-September 12 18 holes, $40, includes cart 9 holes, $23, includes cart Walking Special – 18 holes after 4 p.m., $14 September 13-end of season 18 holes, $32, includes cart 9 holes, $20, includes cart Walking Special – 18 holes after 3 p.m., $14 (828) 898-6464

Willow Creek Golf Course, Boone – 9 holes Par 3 executive golf course Walk 9 holes: $10 Walk 18 holes: $15 Ride 9 holes: $16 Ride 18 holes: $24 (828) 963-6865

Mountaineer Golf Center, Driving Range, Boone 40-ball bucket: $5 75-ball bucket: $7 110-ball bucket: $9 Ball counts are approximate. Lessons-$60 per hourPackages available (828) 264-6830


The Mountain Times Summer Guide



The Mountain Times Summer Guide





it as a natural area. An old road that leads to the summit of Elk Knob is steep, rocky, and has a high rate of difficulty for hiking. A less steep and easier to ascend hiking trail is under construction with the help of volunteers. The strenuous hike generally takes about 45 minutes, though the trek back down can be done in almost half the time. Upon reaching the summit hikers are can view Mount Jefferson, Grandfather Mountain, Mount Mitchell, and various peaks in Tennessee and Virginia. The park is located on Meat Camp Road, off of N.C. 194 about nine miles north of Boone. The Bear Paw State Natural Area in Valle Crucis was established with an initial land acquisition of about 350 acres through the High Country Conservancy. It is located just north of Grandfather Mountain and the town of Seven Devils. The a r e a ’s name comes from the Cherokee yonahwayah, or bear’s paw. It is accessible via Dutch Creek Road in Valle Crucis, and it is not yet developed for hiking. However, it is public property available for “raw” hiking on old road beds, with a wilderness flavor and steep terrain for a true back-to-nature experience. The site is of national ecological importance and includes Hanging Rock Ridge, Four Diamond Ridge and the headwaters of Dutch Creek. Also, the site contains an outstanding example of a rare high-elevation, rocky summit supporting nine rare species, including the federally endangered Virginia big-eared bat. Trails located along the Blue Ridge Parkway offer hikers just about any level of trekking their hearts might desire. Some of the trails are long and challenging, others are short loops leading to waterfalls or scenic vistas. For more information, phone (828) 295-7591 or (828) 295-3782. • DOUGHTON PARK TRAILS: Doughton Park, located in Ashe County near Laurel Springs, has over 30 miles of hiking trails ranging from modest strolls to day-long outings. Some examples include: Bluff Mountain Trail: 7.5 miles, moderate; Cedar Ridge Trail: 4.4 miles, strenuous; Grassy Gap Fire Road: 6.5 miles, easy (horses allowed); Basin Creek Trail: 6.6 miles, moderate; Fodder Stack Trail: 2 miles, moderate. Milepost 241. Call (336) 372-8568 for trail maps. • THE CASCADES TRAIL: One of the Blue Ridge Parkway’s most scenic trails—and one of its easiest—this 0.5 mile turn-around leads to the scenic Cascades waterfalls. It begins at the Cascades parking lot, about three miles north of Deep Gap, Milepost 271.9 • MOSES CONE CARRIAGE TRAILS: Easy to moderate. The Moses Cone Park includes 25 miles of gently sloping carriage trails of varying lengths, available to hikers, joggers, horseback riders and cross-country skiers. Most trails begin near the Moses Cone Manor, Milepost 294.0 • GREEN KNOB TRAIL: Starting at Sims Pond (Milepost 295), this moderate 2.4 mile trail winds along a stream through rhododendron forest, then changes scenery to climb up along a ridgeline. • BOONE FORK TRAIL: A moderate/strenuous loop leading through deep woods and along a cascading river of 4.9 miles in length. The trailhead is located in the Price Park Picnic Area, Milepost 296.5

Take a Hike! A Regional Trail Guide

igh Country hiking got a big boost through recent state acquisitions in the region, with the crown jewel being Grandfather Mountain as the newest state park. With the state now operating Grandfather, the access is now free from the many off-peak trailheads, where formerly a fee was required. Grandfather Mountain State Park backcountry trails are open; however, there are still many trees down from winter ice storms. Use caution when hiking the trails, keeping in mind that there may be overhead hazards from hanging tree limbs as well as hazards on the trail. Dress appropriately for the weather and complete a free permit which is available at the trailhead of the Profile Trail and on the Tanawha Trail just past Boone Fork. Grandfather Mountain has 11 trails varying in difficulty from a gentle walk in the woods to a rigorous trek across rugged peaks. It is in the back country of Grandfather Mountain State Park that you come up against the more challenging hikes. Grandfather has a number of gentle paths that can be accessed from the summit road. Designed to offer a lowimpact foray into nature, these paths allow guests to get out in the woods without requiring a long and strenuous commitment. Access from the theme-park attraction requires admission payment for the park, which is still privately managed. The back country also offers an aerobic experience that involves more than just leg muscles. Many of the trails use ladders and cables to climb sheer cliff faces. Grandfather is home to 16 distinct natural communities or ecosystems and is home to 73 rare or endangered species, including 32 that are globally imperiled. If hiking from the park, return to your vehicle at least one hour before closing time. If, in an emergency, you leave your car on the mountain, call 733-2800 (Top Shop), 733-4337 (Gate) or 733-1059 ( Nature Museum) as soon as possible to notify Grandfather Mountain staff. Guests wishing only to hike can access Grandfather Mountain State Park from one of the two off-mountain trailheads located either on US 221 or NC 105. A trail map will be supplied when register for a free permit. If you park at an off-mountain trailhead, plan on hiking back to your car Grandfather Mountain is not able to provide rides to or from trailheads. Another newer state park addition, Elk Knob soars 5,500 feet and overlooks Long Hope Valley, containing many important headwaters of the New River. The summit supports a species of stunted dwarf beech trees, a treat for hikers who can brave the trek to the mountaintop on the logging road. The trail will eventually be planned with a series of switchbacks to lessen the grade of the hike. The Nature Conservancy has been able to secure about 6,600 acres in the 12 mountains comprising the amphibolite chain. Elk Knob is home to ravens, black bears and bobcats, and is a seasonal stopover for a number of migrating songbirds. Recreational opportunities are limited since the facilities at the park have not yet been fully built, and will remain somewhat limited since one of the goals of the park is to maintain


• PRICE LAKE TRAIL: An easy trail leading around scenic Price Lake for 2.7 miles. Trailhead is at Price Lake parking area, Milepost 297.0. • TANAWHA TRAIL: This trail, 13 miles in length, can be started at either the Price Park Campground, in Blowing Rock, or at the Linn Cove Viaduct’s parking lot, at Grandfather Mountain (Milepost 305.5). From north to south, it’s a bit of a climb but more moderate from south to north. • LINN COVE VIADUCT ACCESS TRAIL: The worldfamous Linn Cove Viaduct, an engineering masterpiece, can best be seen from this trail, which begins at the Linn Cove Visitor CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE 


Take a Hike Continued From Page 26

Center, Milepost 304.4. The trail actually travels underneath the bridge, giving hikers an unparalleled view of this unique construction project. The trail is handicapped accessible for part of the way, and is a relatively easy stroll, but does link up with other challenging trails. • Beacon Heights: A short hike gives you access to great views of Grandfather, the Linville Falls area, Hawksbill, and Table Rock. A nice place to hang out in the sun. Milepost 305.2 • Linville Falls Trails: Several trails begin at the Linville Falls Visitor Center, in Linville Falls. All less than a mile in length, some lead to the top of the falls while two lead to the bottom of Linville Falls. All are recommended, although the lower falls trails can be a bit strenuous. Milepost 316.4 • Linville River Bridge Trail: This very short trail takes you down to the Linville River underneath one of the oldest old arched stone bridges on the Parkway. Picnic tables, restrooms, and water are all available. Going North on the Parkway, take a left towards the Linville picnic area and another left just before entering the picnic area. Milepost 316.5 • Chestoa View Loop Trail: A little over a half a mile long, this trail gives you a great view of Table Rock. Milepost 320.8 • Crabtree Falls Trail: A strenuous 2.6 mile loop which leads to both the bottom and top of Crabtree Falls. This trail begins and ends in the Crabtree Falls Campground’s parking area, near Little Switzerland, Milepost 339.5 • Other Trails: Several small trails of varying difficulty dot the Parkway south past the Linn Cove Viaduct. For a listing of mileposts and trail lengths, call the Gillespie Gap ranger office at (828) 765-6082.

Grandfather Mountain Side Trails

The Mountain Times Summer Guide


• The Bridge Trail: Grandfather’s newest trail begins at the Black Rock Parking Area and meanders through forested areas, eventually traveling underneath the Mile High Swinging Bridge. An easy 30 minute walk. • Black Rock Nature Trail: This self-guided nature trail begins in the parking lot just below Grandfather’s Swinging Bridge and is good for beginning hikers. It’s a 1.0 mile turn-around through the forests of this majestic mountain. Offers an excellent view.

Ascends 2,000 feet in just 2.6 miles (allow 4.5 hours for round trip). Recommended access is from the Boone Fork Parking Area via the Tanawha Trail. Strenuous and steep trail to Calloway Peak, the highest point in the Blue Ridge. • Nuwati Trail: 1.2 miles, easy but rocky. Located 0.4 miles on Tanawha Trail from Boone Fork Parking Area. • Cragway Trail: Rocky and strenuous trail that links Nuwati and Daniel Boone Scout Trails. 1.0 mile. • Asutsi Trail: 0.4 mile. An easy connecting trail from Hwy 221 at Serenity Farm to Boone Fork Footbridge. Provides winter access to the East Side Trails.

Crest Trails • Grandfather Trail: This is the big one! It begins at Grandfather Mountain’s Mile High Swinging Bridge and eventually hits all of Grandfather’s three highest peaks. This 2.4 mile trail requires approximately 5 hours of hiking time to travel the entire length. It’s extremely rugged, with only wooden ladders making some sheer cliff faces accessible. It intersects with several other trails at its northern terminus. • Underwood Trail: 0.5 mile bypass around McRae Peak that lets hikers avoid ladders and/or severe weather on the peak. Strenuous and rocky.

West Side Trails

• Profile Trail: 2.7 miles. The lower part of the trail is an easy out-and-back leg stretcher, but the upper section is fairly strenuous. Links with Calloway Trail. The trailhead is located near the Shoppes of Tynecastle on Highway 105 in Banner Elk. • Calloway Trail: 0.3 mile strenuous trail that links the Profile Trail (at Shanty Spring) and the Grandfather Trail (at Calloway Gap) • Bottom-to-Top Linked Trail Outing: Profile Trail (2.7 miles) to Calloway Trail (0.3 mile) to Grandfather Trail (2.4 miles) Very strenuous – an all day outing for serious hikers only.

East Side Trails • Daniel Boone Scout Trail: Strenuous.

Linville Gorge Trails

The Linville Gorge Wilderness is one of the most remote, rugged wilderness areas in the entire Eastern United States. Trails are marked at the trailhead, but are not signed or blazed once inside the wilderness. Make sure you know how to read a topographical map and use a compass. Some trails include crossings of the Linville River-exercise extreme caution when crossing moving water. Hikers, campers, and rock climbers get lost within this wilderness area annually, and deaths are not uncommon. Contact the U.S. Forest Service office in Marion for maps, permits, information on other trails, and safety details. Permits are required for overnight outings. For more information, phone (828) 652-2144. • Linville Gorge Trail: 11.5 miles ranging from easy to strenuous, well-marked to poorly maintained. Not for beginners! Take your compass and topo map and enjoy riverside hiking through virgin forest in the bottom of the gorge. • Sandy Flats Trail: A strenuous trail on the west rim of the Linville Gorge. 1.3 mile in length and rather poorly maintained – be careful! • Babel Tower Trail: Located on the west rim, this trail has an elevation change of 1,000 feet within 1.3 miles. • Cabin Trail: A strenuous 1-mile descent starting at Forest Service Road 1238. Poorly marked and maintained, so CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE 




The Mountain Times Summer Guide


Highland Games! Take a Hike

Thousands will don kilts and gather their Scottish clans at the foot of Grandfather Mountain for the 55th Grandfather Mountain Highland Games July 8-11 at MacRae Meadows near Linville. The Grandfather Highland Games were started in 1956. Since then, they have become one of the most popular and colorful events in the nation. Across one of the entrance gates is a banner, proclaiming Fàilte gu Beinn Seanair (“Welcome to Grandfather Mountain”) in the Gaelic language, which was spoken by Highland immigrants and their descendants in North Carolina up to the First World War. One of the finest of Gaelic poets, John MacRae or Iain MacMhurchaidh, lived in North Carolina, as did Scotland’s great heroine, Flora MacDonald. Because founder Donald MacDonald modelled the Games after the Royal Braemar Gathering, which he attended in 1954, Grandfather is often referred to as “America’s Braemar”. The Games are held beside and within a 440 yard oval track, because running foot-races was always the most traditional aspect of Highland Games. Sadly, Grandfather is one of the few Games in the U.S. to have its own track. Other “children” of the Grandfather Games concentrate on the so-called “Heavy” Events, with no foot-races involved. The site of the GMHG is MacRae Meadows, high on the slopes of mile-high Grandfather Mountain. The setting closely resembles Kintail in Scotland’s Wester Ross. The rugged terrain, the wild-flowers and even the weather are all similar. Rhododendrons and mountain ash (rowan trees) grow in profusion, the Allegheny sand myrtle is a member of the heather family, thistles bloom in August and occasional “scotch mists” swirl through the gaps and around the mountain tops. Over the years, additional events have included Scottish country dancing, a concert of ceòl mór (the classical music of the bagpipe), a Sunday “Kirkin” of the Tartans” and a Parade of Tartans, plus contests in drumming, in fiddling and in playing both the clàrsach and the Lochaber trump (Scotland’s name for the jawharp). Grandfather was the first Games in America to stage “Tossing the Sheaf” and a gruelling hill-race called “The Bear” was begun in 1995 in addition to the Mountain Marathon. Perhaps the most authentically Highland event, however, takes place on Saturdays and Sundays inside the Gàidhlig Céilidh Tent. Persons keen to know how their ancestors spoke and the music which they enjoyed should come along and join in group singing of Gaelic songs and some quick, free, basic lessons in the Gaelic language. An NC Provincial Mòd (i.e. competitions in Gaelic solo singing) is a feature on Saturday afternoon. Grandfather Mountain Highland Games Inc. is a charitable organization. Proceeds are used to support the Games and an annual scholarship fund, which at one time awarded scholarships to graduate students wishing to study in Scotland but now helps local students further their education in this country. Special Notes for 2010: No Golf Tournament, Friday Ceilidh, Saturday Ceilidh, Piping Concert, or Alex Beaton Concert This Year.


Thursday, July 8th

Picnic, Torchlight Ceremony & Sheep Herding 4:30 PM Picnic Food concessions are available at MacRae Meadows or you can bring your own. Scottish Entertainment
Traditional Celtic Music. Performers to be announced Sheep Herding: Sheep Herding with Border Collies on the field. 7 PM The Bear: Assault on Grandfather; This five-mile footrace climbs 1,568 feet in elevation from the town of Linville to the summit of Grandfather mountain. Over 800 runners will start up the Old Yonahlossee

Road from Linville at 7 PM, circle the Highland Games track around 7:15, and head up the Grandfather Mountain summit road.

More Sheep Herding Torchlight Ceremony:
Opening ceremony announcing each participating Clan’s arrival to the Games

Friday, July 9th

8 AM The Grizzly Bike Race

9 AM MacRae Meadows Opens: Preliminary athletic competition, sheep herding, music/dancing exhibitions. Celtic Groves will be open and other activities will highlight the day. Opening Ceremonies

Highland Wrestling Clinic for children

Children’s Tent and Field Activities Harp Workshop

Sheep Herding History & Genealogy Studies at Clan Tents Highland Dancing Pre-Championship Lochaber Trump Competition in the Harp and Fiddling Tent 3:00 PM Day events completed, preparation begins for Celtic Jam Grandfather Mountain Highland Games Presents:
7 - 11 PM Celtic Music Jam Concert tracing the evolution of Celtic Music from the ancient to the contemporary at MacRae Meadows. Grandfather Mountain Highland Games presents
8:00 PM - 12 AM Scottish Country Dance Gala
Williams Gymnasium at Lees-McRae College. $25 dancers / $10 spectators. (Tickets sold only at the door).

Saturday, July 10th

7:00 AM Mountain Marathon begins in Boone, NC. Runners will arrive at Games track around 9:30 AM. Among the most strenuous marathons in the nation. 7:30 AM MacRae Meadows Opens Amateur Heavy Athletic Qualifying Begins Competition begins for Highland Dancing Atlantic International Championship, piping, drumming, Scottish athletic events, track & field events, Scottish country dancing, Scottish fiddling, and Scottish harp. Children’s Highland Wrestling Competition Sheep Herding Massed Bands on track Opening Ceremonies History & Genealogy Studies at Clan Tents Children’s Tent Activities Celtic Grove Music Highland Wrestling Harp Competitions Pre-Premier Highland Dance Competition NC Provincial Gaelic Mod

Scottish Fiddling Workshop & Jam Session 7:00 PM Celtic Rock Concert at MacRae Meadows. $15 Adults / $5 Children age 5-12

Sunday, July 11th

8:00 AM MacRae Meadows Opens Scottish Heavy Athletic Demonstration and Clinic Prelude Music for Worship Service Begins 9:00 AM Scottish Worship Service Outside main gate, bring a folding chair. Includes Kirkin’ of the Tartans. Children’s Border Collie Demonstration on the main field.

Celtic Grove 
Entertainment Begins

Parade of Tartans Guests of Honor & Distinguished Guests are introduced as all members of the sponsoring clans are invited to march in the parade behind the massed pipe bands. Scottish Fiddling Competition

Atlantic International Highland Dance Championship Competition Competition takes place throughout the day for Scottish athletic events, sheep herding, kilted miles, children’s events, Scottish country dancing, Scottish harps, Clan Tugs-of-War. Celtic Grove entertainment continues. History & Genealogy Studies at Clan Tents Sheep Herding Demonstration

4:00 PM Closing Ceremonies

On the Web: www.gmhg.org

Continued From Page 27

take your map and compass and exercise extra caution. • Cambric Branch Trail: Accessed from Shortoff Mountain Trail, this 1.2 mile trail descends along a ridgeline into the gorge. Your strenuous exercise is rewarded with good views. • Conley Cove: This is a popular trail thanks to its more gradual descent into the gorge. It accesses Rock Jock Trail on the way to the gorge floor. A moderate 1.3 mile hike with good views along the way. • Bynum Bluff Trail: One mile long, this west rim trail starts out easy but becomes strenuous. A short spur from the main trail leads to great views of the river and gorge. • Devil’s Hole Trail: This strenuous 1.5 mile trail descends into the gorge and connects with the Linville Gorge Trail. Be careful crossing the river! • East Rim Trails: Included are Devil’s Hole Trail (1.5 miles); Jonas Ridge Trail (4.4 mile roundtrip); Table Rock Gap Trail (1.6 miles). These and many other Linville Gorge trails interconnect to make trips of varying length. • Pinch In Trail: The southernmost access trail into the wilderness area, this very steep and rocky trail is a strenuous 1.4 miles that affords good views. • Spence Ridge Trail: A moderate 1.7 mile descent from the east rim to the gorge floor, this is a well-used access point to the area. Cross the river to connect to the Linville Gorge Trail. • Table Rock Summit Trail: 1.4 miles, moderate. This trail ascends from the Table Rock parking area to the towering, 4,000 foot summit on the rim of the gorge. • Shortoff Mountain Trail: A moderate 5.2 mile roundtrip starts at the Table Rock parking area. The 2.6 mile trail follows the dramatic edge of the Linville Gorge to Shortoff Mountain, with great views of the gorge, Lake James, and the NC Piedmont. • Hawksbill Trail: This 1.5 mile moderate roundtrip starts on Forest Service road 210. The short steep hike goes to the top of Hawksbill Mountain.

Wilson Creek Proposed Wilderness Area

The Wilson Creek Proposed Wilderness area, National Forest Service land composed of Lost Cove Ridge and the Harper’s Creek Area, borders the Blue Ridge Parkway in Avery County. Twenty-five miles of primitive wilderness trails offer excellent hiking and backpacking opportunities for travelers in this little-known, out of the way (but only about 45 minutes from Boone!) wilderness area. Call Pisgah National Forest at (828) 682-2144 for details. Maps available through the Pisgah office or area outfitters. The following are a few of the trails offered in this area: • Huntfish Falls: Moderately strenuous, 1.4 mile roundtrip descends steeply to a big pool beneath a 10 ft. falls. Starts on forest service road 464. • Lost Cove Trail: This moderate 6 mile roundtrip starts at Huntfish Falls and follows Lost Cove Creek for 3 miles. • Big Lost Cove Cliffs Trail: Easy 3 mile roundtrip starts on forest service road (FSR) 464. Offers excellent view of Grandfather Mountain. • Wilson Creek Trail/Wilson Creek Access/White Rocks Trail: These three trails combine to create an 8.8 mile, moderate to strenuous outing. Offers remote outdoors with fishing, abundant wildlife and rugged terrain. • Harper Creek Trail: Strenuous 6.3 mile trail, connects to 9 other area trails, leading to gorgeous waterfalls, aspiring views, and excellent backpacking opportunities.




Towering 5,946 feet above northwest North Carolina, Grandfather Mountain is a scenic travel attraction recognized by the United Nations as a nature preserve of global importance. The mission of Grandfather Mountain is to steward the property in a way that protects the natural wonder of the geographic landmark AND offers the traveling public access to its fantastic scenery. To insure the permanent protection of the wild character of Grandfather Mountain, the heirs of the late Hugh Morton recently sold almost 2,500 acres of the Mountain’s wilderness backcountry to the State of North Carolina for a state park. This transaction also included the sale of a permanent conservation easement on the attraction area. The Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation operates the attraction and engages in research, education, and conservation activities. Guests pay an admission fee to drive their own vehicles through the park, stopping along the way to enjoy a variety of activities. The 2010 admission is $15 per adult and $7 per child, ages four to twelve. Those under four are admitted for free. The main attraction is the exhilarating feeling of being on top of the world while looking out across views of mountain ridge after mountain ridge retreating to the horizon. In addition to the beautiful mountain scenery, other features included in the price of admission are the famous Mile High Swinging Bridge, seven environmental habitats for native wildlife, a natural history museum, regular programs with staff naturalists, picnicking and access to the South’s best alpine hiking trails. The Mile High Swinging Bridge is a 228-foot suspension footbridge that connects two peaks at one mile above sea level. Visitors say that the only thing that compares to the rush of crossing the bridge itself is the spectacular 360-degree view from the other side. Visitors to Grandfather’s wildlife habitats can enjoy an up-close perspective of black bears, river otters, cougars, eagles and deer in their natural surroundings. Separated from the animals by moats or elevated above the habitats on high retaining walls, the viewing areas allow guests to stand only a few feet away from animals few would ever see in their daily lives. Staff naturalists offer an array of programs that allow them to share their love and enthusiasm for all things natural with Grandfather Mountain’s guests. The entertaining and informative programs are offered on a regular schedule and are included in the cost of admission. From June through August, Grandfather’s naturalists conduct daily programs for visitors at 1 p.m. The Grandfather Mountain Nature Museum has a theater that shows entertaining films about the Mountain and an exhibit gallery with more than two-dozen displays designed to elucidate guests about the natural history of Grandfather Mountain and the surrounding region. Mildred’s Grill is an 80-seat family restaurant located in the Nature Museum that serves soups, salads, sandwiches and picnic items at reasonable prices. Orders can be packaged


MOUNTAIN “to go” for those wishing to relocate to one of more than 100 picnic tables found at overlooks and other scenic locations around the park. Grandfather Mountain’s new Top Shop will open to visitors this summer. The new building will house retail space, a snack bar, exhibits and an elevator that gives visitors in wheelchairs access to the Mile High Swinging Bridge for the first time ever. Grandfather Mountain offers access to 11 trails varying in difficulty from a leisurely walk in the woods to a rigorous trek across rugged peaks. A number of gentle paths designed to offer a low-impact foray into nature can be accessed from the summit road.

Those seeking greater adventure can hike into Grandfather’s backcountry where many of the trails rely on ladders and cables to help trekkers negotiate steep grades and sheer cliff faces. Grandfather’s biggest events occur in the summer and include the Remarkable Rhododendron Ramble June 1-13, an Animal Birthday Party June 16, Singing on the Mountain June 27 and the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games July 8-11. Grandfather Mountain is located on US Highway 221 two miles north of Linville, NC, and one mile south of the Blue Ridge Parkway at milepost 305. For more information phone 800-468-7325 or plan a trip at www.grandfather.com.


