Saturday, October 1, 2011

In Search Of Fall

Originally published in My Trip Journal on August 8, 2011

Between the end of his summer school class and the beginning of fall semester, Bill usually has a break of about two weeks. This year, it actually was closer to three. We plan some time away that generally has more to do with beating the heat than finding new places to visit. That was certainly the case this year as the heat and humidity in East Tennessee have been brutal with little reprieve in sight. My theory is to look for higher elevations and determine places within those elevations that might be a fun place to spend a week or 10 days. Beech Mountain, NC fit the criteria quite nicely. We had planned this exact trip last year, but the day before we were to leave was the day Bill's dad entered the hospital for what we now know, but didn't know then, was his last trip. Twelve days later, he was gone. Can't believe its been a year! Unfortunately, the place we wanted to rent (because she had so graciously refunded our money last year) was not available, so we are happily at home here for the next week and a half. My years of finding appropriate rentals for us is paying off as my negotiating skills have become quite good and we've got this great cabin for a fraction of the quoted rates. It always helps that there are just two of us and we often travel to places during off or shoulder seasons.

Beech Mountain, as you might expect, is primarily a ski area. Attempts are being made to rebrand itself as a year round destination, but results are mixed which is perfectly fine with us. Although we see cars at many of the homes (big, fancy homes I might add), the silence is deafening. Right now, I hear nothing but the wind blowing through the trees and at 12:19 p.m., the temp on the outdoor thermometer registers a blissful 72 degrees. It was 62 when I got up this morning. Floor to ceiling windows allow that heavenly breeze to flow from one end of the house to the other. It is delightful and just what this girl needed. Apparently, it is exactly what Bill needed as well because the afternoon napping didn't even wait until afternoon!

My only regret is that this particular cabin is a long way from the "town" if one can call it that. There isn't much there, but to explore the few places that are open, we will have to drive. I'd hoped to be able to walk.

What will we do while here? Although we have never stayed on Beech Mountain, we are very familiar with the High Country of North Carolina. My parents began bringing me to the Boone/Blowing Rock area as a child and some of my fondest memories are of camping along the
Blue Ridge Parkway and visiting Tweetsie Railroad. We will not be visiting Tweetsie Railroad (LOL!), but we will take a day trip to Boone/Blowing Rock. Other day trips will include hiking & exploring Sugar Mountain and a visit to a Lavender Farm which I found in a recently published book called "Farm Fresh, North Carolina."

Beech Mountain is an outdoor lover's kind of place. The permanent residents have designed and built more than
25 miles of hiking trails. I'm hoping to hike as many of those miles as possible over the next several days.

We will be busy, but mostly, this trip is to enjoy cooler temperatures and the last few days before a hectic fall semester begins. So let the napping begin or should I say continue?? As for me, I'm headed back out to the deck where the rocking chair, a fresh cup of coffee and a really good book await me.

Thanks for reading. Hope you enjoy coming along on this trip. It's certainly not as exciting as Colorado, but fun nonetheless.

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