Breeze escapes his demons in Florida by moving to the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. He and Brody are settling into their new life when he stumbles onto a plot of marijuana plants on public land. Knowing a thing or two about growing weed, Breeze befriends the mysterious mountain man tending to the crop.
When his new friend is killed, he tries to help law enforcement solve the crime. When the authorities prove reluctant, he is forced to take matters into his own hands. In the process, he transforms from boat bum to a true man of the mountains.
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We travel Pigeon Roost Road to drive into Banner Elk several times a week.
Along the way, we pass through a small enclave of dilapidated buildings, falling-down houses, and trailers. Most have their own assortment of eclectic junk in the yard. One has a wooden sign, declaring the occupant “Mayor of Pigeon Roost.”
We started calling this stretch of road Mayorville.
(Not actual photos of Mayorville. I didn’t want to stop in the road to get photos, but you get the idea.)
Most of the times we pass through, there is at least one cat in the road. There are cats running all over the place. None of them have tails. Junkyard cats with no tails.
We have to drive slow through Mayorville, so we don’t run over a tailless cat.
We were in Lowe’s in Banner Elk and stumbled onto a deal on lawn and garden stakes. They were selling 24 pointed stakes for $2.99 to make way for winter and seasonal goods. We bought all they had!
We fiddled around with a few different ideas then dug into constructing, staining, and painting a few projects.
Below was our first effort, a Betsy Ross flag:
Then we threw together this little rustic star:
I decided I needed a kindling box:
Then Kim decided she wanted a boot tray:
That’s it so far, but we figure a long, cold winter will spur us to new projects. Still have plenty of those stakes left. I’m thinking a Christmas Tree.
Any other ideas on how we can use these to make cool stuff?
The trail debuted in summer 2015, and in 2017 an observation deck has been built to offer wonderful views of Otter Falls. This moderately strenuous hike starts from a trailhead parking area at 825 Skyland Drive and descends to scenic Otter Falls on Valley Creek. The 0.6-mile hike to the falls creates a round trip of about 1.2 miles.
You can view the Falls from several different vantage points, including a viewing platform that is very close.
The path is graded, relatively gradual, and has a smoothed surface—but it is steep in spots. The hike descends about 230 feet to the falls—so you will have an identical climb back to your car. Sturdy hiking boots or shoes are recommended. Don’t forget to dress properly and bring plenty of water when going on a hike!
The trailhead parking area is at 825 Skyland Drive. There is room for four cars, five if everyone cooperates. There are no facilities.
After you enjoy your time at the falls and along Valley Creek, it’s time to walk back out and UP to your car. I’m not in the best climbing shape, and the return trip was a challenge. There are a few benches along the way if you need to stop and take a break.
The Town of Seven Devils didn’t designate this hike as “Difficult”, instead they chose a different word . . . Strenuous.
We were really happy when we made it back to the car. Otter Falls was well worth the effort.
Jeffress Park, Blue Ridge Parkway
Nice little park with ample parking, picnic tables, and restrooms. The trail is well-worn and obvious. It’s 90% easy to make the half-mile hike to the falls. The last few hundred feet is a stone stairway with a rickety handrail here and there. Not bad going down but my knees got to burning on the way back up. It’s impossible to capture the entire cascade in one photo, but there’s an overlook at the top and another further down.
The drive along the Parkway is a pleasant one with several overlooks.
Below is the best shot I could get of the Cascades.
We left our boat and the liveaboard life and moved into a log cabin in the Blue Ridge Mountains on August 1, 2018. What a transition! We left the beaches to live near Beech Mountain, (and Sugar Mountain, and Grandfather Mountain, etc.) Our cozy little cabin in on McGuire Mountain Road, high above the lovely little town of Banner Elk, North Carolina.
We’ve been busy getting our new home in order and adapting to our new lifestyle. I’ve been splitting and stacking wood in preparation for winter. Kim has been crafting and cooking in a real kitchen. Although we thoroughly enjoyed our time living on a boat in Florida, I have to say we are now Living Large in a real house.
We’ve explored nearby waterfalls and done a little hiking. Still trying to get our mountain legs.
The weather has been outstanding. I think the highest temperature we’ve seen is 80 degrees, but mostly it tops out in the mid to upper 70’s, in August. Nights see low 60’s or upper 50’s. We’ve been sleeping with the windows open. The sound of the creek helps put us to sleep.
The air and water are so much cleaner than in Florida. The humidity is not an issue, although we’ve gotten light rains fairly often. We feel better physically and mentally. No stress!
Now we realize that winter will be a challenge for us thin-blooded Floridians. Check back with us in January.