The Mountain Times Summer Guide



The Mountain Times Summer Guide




Blue Ridge Parkway By Ross Cooper


n this year of 2010, the towns of Boone and Blowing Rock will join with communities all along the route of the Blue Ridge Parkway in celebrating the 75th anniversary of the construction of this scenic American motorway. The anniversary marks one historic milestone in the history of the parkway. The planning, which paved the proverbial way for the building of the parkway, commenced in earnest in 1933; the actual construction began in September of 1935, and may well be said to have continued until the completion of the Linn Cove Viaduct in 1987. This column will look back to the beginnings of and early work on the Parkway, in preparation for this summer’s upcoming 75th Anniversary celebrations in Boone and Blowing Rock, by examining the historical record contained in the archives of Watauga County’s Watauga Democrat newspaper.

s e t a r Celeb


Years • Feb. 27, 1936 •

“Grip of Winter is Relentless: Heavy Snowfall Last Week as Record Cold Wave Keeps Its Stride,” proclaimed a headline of the first winter of construction of the Blue Ridge Parkway. “Boone and Watauga County busied themselves digging out from an eight-inch snowfall last Friday morning as the record cold wave continued to sweep the territory, and the Highway Commission city administration and relief forces joined hands in clearing away the obstruction to traffic in city and country,” read a report which may strike a familiar chord with readers in 2010. The notable wintry weather pushed parkway news off of the front page, with the recently initiated construction waylaid by the snowy conditions and cold temperatures. “Tuesday morning the thermometer shot down to four above, and while slightly warmer during the day, it appears that there is little to indicate any substantial relief from the cold wave,” continued the article, “which has been accurately termed by one paragrapher as a ‘permanent’.”

• Jan. 20, 1936 • “Get Equipment for Scenic Lap” was a front page headline in this week’s edition of the Watauga Democrat. Citing an article from the Skyland Post of Ashe County, the paper relayed, “[i]t is reported that new equipment for beginning actual construction of the scenic parkway between Laurel Springs and Roaring Gap has arrived by rail in West Jefferson and is being moved to Laurel Springs, where it is understood that it will be used in the early construction of the lap of roadway which lies in Alleghany [County].” “Purchasing Extra Land” was another portion of this article, which noted that “[i]n order to provide recreational areas along the route of the park-to-park highway which will connect the Shenandoah and the Great Smoky Mountains National parks, some 7,000 acres of land along the route of the parkway in North Carolina is being purchased by the resettlement administration,” which land was “being acquired in Alleghany, Surry, Wilkes, Watauga, and Avery counties,” with similar land purchases also taking place in Virginia at the same time. “Funds for the purchase and development of these tracts of land along the parkway route are being provided by the resettlement administration as part of its ‘better land use’ program.” The Resettlement Administration, reconstituted in 1937 as the Farm Security Administration, was a New Deal agency which sought to aid sharecropping families and other rural and urban families struggling under the conditions of the Great Depression. The Watauga Democrat article mentions that “[i]t is regarded as likely that additional sites will be acquired along the entire route of the parkway through North Carolina, although resettlement officials declined to comment on this angle.”


• Feb. 27, 1936 •

The Linville viaduct under construction.

The parkway will be available to travel to 73,000,000 people.

“Scenic Parkway Officially Named by Interior Head” announced on this day that the “scenic parkway to connect Shenandoah and Smoky Mountains national parks has been officially named Blue Ridge Parkway by Harold C. Ickes, secretary of the Interior.” Says the report, “[t]he name was given the scenic boulevard because it will follow the main ridge formation of the two national parks through the finest scenic section of eastern America.” The Watauga Democrat noted that “[c]onstruction of the parkway is of vital interest locally because it will follow the summit of the Blue Ridge through Wilkes and adjoining counties on the north and west. The Boone Trail (federal 421), highways 16 and 18 leading through North Wilkesboro west and north will be three of the leading thoroughfares leading from the east to the parkway.” Upon completion of the project, according to estimates given at this time, “the parkway will be available to travel to 73,000,000 people.”

Ross Cooper is a member of the reference staff of the Watauga County Public Library in Boone. This feature commemorating the 75th anniversary of the building of the Blue Ridge Parkway is compiled from the archives of the Watauga Democrat newspaper, which are available on microfilm at the Watauga County Library.




Milepost Guide to the Blue Ridge Parkway


arkway travelers this summer will welcome a couple of sections they may have missed last year due to construction or road damage. One local attraction is the Goshen Creek Bridge, connecting the stretch of roadway from Milepost 285 to Milepost 288. This section, approximately five miles north of the parkway intersection with U.S. 321, closed in April 2008 to facilitate deck replacement, painting of superstructure steel, guardrail installation, drain repairs, asphalt paving and other related work. The historic bridge reopened in September, with the notable stonework left intact. A landslide near Milepost 270 north of Boone led to extensive repairs last year, and the 11-mile detour took motorists away from some of the most enjoyable local vistas. Now work is complete and the road is in good shape, and all of the parkway is open after clean-up of winter storm damage in the spring. Significant mileposts in the High Country region include:

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Milepost 252: Sheet’s Gap Sheet’s Gap is named for a small cabin built by Jesse Sheets around 1815. An overlook three-tenths of a mile away leads to a walking trail and the cabin.

Price Lake The view of Price Lake, and Grandfather Mountain in the background, is beautiful and worthy of a snaphot for the scrapbook. Off in the distance you can see a storm brewing and canoers on the lake seemingly oblivious to the approaching storm. Photo by Rob Moore

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Milepost 259: Northwest Trading Post The trading post provides travelers with a place to rest and recharge, open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. It offers homemade food, crafts, restrooms and gifts.

2 5 9 with good views.

Milepost 260: Jumpinoff Rock At the end of the parking lot is a walking trail to the rock. It is an easy walk appropriate for families and offers level terrain and a well-shaded trail. It has a picnic area in front of the parking lot, CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE 

The Mountain Times Summer Guide



Continued From Page 33

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Milepost 267: Mount Jefferson Overlook The view of Mount Jefferson State Park is impressive, showing the 474acre park surrounded by farmland. The 4,515-foot mountain road was once part of the Underground Railroad.

Milepost 271: Cascades Nature Trail The trail offers a brisk hike through rich pine forests to a waterfall that rolls down a side of the mountain to lowlands below. Hikers should exercise caution near the waterfall because people have fallen to their deaths there.

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Milepost 272: E.B. Jeffress Park The park offers plenty of hiking trails for all skill levels, as well as a picnic area. There are two historic structures: the Jesse Brown Cabin, dating to the mid-1800s, and the Cool Spring Baptist Church.

Milepost 285: Boone Trace This area got its name for pioneer Daniel Boone’s crossing on his hunting trips to the High Country in the late 1700s.

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Milepost 290: Thunder Hill A popular overlook near Blowing Rock, it offers some of the most panoramic vistas of the surrounding peaks and a glimpse into the Yadkin River Valley unfolding below. It’s also popular for

sky-watching at night. Milepost 293-295: 2 Moses Cone Memorial Park 9 The park is home to Cone Manor, a 3 Queen Anne-Colonial revivalist manor house that features the Highlands Craft 9 Guild’s Parkway Craft Center, as well as 5 a visitor center. Seasonal demonstrations of crafts are held on the front porch, and the grounds feature 25 miles of carriage trails for hikers or horseback riders. Milepost 295-299: Julian Price Park Price Park has 4,200 acres of trails, fields, streams and hills. It includes a campground that has 197 spaces available on a first-come, first-served basis, with a picnic area, amphitheater, canoe rentals, and 25 miles of hiking trails, with many different trail options. It’s also a popular picnic spot, and the waters are classified as General Trout Waters. Price Lake is enjoyable for paddle or motorboats as well as swimming, and a popular trail makes a circuit of the lake.

2 9 5 9 9

Milepost 298-305 Grandfather Mountain is a crown jewel 2 of the region and an internationally 9 recognized biosphere, holding many diverse species and lots of rugged 8 terrain for hiking. It also connects to 305 the state parks land and trails, offering spectacular views and a vigorous workout, as well as being popular with rock climbers. CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE 

Linville Falls

Linville Falls is located on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Trails lead to views of both the upper and lower falls. Forests offer virgin hemlock mixed with other familiar trees, such as white pine, oaks, hickory, and birch. A colorful and varied display of wildflowers decorates the trails in the spring. Red and golden leaves in fall beautifully contrast with the soothing green of hemlocks. Photo by Rob Moore




Milepost 316.5: Linville Falls The dramatic falls are one of the last features of the “high” part of the High Country, as elevation declines a little as the parkway moves southwest. The falls are accessible via a number of short trails 3 with easy-to-moderate terrain, though more rigorous trails are available for 1 those who want to view the falls from 6 distant points. The ensuing gorge is one of the most rugged backwoods regions in the eastern United States, and a small gift shop offers postcards and other souvenirs.

Milepost 304 The Linn Cove Viaduct is an engineering marvel and one of the most iconic features of the parkway. It was the final link of the 469-mile parkway, constructed after 20 years of study, plans, and foundational work. The viaduct was pre-cast indoors and moved to the location to minimize disturbance to the terrain. The Linn Cove Viaduct Visitor’s Center provides restrooms and information and can be reached at (828) 733-1354.

3 0 4

Milepost 308: Pisgah National Forest The parkway begins its southern run through the Pisgah National Forest, continuing until Milepost 355. The scenic drive in one of the least 3 developed areas of the state inspires plenty of travelers to pull over and go 0 for a walk or have a picnic. There are 8 few facilities along this stretch of the road, so travelers who want to hike should plan on carrying their own water and remembering where the car is parked. Milepost 310: Cove Cliffs 3 Lost These cliffs are one of the popular 1 viewing spots for the mysterious Brown Lights, a visual phenomenon 0 Mountain reported over centuries. Scientists attribute the lights to electrical charges of ball lightning, while folklorists favor the story that the lights are Native American spirits.


The parkway extends for another 152 miles, connecting with the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. In addition to the spotlighted features and overlooks, there are many areas where it’s safe to pull over the vehicle and take a relaxing walk or enjoy the view. The parkway’s mission is a combination of preservation and recreation, and the national park is there for you to enjoy and experience the wonders of nature. All 469 miles of it. —Scott Nicholson

Linn Cove Viaduct

(above) View of the Viaduct from Hwy. 221. (left) A Parkway view riding through Laurel Springs in Ashe County. Photos by Rob Moore


The Mountain Times Summer Guide



The Mountain Times Summer Guide



The Mountain Times Summer Guide


The Mountain Times Summer Guide



Living History at Cone Manor

he 75th anniversary of the opening of the Blue Ridge Parkway is a perfect time to discover, or rediscover, all of the treasures along the 469 miles of the Appalachian mountain roadway. If you’re on the parkway near Blowing Rock, a must-see destination is the Cone Manor Estate, located at milepost 294. The Cone Manor Estate is today a parkway destination, thanks in large part to the farsightedness and generosity of Moses and Bertha Cone, a North Carolina couple who lived in the mansion on the hill and employed hundreds of folks in the mountains to maintain their 1,000-plus acre estate. During the early 20th century, the estate included a 400acre apple orchard, farms, stables and ornamental gardens. Today, the Cone Manor Estate includes walking and horseback riding trails, the Parkway Craft Center, and hosts numerous special events for the Blue Ridge Parkway. The Cone Manor is one of the parkway’s most popular destinations, and sitting in one of the manor’s porch chairs and enjoying the wondrous view of Bass Lake gives one a true sense of being on vacation. The craft center features wooden puzzle animals, stained glass, jewelry, painted gourds, paintings, pottery, prints, quilts, calendars, candles, postcards, sculpture, yard and garden items, needlework, hand-loomed scarves, hand-blown glass, leathercraft items, purses and pocketbooks, cornhusk dolls, wooden toys, clothing, stuffed animals, sock monkeys, kaleidoscopes, key rings, wooden jewelry boxes, wooden sewing kits, wooden spoons and spatulas, brooms, figurines and much, much more. “We’re looking forward to a fantastic season this year,” said Anne Hardin, assistant manager of the Parkway Craft Center. “Many of our artists are going green and incorporating recycled materials into their works. And we have several new potters who do everything from traditional pottery to contemporary clay techniques.” New ceramic artists at the Parkway Craft Center this year include potters Maude Boleman, Peg Morar, Marti Mocahbee, and Becky and Steve Lloyd. Jewelry designer Q-Evon is also new to the craft center’s collection this year. Beginning in mid-April and lasting all the way through

the fall, the Parkway Craft Center will feature craftspeople and artists conducting demonstrations on the screened-in portion of the Cone Manor front porch. The demonstrations are interactive, as folks can walk right up to the artists and ask them questions about the inspirations and techniques. This year’s crafts demonstration schedule features glassblower Jack McKinley (May 14-16, Aug. 10-12, Nov. 12-14), yarn-spinner Lin Oglesby (May 19-23, Oct. 14-16), woodcarver Tom Turner (May 28-30), dovetail box maker David Crandall (June 4-6, Sept. 3-5, Oct. 1-3), printmaker and book creator Ellie Kirby (June 11-13, Aug. 27-29), clay and goatskin drum maker Judi Harwood (June 14-20, Aug. 18-22), raku pottery artist Lynn Jenkins (June 21-27, July 26-Aug. 1, Aug. 20-26, Sept. 24-30), etchings artist Jay Pfeil (July 2-4), wood turner Jack Rogers (July 6-11, Oct. 25-31), lithographer Lynn Froelich (July 16-18, Oct. 4-6), quilter Debbie Pierce (Aug. 2-5), Native American flute maker Lee Entrekin (Aug. 13-15, Oct. 11-13), woodworker Allen Davis (July 22-25, Oct. 7-10), and cottonwood wood carver Tom Gow (Nov. 22-24). The Parkway Craft Center will host its annual Heritage Day on Saturday, Aug. 7. The day will include multiple craft demonstrations, live music storytelling and other events. When you visit the Parkway Craft Center, be sure to bring some cash, a credit or debit card, and some good hiking shoes. The Cone Manor Estate is home to over a half dozen walking trails ranging from half a mile to 4.3 miles. All of them are rated either “easy” or “moderate,” and are suitable for hikers of all ages. Many of the estate’s trails are also open to horseback riders. The Parkway Craft Center at the Cone Manor Estate is a member of the Southern Highland Craft Guild. It is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily from now until Nov. 30 (except on Thanksgiving Day, when it is closed) and is located at Blue Ridge Parkway milepost 294. For more information, call the Parkway Craft Center at (828) 295-7938. — Jeff Eason



The Mountain Times Summer Guide


Navigating the High Country

Watch for construction on U.S. 421 in eastern Boone this summer. FIle photo


ith great attractions on every corner, you can’t make a wrong turn when visiting the High Country, but to make the journey a bit smoother, we offer a quick guide to the major highways in the area.

U.S. 421 This highway runs north to south. Northbound brings travelers up from the Wilkesboro area through Deep Gap and travels through Boone. Continuing this route through Watauga County will lead to the North Carolina-Tennessee line toward Mountain City, Tenn. When in downtown Boone, U.S. 421 and U.S. 321 converge and become King Street.

U.S. 321 Also north to south, the road travels through Blowing Rock and Boone. When heading toward Blowing Rock, northbound from Lenoir, U.S. 321 splits into Business 321 and Bypass 321. Business 321 takes motorists into downtown Blowing Rock and to the U.S. 221 access. Bypass 321 will head into Boone. Once entering the Boone city limits, U.S. 321 is also known as Blowing Rock Road until the Pine Street intersection near the campus of Appalachian State University when it becomes Hardin Street. Hardin Street intersects with King Street (U.S. 421) in Boone. Traveling northbound, U.S. 321 and U.S. 421 are converged for several miles until U.S. 321 splits to the left near Cove Creek and Sugar Grove. U.S. 321 travels through the Sugar Grove community and crosses through Avery County. This route heads toward Johnson City, Tenn., and connects to T.N. 67.

U.S. 221 Highway U.S. 221 connects West Jefferson, Boone, Blowing Rock and crosses into Linville through Caldwell and Avery counties. Beginning in West Jefferson, northbound U.S. 221 converges with U.S. 421 in the Deep Gap community in Watauga County. Northbound U.S. 421 and U.S. 221 run together to the intersection of U.S. 321 (Hardin Street) in downtown Boone. U.S. 221 and U.S. 321 then converge toward Blowing Rock. Following Business U.S. 321 into downtown Blowing Rock, U.S. 221 will then split off toward Linville.

N.C. 105 N.C. 105 connects Linville to downtown Boone. Traveling northbound from Linville, N.C. 105 goes through Banner Elk and the Foscoe community. The town of Seven Devils is accessed from N.C. 105 between Boone and Banner Elk. Just before entering the Boone city limits northbound, the N.C. 105 Bypass connects U.S. 421 just north of Boone, avoiding the downtown area. Upon entering the town of Boone, the section of N.C. 105 past the U.S. 321 (Blowing Rock Road) intersection is known as the N.C. 105 Extension. The highway ends at the connection to U.S. 421 (King Street).

N.C. 194 This highway connects West Jefferson through the Todd community toward Boone. In Boone, N.C. 194 connects to U.S. 421 at the New Market Centre shopping plaza. To continue N.C. 194, follow U.S. 421 northbound through downtown Boone. N.C. 194 will turn off toward Valle Crucis and Banner Elk.

Construction: U.S. 321 south of Blowing Rock into Caldwell County is closed from noon to 2 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays for blasting operations in a road widening project. The road is also closed from 8 p.m. Monday to 5 a.m. Tuesday and 8 p.m. Wednesday to 5 p.m. Thursday. The suggested detour: When heading north from Lenoir toward Blowing Rock, follow N.C. 18 into Wilkes County until the road intersects with U.S. 421. Travel U.S. 421 north to Boone, turn left onto N.C. 105 Extension. Turn left onto U.S. 321 south to Blowing Rock. Just follow the route back to Lenoir from Boone. There will be construction on U.S. 421 in downtown Boone between U.S. 321 (Hardin Street) and N.C. 194 at the New Market Centre shopping plaza all summer as the road is being widened. Motorists can expect some scattered traffic delays. For current road conditions or delays, call the North Carolina Department of Transportation hotline by dialing 511. — Melanie Marshall



Scenic Byways:


Getting there is all the fun


hile blessed with having one of America’s most “scenic” drives known as the Blue Ridge Parkway, winding from one end of the High Country through the other, there are numerous treks off the beaten path that are just as intriguing to locals as well as tourists. Beginning on the north end of N.C. 194 and heading south into Lansing doesn’t take one long to understand why the road received state recognition as a Scenic Byway. Leading into West Jefferson, the drive takes one through breathtaking scenes along the historic New River, enhanced by the beauty of nature’s blanket of deep, green foliage as well as frequent sightings of wildlife and roadside stands offering crafts, honey and fruit. Once in the town limits, farmer’s markets and unique shops and popular destinations await - such as the renowned Ashe County Cheese Company, the state’s only cheese factory, numerous art galleries, famed eateries and so much more. Moving on from Ashe County, self-guided tours leading south onto N.C. 221 or 194 provides pastoral scenes of farmland including cattle, even buffalo, and Christmas trees galore. Following the 194 route leads through a winding majesty of mountains at their best, rising above the peaceful valleys and again, following the unhurried course of the New River. Often a haven for rafters, the New River flows northward and is among the oldest rivers in North America. Taking a little detour along Railroad Grade toward Todd, one is at rest with nature in all its glory, and right beside the river where summer finds local farmers and fishermen hard at work CONTINUED ON PAGE 47 


The Mountain Times Summer Guide



The Mountain Times Summer Guide




Get Back to Nature at Daniel Boone Native Gardens

owhere is the beauty of nature more prevalent than in descendant of Daniel Boone. the North Carolina High Country. Sponsored by the Garden Club of North Carolina Inc., the While many breathtaking blooms are found “in the gardens are maintained primarily by a host of local volunteers wild,” one of the area’s most beautiful sites for a congregate who work diligently throughout the year to protect and preserve group of native shrubs and flowering plants is at the Daniel its wondrous beauty. Boone Native Gardens. Group tours can be arranged, as well as weddings and The gardens, long described as “dedicated to the other special events. preservation of Earth’s treasures,” is a spectacular, carefully The beauty of the gardens, however, does not come tended attraction named for the great frontiersman who traveled without a price. Many hours of volunteer labor are dedicated through the area hundreds of years ago. to the project during the year and donations for Located in the Daniel Boone Park, adjacent supplies are always appreciated. to the outdoor drama “Horn in the West” in Boone Gifts are tax deductible and can be made and easily accessible from all incoming highways, unrestricted or with stipulations (plants, garden this beautifully landscaped garden is home to a equipment, statuary, etc.). rare collection of North Carolina native plants. In-kind donations of native Appalachian Designed in 1965 by landscape architect plant materials might also be made from nurseries Doan Ogden, who also designed Asheville’s or other garden-related businesses, with prior Botanical Gardens in 1960, the Daniel Boone arrangements made with the gardens. Native Gardens provide a safe haven for some Many visitors often wish to honor the endangered plant species and other wild plants memory of a loved one by making a memorial unique to this higher elevation of the Blue Ridge donation through such gifts as a bench, birdbath, Mountains. sundial, or other landscape feature, or donated Opened in 1966, the three-acre gardens plant materials for a special flower or shrub bed. serve as an educational and conservation effort Turks cap lily Again, prior discussion and planning is necessary to nurture rare or endangered Appalachian plant Photo by Rob Moore with garden representatives. species. The gardens are located adjacent to the The gardens’ outstanding collection of native Appalachian “Horn in the West” outdoor drama, convenient to downtown trees, shrubs and wildflowers, included in hundreds of plant Boone and the Appalachian State University campus. varieties, provide a progression of blooms throughout the Operating hours are daily May 1 through October. Hours growing season. Many are marked for easy identification and are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., with extended hours during the outdoor serve as material for education and conservation of the native drama season. Admission is $2, ages 16 and up. Dogs are not plants that are fast becoming extinct. The gardens also host a few permitted, except service animals. non-native species, but mountain plants are the primary focus. Additional highlights of the gardens include a bog garden, Contact information: fern garden, rhododendron grove, rock garden, rock wishing Phone — (828) 264-6390. well, vine-covered arbor weddings pond alongside the historic E-mail — dbgardens@danielboonegardens.org. Squire Boone Cabin, and several grand vistas. Web — http://danielboonegardens.org. Wrought-iron gates at the entrance were made by a



Daniel Boone Gardens Bloom chart: May - June

July - August

Bleeding heart Showy orchis Squirrel corn Dutchman’s breeches Shooting star Amsonia Wild iris Ladyslippers Flame azalea Rhododendron Shortia Columbine Goatsbeard Mountain magnolia Firepink Liatris Foam flower Turkey’s beard Merrybells Solomon’s seal Coral bells Carolina rose Mayapple Yucca Cinnamon fern Pitcher plant Trillums Mock strawberry Ox-eye daisy Stonecrop Squaw root Fringe tree Raspberry Flower

Purple cone flower New England Asters Clematis Fairy bells Lobelia Purple fringed orchis Sweet azalea Turks cap lilies Malva Bee balm Ladies tresses Galax Trumpet vine Sunflowers Jerusalem artichoke Rhododendron Cardinal flower Old-fashioned hollyhock Milkweed Horse nettle Indian pipes Thimbleweed Boneset Virgin’s bower Swamp mallow Featherbells Evening primrose Wild geranium Skullcap Nightshade Spiderwort





in the High Country Whitetail Hawk - Photo by Rob Moore

orth Carolina is home to more than 460 species of bird and boasts two species that are considered rare in the southeast - the Red-cockaded Woodpecker and the Wood Stork. Birds that frequent the backyards of North Carolina are different than those that inhabit Tennessee. Bird Watchers are looking out for each bird’s North American distribution, the foods and plants that can attract those birds and where to go to view year-round and migrating birds. For example: The Spruce-fir forests of our own Grandfather Mountain, considered one of the most endangered ecosystems in the country, harbors one of NC’s few nesting populations of saw whet owls. Following is a guide to prominent bird watching areas in the High Country region: The New River habitat, averaging only 2,000 feet in elevation, hosts a variety of species that are uncommon in other parts of the northwest corner of the state. The New River basin is mostly agricultural, with pasture, shrubby fields, and associated wetlands. There are also cliffs and drainage areas containing forest coves, and rhododendron groves that shelter forest species. The fields and wetlands host a wide variety of uncommon migrants such as waterfowl and shorebirds. These include the first southern range expansion records of breeding Tree Swallows in 1979, breeding Savannah Sparrows, and possibly Spotted Sandpipers breeding along the river. Summer birds include; Alder, Willow, Least, Great Crested Flycatcher, Black-billed Cuckoo, Warbling Vireo, Yellow and Goldenwinged Warbler and the Baltimore Oriole. The Amphibolite Mountains of NW North Carolina form a large chain of some ten peaks from Rich Mountain near Boone in the south to Mount Jefferson and Phoenix Mountain in the north. Most of the land is privately owned, but birds can be spotted from the road. There are also several public lands from which to bird watch, including Mount Jefferson State Park, the Nature Conservancy’s Bluff Mountain and Peak preserves, Elk Knob State Natural Area, Elk Knob Game Land, and Howard’s Knob Park. The birds of this area live in northern hardwood forest, balds, open country and other habitats. Summer birds include; Broad-winged Hawk, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Least Flycatcher, Veery; Canada, Chestnut-sided, Blackthroated Blue,


Golden-winged Warbler (including Brewster’s hybrids),Rosebreasted Grosbeak, Indigo Bunting, Scarlet Tanager and the Vesper Sparrow. Our section of the Blue Ridge Parkway, with steep and south- and east-facing coves, provides excellent birding opportunities. The more disturbed areas support a lot of white pine stands and meadows adding to the bird species mix. Look for summer birds in oak-pine forests and white pine stands. Summer birds include the Veery, Cerulean, Wormeating, Hooded, Black-throated Blue, Blackthroated Green, Kentucky Warbler, American Redstart, Rose-breasted Grosbeak and the Scarlet Tanager. Moses Cone Memorial Park and Julian Price Memorial Parknear Blowing Rock together make up over 7,500 acres of diverse landscape. Look for birds in hemlock coves, oak forest, regrowth of apple orchards. Summer birds: Yellow-bellied Sapsucker,Alder Flycatcher,Veery,Chestnut-sided, Blackthroated Blue, Black-throated Green, Blackburnian, Hooded and Canada Warbler, Wnter wren, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Brown Creeper, Red Crossbill and the Pine Siskin. The Linville Gorge and its surrounding wilderness are among the most spectacular natural features in the eastern United States. Formed by the Linville River and starting at Linville Falls, the gorge runs over 15 miles to the head of Lake James. Elevation runs from 4,000 feet down to 1,500 feet at the lake. The gorge and its surroundings make up the Linville Gorge Natural Wilderness Area. Look for birds in Hardwood forest, dry pine forest, Eastern hemlock forest, rhododendron thickets, and mountain stream areas. Summer birds include the Broad-winged Hawk, Blackbilled Cuckoo, Chuck-will’s-widow, Whip-poor-will, Redheaded Woodpecker, Least Flycatcher, Louisiana Waterthrush, Yellow Chestnut-sided Blackburnian, Kentucky, Canada Hooded, Swainson’s, Black-throated Green, Black-throated Blue, and Worm-eating Warbler,American Redstart, Summer and Scarlet Tanager, Rose-breasted and Blue Grosbeak, Indigo Bunting, Orchard and Baltimore Orioles. There are many North Carolina bird watching books available and some great online resources leading to the many bird watching sites that the High Country has to offer. — Corrinne Loucks Assad




MARKET TIME Your Farm Connection

variety of local artisans, featuring not only locally grown fresh produce but candles, crafts, lotions, salves, Appalachian arts, crafts, jams, vinegars, nut butter, and more. Summer Saturday mornings at the market are community gatherings as much as a chance to barter and buy, where many of the same people gather to sell their goods, and many others return each week for reliable service and products, a quick healthy snack or unique gift. Wednesday morning offer a more relaxed shopping environment with produce so fresh it often still has the morning dew on it. Besides the usual mouth-watering attractions, the market features special days throughout the year, with grilling demonstrations, samples, contests, crafting exhibitions, and special days to commemorate a specific vegetable. Local growers are also happy to recycle or re-use your egg cartons, berry baskets, or cloth shopping bags, or bring your own bags or boxes to help reduce waste and keep the region more sustainable. For more information or schedule of events, visit www.ashefarmersmarket.com.


A new farmers’ market is getting established each Sunday in the parking lot of Earth Fare in Boone. The Sunday market is intended to expand on the existing farmer’s market, not compete with it, and it has a slightly different focus, with emphasis on fresh, local produce and local handmade crafts, art, and jewelry. It runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. each Sunday through October.



he local farm-to-consumer connections are branching out, with a variety of farmers’ markets to choose from in the region. The region now serves up five farmer’s markets, with four shopping days throughout the growing season, serving as community gathering places as well as a way to share nature’s bounty. For fresh locally grown produce, handmade baked goods, colorful flowers, plants and healthy herbs, as well as juried traditional mountain crafts, the Watauga County Farmer’s Market in Boone offers up a community experience that is not to be missed. Operating on Saturdays through October 30 and on Wednesdays through September 29, Saturday hours are from 8 a.m. until noon or everything is gone, rain or shine. Wednesday hours are 3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., beginning June 2. Opening in 1974, the market serves as a direct link between local farmers and the consumer. The transactions also benefit the local economy by keeping the money close to home and circulating within the region. The market members take pride in the high-quality products they sell and enjoy coming to the market as much as do their customers. The vendors encourage their visitors to spend extra time to talk with them about their products and their methods of growing and crafting. From growers in Watauga or surrounding counties come fresh seasonal fruits and berries, jams, jellies, mustard, chutneys and honey, fresh herbs and herbal products, including teas, salves, vinegars, soap and potpourri; flowers, fresh-cut and dried, wreaths and arrangements, fresh baked breads, cakes and pastries, fresh farm eggs, farm-based crafts and decorative items featuring wool, birdhouses, pottery, baskets and handcrafted yard art and garden furniture; and a large selection of plants, including annuals, perennials and shrubs. Located in the Horn In The West parking lot, just off U.S. 421 and the N.C. 105 Extension, the Watauga County Farmer’s Market is convenient from any direction. For more information and news about featured in-season produce, visit www. wataugacountyfarmersmarket.org.


Ashe County’s market is open every Saturday and Wednesday from 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. through October. The market is located in downtown West Jefferson, on the Backstreet, and features a

Blowing Rock’s market is held every Thursday in season from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. It’s a follow-up to a successful first year. It will be open through Oct. 14. The Blowing Rock Fresh Market is craft free, focusing solely on local produce. Live bluegrass music is a staple of the family-friendly market. About 25 vendors are participating this year, many of them veterans of other local farmers’ markets who are looking for more consumer connections. The market is located downtown on Wallingford Street. For more information, call (828) 295-7851.

VALLE CRUCIS MARKET A farmer’s market in Valle Crucis is held Friday afternoons from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m at the Original Mast General Store on Broadstone Road. The market is focusing on fresh foods and produce and no crafts, with several vendors already participating. There is no vendor fee, as the store is trying to build up the market. The Friday afternoon market in Valle Crucis will run through Sept. 24. Interested vendors can call Mary Wood at Mast Store, (828) 963-6511.

To Market, to Market

To make your shopping experience more enjoyable and stress-free, the market directors offer these tips: • • • • •

Bring small bills so that making change is easier for sellers. Checks are generally accepted, most vendors are not set up to take credit cards. Bring large bags or baskets to consolidate purchases. Most vendors are happy to recycle or reuse: egg cartons, flower pots, berry baskets and bags. Please do not bring pets into the market area, with the exception of service animals. Bring a picnic. Enjoy Horn in the West’s picnic area or the nearby Boone Park. To round out your picnic baskets, desserts, fruits, vegetables, cheeses, bread and coffee are usually sold at the market. —Scott Nicholson



Scenic Byways

path “on the Old Beech” and is home to Ray’s widow and son, setting on a hillside that overlooks five states in the distance, so it’s been said. The quaint college town of Banner Elk offers an eclectic mix of shops and restaurants, a great place to stop enroute to places like the “new” Beech Mountain, made famous for its ski slopes and the former Land of Oz theme park, which opens as Autumn at Oz party, for one weekend a year each October. For a minimal price of admission, guests are able to take nostalgic stroll down the yellow brick road and see some of the original cast perform again. Volunteers and local charities help with the event with proceeds covering expenses and helping with restorations. Picking up N.C. 184 in Banner Elk, travelers enjoy heading into Elk Park and a short detour to the Elk River Falls and further into Tennessee toward the mighty Roan Mountain, where mid-summer festivals celebrate the vast rhododendron gardens that grow wild over the mountaintop. Several other routes lead from Banner Elk, perhaps the least traveled across the mountain through Hickory Nut Gap into the Avery County seat of Newland. Or toward the “original” Scottish settlement known as Tynecastle at Invershiel, past Sugar Mountain Resort that offers a lot of seasonal activity –turning left back toward Boone or right into the tranquil town of Linville. Filled with intrigue and historical landmarks, including the Esseola Lodge, Linville is the hub for distinguished guests and summer residents who have come for generations mainly from the “old south” to enjoy the cool, beauty of the mountains. Just a short drive northward, MacRae Meadows is the site each summer of Singing on the Mountain and The Grandfather Mountain Highland Games. The famous swinging bridge and bear habitats are found atop Grandfather Mountain, overlooking more vibrant valleys and coves familiar to the area. Leaving the mountain, travelers can return to N.C. 221 toward Blowing Rock or Newland, N.C. 105 back toward Boone or on the Parkway which will lead either to Blowing Rock or to other lovely locales such as Pineola, Crossnore, Linville Falls, and beyond. All these places – and others too many to name - have even more treks which are easily accessible and promise to please your wanderlust for a true backroad experience. — Sherrie Norris


and bikers – pedaling to anywhere and nowhere. Along the way, a couple of stops offer opportunities for a hardy meal, a cold soda, a snack or a peaceful place for your own private picnic. The road to Todd leads, just as the railroad once did, by the Todd General Store with a story all its own, surrounded by memorabilia from the past and the work of today’s finest artists and crafters in nearby galleries. Back onto N.C. 194, the lush countryside takes travelers through small settlements known as Meat Camp, Sands, the Buckeye and Perkinsville, straight into the heart of the Watauga County seat of Boone. Travelers have various choices of directions from Boone, each one heading into a separate world of wonder and most leading to a connection of the Parkway. If travelers like what they’ve experienced on Hwy. 194, they can pick it back up a few miles west of Boone and head through the valley toward the very busy N.C. 105 or take a right turn and curl through the curves from Vilas into Valle Crucis. From there, the scenic ascension continues toward Banner Elk with a couple of hair-pin turns along the way. Valle Crucis is one of the most visited stops where the original Mast General Store, built in the late 1800s brings the past alive; its annex offers candy by the pound and residents still receive their mail in a caged post office reminiscent of the good old days. The winding staircase ride toward Banner Elk is well worth the ride. The beauty of rolling fields, the welcome surroundings of The Taylor House (a stately private residence transformed into an award-winning Bed & Breakfast Inn), in addition to the Valle Crucis Conference Center and Holy Cross Episcopal Church, are beacons to area tourists and attract numerous people to the area for various events through the summer. Near the top of Valle Mountain, many traveling through have discovered the homeplace of the late Ray Hicks, renowned story-teller of the famous Jack Tales. It’s way off the beaten



The Mountain Times Summer Guide



The Mountain Times Summer Guide





Keep In Tune With


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



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

tourist necessities such as shopping, dining and lodging. From in the community. This lovely Queen Anne-style house dates healthcare to financial services, specialty shops to major chains, back to 1910. Once the home of a prominent local doctor, the Jones Boone offers a comprehensive range of goods and services. Need an import car mechanic, 24-hour grocery or late night House now is home to an art gallery and hosts many local eatery? If you havent’t visited for awhile, we guarantee you events. The university borders the will be pleasantly surprised just what downtown. Here you’ll find Belk you can find. Library, a major research facility. Boone was once a typical Farthing Auditorium and Broyhill small town until Appalachian State Music Center are the scenes of University (better known locally as great performances during An “App” or ASU”) began to grow in Appalachian Summer, the yearly the 1960s. festival of the arts. Now this booming and Boone is such a popular acclaimed academic institution adds destination there are times it is a zest and enthusiasm to life here. congested. Traffic can get heavy, The downtown is known as especially around the traditional rush the Municipal Service District, part hour of 5 to 6 p.m. of the national Main Street Program You do have another option: where merchants and residents park your car and ride AppalCART, fund renovations and restorations Greenway Trail in Boone. Photo by Rob Moore which attract more businesses while our mass transit system. Summer keeping the small -town atmosphere. Visitors will find an routes cover the downtown, university and U.S. 321 (Blowing intriguing blend of restaurants, shops and boutiques side-by-side Rock Road). Boone’s history began around 1800, when Jordan with legal offices and residences. You’ll find the Jones House here, a center of cultural life CONTINUED ON PAGE 52 


The Mountain Times Summer Guide




Our Towns


Councill opened a store on what is now King Street. Then, it was just a rough dirt wagon road. In 1820, Councill got the right to open a post office (appropriately called Councill’s Store) and some people began to build homes and other stores nearby. In 1849, when Watauga County was created, Boone was picked as the county seat when the town was little more than a crossroads. Little remains to remind people of those distant days. The simple homes and shacks that once lined King Street have given way to attractive buildings that preserve the charm of the ‘teens and twenties. All that is in contrast to the modern city that has grown up around this center. With so much to enjoy, Boone is a magnet we think will draw you back again and again. Boone Area Chamber of Commerce: 828-264-2225.

Blowing Rock

If you return to Blowing Rock and find most of the town the way it was, that’s is no accident; folks here know when it’s best to leave things as they are. Blowing Rock is a place where people still smile and say hello to each other on the street. The town is a place where you can sit on a bench in Memorial Park and watch the world go by or spend all afternoon window shopping along Main Street. The Fourth of July Parade is still important, and you will find both patriotism and civic pride without apology. Memorial Park is the center of the community. Families can come by anytime to use the playground equipment (mom and dad can even try out the swings if they want to). Come on some Sunday evenings and you’ll hear a live concert in the park’s gazebo. Off Main Street are two other parks, both worthy of a visit. If you are headed south on Main Street, turn right on Laurel Lane and follow the signs; it is a divided and tree-lined lane. The Broyhill and Cannon parks offer a quiet place to rest and reflect. The two are a study in contrasts: Cannon Park is sort of rustic and still-wild, while the park around Broyhill Lake is elegant, a throw-back to the peaceful days of the late 19th century. Blowing Rock is renowned for its variety of unique shopping experiences. Main Street has antiques, art, crafts, imported coffees, rugs, fashions, flowers, mementos and more. The variety is amazing, the quality high and the fun unlimited (except by your imagination). Shoppes on the Parkway, a major outlet mall, is just north of town on 321. Here you’ll find clothing, crockery, jewelry, and more. There’s a reason Blowing Rock offers so much to the tourist: the town has been welcoming visitors for over a century. Spectacularly situated on the very edge of the Blue Ridge, the town began to attract summer residents in the 1880s. At the turn of the century, most visitors spent the summer. Some built beautiful Victorian summer homes, many of which stand today. Hotels and motels followed, and the tradition of hospitality has only ripened and improved over the years. One final hint: Take a ride down 321 south of town. You’ll catch an incredible view of the John’s River gorge as well as a spectacular vista looking south to Hickory. Whether you have a day, week, or lifetime to spend, you’ll find a lot to enjoy in Blowing Rock. Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce: 828-295-7851.

Valle Crucis

As you travel along N.C. 105 south of Boone, there is a bridge where the Watauga River makes a sharp turn and starts its westward run towards Tennessee. There, set between high mountains, is a cross-shaped valley that has borne the name Valle Crucis since the 19th century. There is no more historic area in the region. Follow the Watauga River far enough and you will pass the site of the only Native American village known in this immediate area. Before that, there is the place where the first European settler of Watauga County, Samuel Hicks, built a fort during the American Revolution. That fort and most of the log structures of that day are gone, but there are many historic buildings that still remain. Valle Crucis was – and remains – the only rural historic district in North Carolina. Travel along N.C. 194 and you will pass homes, some still private and others now housing galleries and other shops, dating back to the early part of this century and earlier. A true treasure is the Mast Farm Inn. The main house was built in 1840, and has hosted visitors practically from the first. An even older log home, dating back to 1812, has also been lovingly restored. Not far up the road is another treasure, the Mast General Store. Dating back to 1883, the store remains an important part of the community, offering the “real” necessities of daily life, plus much more. And look for a dirt track running down to the river from the Mast General Store; it leads to Valle Crucis Community Park; a beautiful recreational area with riverfront, a (catch & release) fishing pond, picnic areas, sports fields, and a walking/running/ cycling/skating trail around the entire complex. Residents rallied this year to prevent a widening of the main road through the Community - Broadstone Road - which they felt would have destroyed its unique charactere and charm. No trip to the High Country is complete without spending time in the “Valley of the Cross.” Be sure to enjoy the scenery, heritage, and especially the friendly people.

Banner Elk

Nestled in a spectacular mountain valley, Banner Elk has attracted visitors since the 1840s. In those days, it was called Banner’s Elk, a name you still hear among some older residents. The town got its name from an elk, reputedly one of the last in the state, that was killed by a local hunter. A college town, Banner Elk is home to Lees-McRae College. A visit to the college is well worth the time. The old stone buildings are picturesque, as is the campus itself. Hayes Auditorium hosts a wide variety of entertainment programs throughout the year. Banner Elk is a town of wonderful shops and restaurants all run by some of the nicest people you’ll meet anywhere. You will discover a unique blend of high-class and rustic existing happily side-by-side. Spectacular is hardly adequate to describe the magnificent setting of the town. The early settlers didn’t believe in living on mountainsides; they looked for valleys. Banner Elk’s valley cuts through lofty peaks on every side: Beech Mountain, Sugar Mountain and Grandfather Mountain essentially define its boundaries. If so far you are only a summer visitor to the mountains, you need to come back to Banner Elk in the winter. The town is conveniently located between two of the area’s four ski resorts, Ski Beech and Sugar Mountain. Even if you don’t ski, the mountains are often snow-covered, adding to Banner Elk’s natural beauty.


Finally, Banner Elk makes an excellent base for folks who want to explore the natural wonders of Avery County. It’s not far to Roan Mountain, Grandfather Mountain or Linville Falls. Avery-Banner Elk County Chamber of Commerce: 828898-5605.

Beech Mountain

At 5,506 feet, Beech Mountain is the highest town in eastern North America. That means two things: when winter comes, it’s a great place to ski. More important right now, however, is that even on the hottest day of summer, it’s cool on top of Beech Mountain. Even when it’s steamy in the “lowlands” of 3,000-plus feet, the temperature stays comfortable here. The rest of the world seems very distant when you settle down on the front porch of a rental condo and survey the magnificent view that is one of Beech Mountain’s trademarks. As the cool summer night air sends you looking for a sweater, you’ll probably smile at the thought of how hot it is down in the lowlands. Beech Mountain is a four-season resort. There are over 5,000 beds available on top of the mountain. These range from the rustic cabins to mountain chalets to luxury condominiums. When it’s time to eat, you can enjoy anything from a deli sandwich to a gourmet meal by candlelight. During the days, there are many specialty stores for shopping, a golf course, horseback riding, tennis, swimming and hiking. There are nearby canoe and raft runs that are among the best the east offers. Nightlife is alive and well on the mountain. Whatever your musical taste, you can find a spot to enjoy an after-hours scene. There’s another good thing about Beech Mountain. The mountain is so huge that much of it remains in a natural state, with rich forests dotted by rolling farm land. It’s only a short drive from the “downtown” to the country - or resorts. Take your pick! Our guess is if you spend some time in Beech Mountain, you’ll want to come back to do some real estate shopping. Or at least book a slopeside condo for the ski season! Beech Mountain Area Chamber of Commerce: 828387-9283.

Seven Devils

The town of Seven Devils has its foundation as a resort community, though its history dates back to Native Americans who were likely seasonal hunters of the mountains. The town, which straddles the Watauga and Avery County border near N.C. 105/221, is noted for its craggy peaks such as Hanging Rock, Hawksbill Rock and Four Diamond Range. Developers of a resort gave the town its name in the mid 1960’s, and it grew as a golf course, ski slope, lake, riding ground and camping area. After the resort venture experienced financial trouble, the town was incorporated in 1979. While the golf course has been closed for a couple of years, Hawksnest Ski & Snow Tubing has expanded its operations and is one of the town’s centerpieces, though it’s also treasured as a quiet vacation and retirement community. The town is also celebrated for its scenic views, particularly of nearby Grandfather Mountain. For more information and events, visit www. townofsevendevils.org. CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE 



Our Towns


Sugar Mountain

If outdoor activity is your thing, look no further than the Village of Sugar Mountain. Offering more than just great skiing, Sugar Mountain also provides its visitors with an array of ways to get outside and enjoy the beauty of the High Country. One attraction in particular is the summer lift rides on Sugar Mountain. On weekends, weather permitting, visitors can ride the ski lift to the 5,300 foot peak of Sugar Mountain. The 40 minuet round trip ride features a spectacular view of the High Country and runs from July 4 to Labor Day weekend. If heights aren’t your thing, Sugar Mountain can also be seen on foot. With numerous trails that wind throughout the Village of Sugar Mountain, you can see both the brilliant greens of the summer as well as the vibrant reds and yellows of the fall. The trails of Sugar Mountain are not just for those on foot. Many bikers choose the Village of Sugar Mountain for its variety of challenging and picturesque terrain. The Village of Sugar Mountain also gives tennis and golf lovers an opportunity to enjoy their favorite sports in the beautiful mountain setting. With Sugar Mountain’s golf course, six fast-dry clay courts and full service tennis pro shop, visitors will never be faced with the problem of finding something to do. Whether you come for a day or stay in one of the many comfortable lodgings the Village has to offer, Sugar Mountain will soon become your destination for great outdoor fun. Avery-Banner Elk County Chamber of Commerce: 828-898-5605.

The Jeffersons

The twin cities of Jefferson and West Jefferson lie in the center of Ashe County. They are classic small towns, with warm, friendly people - and there’s always a place to park. Jefferson was the first to be founded, and is the oldest incorporated town i n the High Country. It started in 1800 as the county seat for Ashe, which the General Assembly formed the year before. The new town stood near the base of Mount Jefferson. Both bore the name of Thomas Jefferson, the author of the Declaration of Independence, vice president and then a political hero along the western frontier. Later that year, he would win election as president of the United States. Even as the population of Ashe County grew, Jefferson remained a quiet place, with relatively few homes and a courthouse. The focus of the county was, as it still remains, in the rural parts. Then the railroad came. Overnight, boom towns like Lansing and Todd grew. Logging meant work and money was relatively plentiful. All that, however, bypassed the Town of Jefferson. In 1917, a group of investors founded West Jefferson. Located south and west of Jefferson, the new community attracted the railroad. Jefferson went into an immediate decline. West Jefferson became the economic center of the county, though Todd, a major railroad center, was larger. Eventually, the railroad left. Lansing, Todd and other rail towns shrank to their present size. Fortunately, the Jeffersons soon had good roads and prospered. Today, the towns have differences and similarities. The old courthouse and surrounding buildings in Jefferson are the center of county government. A shopping center is located there, offering retail stores and services. The beautiful Ashe County Park and the Foster-Tyson Park is a perfect spot for an in-town picnic. West Jefferson’s downtown is busy and active. The old stores still stand and are full of interesting, dynamic shops. The town’s stores offer everything from real estate to clothes. The visitor center, operated by the Chamber of Commerce, offers answers to questions and a wide selection of brochures. West Jefferson is home of the Christmas in July festival, an annual summer celebration of the holiday and the Christmas tree industry. The event features two days of live music, over 100 art and craft booths, and the friendliest people you could find anywhere! The Jeffersons are also the gateway to the region’s two state parks. Mount Jefferson State Park is located just off Hwy 221. To the north of Jefferson are the access areas for the New River State Park. Just south of West Jefferson, near the community of Beaver Creek, is St. Mary’s Episcopal Church. This is the home of the famous fresco of Jesus on the cross by renowned artist Ben Long. A painting of the Madonna pregnant with Jesus hangs on the sanctuary wall. Come to the Jeffersons and find what it was that made small-town life so special. You’ll find that special life alive and well in these wonderful twin towns. Ashe County Chamber of Commerce: 336-246-9550. CONTINUED ON PAGE 57 



The Mountain Times Summer Guide



The Mountain Times Summer Guide



The Mountain Times Summer Guide


every Thursday between 4 and 6 p.m. The market will feature fresh-cut flowers, free-range meats, fruits, vegetables, cheese, eggs, jams and jellies, baked goods and other fresh items. For more information, call the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce at (828) 295-7851.

coleslaw, pinto beans and dessert. Advance tickets are $15, tickets at the gate are $18. Dinner is $10 per person. Tickets are available through Chetola Resort, Mountain Home Music, Fred’s Mercantile, Mast General Store and their websites.

Concerts in the Park Nothing says old-fashioned summer fun like listening to a live concert in the park. This year, the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce’s Concerts in the Park will bring a wide variety of musical acts to the gazebo at Blowing Rock Memorial Park on Main Street. They include the Highland Pipe Band (June 20), The Blue Notes (August 25), the Silvio Martinat Swing Band (Sept. 12) and Die Rheinlanders Oktoberfest Band (Oct. 3). All the concerts are free and open to the public. For more information, call the Chamber of Commerce at (828) 295-7851.

Symphony at Chetola Concert halls may be fine for some people, but Blowing Rockers like their symphonies outdoors and under the stars. The annual Symphony at Chetola Resort will be held on Friday, June 23, and will feature Kingsport, Tenn.’s Symphony of the Mountains. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $26 for adults. The picnic is $12 for adults and $8 for children ages 5-12. There is also a dining on the patio option during the symphony; cost is $95 per person, and it includes symphony ticket.

Get the Jump on summer fun in Blowing Rock

or more than a century, flatlanders (a term of endearment) have been traveling to Blowing Rock in the summer to take advantage of the village’s quaint charm and cool breezes. That tradition continues to this day, although there is now a heck of a lot more to do in Blowing Rock than sipping lemonade on the front porch of a bed and breakfast (although that’s still a good idea). Blowing Rock is a fantastic place for hiking around lakes (we’ve got three big ones), fishing, shopping, biking, or just taking it easy. The village also has a number of fine special events that make it one of the area’s premiere vacation destinations.


Shriner’s Parade For the second year in a row, the western North Carolina Shriners have decided to hold their annual summer retreat and convention in Blowing Rock. The event will feature get-togethers and functions for the visiting Shriners and their families. And a giant Shriners parade for everyone in Blowing Rock. If you’ve never seen a Shriners parade, you are in for a treat! It consists of hundreds of miniaturized vehicles, bands, clowns and floats. The parade is set for Saturday, June 5, at 2 p.m. on Main Street in Blowing Rock.

Blowing Rock Charity Horseshow The Blowing Rock Charity Horseshow is the longest continuously running event of its kind in the country. Equestrians and their steeds from all over the eastern half of the country have made it a family tradition, and some folks who come to town for the event have literally been doing it for generations. The Saddle Bred portion of the event takes place June 10-13, while Hunter-Jumper I is scheduled for July 27-Aug. 1, and Hunter-Jumper II is set for Aug. 3-8. All events take place at the Blow ing Rock Equestrian Preserve. For more information, visit www. blowingrockequestrian.com.

Art in the Park With more than 100 artisan booths, Blowing Rock’s Art in the Park has become one of the most popular cultural events in the North Carolina mountains. Part gallery stroll, part shopping adventure, Art in the Park occurs once a month between May and October at the new Blowing Rock Parking Deck, behind Memorial Park and next to the American Legion Hall. Paintings, photography, ceramics, woodworking, jewelry, clothing and much more can be found at this juried art show. And all of it is for sale. Get a jump on your holiday shopping by purchasing a unique gift at Art in the Park … then get something for yourself, as well. Art in the Park is presented by the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce. This season’s Art in the Park events will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on June 12, July 17, Aug. 14, Sept. 11 and Oct. 2. For more information, call (828) 295-7851.

Blowing Rock Fresh Market Last year it was an experiment, this year it’s a tradition. The Blowing Rock Fresh Market is a farmer’s market-style gathering bringing the best in farm-grown produce and natural products to downtown Blowing Rock. Located on Wallingford Street between Memorial Park and the American Legion Hall, the Fresh Market will take place

Auctions in Blowing Rock For the first time in a long time, public auctions are returning to Blowing Rock. Whether you’re looking to buy or hoping to sell, these high-bidder events are sure to be fun and exciting. The Blowing Rock Summer Auctions are set for June 15, June 19, July 13, July 27, Aug. 10 and Aug. 24 at the American Legion Hall behind Memorial Park. Auctioneer Randall Woodruff and staff from the Great State Auction Company (NCAFL No. 5058) will register auction items between 4 and 5 p.m. on the day of the auction, and after a 6 p.m. preview, the bidding starts at 7 p.m. For more information, call (828) 295-7851. Bluegrass, Bagpipes & Burgers Chetola Resort and Mountain Home Music are joining forces for one of the biggest events of Independence Day weekend. On Saturday, July 3, Chetola will host “Bluegrass, Bagpipes & Burgers,” an outdoor concert and picnic. Food will be served from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., with live music by the lake from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Mountain Home music host Joe Shannon and national banjo champion David Johnson will join other musicians for an evening of bluegrass, heritage music and patriotic tunes. Fireworks to follow. The menu will feature burgers, hot dogs, veggie burgers,

Benefit Golf & Tennis Tourney The Blowing Rock Community Foundation will hold its annual Community Service Day Golf and Tennis Tournament at the Blowing Rock Country Club on Saturday, Aug. 21. The event will be preceded by the “Groovy Nights” variety show on Sunday, Aug. 15, at 5 p.m. and on Tuesday, Aug. 17, at 7:30 p.m. There will be an encore performance of “Groovy Nights” on Saturday after the tournaments. This annual event is loads of fun and raises thousands of dollars for college scholarships for deserving high school seniors. For more information, visit www.blowingrockcf.org.

Blue Ridge Heritage Days To help celebrate the 75th anniversary of the opening of the Blue Ridge Parkway, Blowing Rock will hold a street festival called Blue Ridge Heritage Days on Saturday, Sept. 18. The event will feature live music, great food, arts and crafts, and other special events. Main Street will be closed off for this special event. For more information, call (828) 295-7851.

Other Events Other events scheduled for Blowing Rock this summer include the Memorial Park DJ Dance (July 2), Fourth of July Festival parade and fireworks (July 3), the Blowing Rock Tour of Homes (July 23), Blowing Rock Art and History Museum Arts and Antique Weekend (July 29-Aug. 1), and the 25th anniversary of the Blowing Rock Historical Society. — Jeff Eason



Our Towns



Surrounded by renowned attractions and resorts, the Town of Newland also attracts, but quietly. This small municipality of about 700 residents has been the county seat since Avery County incorporated in 1911, beating out three other areas for the honor. Newland has the distinction of being the highest county seat east of the Mississippi. The fine traditional courthouse, recently renovated, was constructed in 1913, and overlooks an equally classic town square, bordered by shops and churches and complete with a memorial to Avery County veterans. Next to the courthouse, and also built in 1913, is the original jail, now the site of the Avery Historical Museum. Permanent exhibits at the museum include the original jail cells, numerous artifacts and information about Avery County history. Going west out of town toward Tennessee, plan a Saturday stop at the Farmers Market, and picnic or hike across the road at the Waterfalls Park, a unique recreation area sponsored by the Newland Volunteer Fire Department. A new Heritage Park, currently under construction, will be a major attraction when completed, due for sometime next year. So when you’re driving through town on your way to Roan or Grandfather Mountains, don’t forget to stop at Newland on your tour. Avery-Banner Elk County Chamber of Commerce: 828898-5605.


There was time when Todd, nestled on the banks of the New River on the border of Ashe and Watauga counties, was the largest community in the region. It was a logging boom town back then, and the timber trains roared along the valley. Todd bustled, with many stores and hotels. Those days are long gone, but Todd remains a too-often overlooked treasure of the High Country. And while the train is gone - and with it the bustle - this little community has a lot to offer, starting with some of the best sites for bicycling, paddlesports and fishing around. The old train depot, a part of Todd life since the 1920s, is now home to Appalachian Adventures outfitters. Up the road, there’s the old Todd General Store which opened in 1914. The General Store, one of four historic structures in the community recently painted with funds raised in the community, is a living reminder of the old railroad days. The store features a Friday night traditional mountain music jam which attracts musicians from hundreds of miles around, and a newly created park across from the store hosts a summer music series at the ‘depot’ stage set up by the New River. There’s no community perhaps anywhere that has more scenic approaches than Todd. No matter which way you choose to get there, you’re in for a treat. Consider these options: If you’re in Boone, there are two ways you can reach Todd. The first is to follow N.C. 194, a state-designated Scenic Byway, north from its intersection with U.S. 421 (near New Market Center, on the east end of town; watch for the sign). This route runs through farms and forests along an 11-mile run to Todd. The second choice is to turn off U.S. 421 at Brownwood Road. This is in Rutherwood, about two miles west of Deep Gap and seven miles east of Boone. Brownwood Road is located next to the office of Brady’s Roofing Co. and Pro Hardware. After crossing the construction for the new four-lane


Highway 421, the route returns to beautiful rural Watauga County. First, you travel up through farms and woods to Brownwood, where a cattle farm fills a scenic valley. After crossing a large bridge, turn left on Railroad Grade Road and follow it to Todd. A word about Railroad Grade Road. This actually follows the route of the old railroad that once ran here. It runs right along one of the most beautiful parts of the New River. The scenery is gorgeous along the ride - a total of about eight miles. Because it is level, it is a premier family bicycling destination, so watch out for cyclists as you drive along.

Mountain City

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



Don’t Stop Wining S

Banner Elk Winery celebrates five years on the vine

ince 2005, Banner Elk Winery has grown like the grapes on its own vines – steady, fruitful and award-winning. It’s the kind of success to which vintner and co-owner Dick Wolfe will raise his glass, and he guarantees visitors to the winery this season will enjoy the fruits of a banner year. “We’re experiencing a banner harvest of grapes,” Wolfe said of the winery’s vineyards, which are growing Foch, Seyval Blanc, Steuben, Golden Muscat and Cabernet Sauvignon. These varieties are French-American hybrids, cold-hardy and well-suited for the area’s high elevations and cooler weather, a climate akin to that of the European wine country. In fact, Wolfe and wife Dede Walton traveled to Italy this spring to see for themselves. “We noticed the climates were so similar, and the grapes there were at the same state ours were (for that time of year),” Wolfe said. Grapes grown in the High Country have shown their mettle in the face of cold winters. For instance, when a late freeze settled on the vines throughout North Carolina in spring 2007, a majority of grapes at lower elevations suffered, while Banner Elk’s varieties endured. Such grapes stay on the vine slightly longer, budding later than others, Wolfe said. Wolfe often tells visitors the winery is growing something special, though it seems critics would also agree. In 2006, the Banner Elk Winery 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon, made with grapes from Wolfe’s Wolf Creek Vineyard in Abingdon, Va., won the N.C. State Fair’s double-gold award. In 2007, the Banner Elk White, High Country Rosé, Seyval Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon left the fair with a bronze medal each, and the Banner Elk Chardonnay took the silver medal at the 2008 Blue Ridge Wine and Food Festival. The winery’s unique blueberry wine, made with blueberries grown on site, has also received state fair accolades. The winery also offers its newest wine in the Foch, a grape Wolfe previously grew exclusively for the Banner Elk Red blend. Though new to the area, this particular wine already won a gold medal in last year’s Blue Ridge Wine and Food Festival. “And that’s going to be one of our signature wines,” Wolfe said of the Foch. “That and the Seyval Blanc will be two signature wines that make this region famous.” Wolfe considers himself a “Johnny Grapeseed” of the region, introducing area farmers to viticulture as a profitable alternative to tobacco and Christmas trees and then purchasing the grapes for

the winery. “With as many vineyards that are producing, I’d say we’ll get 20 new tons of grapes, just locally,” Wolfe said. “With the 20 to 30 tons from last year, we’ll probably end up with 50 tons of grapes from local vineyards in North Carolina and the mountains.” When Wolfe started investigating the possibility of vineyards in the High Country in 2001, he said there were plenty of naysayers who said it could not be done. Now, they can effectively put a cork in it. At the time, Wolfe, a chemist by trade, approached Appalachian State University’s chancellor at the time, Frank Borkowski, to discuss the possibility of establishing a center for applied science, as well as offering the opportunity to teach farmers to grow and harvest grapes, with the winery playing a major role in the process. Borkwoski agreed, and the center was established with Wolfe at the helm. Wolfe and area businessman Angelo Acceturro teamed up to establish the winery, and though Wolfe, no longer works for the university, the winery continues to grow. The winery now features amphitheater for live music, adjacent to a fishing pond. “It’s an ideal location for destination weddings and special events,” Walton said. The winery is also home to the Villa at the Blueberry Farm, a luxurious bed and breakfast inn, featuring eight bedrooms, 10 bathrooms, a full kitchen and a panoramic view of the vineyards. “It feels like a special occasion, but it’s very comfortable and intimate,” Walton said. Comfortable and intimate go together like food and wine, something of which the winery proudly offers each summer with its wine dinners. Wine dinners usually have an ethnic theme, such as last year’s Cajun, Greek and Spanish meals, and diners get to sample a different Banner Elk wine with each course, designed specifically to complement each other. As meals are planned, they will be announced on the winery’s Web site, www.bannerelkwinery.com. Banner Elk Winery is located at 60 Deer Run Lane (just off Gualtney Road) in Banner Elk. The winery is open for wine tasting and tours Tuesday through Sunday, from noon to 6 p.m., and closed on Monday. For more information, call (828) 898-9090 or visit www.bannerelkwinery.com on the Web. — Frank Ruggiero




Dropping by



he community of Todd was once the bustling center of commerce in the region, but now it’s better known for relaxation and recreation. Todd is popular for having more bicycle and foot traffic than motor vehicle traffic, with Railroad Grade Road being as flat and gently winding as its name suggests. The Todd Island Park features a natural river setting and plenty of biological pleasures. There’s a historic walking trail in the downtown area that offers stops and information on the buildings that still linger from the days when Todd was the High Country center of commerce. The walking tour has brochures available to mark the history and culture of the community, from its logging heyday to its evolution as a summer retreat. The Todd Summer Music Series is a highlight enjoyed by hundreds, with the Saturday shows featuring the best in bluegrass, traditional, Americana, blues, gospel and country music. The summer series is free, with the exception of the Doc Watson concert, with all donations and proceeds benefiting the park and other Todd preservation efforts. Headline event for the series is the Doc Watson concert, scheduled for Aug. 21; Watson will be joined by The Tillers and the Forget-Me-Nots; admission is $15. Other groups in the Saturday series are the King Bees, Amantha Mill, the Sheets Family, Lost Ridge Band, Eric Ellis and Cedar Creek, the Worthless Son-in-Laws, and Laura Boosinger and Josh Gordin. The highlight of the summer is the annual Liberty Day

Parade, held this year on Saturday, July 3. It’s a parade where there are no bystanders — everyone gets to dress up and walk down the road, improvising their favorite expressions of liberty. Come early to get dressed and outfitted, then begin the parade walk at 11 a.m. The parade ends with a gathering at the Walter and Annie Cook Park, with music, games, food and fun. A series of community workshops are held each Saturday from 1 to 3 p.m. in June to make outfits and props for the parade, and they have become community events in their own right. Sponsored by the Elkland Art Center, the workshops are held in the old bank building, one of the historic downtown buildings beside the mercantile. The Todd General Store will once again feature music, storytelling, crafts and regional authors during the summer, continuing a long tradition dating back to the days when people gathered around the woodstove and played checkers.


Friday nights, the general store serves up dinner and music, with a variety of local bands and musicians performing throughout the summer. Dinner is at 6 p.m., and music is at 7 p.m. The Todd General Store features some storytellers in the region as part of its Tuesday night series, continuing through October. Orville Hicks tells stories as part of a family tradition dating back two centuries, including the “Jack Tales,” perhaps the most deeply ingrained Appalachian story style. The stories emerged out of the Scots-Irish tradition in which Jack, an everyman character, relies on cleverness and resourcefulness to outwit the king, giant, or some other authority figure. Telling begins on the back porch at 6 p.m. Many of the storytellers draw on traditional mountain subjects. On Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the store hosts local author signings, and the back porch will feature the work of regional artisans, artists, wood carvers, sculptors and other craft makers. The Todd Mercantile features the works of local artists and crafters, as well as mountain honey and other local goods. The “Todd Mahal Bakery” serves up fresh delights to satisfy the sweet tooth, and fresh produce and eggs are often available for sale by local gardeners. The Todd Island Park was purchased and overseen by the Todd Historic Preservation group, and is open year round with a bridge access over the New River. It offers passive recreation in a popular place to play in the river or launch a kayak. The community sits on the border of Ashe and Watauga counties and can be reached via N.C. 194, from either Todd or West Jefferson, or via Railroad Grade Road off U.S. 221.


The Mountain Times Summer Guide



The Mountain Times Summer Guide




Rhododendrons crown mountain tops with beau-

West Jefferson: Christmas Comes Twice a Year

In West Jefferson, Christmas Comes Twice a Year The 24th Annual Christmas in July Festival will be held on Saturday, July 3, from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on the Backstreet in West Jefferson. Drawing more than 20,000 visitors in a day, Christmas in July is a one-dayonly, free-admission event featuring the very best in traditional mountain music and handmade crafts from throughout the Northwest Mountains of North Carolina. Food, fun and festivities for the entire family will be available, from children’s activities. traditional and contemporary music and dance and an historic Civil War battle re-enactment and camp. The Washington Rifles of 1st Virginia Cavalry Co. D in Abingdon, Va., will provide a Civil War era re-enactment program during the festival. The re-enactors will set up in West Jefferson’s municipal park behind the library for three days (July 2-4) of events and activities including an exciting re-enactment of The Battle of Boone, a Civil War camp, living history talks and period music. Music is the very soul of the festival, with performers around bringing their talents to this venue. Musicians set to perform this year include country, bluegrass, old-time and gospel. The holiday weekend kicks off with a street dance on Friday, July 2, at 7 p.m. with music from Crossroads Country Band. CONTINUED ON PAGE 65 




Ashe County is home to sacred frescoes

The Frescoes, located at Saint Mary’s in West Jefferson and Holy Trinity in Glendale Springs, are well known throughout the region for their beauty and artistic style. The two churches are part of the Episcopal Parish in Ashe County, also known as Parish of the Holy Communion. The story behind the churches of the Frescoes and how they came about began back in the late 1800s. According to the Ashe County Chamber of Commerce, the story is as follows: Episcopal missionaries from Valle Crucis (in Watauga County) held services at various locations in Ashe County as early as 1852, but no continuing presence of the Episcopal Church existed until 1895 when 19 candidates were presented for confirmation. Bishop Joseph Cheshire then hired two school teachers and began a school. In September 1895, the church of Saint Simon the Zealot was organized. The church’s name was changed to Saint Mary’s in 1903. In 1900, another Bishop visited Glendale Springs and began building Holy Trinity Church. Jenny Fields, a trained nurse and midwife, moved into the Holy Trinity Mission House in 1913 and began to tend the sick and deliver babies in the community. She was followed by other women and the community of Glendale Springs began to grow. The Fresco paintings at the two churches began when Ben Long, an Italian-trained artist of Statesville, painted three Frescoes at Saint Mary’s: Mary Great With Child in 1974, John the Baptist in 1975 and Mystery of Life in 1977. In the summer of 1980, Long painted the Fresco of The Last Supper at Holy Trinity as that church building was being restored. Since the Frescoes were completed, hundreds of thousands of people have visited the churches. The Chamber website said that 60,000 pilgrims come to Saint Mary’s and Holy Trinity each year.


To the benefit of the Frescoes, the Ashe County Frescoes Foundation (ACFF) was formed in May of 2009. It was created for the purpose of protecting and preserving the Ben Long Frescoes and to assure the tens of thousands of tourists they attract that the Frescoes will always be accessible. The church obtained a $24,000 grant that allowed the congregation to accomplish the many much-needed painting and repair tasks that have been ongoing. The Foundation continues to seek assistance and is currently in need of volunteers for a variety of tasks. The Foundation is a non-profit corporation. Its articles of incorporation and its bylaws provide for a board of directors consisting of nine members, four of whom are affiliated with the Fresco churches. The remaining five members are active and contributing members of the Ashe County community. The Foundation, as well as activities such as the Fall Festival of the Frescoes that is held every October, are used to bring attention to the Fresco churches as being a valuable commodity to the community. “Now our congregation is very small and with the high numbers of people who come to see the churches, we are simply too small to adequately care for the properties as they need to be cared for as far as cleaning and protection and preservation of the art works. We need help,” Garrett Briggs, president of the ACFF, told the Ashe Mountain Times in an interview in October. “The foundation is set up to be separate from the church and is made up by a majority of people who are not Episcopalian. That is to make the point that these artworks are available for everybody.” For more information about the Frescoes, the Foundation, how you can help or make a contribution, click to ashecountyfrescoesfoundation.org. Or, checks may be made payable to: The Ashe County Frescoes Foundation and mailed to PO Box 912, Jefferson, NC 28640. —Heather Canter




Mountain Music: Tucked Away in the Ashe Hollows

Ashe County’s Mountain Music Jamboree and Buffet 23 Years in Tune With High Country Family Entertainment

‘well, that sold easy I’ll see if I can get some more money together to find a place to relocate’ and that piece of property sold in two weeks. I looked around for

Although the stage and dance floor inside the Mountain Music Jamboree are quiet at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday night, it is no more than the calm before a civilized storm. Jamboree owner Arvill Scott is busy running back and forth checking this and that in a manner reserved for those folks who do it all themselves. Scott is owner, operator, D.J., sometime picker, janitor and full-time life of the party, just to name a few positions, for the Ashe County venue, which is now in its 22nd year and third location, having outgrown the previous two in fairly short order. Tucked cozily away in the shadows of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Glendale Springs, the Jamboree is the kind of place where, according to Scott, you’re only allowed to be a stranger once, “after that you’re one of us,” he regularly says. The history of the Jamboree is filled with stories of laughter and tears and, in many ways, resembles a family rich in tradition, with Scott as the patriarch. “In 1987, a group of us [local musicians] were getting together for jam sessions on a fairly regular basis and as part of that, we decided that rather than going and playing at different places away from the county that we would just start something of our own and make it close by,” Scott said. “We located a place in Laurel Springs which was the old abandoned Laurel Springs Schoolhouse, and started the jamboree there Memorial Day Weekend 1987. “We stayed there for five years in the school’s auditorium, which had a wonderful air about it with a hardwood floor, seats all around it and great acoustics. We had some wonderful times there, and the people who were there behind the bands and the music really made it special. They came from everywhere around the area just by word of mouth and brochures, but mostly from people telling people. In five years, it had grown to the point that 130 to 150 people were too much for the room to hold so we had to start looking for someplace to go.” As it turned out, Scott and his friends had a neighbor, Tom Burgess, who had in his possession “a bunch of Hurricane Hugo timbers that he wanted to build something out of, so he built a music barn.” The Jamboree was at the Burgess Barn for nine years, operating from May to October. During the coldest months, they were forced to close because of heating issues. Scott said that eventually they began to outgrow the barn as well, even though it could hold around 200 people, and so he once again started to look for a new home for the jamboree. It was at that time that Scott says there was some divine intervention. “Things began to happen for me that were beyond coincidence. First, I had a piece of land that I put a ‘for sale’ sign in the yard of, and somebody came along and took it at the price I was asking. So I had another piece of land and I thought

land I thought would be suitable and wasn’t having a lot of luck. I came home one day and there was a message on my answering machine telling me about this piece of property and by 10 o’clock the next morning I had purchased it. I truly felt like the hand of God had been clearing the way for me. That was the birth of this place and we opened the doors the first weekend in April of 2002,” Scott said. From that day until now, the jamboree has continued to grow in popularity both near and far. As testament to that popularity, you can find three maps hanging just as you enter the building; one of North Carolina, one of the United States and one of the World. Covering those maps, with a few more on the world map than you might expect, are push pins, put there by visitors. “It is amazing how many people have come here. We have literally had tens of thousands of visitors in 21 years. One night we had two separate couples in here, sitting on opposite sides of the room, who were both from South Africa. Now they didn’t come together, but they were here at the same time. It is just amazing to me at times,” Scott said. Scott feels that the reason why the jamboree has been so successful is that they present an honest show with traditional music played by people who love it with some often-unexpected down-home fun during band breaks. Sometimes music is played for line dancing and, on many occasions, Scott will break out a good old Virginia Reel. “I never wanted this place to be about making payments, I wanted it to be about making music in a family atmosphere and I think we have achieved that,” he said. In addition to the music, which is served up fresh every Saturday night, the jamboree offers up the Winner’s Circle buffet from May to October and yearround on special occasions. Of course, the most important part of any local business is the local part of it, and Scott said that he would love to see more local folks coming out for the weekly shows. “I want folks who don’t know to hear that we are a family place where you can come and laugh and dance and just enjoy traditional music and the tradition of a barn dance.” The doors open at 6 p.m. and the bands start around 7 p.m., 6:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. respectively, November through April. The Mountain Music Jamboree is a smoke and alcohol-free family entertainment venue, located at 9331 N.C. Highway 16 in Glendale Springs. For more information on Mountain Music Jamboree, to see band schedules or make reservations, click to www.mountainmusicjamboree.com. Reservations may also be made by calling (336) 384-4079 or toll free (800) 803-4079. — Ron Fitzwater


The Mountain Times Summer Guide

Christmas in July Continued From Page 65

Dance entertainment at the festival is offered by the students of Tonya Halsey, Dancin’ Debbies, April’s School of Dance and Fleet Feet Cloggers. See specialty numbers from Elite Miss Pageant Queens and Queens with a Cause. In the craft area, visitors can find a wide variety of arts and crafts including paintings, photography, wooden, glass and leather items, jewelry, clothing and accessories, toys, pottery, sculpture, collectibles and much more. There are also locally made crafts and locally grown produce and greenery at the Ashe County Farmers Market that is open on the Backstreet during the festival. Children can enjoy a ton of fun, hands-on activi-

ties including arts and crafts, games and recreation. Other activities include a 4-H youth livestock show just outside town at the Agricultural Expo Center on N.C. 163. The festival is also a showcase for the Ashe County and North Carolina Christmas Tree Associations exhibiting beautiful examples of the popular Fraser fir tree growing in abundance all across the High Country. Vendors interested in participating in the festival can download entry forms from the festival website at www.christmasinjuly.info. For additional information, contact the Ashe County Arts Council at (336) 846-2787 or the Ashe County Chamber of Commerce at (336) 846-9550. -Story counrtesy West Jefferson Christmas in July Committee

Main stage schedule * 9 a.m.: Elkville String Band * 10 a.m.: Dollar Brothers Band * 11 a.m.: Crooked Road Oldtime Band * 12 p.m.: Southern Accent * 1 p.m.: Harris Brothers Band * 2 p.m.: Wayne Henderson and Friends * 3 p.m.: Jeff Little, the Pianoman * 4 p.m.: Amantha Mill Band * 5 p.m.: Creek Junction Band * 6 p.m.: Dust to Dust Contemporary Gospel Music



The Mountain Times Summer Guide



The Mountain Times Summer Guide




Appalachian Summer S

It’s An

Amy Sedaris

Annual arts festival runs July 1-30

ummers in the High Country are traditionally cool. Some attribute it to the great atmospheric processes in the sky, but those in the know thank An Appalachian Summer Festival for contributing. Appalachian State University’s annual celebration of all things arts is now in its 26th year of bringing cool to Watauga County, from cutting-edge comedy to music fresh and venerable to the latest in professional theater, and then some. T h i s y e a r ’s h i g h l i g h t s i n c l u d e comedienne of stage, screen and print Amy Sedaris on July 9, the mind- (and body-) bending Golden Dragon Acrobats, the revered jazz-rock tunings of Blood, Sweat and Tears on July 24, and the traditional sounds of the legendary Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys, performing with Cherryholmes, on July 30. But, wait. There’s more. “There’s more of a focus of really getting down to what our patrons are saying,” Appalachian Summer marketing manager Megan Stage said.

Taking audience feedback into account, the festival planners – at it since the moment last year’s celebration closed – devised a diverse lineup that would appeal to people of all ages and walks of life. “It’s a year-round process,” Stage said, “not something that just gets thrown together. As soon as the festival ends, we start planning for the next year. It’s definitely a long process, but we’ve got a great team who goes out and researches a lot of different opportunities, seeing what works and what didn’t work in the past.” Once prospective acts are identified, Stage researches these opportunities to determine how they performed in similar venues, whether or not they’d fit well in An Appalachian Summer and, more importantly, if they’re even available. This year didn’t pose much of a problem. “When we say there’s something for everyone, there truly is something for everyone,” Stage said. “We try very hard to


Golden Dragon Acrobats

make sure that’s a staple here, something we hold fast to and make sure is true. Whether you like classical symphonies, rock or dance, the festival is so diverse, bringing a whole bunch of different acts to our front door.” The festival kicks off July 1 with singer-songwriters Janis Ian and Karla Bonoff, followed by ASU’s Turchin Center for the Visual Arts’ Summer Exhibition Celebration, featuring contemporary art from Mexico, on July 2. Festival planners had to look no further than the university’s own Hayes School of Music for its Music Faculty Showcase on July 3, and the Broyhill Chamber Ensemble’s Reflection Series on July 7, 14 and 25 promises a classical complement. A favorite among classical music aficionados, the Eastern Festival Orchestra returns July 11 with pianist Barry Douglas and on July 18 with violinist Tianwa Yang. The Lar Lubovitch Dance Company brings its internationally renowned footwork to the stage on July 16, followed by acclaimed

singer and actress Patti LuPone, of Evita fame, on July 17. In the tune of jazz, guitarist, vocalist, songwriter and bandleader John Pizzarelli swings into Farthing on July 22, and ASU’s own Todd Wright, celebrated saxophonist, will perform Jazz Beneath the Stars at Westglow Resort and Spa on July 29. And on July 24, patrons of the arts can take to foot on a guided tour of the 24th Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Competition and Exhibition. Turchin Center staff members will lead viewers along the exhibition trail throughout campus, with this year’s event featuring nine entries, with artists typically present to meet, greet and describe their artwork. There’s also a “Getaway Bus Trip” to see Triad Stage’s production of Providence Gap, written by ASU artistic partner Preston Lane. “We’re keeping with tradition, but upping the standards every year,” Stage said. “Last year, we raised the bar with our 25th anniversary, and this year we’re keeping that CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE 




Appalachian Summer CONTINUED FROM PAGE 68

hype. We’ve got nothing but excitement for what it is.” 2010 marks Stage’s first year as marketing manager, though she’s worked with An Appalachian Summer for the last five years in the box office, sales and some marketing aspects. “I’ve lived here for five years and have really taken ownership of this festival, and that’s what I want the community to realize, that this is their festival, and we want them to take ownership and be proud of it, just like we are,” she said. “We wouldn’t do it if we didn’t love it.” Stage said last year’s festival was one of the most successful she can remember, the 25th anniversary event seeing most of its performances sold out. As such, she encourages interested parties to purchase tickets in advance. Tickets for An Appalachian Summer performances range between $5 and $30, with most visual arts and educational events free of charge. Flex passes are also available, and people can check specific prices online at www.appsummer.org, as event dates draw nearer. As part of the festival, the Turchin Center offers a series of summer day camps and workshops for kids, teens and adults, information for which is available at www. turchincenter.org, by calling (828) 262-3017 or by e-mailing turchincenter@appstate.edu. For more information on An Appalachian Summer Festival, visit www.appsummer.org. — Frank Ruggiero

Ralph Stanley

Todd Wright Lar Lubovitch Dance Company

Schedule at a Glance The following events start at 8 p.m. at Farthing Auditorium: July 1 - Janis Ian and Karla Bonoff July 5 - Film: Me and Orson Welles July 9 - Amy Sedaris July 10 - Golden Dragon Acrobats July 11 - Eastern Festival Orchestra with Barry Douglas July 12 - Film: Vanya on 42nd Street July 16 - Lar Lubovitch Dance Company July 17 - Patti LuPone July 18 - Eastern Festival Orchestra with Tianwa Yang July 19 - Film: Every Little Step

July 22 - John Pizzarelli and Swing 7 July 23 - Film: Wild & Scenic Environmental Film Festival July 26 - Film: Under the Same Moon July 30 - Ralph Stanley & the Clinch Mountain Boys and Cherryholmes

The following events start at 8 p.m. at Rosen Concert Hall: July 3 - Hayes School of Music Distinguished Faculty Showcase Concert July 7 - Broyhill Chamber Ensemble - Pride of Place: Classical Folk Melodies July 14 - Broyhill Chamber Ensemble - A Musical Mandala: From Bach to Barkauskas and Back July 25 - Broyhill Chamber Ensemble - Classical Classics: Muriel Rosen: In Memoriam

Other events July 2 - Turchin Center for the Visual Arts Summer Exhibition Celebration, 7-9 p.m. (Free event) July 8 - Belk Distinguished Lecture: Anne Whisnant, “Driving Through Time from the ‘B’ Drawer to the Digital Blue Ridge Parkway” (Free event) July 10 - Family Day at the Turchin Center (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.) (Free event) July 24 - Festival Celebration Concert with Blood, Sweat & Tears, 7:30 p.m. Holmes Convocation Center July 24 - 24th Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Walk and Exhibition Competition, 10 a.m., starting at Farthing Auditorium (Free event) July 29 - Jazz Beneath the Stars at Westglow Resort & Spa with the Todd Wright Jazz Orchestra, 6-9 p.m. at Westglow, (Festival fundraising event) Lunch and Learn Series – Noon on Wednesdays during the festival (Free event)




Rhododendrons at Grandfather Mountain

Rhododendrons crown mountain tops with beauty


hododendron -from the Greek: rodo, meaning “rose”, and dendro, meaning “tree”- is flowering plant species in the Ericaceae family. There are over 1000 species of rhododendron, including the beautiful flowering shrubs that we know as azaleas. The rhododendron is the national flower of Nepal, the state flower of Uttrakhand, India and the state flower of both West Virginia and Washington. Obviously covering terrain near and far, the native North Carolinian Rhododendron’s green leaves and bright blossoms invite us to find a trail, path, road or festival to explore and enjoy. So popular are these flower displays that several areas host festivals in their name! The Roan Mountain Rhododendron National Recreation Trail boast an easy one mile hike through rhododendron groves which reach their flowering peak between mid-June and early July each year. Atop this 6,327 foot peak lays three masses of groves, spanning 600 acres. Legend has it that American Indians waged a great battle atop Roan Mountain and so much blood was spilled that the rhododendron blooms turned from white to red. Updates on their website; www. roanmountain.com will keep you abreast of the calendar of flowering explosions, or call the U S Forest Service at 1-828682-6146 for their official bloom report! In addition, the 64th Annual Rhododendron Festival is hosted at Roan Mountain State Park June 19th and 20th this year, featuring free admission, demonstrations, and entertainment all day both days, with a variety of Arts, Crafts Food and Drink available. The groves of Roan Mountain State Park, featuring the giant Rhododendron Catawbiense, comprise the largest rhododendron gardens in the World! Players at the Linville Golf Club at Esceaola will hardly notice if their game is up to par whilst the surrounding mountain rhododendrons distract from the game. Crafted in 1924 by architect Donald Ross, this mountainous golf sanctuary was designed as a nature resort that happened to offer 18 holes of golf. Using mules for labor, he integrated rhododendron thickets and meandering mountain streams into his course. One of the most highly regarded private golf resorts in North Carolina, the course is said to be as challenging as it is beautiful. Rhododendron minus exists as two botanical varieties,

carolinianum and minus, both commonly called Carolina rhododendron or deer tongue laurel in mountain communities. Minus has the smallest leaves and smallest flowers. Flowers of carolinianum appear the earliest in spring, often in early April. Minus waits until new growth is fully expanded before flowering, in full bloom about Father’s Day... The most common flower color is pale lavender pink but darker purples and white forms exist. The most intensely colored flowers in this species are often at higher elevations while the population surrounding Linville Gorge has a pink coloration. Rhododendron maximum is the most striking of the three NC native evergreen rhododendrons because of its size and the large dark green foliage. Leaves are commonly ten inches long and the plants grow large enough to form Rhododendron tunnels. Specimens twenty-five feet tall exist in the upper piedmont and mountains of NC. Commonly called max or rosebay, this rhododendron is almost always found growing in the shade or at the edge of the woods. Flowers are almost always white, often with a yellow throat. Beautiful pale pink forms are seen in the higher mountains but when transplanted to lower elevations they flower white. The intensity of pink color seems to be due to cooler temperatures. The Rhododendron catawbiense is the most popular of North Carolina’s native evergreen rhododendrons due to the incredible annual floral displays along the Blue Ridge Parkway. While best known for their raspberry sherbet colored blooms, the Catawba rhododendron can display flowers in pale pink and white and can be found everywhere in the high country from roadside to the highest mountain peaks. While most abundant on or near high mountain balds and the bluffs of places like Grandfather Mountain, R. catawbiense exists well down into the NC piedmont. The difference is that they thrive in full sun in the mountains above 3000 ft. but in shaded ravines under tall trees or on east or north facing slopes in the Piedmont. Whether hiking, golfing, biking, gemming or simply taking a Sunday drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway, you are sure to find delight in the rhododendron groves surrounding you. — Corrinne Loucks Assad



The Mountain Times Summer Guide

Between the Covers

Authors offer rainy-day reading T

he mountains are home to a number of authors, many of whom are members of High Country Writers. The members’ recent releases offer a diverse look at the area and the local talent, perfect for a front-porch browse or content for an e-book reader. Bart Bare has released a thought-provoking coming-of-age novel “Girl,” introducing recently orphaned 14-year-old Loren Creek. She is caught in the crossfire of a legal system that would control her future and a foster care system that lays claim to her daily life. A fiercely independent Tennessee mountain girl, Loren escapes her foster home by fleeing to the mountains of North Carolina and, with the help of a curmudgeonly mountain man, she manages to evade detection by assuming the identity of a boy. She reluctantly becomes the kicker on the school football team and becomes popular with boys and girls alike, causing stressful, confusing, even dangerous situations. Aldrich Herms, Loren’s foster care guardian takes her disappearance personally. He won’t give up until he finds her and places her with a good family according to his rules. June Bare’s inspirational novel, “Soar Above the Yesterday” is a sequel to “All Things,” bringing character Susanna Elder more life-changing decisions with romance, history, and mystery. Old characters are revisited and new ones introduced. What mystery does her antique desk reveal? Susanna finds two paths in front of her; which one will she take. Does she follow her dream of a career in music, or will Providence lead her in a different direction? What hope for a future lies in the path of a single mother of twins? Leslie Brunetsky’s regional humor is collected in “Real Country,” a hilarious exposé of how ignorant urban dwellers are when they head for green acres. Fresh from the politically charged environment of the nation’s capital, Brunetsky and her partner discover everything they never wanted to know about surviving in Appalachia. “Real Country” is for everyone who has yearned for the simple life, an unforgettable account of the transformation from corporate warrior to storyteller. Linda Jencson’s “Cultures Emerging:Anthropology for A New Millennium” is a compendium of readings and study questions that covers the basics of cultural anthropology--the study of humankind. It goes beyond that to involve the reader in rapid changes taking place in global systems. Important human rights issues are covered with a focus on innovative solutions that seek to blend the wisdom of local cultures and the knowledge of modern science. Nancy Kaiser’s memoir, “Letting Go: An Ordinary Woman’s Extraordinary Journey of Healing & Transformation,” is the story of a woman who retires with her husband to the mountains of North Carolina to build their dream retirement home, and just as she embarks on this fabulous new chapter in her life, her husband confesses, “I never wanted any of this….” Follow her struggle to learn from and let go of the devastating feelings of betrayal, grief, anger, fear, and loneliness that engulf her after they separate and divorce. Nora Lourie Percival for her romance novel, “Pell Mell: X Marks the Spot “which deals with contemporary lives and poses the question: “Is love enough?” Author and journalist Scott Nicholson has used local legends in much of his work. His novel “The Red Church,” a Stoker Award finalist and alternate selection of the Mystery Guild, is out in a new edition, in which a boy and sheriff must solve the mystery of a haunted Appalachian church. His psychological thriller The Skull Ring features Julia Stone, who is piecing together childhood memories when the past comes creeping back in the form of a sinister cult.

The Watauga County Historical Society has all eyes on “The Architectural History of Watauga County, North Carolina.” Nicholson’s new novel “Drummer Boy” is inspired by the local legend of the Jangling Hole, in which the ghosts of Civil War deserters are still believed to be hiding out in the Linville Caverns. Young misfit Vernon Ray Davis is caught between a small Appalachian town and the dark forces of the supernatural. He’s also author of the graphic novels Dirt and Grave Conditions. More information is at www.hauntedcomputer.com. Roy Weaver has been collecting local stories since he was young enough to listen, but it wasn’t until he retired that he had time to write them down. Weaver grew up in the Aho community near Blowing Rock and heard many family stories over the years, from what was once a rural farming area. He started writing them down a few years ago, including his most recent title, “War on the Mountaintop.” In putting the books together and browsing genealogy records, Weaver found a lot of information on the Storie family, which became divided during the Civil War. “You had two families that were double first cousins and they would up fighting on both sides of the war,” Weaver said. “Twelve men went away to fight and eight died during the Civil War.” The books are available locally in the Blowing Rocket office in Blowing Rock and at the Watauga County Library. Copies are also available by emailing royweaver@bellsouth.net or calling the author at (828) 264-4254. Lin Stepp is releasing the second book in her Smoky Mountain Novel series, which includes upbeat romantic stories that travel to different sections of the Smokies. “Tell Me About Orchard Hollow” is set in Townsend, Tenn. where New Yorker Jenna Howell is staying in a friend’s cabin. While seeking peace and relaxation, instead she meets intriguing

new friends, including Boyce Hart, and an unexpected attraction develops. Country-music star Dolly Parton Parton says of the book, “Well, I’ve finally come across someone that believes in all the things I do...love, family, faith, intrigue, mystery, loyalty, romance and a great love for our beloved Smoky Mountains.” Stepp is a business owner and educator, teaching psychology at Tusculum College. For more information, visit www.linstepp. com. “The Wind in the Woods” by Rose Senehi is a romantic thriller that reveals a man’s devotion to North Carolina’s Green River Valley and the camp he built to share its wonders; his daughter’s determination to hike the Blue Ridge—unaware that a serial killer is stalking her; and nine-year-old Alvin Magee’s heart-warming discovery of freedom and responsibility in a place apart from his adult world. “The Architectural History of Watauga County, North Carolina” has been released by the Watauga County Historical Society. The book is derived from several architectural surveys conducted in the past, one of which originated with the Watauga County Historical Society in the early 1980s. Around 600 photographs and architectural descriptions along with a history essay comprise the volume, which is nearly 400 pages long. Books may be purchased at the Jones House in downtown Boone, the University Bookstore at Appalachian State University and at Edgewood Cottage in Blowing Rock, or via www.wataugacountyhistoricalsociety.com. Browse local bookstores and support local authors. You can even take them to the beach when you leave.


The Mountain Times Summer Guide



The Mountain Times Summer Guide




Horn in the West H

istory buffs, theater fans, and lovers of the outdoors have a common destination in the High Country this summer. Horn in the West sits on 35 wooded acres in the heart of Boone and features a 2,500 seat outdoor theater, history museum, and an adjacent botanical area, the Daniel Boone Native Gardens. On the Native Gardens grounds sits the Ben Howard hunting and fishing cabin where historians believe Daniel Boone’s father Squire Boone stayed, and most likely also Boone himself. A yearly stage show beginning Friday June 18 portrays the lives of early local residents, including Boone and other Revolutionary War heroes, as well as the battles of Alamance where the Patriots were horribly defeated, and King’s Mountain during which the militia was able to defeat the Loyalist forces. The doors to the theater open at 7:30 p.m. and the show begins at 8:00 p.m. but Virginia


Living History in Boone

Roseman, public relations director for Horn in the West, recommends visitors come early to visit the living history museum, the Hickory Ridge Homestead. “Visitors have the opportunity for hands-on conversation with museum staff, and can learn intimate pieces of history outside of the content of the show,” she said. Museum staff dresses in period clothing and give visitors a special glimpse into the pioneer way of life including many of the skills that allowed them to survive in the wilderness. The Homestead also offers workshops throughout the summer teaching candle and corn husk doll making, hearth cooking, and primitive life skills. Part of what makes visiting the stage show at Horn in the West so interesting is that the actors and actresses never perform exactly the same show. “While the beginning and ending are always the same,” Roseman said, “the actors always do something different in the middle.” It is the talent CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE 



Horn in the West CONTINUED FROM PAGE 74

of the actors and actresses that has made the Horn in the West production one of the premiere outdoor theater shows in the nation. On Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights this summer visitors will also have the opportunity to enjoy some local cooking. The Daniel Boone Inn, in partnership with the Horn in the West, is offering a modified all-you-can-eat buffet dinner menu for all visitors who want to come early. The dinner is held on the grounds, and tickets can be ordered through the Horn in the

West office. Spaces are limited, however. “Guests will want to get their tickets early in the day,” Roseman said. “By 4 p.m. we’re usually fully booked.” The Horn is also offering many other activities throughout the summer in addition to the stage show. On July 4 a burning of an effigy of King George will be held during which actors will read 13 salutes to the Revolution, one for each of the original colonies, explaining their reasons for declaring independence from the British crown, to the tune of a 13 gun salute. The Powderhorn Theater, located across the parking lot from the Hickory Ridge Homestead will be holding the Horn Children’s Theater show July 10, 17, 24, 31 and August 7. Horn in the West will also be presenting Extra Theater Productions late in the summer evenings. In addition to various skits and shows past performances have included Dracula and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. For more information contact the Horn in the West office at (828) 264-2120. — Michael Gebelein






The Art of Day Camps

ppalachian State University’s Turchin Center for the Visual Arts and An Appalachian Summer Festival announce a summer season of arts and fun for kids, teens and adults of all interests and skill levels. Workshops exploring Mexican art, puppet making and super heroes are available for youth ranging in age from 6- 12. Older teens and adults can develop or hone their skills in drawing, painting, creating heirloom jewelry, book and papermaking and more. Summer workshops are offered during the month of July. Advance web registration and payment are required, and enrollment is limited. Turchin Center members are eligible for discounted registration fees. Register online at www.tcva.org/register. For personal assistance or more information, call (828) 262-3017. The Community Art School at the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts presents year-round educational programming and develops the visual arts workshops offered during An Appalachian Summer Festival. The mission of the center’s Community Art School is to make the diversity, creativity and critical thinking found in the visual arts more accessible to the regional Appalachian community. Workshops and classes are available for art enthusiasts of all ages and skill levels. These educational opportunities are designed around the multifaceted exhibitions on display in the center, and are designed to stimulate the imagination, encourage creativity, develop perceptual awareness and nurture a global perspective of visual culture. The summer workshops offered during An Appalachian Summer Festival include three day camps/workshops for children ages 6-12 and 12 workshops for older teens and adults, including a teacher accreditation workshops for art educators.

Workshops for Kids Art Day Camp: From Trash to Puppets July 12-16, Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. TCVA partners with the Elkland Art Center to create puppets from regular household items. These puppets will be given voice, and the final project will include a puppet show for family and friends on the last day. Students will work on different elements of performance — from puppet creation to sound to basic script writing to stage performance. Bring a bag lunch each session for this all-day weeklong workshop. For ages 6-12. It will be held in the Arnold P. Rosen Family Education Wing, third floor classroom, and taught by Cindy Ball and Lexie Danner. Cost is $150 for TCVA members, $200 for nonmembers

Viva Mexico!

July 19-23, Monday -Friday, 1-3 p.m. Designed to encourage creativity and stimulate imagination through museum activities, art appreciation, and exposure to ancient cultures. Participants will learn about contemporary Mexican artists and create a work of art that reflects the works of these wondrous ancient civilizations from Mexico. For ages 8-12, it will be held in the Arnold P. Rosen Family Education Wing, third floor classroom and taught by Diane Adkins. Cost is $50 for TCVA members; $75 for nonmembers.

Be a Super Hero…. or a Super Shero!

July 26-30, Monday- Friday, 1-3 p.m. Discover what makes a person super! Participants will create their own “Super Hero” or “Super Shero,” giving them heroic powers by painting on clothes, capes, papier maché masks, helmets, goggles, collars, armbands and more! The workshop will conclude with each participant creating his or her own comic strip. Solid colored fabric (for a cape) and suitable painting clothes are required. It’s for ages 7-12. It will be held in the Arnold P. Rosen Family Education Wing, third floor classroom, and taught by Rosa Powers. The cost is $60 for members; $80 for nonmembers.

Workshops for Older Teens & Adults Basic Batik July 3, Saturday, 9 a.m.-noon “Batik,” meaning “wax written,” describes an ancient art form that has been handed down over the centuries in Asia, India and Africa. Participants will experiment with beginning batik methods using hot wax and fabric dyes or paints to create bold, beautiful designs. No experience is necessary. It will be held in the Arnold P. Rosen Family Education Wing, third floor classroom, and taught by Janet Montgomery. Cost is $30 for TCVA members; $50 for nonmembers. Figure Drawing July 5-9, Monday- Friday, 10 a.m.-noon, 1-3 p.m. This class takes participants through a series of drawing exercises designed to achieve familiarity with the human figure, exploring gesture and organization drawing using charcoal, graphite and paint. This course allows for a wide range of abilities from beginner to advanced. It will be held at the Art Department’s Wey Hall, Room 306. Taught by ASU faculty Tim Ford; $130 for TCVA members; $150 for non-members. Breathtaking and Bold: A Non-Traditional Approach to Watercolor/Gouache

Figure Painting July 5-7, Monday-Wednesday, 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. Explore non-traditional ways of applying paint to paper creating beautiful figure paintings. Using an alternative approach with watercolor and gouache to interpret a nude model with rollers, eyedroppers, cut paper and glue. Arnold P. Rosen Family Education Wing, 3rd Floor Classroom; Taught by Kate Worm; $130 for TCVA members, $150 for non-members Creating Handmade Books July 8-9, Thursday -Friday, 9 a.m.-noon and 1-4 p.m. Cover all of the basics for hand bookbinding using three handmade book forms that can be used for creating blank journals, zines or artist’s books with content. Participants will be guided through the creation a Japanese side stitch book, a pamphlet book and a simple case binding. ASU Art Department, Wey Hall, Room 130; Taught by April Flanders; $110 for TCVA members, $140 for non-members Decorative Papers July 10, Saturday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Decorate colorful papers using various techniques, such as designing paste papers, bubble prints, playing with watercolors then use these papers to create note holders, stationery, and small artist books. Arnold P. Rosen Family Educational Wing, 3rd Floor Classroom; Taught by Sigrid Hice; $40 for TCVA members, $60 for non-members Plein Air July 10-11, Saturday -Sunday, 9:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Celebrate the magical quality of light that flows through the rich, textural landscape in and around Boone, as you create expressive paintings in the outdoors using your chosen medium. (sunscreen, insect repellant, water and hat recommended.) Arnold P. Rosen Family Education Wing, 3rd Floor Classroom; Taught by Tricia Spencer; $85 for TCVA members; $110 for non-members Spontaneous Design and Wearable Art July 12-16, Monday- Friday, 10 a.m.-Noon and 1-4 p.m. Discover how to design art for t-shirts and other wearable items by hand in this unique workshop. Students will be guided through the process of designing, creating stencils and printing using screen print methods. ASU Art Department, Wey Hall, Room 130; Taught by April Flanders; $185 for TCVA members, $215 for non-members Painting Techniques of the Old Masters July 19-30, Monday-Friday, 9:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m. Discover new methods of painting using glaze and underpainting techniques (technically known as the Venetian and Grisaille technique) used by ancient masters. Participants will use oil paint for this meticulous, processoriented 12-day workshop. Arnold P. Rosen Family Education Wing, 3rd Floor Classroom; Taught by Jeri Allison; $185 for TCVA members, $215 for non-members Technology in Art Education Workshop July 22, Thursday, 9 a.m.-noon Art Educators are given the opportunity to explore the uses of technology in teaching visual art and creating art. This is an introductory course and will not require

purchased software. Arnold P. Rosen Family Education Wing, 3rd Floor Classroom; Taught by Dr. Janet Montgomery; FREE to teachers, but you must still pre-register National Board Certification for Art Teachers: Unlock the Mystery of the Process July 22, Thursday, 1-4 p.m. This workshop is for art teachers who are either considering or in the process of National Board Certification. We hope to answer questions, have discussions, and provide support from local art teachers who have recently completed their National Board Certification. Arnold P. Rosen Famly Education Wing, 3rd Floor Classroom; Taugher by Jill Huffman & Dacia Trethewey; FREE to school teachers, but you must still pre-register

Papermaking ~ Turn your Junk Mail into Paper Art July 24, Saturday, 10 a.m.- 3 p.m. Don’t toss your junk mail just yet! Turn it into art! Using recycled junk mail and discarded copy paper, students will create handmade papers suitable for framing, making collages, or decorating gift cards. Arnold P. Rosen Family Education Wing, 3rd Floor Classroom; Taught by Sigrid Hice; $35 for TCVA members, $50 for non-members

Heirloom Jewelry July 26-30, Monday- Friday, 10 a.m.-Noon and 1-4 p.m. Heirloom jewelry provides a meaningful and healing way to remember a loved one. Honor your beloved by creating your own keepsake jewelry. Students will explore ways of integrating your most precious mementos using glass windows and metal frames. ASU Art Department Wey Hall, Room 102; Taught by Angela Bubash; $150 for TCVA members, $180 for non-members

An Appalachian Summer Festival’s success is due in large part to generous support from loyal private donors, as well as a dedicated group of corporate and media sponsors, many of whom have supported the festival for over a decade. Festival sponsors include: Blue Ridge Electric Membership Corporation, Westglow Resort and Spa, SkyBest Communications, Inc., McDonald’s of Boone, Mast General Store, Best Western – Blue Ridge Plaza, Allen Wealth Management, Footsloggers Outdoor & Travel Outfitters, Peabody’s Wine & Beer Merchants, Chetola Resort, the Broyhill Inn and Conference Center, WBTV, WCYB, Charter Media, the Mountain Times, All About Women magazine, the Winston-Salem Journal, the High Country Press, Oldies 100.7FM, Mix 102.3FM, WHKY AM 1290 Talk Radio and WHKY-TVDT, Mountain Television Network, WDAV 89.9FM, WFDD 88.5FM, WETS 89.5FM, WNCW 88.8FM,WASU 90.5FM and WNC magazine.

The Turchin Center is located at 423 W. King St., in Boone. Hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday, and noon to 8 p.m. on Friday. The center is closed Sunday and Monday and observes all university holidays. There is no admission charge, although donations are gratefully accepted.

To request or view a complete schedule of the Community Art School’s programs for children, teenagers, adults, seniors and special populations, or for additional details about the Turchin Center, becoming a member, or the upcoming exhibitions, call (828) 262-3017 or visit www. tcva.org. For festival tickets and information about festival events, call (800) 841-ARTS(2787) or (828) 262-4046 (M-F, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.) or visit www.appsummer.org.




Festivals blossom across region

Elvis Costello he summer has always been an exciting time for fans of art and live music in the High Country, and 2010 will prove to be no exception. The counties of Ashe, Avery, and Watauga will be the hosts for many different events ranging the spectrum of music and art, from jazz and bluegrass to handmade crafts and paintings. The Ashe Arts Council will be holding its annual Christmas in July festival Saturday, July 3 in West Jefferson, Ashe County. Street vendors will serve a variety of food and drinks. Local and regional musicians will perform throughout the day, and crafts displays and children’s activities will be featured. The preceding Friday night, July 2, the Ashe Arts Council presents a “street dance” in which musical acts perform and visitors are invited to join in and enjoy the folk and bluegrass music. Aficionados of old-time and bluegrass music will not want to miss the Ashe Fiddlers Convention, held in Jefferson on August 7. With the region’s rich history in the bluegrass tradition, the convention is a tribute to the culture and heritage that have brought about the modern age of country music. Musicians compete in old-time and bluegrass categories. Each group must consist of no less than three and no more than seven members, and three of


those members must play basic stringed instruments. Old time groups are required to have one fiddle and one clawhammer banjo. Bluegrass groups must consist of one bluegrass-style banjo and either a fiddle or mandolin. In addition to group performances, there is also an individual performance category that is judged separately from the groups. The Avery County Chamber of Commerce is presenting two exciting events this summer: the Fine Arts and Mastercrafts Festival and the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games. The Fine Arts and Mastercrafts Festival, taking place at Banner Elk Elementary School, is a juried presentation of fine, handmade art and textiles. Artists will be presenting their work in watercolor, clay, handmade wood furniture, jewelry, stained-glass, and textiles. The Grandfather Mountain Highland Games begin Thursday, July 8. This celebration of the Celtic heritage of the High Country brings thousands of visitors to MacRae Meadows on Grandfather Mountain each year. Events include athletic contests, bagpipe concerts, a Gaelic food and gift bazaar, and contemporary Celtic music. Watauga County is not without its fair share of music and arts events this summer. Each week during June, July, and August, the Watauga County Arts Council is presenting the 18th year of Concerts on the Lawn at the Jones House. Last year’s performers included songwriters, bluegrass, fiddlers, classic rock, and jazz. Each year since 1962 artists have gathered in Blowing Rock to present their crafts to the public. During the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce’s 48th Annual Art in the Park, held at the American Legion grounds just off Main Street, visitors can experience and purchase some of the finest handmade goods available, including jewelry, pottery, paintings, and photographs. The events are being held June 12, July 17, August 14, September 11, and October 2. For more information on these and other events, contact: Ashe County Chamber of Commerce (336) 846-9550, Avery County Chamber of Commerce (828) 898-5605, Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce (828) 295-7851, and Boone Area Chamber of Commerce (828) 264-2225. — Michael Gebelein

The Greencards will be playing festivals this summer. This photo is from the most recent MreleFest 2010. Photos by Rob Moore


The Mountain Times Summer Guide



The Mountain Times Summer Guide



The Mountain Times Summer Guide



The Mountain Times Summer Guide


Solve the Mystery? Strangeness abounds on the Hill M

ystery Hill has been a staple attraction for locals and tourists alike for over 50 years because what happens there can never quite be explained. Located on Highway 321 between Boone and Blowing Rock next to Tweetsie Railroad, Mystery Hill’s main attraction is the Mystery House. Inside, guests can experience the dissonant effect of watching water and a ball move uphill. As a result of a strange difference in the magnetic pull of the Earth around Mystery Hill visitors can also stand upright at a 45-degree angle inside the Mystery House. Mystery Hill opened to the public in 1949 when the Hudson family discovered something strange about their apple orchard near The Blowing Rock. Wayne Underwood, whose family has operated Mystery Hill since 1958 and is the current owner, said that after a trip to a similar attraction in Santa Cruz, Calif., the Hudsons decided to open their own location where things just weren’t quite right. “They went out to California and saw what was going on at Santa Cruz at the mystery spot, and on the way back Hudson told his wife, ‘Honey, we’re going to build a house on that orchard, and if it works like the one in Calif., we’ve got an attraction,” Underwood said. If Mystery Hill had not worked like its inspiration in Santa Cruz, Underwood said that Hudson told his family that they would at least have a place to store their apples when harvest time came. In addition to the Mystery House visitors can enter the Hall of Mystery, where over 40 puzzles, games, and optical

illusions based on physics, science, and math theories have been entertaining both young and old guests for years. The Shadow Wall steals visitors’ shadows and at Bubble-Rama guests are encased in a giant soap bubble. Mystery Hill also features the Heritage Museum. The museum was the original home of the Dougherty brothers, founders of Appalachian State University. The home was the first in the area to have electricity and running water. It now features examples of what middle-class mountain living was like in the early 1900’s. The last stop at Mystery Hill is the Artifacts Museum which houses a large collection of Native American arrowheads, pottery, and other artifacts. There are over 50,000 unique pieces in the exhibit. But according to Underwood, the only way to truly experience Mystery Hill is to go there for yourself. “You don’t really get the essence of it,” Underwood said, “until you come to this area and see how it makes you feel. You understand that, ‘Hey, this is different from being anywhere else.’” Mystery Hill is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. during the months of June, July, and August. From September 1st to June 1st Mystery Hill operates from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Children four and under get in free, admission for children five to 12 is $6, adult admission is $8. For more information visit www.mysterhill-nc.com or call Mystery Hill at (828) 264-2792. — Michael Gebelein




a wild west ride: f

All Aboard Tweetsie Railroad

or more than half a century, Tweetsie Railroad and Wild West Theme Park has been bringing out the train lover in kids of all ages. The theme park boasts not one, but two historic coal-fired steam engines: The No. 12 “Tweetsie” locomotive and the No. 190 “Yukon Queen.” Once aboard the rail cars, these two fine steam engines will pull you and your family around the mountain on a trip back in time to the 1800s when the mountains of North Carolina and the Wild West had much more in common than they do today. But Tweetsie is much more than a train ride, and if it’s been a while since you visited the park, you might be surprised at how much is going on there these days. Tweetsie features live shows, amusement rides, the Deer Park Zoo, concerts and much more. Visitors can spend the day walking the streets of a western town, learning about the lives of cowboys and Indians, then take a scenic chairlift ride to Miner’s Mountain and pan for gold. At the Palace Saloon, visitors can take a load off and enjoy the live entertainment, including Diamond Lil’s CanCan Revue. For the younger kids, there’s Hopper and Porter’s Musical Celebration and the imaginative Professor Peppercorn’s Magical Extravaganza. And be sure to catch Tweetsie’s Country Clogging Jamboree featuring the exciting, high-steppin’ Tweetsie Cloggers! In addition to all of the regular fun of a visit to Tweetsie, the theme park hosts lots of special events during the year. Here’s a look at what’s coming to Tweetsie this summer: • Day Out With Thomas (June 4-13). Hop aboard with Thomas the Tank Engine as he chugs his way through the Blue Ridge Mountains. • During Thomas’ visit, children will have the opportunity to meet and take pictures with Sir Topham Hatt, listen to Thomas and Friends storytelling events, and enjoy activities in the Imagination Station. Advance tickets

(above) The No. 12 “Tweetsie” locomotive gets ready for a run. (below left) The conductor talks about the No. 190 “Yukon Queen.” These historic coal-fired steam engine trains are still in service pull fans around the tracks of Tweetsie. Above photo by Rob Moore and below photo provided. are suggested, as this event frequently sells out. • Tweetsie’s Fireworks Extravaganza (July 4). Celebrate Independence Day with great family friendly fun! Tweetsie’s 4th of July event features spectacular fireworks that light up the evening sky, and this year will be bigger and better than ever. The park will remain open until 9 p.m. on July 4. Tweetsie also offers an optional dinner and fireworks viewing in the Hacienda, with special buffet chicken and barbecue dinner with all the trimmings. • Dora the Explorer and Diego (July 16-18). Enjoy “meet and greets” throughout the weekend with Dora and her cousin Diego, popular characters from the hit Nickelodeon preschool series. • K-9s in Flight Frisbee Dogs (July 31-Aug. 8). These four-legged friends leave spectators in amazement. Don’t miss the chance to see these dynamic dogs perform their gravity-defying tricks, which are sure to dazzle Tweetsie guests at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. each day. • Riders in the Sky (Aug. 14-15). Join America’s favorite singing cowboys — Ranger Doug, Too Slim, Woody Paul and Joey the Cow-Polka King — as they bring their unique brand of comedy and musical mayhem to Tweetsie. • The Grammy Award-winning Riders in the Sky will appear at noon and 3 p.m. each day, and the shows are included with the regular admission fee.

• Tweetsie Railfan Weekend (Sept. 11-12). The weekend will include special historic trains and an exclusive train shop tour. See the lost art of steam locomotive restoration and repair in one of the few remaining locomotive shops in North America. • Ghost Train Halloween Festival (Friday and Saturday nights in October). Take a ride on the frighteningly fun Ghost Train with engineer Casey Bones. Other attractions include the Haunted House, the Freaky Forest, trick-or-treating on Main Street, and other Halloween-themed events. Ghost Train provides a memorable night of safe and scary fun for the entire family. Advance tickets are suggested.

Tweetsie Railroad is open seven days a week from May 28 through Aug. 22, before returning to the weekend schedule (Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays) from Aug. 27 through Oct. 31, including Labor Day Monday. The park’s regular hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., but will be open until 9 p.m. on July 4, and also from 7:30 p.m. to 11:30 p.m. for the Ghost Train Halloween Festival, Friday and Saturday nights in October. Daily admission is $32 for adults and $22 for children ages 3 through 12. Children 2 and under are admitted free. For more information, visit www.tweetsie.com, or call 1-877-TWEETSIE.


The Mountain Times Summer Guide


Linville Caverns:

Exercise for the imagination A

ballroom. A polar bear. A crocodile. All you need is imagination. Linville Caverns, North Carolina’s own 22 million-yearold tourist attraction (open to the public for 73 years) caters to the imagination through the natural artistry of its structures. Each rock formation is like a sculpture and each person sees something different in the grooves and curves. “We call this cave bacon,” tour guide Andrew Quinn said of a flat, curvy rock formation. Years of dripping water leave mineral deposits, which, in turn, grow into the natural sculpture of the cave. One can’t help but wonder what the first explorers in 1822 called the stalagmites. Two fisherman noticed fish swimming in a stream vanish beneath the rocks. “They crawled through the hole to see where the fish went, and that’s how they found Linville Caverns,” Quinn said. Rainbow brook trout frequent the 52 degree water, and they’re not the only things thriving in the cave. Along with tourists, bats can be seen through early summer, along with a unique species of spider that’s “not found anywhere else,” Quinn said. The caverns are made up of three levels and the guided

tour only takes you through part of the myriad of chambers. There are a lot of places to hide. It’s easy to see why Civil War deserters sought shelter in the darkness. “They were caught when soldiers saw the smoke from their campfire,” Quinn said. Cool temperatures are part of the cave’s ambiance, a welcome change for tourists used to summer heat. Much of the cave is under water, including a crowd favorite, the “Bottomless Pool.” “There are at least 25 stories of water here,” he said. Cave-goers can stand on a grate and peer down into the depths, an unnerving experience for some. Just be sure not to drop your car keys. “They’d be gone,” he said. He has been a tour guide at the caverns for five years and has seen it happen. “She was pretty upset,” he said. Just around the corner is another crowd favorite, what tour guides call the “Frozen Niagara.” “It kind of looks like a big frozen waterfall,” he said of the flowing rock formation, estimated to be 6 million years old. With well-lighted passages and concrete floors, it’s hard to imagine the first explorers, armed with only a lantern, as they waded through water.

“They had to walk through water ankle to waist deep,” Quinn said. Tours of the cavern take about 35 minutes and happen about every 15 minutes. It’s what Quinn has been doing for five years. “You meet some interesting people here,” he said. It doesn’t surprise him that people are drawn to the caverns. “They’re really beautiful ... we have a lot of return customers,” he said. Many are from out of town. “I wanted to see what the inside was like,” Egyptian tourist Mona Fadel said. She’s not alone. Officials expect nearly 100,000 tourists to experience the caverns this season. Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for children. Linville Caverns are privately owned. For more information, visit www.linvillecaverns.com. — Lauren K. Ohnesorge


The Mountain Times Summer Guide



The Mountain Times Summer Guide





Horsing around in the High Country


dding equestrian fun to High Country visit is easy. There are opportunities for beginners and experienced, for horse owners and those looking to ride for an afternoon.

Guided trail rides: There are three options for guided trail rides for the entire family to enjoy, for a one-hour ride try Banner Elk Stables, Dutch Creek Trails and Leatherwood Mountain. Closed-toe shoes and pants are recommended. Banner Elk Stables is open seven days week, with riding from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Children should be at least 5 to 6 years of age, depending on size. Young children’s horses are often led by a guide to ensure a smooth, gentle experience. There are weight and height factors for adult riders. If there are concerns, this issue should be discussed when making a reservation. Reservations are required and should be made at least two to three days in advance. For more information visit www.bannerelkstables. com or call (828) 898-5424. Banner Elk Stables is located at 796 Shumaker Road in Banner Elk. Cowboy poet Keith Ward owns Dutch Creek Trails in Valle Crucis. The stable is open Monday through Saturday, closed Sundays. Rides are scheduled at 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. and last approximately one hour to one hour and 15 minutes. Children must be at least 6 years old, and horses can be led for youngsters. There is no weight limit for riders. While waiting to hit the trails, visitors are entertained by Ward’s western wit. Reservations are highly recommended and should be made two days in advance. Dutch Creek Trails is located at 3287 N.C. 194, just past the original Mast General Store in Valle Crucis. For more information, visit www.dutchcreektrails. com or call (828) 297-7117. Southeast of Boone in Ferguson, Leatherwood Mountains resort and development offers guide trails rides seven days a week, by reservation only. The rides end at 3 p.m. Children must be 8 years of age, and there is a passenger weight limit of 225 pounds. For more information, visit www.leatherwoodmountains.com or call (336) 973-5044.

Day riding for horse owners: Leatherwood Mountains has a trail network totaling 75 miles, ranging from wide forest paths to more rugged,

mountain trails. The trails are well-marked and mapped. The trails are open to visitors with a $10 trailer parking fee. Users are not charged per horse. For driving directions or more information call (336) 973-5044 (Map Quest and GPS units may not be accurate). Leatherwood Mountains is located in Ferguson at 512 Meadow Road, off Elk Creek Darby Road. Moses Cone Memorial Park near Blowing Rock off the Blue Ridge Parkway offers 25 miles of public use trails. The park is located between mileposts 292 and 295, or off U.S. 221, two miles from Blowing Rock. The trails are multi-use and horses must share the trails with joggers and hikers. There is no charge to use the trails. For more information, call Moses Cone Memorial Part at (828) 295-3782.

Riding lessons: The Saddle Club at Yonahlossee offers individual lessons for new riders or competitive riders in English, hunter, jumper, dressage or western pleasure styles. All experience levels welcome. A first-class club on the second floor overlooks the indoor arena where parents and grandparents can watch the lessons. Any age concerns can be discussed when scheduling the lessons. For more information, visit www. saddleclubnc.com or call (828) 387-0390. The Saddle Club is located off Poplar Grove Road between Boone and Blowing Rock, accessed easily from N.C. 105 near the N.C. 105 Bypass.

Boarding facilities: Leatherwood Mountain offers full boarding, pasture boarding and nightly stall rentals for guests. Boarding includes on-site, 24 hours-a-day staff, quality feed and hay, daily turnout, one monthly guided ride on the 75-mile trail

network, and use of the covered arena and outdoor arena. Additional services are available, including grooming, exercise riding, equine massage therapy, lessons and training. The Saddle Club at Yonahlossee offers boarding, including quality hay three times per day, custom feed twice daily, stalls cleaned daily, turnout weather permitting, blanketing and full use of the facilities. The facilities include miles of trails with views of Grandfather and Sugar mountains, a large indoor arena, an outdoor arena with all-weather sand footing, jump course, two indoor wash stalls with overhead hot and cold water, cross country jumps, large grass paddocks, climate controlled tack room, and club room with big-screen TV overlooking indoor arena. A VIP upgrade is available for boarding, which includes lunging when turnout is unavailable, daily grooming, horse kept clipped and mane pulled, laundry service, tacking up and tack cleaning.

For the horse owner: Visitors can board themselves at Leatherwood Mountain also, with more than 40 cabin and vacation rentals on site. Amenities include creeks, lake, swimming pool, stable facilities, restaurant and tennis courts. Visitors can hike, take a trail ride, bring their own horse and ride the trails, go fishing, play volleyball, or relax and enjoy the peaceful quiet in the mountains.

Horses for sale: The Saddle Club also has quality horses for pleasure and sport, including racing prospects, for sale. The breeds include Oldenburgs, Holsteiners, Dutch warmbloods, Swedish warmbloods, quarter horses, thoroughbreds, paints, palominos and appendix. A warmblood horse is a mix of a thoroughbred and horses known as a cold blood, such as a quarter horse. — Melanie Marshall



The Mountain Times Summer Guide

‘Feel like Tom Sawyer’ at gem mine

t’s all about the flume. At least that’s what the mini-miners of the High Country say. “You can find treasures and stuff,” 6-year-old Shawn of Charlotte said. He’s just one of the aspiring prospectors lured to the mountains. While the bulk of gem mining is done in the Hiddenite and Spruce Pine areas, there’s plenty of fun to be had in the Watauga area. “You can find stuff, worth like, millions of dollars,” Shawn said. While actual totals may not be in the millions, treasure is guaranteed at many local mines, like the one Grant Seldomridge manages at River and Earth Adventures on highway N.C. 105 in Boone. “Folks are finding everything from local garnets, local emeralds, pyrite,” Seldomridge said. While he admits the mine on-site is just for the ambiance, most of his buckets have North Carolinian ore. “You’re really buying the experience. The kids get to come, roll their sleeves up,” he said. That’s where the water flume comes in. Kids sift through their buckets as the water washes away the waste, revealing gems. “They get to feel like Tom Sawyer for a day. You’ll never see a kid’s eyes get so big,” Seldomridge said. His wife, a geologist, ensures that kids who come out for the experience learn about their finds. “We’re even able to do Boy Scout geology merit badges,”


he said. According to Seldomridge, there are two kinds of prospectors in Boone, the tourist and the hardcore miner. “Some of these people go to each gem mine in the area,” he said. “I’ve found diamonds this big,” Shawn said, motioning

River and Earth Adventures Gem Mine: www.raftcavehike.com; (828) 963-5491. Grandfather Mountain Trout Farm Gem Mine: www.grandfathertroutfarm.com; (828) 963-5098. Foggy Mountain Gem Mine: www.foggymountaingems.com; (828) 963-4367.

to his fist. While he may be exaggerating, the folks at Grandfather Mountain Gem Mine (who get their ore from Spruce Pine) say that kids do find things on occasion. Shawn, after all, walked away with an amethyst the size of his “pinky toe.” — Lauren K. Ohnesorge

The Greater Foscoe Mining Company: www.facetsoffoscoe.com; (828) 963-5928. Doc’s Rocks Gem Mine: www.docsrocks.net; (828) 264-4499.






through the air...

ip-lining. It’s like skiing... without the skis, and in... midair? And that’s not all. Zipliners have seen wild turkeys, groundhogs, deer and even the occasional bear. Zipliners are asked to remember to wear shoes that strap to their feet and are good for walking in the woods. Scream Time Zipline in Watauga County offers cable tours (regular tour is $89), promising speeds of up to 50 miles per hour. STZ was established in 2007 after a five year dream of tour operator Monie McCoury. STZ represents energy, passion, community focused business practices, state of the art design and installation, and the first 2,000 foot long “triple wide” ziplines in the U.S.! “I sat at my desk and looked out at the property and just

dreamed of some day seeing a zip line tour operating on the property. I didn’t know just how to do it, but I knew it could be done,” says McCoury. Call 828-898-5404 for Scream Time reservations. Scream Time offers tours for kids starting at age 15 months, and can accommodate people up to 270 lbs. Directions from Boone: From 321 North (Blowing Rock Hwy), turn left at Wendy’s Restaurant onto 105 South. Go 2 miles, turn right at light onto 105 ByPass (321/421). Go 2 miles and turn left at light onto 421 North. Go 8 miles to shuttle pick up on the RIGHT; look for STZ parking sign. For more information, visit www.screamtimezipline. com. Hawksnest’s Zipline course in Seven Devils is the longest on the east coast with over 1.5 miles of cable riding. Children must be at least 5-years-old to ride at Hawksnest. Hawksnest harnesses accommodate a 40” waist with a maximum weight of 250 lbs. For more information or to make reservations, visit www. hawksnest-resort.com or call 800-822-4295. — Lauren K. Ohnesorge

Photos by Rob Moore


The Mountain Times Summer Guide


Watauga Lake:

Watery fun down the mountain Watauga Lake promises a peaceful day


iles of pristine water, warm rays of sunshine and a picturesque sky: It’s just you and the lake. That’s the experience companies like Fish Springs Marina (FSM) want to give clients hoping for a relaxing day in the sun. All you need is a boat, and Fish Springs Marina has plenty of pontoons, perfect for the clear waters of Watauga Lake. “No industry feeds into the lake ... at one time, it was rated the second prettiest lake in the nation,” Joe Bailey said. While Watauga Lake is technically ranked third, it’s No. 1 to Bailey. He works at FSM just outside Hampton, Tenn. FSM markets the ambiance of the scenery itself, not just the boats. “Most of the land surrounding the lake is national forest [Pisgah],” Bailey said. To him, a perfect day includes a picnic and a fishing rod. “Just find a cove and read a book. Me and my wife do that a lot,” Fish Springs publicist Malcolm Wilson said. While many FSM clients take advantage of the tube rentals, many lake-goers simply coast in a pontoon or sail. “The winds make it great for sailboats,” Wilson said. Wake boarders also congregate on the smooth waters. Pontoon boats, however, have a versatility that’s ideal for amateurs and experts alike. “There is nothing that you can’t do on a pontoon that you can do on another boat,” Bailey said. Pontoons are virtually error proof and don’t dent or break the way fiberglass boats can. In a pontoon, you can pull right up onto the shoreline. “It drives like a car with a wider highway,” Bailey said.

A much wider highway: Watauga Lake, one of the deepest lakes in Eastern Tennessee (nearly 300 feet deep in some places), has a surface area of 34,200 acres. Part of Watauga Lake covers what used to be the town of Butler, Tenn.. The town was relocated to make way for the water. Thirteen species of game fish, including several varieties of trout and bass, thrive in the lake, and that’s where fishing guides like Bailey come in handy. “You troll along and this tells you what depth the fish are at,” he said, motioning to a screen near the steering wheel of his boat. Bailey provides the equipment, and fishing parties just have to show up with a positive attitude. “It’s perfect for families, amateur fishermen,” he said. One man who is definitely not an amateur is Thomas White. FSM has been in his family “since the lake opened in 1949,” and he can’t get enough of the scenery. “Sometimes there are bald eagles out here,” he said, motioning to a cliff side near the dam. For White, Watauga is more than a lake. It’s a way of life. “I could do this all day,” he said. On a sunny summer day, you could. When renting a pontoon boat, expect to buy around 20 gallons of gas if attaching an inner tube, Bailey said. Fishing licenses are required in Tennessee. Call and ask about seasonal rates, and be sure to bring sunscreen. — Lauren K. Ohnesorge

On July 4, join boaters at Watauga Lake for the annual boat parade. Fish Springs Marina: www.fishspringsmarina.com; 423-768-2336. Lake Shore Resort: www.lakeshore-resort.com; 423-725-2201.


The Mountain Times Summer Guide




The Mountain Times Summer Guide




The Mountain Times Summer Guide




Keeping Up with the Jones House

Watauga Arts Council offers summer of music


ome of the region’s best musical treasures are right outside the front door. For nearly two decades, the Jones House Community Center’s porch has played stage to countless performers of all walks and tunes with the Watauga Arts Council’s annual Concerts on the Lawn series. “It looks like another good season,” Watauga Arts Council (WAC) folklorist Mark Freed said. Offering free concerts every Friday at 5 p.m. in downtown Boone throughout the entire summer, the series is now in its 18th year and will again feature artists with roots in Watauga and surrounding counties, including several newcomers to the porch. T h i s s e a s o n ’s l i n e u p is packed with 16 concerts, eight of which will feature a new component – Feasting on the Lawn, during which area restaurateurs and food vendors will set up shop on the lawn and serve supper both affordable and delectable. “We’re experimenting with some stuff, and some little things like 50/50 raffles, but the summer’s pretty packed with at least two groups every night,” Freed said. In a Jones House musical sense, summer starts June 4 with an evening of swing, courtesy of the Swing Guitars and the Silvio Martinat Swing Band. The show starts at 5 p.m. with the Swing Guitars playing out front, followed by Silvio Martinat in the back parking lot, offering audiences room to dance and then some. “It’ll be the downtown art crawl night and our gallery reception, so we’ll just open the doors and block off the parking lot and have a nice, big dance back there,” Freed said. “We’ll have food that night, too, so it’ll be fun.” The opener’s a fair indicator of this series’ diversity in music. “Of course, there will be lots of good bluegrass and old-time music, but also some different things to mix it up,” Freed said. On June 25, the WAC presents a Traditional Mountain Music Showcase, celebrating the Blue Ridge Parkway’s 75th anniversary with an evening of several local tradition bearers. “We’ll have our concert focus on traditional players, maybe some Beech Mountain singers and storytellers,” Freed said. June also features the Forget-Me-Nots, Sound Traveler, Upright & Breathin’ and Cedar Creek. July’s lineup includes Surefire, the Dollar Brothers, The Neighbors, The Sheets Family, the King Bees Duo, Ken Lurie & Friends, The Lazybirds, Melissa Reaves, Elkville String Band, and Jim Lloyd & Trevor McKenzie. “New this year is Ken Lurie, who teaches cello at the university, but he also has a job as a folk rocker,” Freed said. “He’ll be sharing the night with the King Bees.” August sees the Worthless Son-in-Laws, Danny Whittington, Steve and Ruth, Amantha Mill and newcomers Folk and Dagger and Amelia’s Mechanics. “Amelia’s Mechanics (from Greensboro) are coming up to play, and they’re going to share the night with Amantha Mill,” Freed said. “I think it’ll be a cool combo, too, between the two of them.” On Aug. 27, the WAC presents a Bluegrass Showcase with Leftover Bluegrass, Family Ties, Southern Accent and more. “In September, we’ve got a nice night with

one group that hasn’t played here for several years, the Dashboard Hula Boys, and they’ll be mixed with Kirby, Welsh and Stone – John Kirby, Charles Welsh and Rick Stone, who’s a local instrument builder and mandolin player, so that’ll be fun,” Freed said. Other September performances include the Zephyr Lightning Bolts, Whitetop Mountaineers, the Harris Brothers and Crys Matthews. “We’ll end off the season with some good soul and blues,” Freed said. Concerts typically last until 6:30 p.m., but Freed stressed that’s a very loose 6:30, especially if the show is rife with jamming. There’s no reserved seating, so audience members should bring lawn chairs or blankets to sit back and enjoy the musical ride. “We’ve got lots of old favorites and some that just started playing last year,” he said. Once again, though, there were more applications than performance slots. “As always, we had a lot of interest, and, unfortunately, had to tell some people that we just didn’t have space for them on this year’s calendar,” Freed said. “We wish everyone could participate, but we just have a community so full of talented musicians, combined with other people wanting to play from outside the area. That’s one of the worst parts about this, but it also means we end up having a pretty good schedule.” The series has also netted some good sponsors, Freed said, with Watauga Insurance Agency Inc., Mast General Store, the Downtown Boone Development Association, Footsloggers and Panera Bread helping cover this season’s costs.

Music lessons start May 27

If the Concerts on the Lawn aren’t quite enough, you could always learn to do it yourself. The WAC is again offering summer music lessons at the Jones House, starting Thursday, May 27. Regional master musicians will teach classes in fiddle, banjo, guitar, flatfoot dance, mandolin and more for all skill levels, beginner, intermediate, young and old. Lessons are held every Thursday, from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m., and arranged in three five-week sessions throughout summer. The first session runs between May 27 and June 24, the second July 1 to 29, and the third Aug. 5 to Sept. 2. Classes cost $50 for each five-lesson session, and instruments are available for rental at $10 per session. “So, $60 will get you an instrument and five weeks of lessons,” Freed said. “Or if you have one, dust it off and come learn to play it.” Following the music lessons, the Jones House is sticking to tradition with its Thursday night jam sessions. “People will start using the porch and just getting out and playing,” Freed said. “And that’s right after the lessons … so if people come for the lessons, they can stick around and hang out for the jam session if they like.” Thursday jams typically last from 7:30 to 11 p.m. For more information on Concerts on the Lawn, music lessons and other Jones House activities, call Freed at (828) 264-1789, e-mail mark@watauga-arts. org, or visit www.joneshousecommunitycenter.org. — Frank Ruggiero



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The Mountain Times Summer Guide




The Mountain Times Summer Guide




The Mountain Times Summer Guide




The Mountain Times Summer Guide



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CALENDAR of EVENTS June June Mountain Music Jamboree – 7 p.m. at 9331 NC Hwy. 16 in Glendale Springs every Saturday night. Featuring live bluegrass and old-time bands. Clogging, square dancing. Admission is $8, and kids up to 12 years of age get in free. Weather permitting; call if you question the weather. Call 336-384-4079 or 800-803-4079 for details.

June-August Grandfather Mountain naturalists present a special nature program each day during the summer, June-August. The one-hour programs are scheduled for 1 p.m. and are included in the price of admission. For information, call 800-468-7325.

June-September Concerts on the Lawn – Usually from 5-6 p.m. at Jones House lawn, downtown Boone. The Watauga County Arts Council presents weekly concerts on the lawn, featuring local musical aficionados and acts. Call 828-264-1789 for details.

June 1-13 Remarkable Rhododendron Ramble at Grandfather Mountain – June 1-13, Grandfather Mountain, Linville. Included in the price of park admission, the ramble gives staff naturalists a chance to

share their excitement for the showy rose-lavender blossoms. The Catawba rhododendron flowers first appear at the lower elevations near the park entrance in early June, and the display continues till its arrival at the Swinging Bridge by month’s end. Call 800-468-7325 for more information.

June 4 Charity wine tasting – A charity wine tasting will be held at Christopher’s Wine and Cheese, Blowing Rock, on June 4 at 5:30 p.m. Join Christopher and staff for a fun and informative study of wine. Proceeds to benefit the Shriner’s hospitals for children. Tickets are $15 in advance; phone 828-414-9111.

June 4-6 Nature Photography Weekend – Grandfather Mountain, Linville – Online registration required for attendance. Hear presentations from top nature photographers in the evenings and photograph spectacular scenery and native animals during the day. Speakers include Richard Bernabe, Kevin Adams, Jerry Greer, Don McGowan and Mark Roberts. Images from Friday’s and Saturday’s photo excursions are entered in an informal contest (using a digital format), with winners announced Sunday morning. Call 800-4687325, 828-733-2013 for details. Blue Ridge Parkway Anniversary Edition of Art Crawl – A special Art Crawl in observance of the Blue Ridge Parkway’s 75th Anniversary will be held June 4 beginning at 7 p.m. in Downtown Boone – unique gallery exhibits, shopping, live music in select restaurants. Artists’ interpretations of Blue Ridge Parkway subject matter will be on display at

the Mazie Jones Gallery at the Jones House. Call 828-264-1789 for details.

June 4-13 Thomas the Tank Engine at Tweetsie Railroad – Thomas the Tank Engine will be at Tweetsie Railroad, Hwy. 321, Blowing Rock, June 4-13. Advance ticket purchased encouraged. Enjoy a 25minute ride with Thomas the Tank Engine. Meet Sir Topham Hatt. Enjoy storytelling, live music, build with Lego Duplo and much more. Call 800-5265740 for more information.

June 5 The fourth annual High Country Kids Triathlon will be held at Watauga County Parks and Recreation Department on June 5, at 10 a.m. Swim in the pool; bike and run on the Greenway Trail. There will be 3 age groups and distances. Relays are also available. All proceeds from race will benefit Samaritan’s Purse Operation Christmas Child. Entry forms available at pool or Parks and Rec. Department. Call Paula Domermuth at 828-262-3788 for more information or to volunteer. Shriner’s Parade – Main Street, Blowing Rock. Music, go-carts and clowns combine for a unique parade. National Trails Day Volunteer Project – On June 5 come help maintain Grandfather Mountain’s trails and let the backcountry rangers share their knowledge of and passion for Grandfather Mountain. Free admission for volunteers. For information, call 828737-0833.

June 9-13 Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show

— June 9-13, July 28-Aug. 1, Aug. 4-8. The longest continuously running outdoor horse show in the country Admission. (www.blowingrockequesterian.com)

June 11-12

The A Cool 5 Race Weekend will be held June 11 and 12 at Beech Mountain. For more information about the 2010 A Cool 5 Race Weekend, sponsorship opportunities, volunteering, lodging, dining, or other Beech Mountain ammenities, contact dscagnelli@townofbeechmountain.com or call (828) 387-3003.

June 11

Gallery Crawl – Friday, June 11, from 5-8 p.m., downtown West Jefferson in Ashe County. Open house at downtown West Jefferson art galleries and studios. For information, call Ashe County Arts Council, 336-846-2787; jlashearts@skybest.com.

Sunset Stroll on Sunset Drive – Sunset Stroll on Sunset Drive, Blowing Rock, on June 11, from 5:30-8 p.m. You are invited to join the art galleries, restaurants and businesses on Sunset Drive for food, drinks, friendship and summer fun. For information, call 727-295-6991.

June 12

Coffee House Talent Night – Saturday, June 12, at 7:30 p.m. at West Jefferson Methodist Church, Hensley Hall, Ashe County. Kick off summer with traditional music, stories and more. An evening of fun and merriment for the whole family. For information, contact Ashe County Arts Council at 336846-2787; jlashearts@skyest.com.




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June 12 Third annual Blue Ridge Music Hall of Fame – Dinner at 6:30 p.m., induction ceremony at 8 p.m. at the Walker Center at Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro. For more information, contact the Wilkes Heritage Museum at 336-667-3171 for details.

June 12 - September 48th annual Art in the Park – June 12 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. at the American Legion grounds, Blowing Rock. A juried art and craft show featuring 100 artists. Admission free. Call 828-295-7851 for details.

June 16 Animals’ Birthday Party at Grandfather Mountain – Grandfather Mountain, Linville – On Tuesday, June 16, Grandfather Mountain will celebrate the birthdays of the animals in the park. Grandfather’s habitat staff has prepared a fun-filled day for guests, as well as programming, to honor and treat its furry inhabitants. The habitat staff will conduct animal enrichment programs starting at 11 a.m., offering the animals special treats, such as a scent, a toy, food and new discoveries worthy of a special birthday celebration. Along with birthday treats for each animal, each vehicle will get a coupon for a free cup of omnivore food pellets for the bears (while supplies last) and free birthday cake will be served from 1 p.m. until it runs out. Games, contests, crafts and surprises will continue throughout the day. Call 800-468-7325 for details.

June 17 - September Banner Elk Concert in the Park — Thursday, June 17, at the Banner Elk Park. Band: King Bees, type of music blues and roots and rock ‘n’ roll.

June 18 Grilled Foods and Wine – Food & Wine Demo – On June 18 at 5:30 p.m., there will be a Grilled Foods and Wine – food and wine demo at Christopher’s Wine and Cheese in Blowing Rock. Join Christopher and staff for a fun and informative study of wine. Tickets are $25 in advance. For information, call 828-414-9111. Explore Beech’s Backside — mountain bike ride, Friday, June 18, Buckeye Recreation Center at Beech Mountain. Call 828-387-9283 for details.

June 18-Aug. 14 “Horn in the West” outdoor drama – June 18Aug. 14 at 8 p.m. at the Horn in the West grounds in Boone. Open every night except Monday. “Horn in the West,” the nation’s oldest Revolutionary War drama, brings to life the famous frontiersman Daniel Boone and the hardy mountain settlers in their struggle to preserve their freedom during the turbulent years of the War for Independence. Gates open at 7:30 p.m. Call (828) 264-2120 for details.

Beginning June 18 Hickory Ridge Homestead Living Museum – Open every evening, except Mondays, 5 p.m.8 p.m. at the “Horn in the West” outdoor drama grounds in Boone. The Hickory Ridge Homestead Museum gives visitors a glimpse back in time. Reenactors and historians educate audiences about everyday life from the 1700s to the early 1900s. Patrons are treated to demonstrations in weaving, blacksmithing, candlestick making, smokehouse cooking and others. Call 828-264-2120 for details.

June 19 High Country Community Yard Sale on Beech Mountain – Friends and neighbors get together to

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sell and swap their prized possessions. Booth spaces can be rented from the Beech Mountain Chamber of Commerce for a fee of $10. The yard sale will be held in the field across from the Chamber of Commerce next to the Brick Oven Pizzeria. The hours of the yard sale are from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sellers must be ready by 7:30 a.m. Free parking. For additional information, contact the Beech Mountain Chamber of Commerce at (828) 387-9283.

minutes from Boone. Native American dance and pow wow, lots of crafts and food vendors, pioneer America re-enactment. Trade is the oldest community in Tennessee. A trading post was established for Native Americans and pioneers to have a place to buy and sell their wares. Call 423-727-5800 or Trade Days 423-727-3007 for details.

Synergy on the Mountain — Friday and Sunday, July 2-4, from 3 to 10 p.m., Eagles Nest resort outside Banner Elk. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Banner Elk Fire Department and a children’s hospital.

June 26

July 2

June 20

Kiddo Fishing Derby – Saturday, June 26, 8 a.m. registration, Coffey Lake, Beech Mountain. This free event is open to all children ages 4-12 (children under 10 must be accompanied by an adult). Derby begins at 9 a.m. and prizes and trophies will be awarded in several categories. Bring fishing gear and bait. Sponsored by Beech Mountain Chamber of Commerce and its member businesses. Call 828387-9283 for more information.

Concert in the Park – Grandfather Mountain Highland Pipes and Drums – June 20 from 4-5 p.m. at Memorial Park, Blowing Rock. This is the annual concert featuring the popular pipes and drums of the Grandfather Mountain Highland Band. This concert usually takes place in August, but this year, the band is traveling to Scotland for competition in August. For more information, call 828-295-7851.

June 21-26 Boone’s Blue Ridge Parkway 75th anniversary celebration – On June 21-26 Boone will be celebrating the Blue Ridge Parkway’s 75th anniversary with a week’s worth of special events in downtown Boone and Watauga County. On Wednesday, June 23, a headwaters hike will be conducted near Grandfather Mountain from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. On Friday, June 25, a special edition of Concerts on the Lawn presents “Bluegrass and BBQ” at the Jones House in downtown Boonefrom 5-6:30 p.m. ArtWalk, also on June 25, will showcase unique gallery exhibits, shops and live music at area restaurants in downtown Boone starting at 7 p.m. Intriguing stories of ghosts and haints in downtown Boone will thrill and chill you as your guide takes you to some of the most mysterious places in town on June 26 (call 828-262-4532 for details). A wine and cheese event will be held at the downtown post office to raise funds for preservation of the Daniel Boone mural in this building, a Works Projects Administration (WPA) icon. Call 800-852-9506 for details.

June 23 Blue Ridge Parkway Celebration – Headwaters Hike – June 23 – 10 a.m.-3 p.m., at Grandfather Mountain. Please allow four to five hours for this informative hike. Participants must preregister; space is limited. Bring a bag lunch. Focus will be on learning about conservation and restoration of the rivers whose headwaters start on or near Grandfather Mountain. Conducted by Upper Watauga Riverkeepers and Grandfather Mountain. Call 800468-7325, for details.

June 25 Blue Ridge Parkway Celebration – Concert on the Lawn – 5-6:30 p.m., at the Jones House lawn, downtown Boone. This week, Boone is celebrating the Blue Ridge Parkway’s 75th anniversary with a week’s worth of special events. In conjunction with that observance, Concerts on the Lawn will present a special “Bluegrass and BBQ” event. Later, a special edition of ArtCrawl will feature extended hours at area shops, unique exhibits in downtown galleries and live music in various restaurants. Call 828-2641789 for details. Deck Wines tasting – Deck Wines tasting will be held June 25 at 5:30 p.m. at Christopher’s Wine and Cheese in Blowing Rock. Join Christopher and staff for a fun and informative study of wine. Tickets are $15 in advance. For information, call 828-4149111.

June 25-27 22nd annual Trade Days – Begins at 10 a.m. at Trade, Tenn., on the state line on U.S. 421 North, 15

Blood, Sweat and Gears – God’s Country Century Challenge – 7:30 a.m., starting at Valle Crucis Elementary School in Valle Crucis in Watauga County. Always the fourth Saturday in June. Start and finish at Valle Crucis Elementary School. Preregistration is required and can be completed online at www.bloodsweatandgears.org. Proceeds benefit the Watauga Chapter of the American Red Cross. Call 828-264-8226 for details.

June 27 86th annual Singing on the Mountain – All-day gospel sing and fellowship held in MacRae Meadows at Grandfather Mountain. Featured will be a dozen top gospel groups and a sermon from a wellknown speaker. Free admission. Camping (without hookups) is available on the field. For information, call 800-468-7325.

June 30 Celebration on Riverwalk — Wednesday, June 30, at Riverwalk in Newland. Call 828-733-2023 for details.

July 2 - September weekends Scenic summer lift rides — Sugar Mountain Friday, July 2, 10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. (weekends ONLY: July 4th through Sept. 2), Sugar Mountain Resort. Bring the whole family, a picnic lunch, your mountain bike, or just a friend and enjoy a breathtaking 45-minute round-trip lift ride to Sugar;s 5,300 foot peak. For bike riders, specially made hooks on the backs of the chairs carry your bike to the top. Just hand your bike to the lift attendants at the bottom of the Gray lift, jump on the chair and enjoy the ride. The attendants will hang your bikes on the hook, and when you get off the lift another attendant will get your bike down for you, either at the 3/4 station, or at the top. The Village of Sugar Mountain town ordinance requires helmets to be worn by all bikers. Lift ticket prices are $10 for a one-time ride, and $22 for an all day ticket. Kids 4 and under ride free with an adult. Groups of 20 or more can buy one-time ride tickets for only $5. Advanced reservations required. Call 828-8984521, extension 261, for more information.

July 2-4

Kaboomba Zumba — Friday, July 2, from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m., town hall meadow at Beech Mountain. Tickets are $20 per person, $25 at the gate. Call 828-387-9283 for details. Summer Exhibition Celebration – Friday, July 2, from 7-9 p.m. at the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts at Appalachian State University – On the first Friday of each month, the Turchin Center participates in Downtown Boone’s First Friday Art Crawl. The center also holds three major receptions each year to celebrate its exhibits. Each reception is held on a “First Friday.” For more information on the Art Crawl, visit the Web site at www.boone-nc.art.html. Event is free. For more information, contact Visitor and Members Services, (828) 262-3017; turchincenter@appstate.edu.

Park Dance – A Park Dance will be held July 2 in Memorial Park, Blowing Rock, with live music to celebrate Independence Day. For more information, call 828-295-5222. Red, White and Blue Wines Tasting – A Red, White and Blue Wines Tasting will be held July 2 at 5:30 p.m. at Christopher’s Wine & Cheese, Blowing Rock. Join Christopher and staff for a fun and informative study of wine. Tickets are $15 in advance. Call 828-414-9111 for information.


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July 3 24th annual West Jefferson Christmas in July Festival — July 3 from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. in West Jefferson. Christmas in July is a oneday only, free-admission event featuring the very best in traditional mountain music and handmade crafts from throughout the northwest mountains of North Carolina. There will be food and festivities for the entire family. Call 336-846-9196 for details.

July 3-4 Independence Weekend in the Mountains — Saturday and Sunday, July 3-4, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Banner Elk Elementary School in Banner Elk. Fifty artists and crafters from around the country showcase their work. Food vendors will also take part. Free admission and parking. Call 828-733-0675 for details.

July 4 4th of July parade in Banner Elk at 11 a.m. There will also be a festival in the park after the parade. Fireworks at Tweetsie Railroad – Fireworks at Tweetsie Railroad, located off U.S. 321 between Boone and Blowing Rock will be held at 9 p.m. Celebrate 4th of July with a fireworks extravaganza. Parking at Tweetsie is $5. Call 800-526-5740 for more details. 4th of July Picnic Sunday, July 4, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Buckeye Recreation Center atop Beech Mountain. Call 828-387-9283 for details.

July 5 “Figure Drawing” class — Appalachian State University’s Turchin Center for the Visual Arts and An Appalachian Summer Festival announce a summer season of arts and fun for kids, teens and adults. “Figure Drawing” class – July 5-9, Monday- Friday, 10 a.m.-noon, 1-3 p.m. – This class takes participants through a series of drawing exercises designed to achieve familiarity with the human figure, exploring gesture and organization drawing using charcoal, graphite, and paint. This course allows for a wide range of abilities from beginner to advanced. Location: ASU’s Art Department’s Wey Hall, room 306. Taught by ASU faculty Tim Ford; $130 for TCVA members; $150 for non-members. For more information, contact the Turchin Center at 828-262-3017 or visit www.tcva.org.

July 5-7 “Breathtaking and Bold: A Non-Traditional Approach to Watercolor/Gouache Figure Painting” workshop – Appalachian State University’s Turchin Center for the Visual Arts and An Appalachian Summer Festival announce a summer season of arts and fun for kids, teens and adults. “Breathtaking and Bold: A Non-Traditional Approach to Watercolor/Gouache Figure Painting” – July 5-7, Monday-Wednesday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. – Explore nontraditional ways of applying paint to paper creating beautiful figure paintings. Using an alternative approach with watercolor and gouache to interpret a nude model with rollers, eyedroppers, cut paper and glue. Location: Arnold P. Rosen Family Education Wing, third floor classroom; taught by Kate Worm; $130 for TCVA members, $150 for nonmembers.

July 7 Lunch & Learn: The Sounds of Summer – Lunch & Learn: The Sounds of Summer, presented in conjunction with An Appalachian Summer Festival, will be held Wednesday, July 7, at noon at the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts. Facilitator is Dr. John Ross. This event is presented as part of the Lunch & Learn program. Free event. For more information, contact Visitor and Members Services at (828) 262-3017; or turchincenter@appstate.edu.

July 8 Highland Games Opening Ceremonies & Torchlight Ceremony —Thursday, July 8, 4:30-11 p.m., MacRae Meadows at Grandfather Mountain in Linville. Representatives of each of the more than 120 sponsoring clans step forward to announce that their families are present to participate in the gathering. The evening begins with a picnic, Scottish entertainment and sheep herding demonstrations. The torchlight “raising of the clans” ceremonies begins at dusk. A beautiful and mystical ceremony. Call 828-733-1333 for details. “The Bear”: Assault on Grandfather – Thursday, July 8, a five-mile road race that climbs 1,568 feet in elevation from Linville to the summit of Grandfather Mountain. Part of the Highland Games. Admission charged. Call 828-263-5207 for information.


The Mountain Times Summer Guide

CALENDAR of EVENTS Aggie Woodruff Golf Tournament —Thursday, July 8, noon, Mountain Glen Golf Course, Newland. A two-person best ball with prizes awarded to the best three teams (with handicap), individual low gross and individual low net. This is a random mixed gender event playing one’s usual tees. It’s $85 per person, maximum participation of 40 players and acceptance is on a first-come, first-served basis. Wear your kilt or display your tartan. Part of the Highland Games. For reservations, call (828) 733-1333. The cut off date is June 23. Call 828-7331333 for details.

July 8-9 “Creating Handmade Books” – July 8-9, Thursday -Friday, 9 a.m.noon and 1-4 p.m. Cover all of the basics for hand bookbinding using three handmade book forms that can be used for creating blank journals, zines or artist’s books with content. Participants will be guided through the creation a Japanese side stitch book, a pamphlet book and a simple case binding. Location: ASU Art Department, Wey Hall, room 130; taught by April Flanders; $110 for TCVA members, $140 for nonmembers. For more information, contact the Turchin Center at 828-262-3017 or visit www.tcva.org.

July 8-11 55th annual Grandfather Highland Games – At MacRae Meadows at Grandfather Mountain. Brawny athletes, delicate dancers, noisy bagpipe band parades, rocking Celtic music and a spectacular highland setting makes this colorful celebration of Scottish culture one of the best highland games in America. Admission charged. Call 828-7331333 for details.

July 9 Celtic Jam – Friday, July 9, from 7-11 p.m. at MacRae Meadows at Grandfather Mountain, Linville. Concert tracing the evolution of Celtic music from the ancient to the contemporary at MacRae Meadows. Adults $10, children age 5-12 are $5. Call 727-733-1333 for more information. “The Grizzly” bike ride – Friday, July 9 – The Grizzly is a beautiful and challenging route with 7,000 feet of climbing in 65 miles. Part of the Highland Games at Grandfather Mountain. Admission charged. Call 828-263-5207 for more information. Veggies & Wine – Food & Wine Demo – On July 9 there will be a Veggies & Wine – Food & Wine Demo at 5:30 p.m. at Christopher’s Wine & Cheese in Blowing Rock. Join Christopher and staff for a fun and informative study of wine. Tickets are $25 in advance. For information, call 828-411-9111.

July 9-10 Ceilidh – Friday, July 9, and Saturday, July 10, from 8-10 p.m. at Hayes Auditorium at Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk. This Celidh presents informal Scottish entertainment with singing, dancing, clapping, piping, drumming, fiddling and more. Admission is $10 adults, $5 children and under. Tickets are sold at the door. Call 828-733-1333 for more information.

1333 for more information.

Piping Concert – Saturday, July 10, from 7-9 p.m. at Broyhill Conference Center & Inn in Boone. Pipers from the American School of Piping perform in the Trillium Room at the Broyhill Inn on the campus of Appalachian State University in Boone. Admission is $10 (tickets sold only at the door). Under age 5 free. Call 828-733-1333 for more information. Alex Beaton & Friends — Saturday, July 10, 9 p.m., Trillum Room, Broyhill Inn and Conference Center in Boone. Concert by Scotland’s premier entertainer. $10 per person (Tickets sold only at the door.) Call 828-733-1333 for details. Scottish Country Dance Gala – Saturday, July 10, from 8 p.m.-midnight at Williams Gymnasium at Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk. An evening learning and performing the folk dances of Scotland. Tickets are available only at the door; $20 to participants or $3 to spectate. Call 828-733-1333 for more information. Beech Mountain Art Guild Show — Saturday, July 10, at the Buckeye Recreation Center at Beech Mountain. Call 828-387-9283 for details.

July 11

Fred’s Summer Sunday Concert — Sunday, July 11, 6:30 p.m., Beech Mountain. Call 828-387-9283 for details.

July 12-16

“Art Day Camp: From Trash to Puppets” — Appalachian State University’s Turchin Center for the Visual Arts and An Appalachian Summer Festival announce a summer season of arts and fun for kids, teens and adults. “Art Day Camp: From Trash to Puppets” – July 1216, Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. – TCVA partners with the Elkland Art Center to create puppets from regular household items. These puppets will be given voice and the final project will include a puppet show for family and friends on the last day. Students will work on different elements of performance — from puppet creation to sound to basic script writing to stage performance. Bring a bag lunch each session for this all-day weeklong workshop. For ages 6-12; location Arnold P. Rosen Family Education Wing, third floor classroom.

July 16-17

Fourth annual High Country MusicFest — July 16-17, 11 a.m.-10 p.m., 748 Roby Green Road (Music Park is located 5 miles from the Blue Ridge Parkway.) Initial artists are John Cowan, Balsam Range, Terry Baucom/Alan Johnson & Friends, and Southern Accent. More artists are being added daily. MC is Cindy Baucom from the syndicated radio show “Knee Deep In Bluegrass.” Terry Baucom will be conducting a banjo workshop. Call 828-733-8060 for details.

July 17

Fourth annual Dog Show – The fourth annual Dog Show will be held July 17 at the town of Beech Mountain. Call 1-800-468-5506 for more information.

13th annual MusicFest ‘n Sugar Grove – At Historic Cove Creek High School, off U.S. 321 in Sugar Grove, Saturday from 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. The MusicFest has become a favorite of bluegrass, old-time, blues and “Americana” music lovers. Workshops and songwriters showcase will be featured. Tickets may be purchased online by calling 828-297-2200, or for more details.

July 17-18

July 10

July 18

Family Day at the Turchin Center – Family Day at the Turchin Center will be held Saturday, July 10, from 11 a.m.-3 p.m. at the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts at ASU. Presented in conjunction with An Appalachian Summer Festival. Event is free. For more information, contact Visitor and Members Services at (828) 262-3017. turchincenter@appstate.edu. Grandfather Mountain Marathon – Saturday, July 10, 7 a.m. from Boone to MacRae Meadows at Grandfather Mountain. Begins in Boone and ends 26 miles later at MacRae Meadows. For information, call 828-2632-5207. Celtic Rock Concert – Saturday, July 10, 7 p.m. at MacRae Meadows at Grandfather Mountain, Linville. Performances by Celtic bands gathered for the Grandfather Games, held on MacRae Meadows at the chief’s tent. Admission is $10 adults, $5 children 5-12. Call 828-733-

Fine Arts and Master Crafts Festival – Saturday, July 17, and Sunday, July 18, at Banner Elk Elementary School. Internationally and nationally known artists will gather for this unique one-of-a-kind handcrafted juried festival. Call 800-972-2183 for more information.

Fred’s Summer Sunday Concert Sunday, July 18, at 6:30 p.m. at Beech Mountain. Call 828-387-9283 for details.

July 19-30

“Painting Techniques of the Old Masters” workshop —Appalachian State University’s Turchin Center for the Visual Arts and An Appalachian Summer Festival announce a summer season of arts and fun for kids, teens and adults. “Painting Techniques of the Old Masters” – July 19-30, Monday-Friday, 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Discover new methods of painting using glaze and underpainting techniques (technically known as the Venetian and Grisaille technique) used by ancient masters. Participants will use oil paint for this meticulous, processoriented 12-day workshop. For more information, contact the Turchin Center at 828-262-3017 or visit www.tcva.org.




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Worship in the High Country There is literally something for any and every one who is seeking to broaden his or her spiritual horizon and worship their creator and creative spirit. A weekly worship calendar in the Mountain Times offers a listing of those opportunities. In addition to churches, there are many informal gatherings, places to worship and people with whom to worship. Christian coffee houses in the area cater to uplifting and healing souls through worship music, offering positive support and an atmosphere of acceptance and love. Specific groups and religions meet at least weekly to worship. Area community centers often offer events and services intended to nurture the spirits and hearts of those involved. Today, Watauga, Ashe and Avery counties embrace multidenominational churches, including; Assembly of God, Community Church, Orthodox Church, United Church of Christ, Eastern Orthodox, Christian Fellowship, United Methodist, Baptist, Unitarian Universalist, Catholic, Lutheran, Episcopal, Presbyterian, Mennonite Brethren, Christian, Seventh Day Adventists, Bahai, First Church of the Nazarene, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Eckankar Center, Quakers, Church of Christ, Church of God, and a Jewish Community Center. For the past 30 years, the local Jewish community has been served by a Jewish Community Center, which was welcomed to share the facilities with a Catholic Church. The community is now building a temple of its own here in the High Country. A small but growing Jewish community grows exponentially from May to October as seasonal residents flock to the cool comfort of our mountains. The center will work together with the ASU campus Jewish organization to host events and services. In the midst of the Bible Belt, the local “church family” has a long and rich history in the High Country. An excerpt from New River Notes, a historical and genealogical resource for the New River Valley states… “In 1779 King’s Creek Church in Caldwell, and Beaver Creek, in Wilkes, were organized. A few years later Brier Creek in Wilkes was constituted and from it grew Lewis Fork, in Wilkes, and Old Fields Church, in Ashe County.

The Three Forks Church association began in 1790 from which many other churches were organized east of the Blue Ridge. “In 1790 Three Forks Church, the first in Watauga, was constituted. Part of the original members of this church came from the Jersey Settlement Church. Cove Creek was the second church in Watauga, being organized in 1799.” The earliest Europeans to explore the High Country were Bishop Augustus Gottlieb Spangenberg - head of the Moravian Church in America - and his associates. The bishop wrote about his journey into Ashe in a diary preserved by the Moravian church. He was given 100,000 acres on which his fellow Moravians could settle. The only one of Spangenberg’s group to return and permanently settle in Ashe County was Herman Loesch. Other early settlers were David Helton, William Walling, William McLain and Daniel Boone, the famous pioneer. With the exception of Boone, these men and their families all settled in Ashe in 1771. Today, when visitors come to Ashe County, they usually arrive with intentions of visiting the Church of the Frescoes. Episcopal missionaries from Valle Crucis held services all over the county as early as 1852 and were recorded as starting an Episcopal Church in 1895, the same year they hired two school teachers and began a school. In 1913, Miss Jenny Fields moved into the church and began nursing the sick and delivering babies. She was followed by other women who blossomed into the Glendale Springs Community. In 1974 Ben Long, an Italian trained artist, painted the first Fresco, “Mary Great with Child” at St. Mary’s Church, in 1975, “John the Baptist” and “Mystery of Life” in 1977. In 1980, he painted “The Last Supper” at Holy Trinity. Hundreds of thousands have visited the frescoes since they were completed. Churches continue to grow at a rapid rate and other “nontraditional” religions continue to establish themselves in the area to meet the needs of the ever-evolving population. — Corrinne Loucks Assad

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The Mountain Times Summer Guide

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The Mountain Times Summer Guide

CALENDAR of EVENTS July 25 Fred’s Summer Sunday Concert Sunday, July 25, at 6:30 p.m. at Beech Mountain. Call 828-387-9283 for details.

July 27-Aug. 1 Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show – Hunter Jumper – Held at Blowing Rock Equestrian Preserve. The Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show is one of the oldest horse show events in the country and has been a Blowing Rock tradition since 1923. Admission charged. For more information, call 828-295-9099.

July 28 Lunch & Learn: Italian Survivors Remember with Dr. Rosemary Horowitz and Dr. Rennie Brantz – The presentation will be held Wednesday, July 28, at noon at Turchin Center for the Visual Arts at ASU. Facilitators will be Dr. Rennie Brantz and Dr. Rosemary Horowitz. Presented in conjunction with An Appalachian Summer Festival. This event is presented as part of the Lunch & Learn program. Event is free. Bring a bag lunch. For more information, contact Visitor and Members Services at (828) 262-3017; turchincener@appstate.edu.

Starting July 28 Lees-McRae Summer Theatre features “Ragtime” Wednesday, July 28, through Saturday, July 31, and Aug. 2 and 5 at 7:30 p.m.; July 31, Aug. 1, 4 and 6 at 2 p.m., main stage, Lees-McRae College, Banner Elk. Based on the 1975 novel by E. L. Doctorow, “Ragtime” tells the story of three groups in America, represented by Coalhouse Walker Jr., a Harlem musician; Mother, the matriarch of a WASP family in New Rochelle, N.Y.; and Tateh, a Latvian Jewish immigrant. The music includes marches, cake walks, gospel and ragtime. Call 828-898-8709, or click here for details.

July 29-Aug. 1 BRAHM Art & Antiques Weekend event will be held at Blowing Rock School in Blowing Rock. View hundreds of antiques and art pieces at this annual exhibition and sale. For information, call 828295-9099.

July 31 Premium Wines tasting – On July 31, a premium wines tasting will be held at 5:30 p.m. at Christopher’s Wine and Cheese in Blowing Rock. Join Christopher and staff for a fun and informative study of wine. Tickets are $25 in advance. For more information, call 828-4149111. K-9s in Flight – K-9s in Flight will be at Tweetsie Railroad, located off U.S. 321 between Boone and Blowing Rock, on July 31 at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. High energy performances featuring a team of dynamic dogs in acrobatic freestyle routines. Call 800-526-5740 for information. Mountain bike ride to Twisted Falls on Beech Mountain on Saturday, July 31. Meet at the Buckeye Recreation Center atop Beech Mountain. Call 828-387-9283 for details. Award Show Weekend in the Valley — Saturday, July 31-Sunday, Aug. 1, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday at Valle Crucis Elementary School in the Valle Crucis community. Fifty fine artists and fine crafters come in try their hand for cash award and ribbons given out on Saturday afternoon by the Arts Council. Admission is and parking is free. Call 828-733-0675 for details.

Aug. 1-8 K-9s in Flight – K-9s in Flight will be at Tweetsie Railroad, located off U.S. 321 between Boone and Blowing, Aug. 1-8 at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. High energy performances featuring a team of dynamic dogs in acrobatic freestyle routines. Call 800-526-5740 for details.

Aug. 3-8 Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show – Hunter Jumper II – At Blowing Rock Equestrian Preserve. The Blowing Rock Charity Horse Show is one of the oldest horse show events in the country and has been a Blowing Rock tradition since 1923. Admission. For information call 828-295-4700.

Aug. 6-8 Ride Along The Blue Ridge Bike Ride – Friday, Aug. 6-Sunday, Aug. 8 – Friday will offer a 75-mile route and Saturday will offer two routes,

one of 50 miles and one of 80 miles. Sunday will be a free nonsupported 50-mile fun ride to benefit the Carolina Arthritis Foundation. Call 828-898-5445 for more information.

Aug. 6 Blowing Rock Hospital Benefit Fashion Show – The Blowing Rock Hospital Benefit Fashion Show will be held Aug. 6 at the Blowing Rock Country Club. This is an annual fundraiser for the local hospital. Downtown Boone First Friday Art Crawl – Friday, Aug. 6 – Each month the Downtown Boone Development Association (DBDA) hosts the Art Crawl which happens every First Friday. Event hours are 5 p.m.-2 a.m. and two late-night galleries, open on Art Crawl nights only, from 7 p.m.-midnight. Also check out Art Crawl Presents, a music event featuring a local band, from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. at a new downtown location each month. This event is presented as part of the Downtown Boone First Friday Art Crawl program. For more information on the Art Crawl, visit the DBDA’s Web site at www.boone-nc.art. html. Event is free. For more information, contact Visitor and Members Services, (828) 262-3017; turchincenter@appstate.edu.

Aug. 7 Crafts on the Green – Saturday, Aug. 7, from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at Fred’s General Mercantile, Beech Mountain. More than 60 vendors of fine crafts will assemble to display and sell their wares on the green near Fred’s pavilion. For information, call 828-387-4838.

Aug. 13 Sunset Stroll – A Sunset Stroll will be held Aug. 13 from 5:30-8 p.m. on Sunset Drive in Blowing Rock. Join the art galleries, restaurants, and businesses on Sunset Drive for food, drinks, friendship and summer fun. For information, call 295-6991.

Aug. 14-15 Riders In The Sky – Riders In The Sky will be at Tweetsie Railroad, located off U.S. 321 between Boone and Blowing Rock, Aug. 14-15 at noon and 3 p.m. Hear the Grammy-winning quartet perform and entertain audiences “the cowboy way.” Call 800-526-5740 for details.

Aug. 14 48th annual Art in the Park – 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 14, at the American Legion grounds in downtown Blowing Rock. A juried art and craft show featuring 100 artists. Call 828-295-7851 for details.

Aug. 15 Silvio Martinat Swing Band – Silvio Martinat Swing Band will perform Aug. 15 from 4-5 p.m. at Memorial Park in Blowing Rock. For more information, call 828-295-7851. Free dance kicks off River Walk Arts & Crafts Festival. Favorite local musician Dave Calvert performs with his Rox Trio Friday, Aug. 15, at a free dance to open the River Walk Arts and Crafts Festival, which will be held Aug. 21, in Newland. The dance begins at 6 p.m. at the bandstand located at the Riverwalk Park, directly adjacent to the Lowes/Dollar General shopping center parking lot. The entire family will want to attend the festival on Saturday, Aug. 21, when more than 50 artists and craftspeople display their handcrafted wares. There will be a big arts station for the kids, along with a paintball concession and some inflatable fun activities. Festival treats will include Paul’s Hotdogs, funnel cakes, strawberry shortcake, and hand-cranked ice cream. Festival hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday only. For more information, contact the Avery Arts Council office at 828-898-4292, or visit the Web at www.averycountyartscouncil.org

Aug. 20 Wine and Desserts – Food & Wine Demo – On Aug. 20 at 5:30 p.m., there will be a Wine and Desserts – Food & Wine Demo at Christopher’s Wine and Cheese in Blowing Rock. Join Christopher and staff for a fun and informative study of wine. Tickets are $25 in advance. For information, call 828-414-9111.

Aug. 21-22 Fine Arts and Master Crafts Festival – On Saturday, Aug. 21, and Sunday, Aug. 22, at Banner Elk Elementary School. Internationally and nationally known artists will gather for a hand-crafted juried festival. Call 1-800-972-2183 for more information. For more events, check out the latest edition of The Mountain Times

INDEX of ADVERTISERS 4 Seasons Vacation.................................61 9 Lives.....................................................83 Alpen Restaurant & Bar...........................94 Alta Vista Gallery.......................................7 Ana Maria’s Gift Shop..............................60 Animal Emergency Clinic.........................80 Antiques on Howard................................37 App. Regional Healthcare System......19,88 Artists’ Theatre, The................................60 Artwalk.....................................................36 Ashe Arts.................................................61 Ashe County Chamber of Commerce......61 Ashe County Little Theater......................57 Ashe County’s Literary Festival...............65 Ashe Custom Framing & Gallery.............61 Ashe Mountain Times..............................60 ASU Institute for Senior Scholars............21 ASU Office of Cultural Affairs..................66 Aurora Design..........................................65 Avery Animal Hospital..............................80 Avery County Chamber of Commerce.....47 Banner Elk...............................................51 Banner Elk Book Shoppe........................70 Banner Elk Winery.....................................8 Banner House Museum...........................41 Batchelor Chiropractic Clinic.................107 Beech Mountain Chamber.....................108 Belladonna...............................................60 Bennette A. Rowan Portraits...................80 Black Bear Books....................................79 Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce....30 Blowing Rock Estate Jewelry..................31 Blowing Rock Grille.................................97 Blowing Rock, The...................................65 Blue Ridge Bedrooms............................103 Bolick Pottery & Traditions Pottery..........30 Boone Brewing......................................104 Boone Docks BBQ...................................95 Broyhill Home Collections........................30 Cabin Store, The.....................................99 Canyons..................................................96 Capehart & Washburn...............................3 Carlton Gallery.........................................63 Carowinds................................................92 Casa Rustica...........................................97 Cha Da Thai............................................37 Char...................................................37, 85 Christmas in July.....................................19 CiCi’s Pizza.............................................41 Closet Design Center..............................60 Cook’s Inc................................................45 Dancing Moon.........................................36 de Provence et d’ailleurs.........................31 Dewoolfson Down......................................7 Dilly’s.......................................................91 Doe Ridge Pottery.............................36, 59 Emerald Mountain...................................15 Ericks Cheese & Wine.............................87 Evergreens..............................................91 Family Billiards......................................100 Fetching Ridge Pet Hotel.........................80 Finders Keepers......................................50 Florence Art School.................................68 Fortner Insurance Agency, Inc...............104 Foscoe Fishing Company........................59 Frasers....................................................61 Fred’s General Mercantile Co................103 Gamekeeper Restaurant.........................94 Gems by Gemini......................................30 Gladiola Girls...........................................36 Grandfather Mountain..............................16 Grandfather Trout Farm.........................100 Grashal Outdoors....................................15 Gregory Alan’s.........................................31 Harmon’s Dixie Pride...............................36 Hawksnest...............................................78 Hickory Furniture Mart.............................17 High Country Stone.................................22 High Mountain Expeditions......................10 Hill Top Drive-In.......................................95 Hob Nob Farm Cafe................................36 Hobby Barn..............................................60 Impeccable Pooch, The...........................80 Incredible Toy Company..........................68 J.W. Tweeds......................................33, 77 Joe’s Italian Kitchen.................................96 Kincaid.....................................................67 Kojay’s Cafe............................................30 Lees-McRae............................................57 Left of Blue..............................................53 Libby’s.....................................................61 Life Care Center of Banner Elk................84 Linville Caverns.......................................20 Linville Land Harbor.................................78

Lodges at Eagles Nest, The....................93 Logs America...........................................87 Lucky Penny............................................37 M & A Photography..................................80 M.C. Adams Clothier..........................27, 37 Magic Cycles...........................................37 Makotos...................................................98 Maple’s Leather.......................................65 Mast General Store.............................2, 36 McNeil Furniture......................................61 Mellow Mushroom...................................31 Mitchell County Chamber........................73 Modern Toyota of Boone.........................25 Mount Vernon Baptist Church................103 Mountain Aire Golf Club...........................20 Mountain Bagels......................................95 Mountain Girl Gallery...............................14 Mountain Home & Hearth........................70 Mountain Outfitters..................................27 Mountaintop Golf Cars, Inc......................63 Mr. E’s......................................................70 Mustard Seed Market, The....................104 Mystery Hill..............................................17 NC Mineral & Gem Festival.....................88 Newland Business Association................70 Nick’s Restaurant & Pub..........................90 Open Door, The.......................................37 Pandora...................................................31 Paolucci’s................................................96 Parkway Craft Center..............................24 Penny Lane Pub......................................95 Peoples Furniture Company....................49 Pet Heaven..............................................80 Pet Place, The.........................................80 Pet Spa....................................................80 Petstyle Salon..........................................80 Photography by Tommy White.................36 Play It Again Sports.................................37 Pssghetti’s...............................................96 Puerto Nuevo...........................................90 Ram’s Rack Thrift Shop...........................37 Recess.....................................................81 Redtail Mountain......................................22 River & Earth Adventures........................99 RiverCamp USA......................................47 Rock Dimensions.....................................36 Saddle Club at Yonahlossee, Inc.............39 Sanctuary, The........................................24 Scream Time Zipline..............................106 Sears.................................................61, 81 SERVPRO...............................................53 Shatley Springs Uptown..........................61 Shear Skakti............................................37 Shoppes at Shadowline.....................42, 43 Shoppes of Tynecastle............................55 Shops at Sugar Mountain Village............54 Shower Door Specialists.........................60 Sister Act.................................................30 Skybest....................................................75 Sledgehammer Charlie’s.........................30 Southwest Trading Company..................49 Special Additions.....................................45 Stonewalls...............................................94 Sugarfoot Grille........................................91 Tater Hill Music........................................18 Tatum Galleries & Interiors......................84 Taylor House Inn......................................21 Todd Bush Photography..........................75 Todd Rice.................................................68 Toe River, The.........................................49 Town Centre............................................72 Town of Seven Devils..............................98 Town Tavern............................................94 Tucker’s Cafe..........................................97 Turchin Center for the Visual Arts............36 Tweetsie Railroad....................................24 UPS Store, The.......................................61 Valle Crucis Log Cabin............................85 Vera Bradley............................................31 Vilas Village Trading Post........................83 Village of Sugar Mountain.......................48 Vintage Valle Crucis................................38 Vistas at Banner Elk, The........................98 Wahoo’s................................................... 11 Watauga County Farmers Market...........18 Watauga Kayak.......................................14 Watauga Lakeshore Resort.....................67 Westglow Resort & Spa...........................73 Wilkes Playmakers..................................47 Woodlands, The......................................97 Wounded Warrior.....................................33 Zaloo’s Canoes........................................85 Zuzda.......................................................91

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The Mountain Times Summer Guide


Profile for Mountain Times Publications

Summer Times 2010  

2010 Edition of Mountain Times Publications' Summer Times

Summer Times 2010  

2010 Edition of Mountain Times Publications' Summer Times

Profile for mtimes

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