Tag Archives: Blue Ridge Mountains

Surviving Snow in the Mountains!

Remember folks, we moved here from Florida. 18 inches of snow is a big deal for us thin-blooded flatlanders. Back in December of 2010, I shoveled snow for what I thought was the last time. We were leaving to go live on a boat in never-ending warmth. I swore I’d never shovel snow again.

I was wrong.

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Yup, we shoveled that driveway by hand. We put the car in the garage for the duration of the storm.

We lost power briefly on the first morning of the event. I dragged the generator out of the garage, ran an extension cord into the cabin and plugged in necessary items. Out space heater needs electricity, also the refrigerator, coffee pot, and some lights. It all worked fine. We even had cable TV. The power came back on and stayed on thereafter. At least we got a good trial run for future outages.

We stayed warm and enjoyed the beauty of winter that we hadn’t seen in a long time.

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The creek in front of our house.

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The view from the top of our driveway. We walked up to get this pic. Still haven’t tried to drive out two days later.

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Those odd-looking lumps are stacks of firewood.

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The first morning after it started we had 15 inches. Another 3 inches fell overnight.

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We used to sing “Knee Deep in the Water Somewhere.” Welcome to the mountains, Kim.

It’s not even winter yet, but here in western North Carolina, we’ve gotten a good dose. We lived! There are still many days left before spring, but so far we’re enjoying the cabin life. Check back with us when winter is over.

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Overwhelming Thanks!

Have you ever completely upended your life to try something completely different?

We call that a Leap of Faith, and we’ve done it twice. This past summer we moved from a boat in Florida to a cabin in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Talk about a life change, but it has all worked out.

It’s hard to express how thankful we are for all of the blessings we’ve received. We have a sweet new home complete with peace and serenity. We bought a new car, new clothes (didn’t have winter wear), even a new fridge. We sold the boat and put some money in the bank. We’ve got great kids, all grown up and doing well. My grandkids will be coming to visit very soon.

We sit on the porch and watch the creek babble by, amazed by our new life and good fortune. Truly this is a time to give thanks.

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I also want to thank you – folks who follow this blog, our Facebook community, and those who purchase my books. Without your support, none of this would be possible. I once had a dream to be a writer. Now I’m living that dream. Kim has the home she always wanted. We are thankful every day, but today, on this Thanksgiving, we express our gratitude to each and every one of you who has helped us along the way.

It is our sincere wish that you find thanks for your own blessings on this day. Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Banner Elk Breeze is now Available

 

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.

The Tailless Cats of Mayorville

We travel Pigeon Roost Road to drive into Banner Elk several times a week.

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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.

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(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.

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Cabin Crafts

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:

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Then we threw together this little rustic star:

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I decided I needed a kindling box:

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Then Kim decided she wanted a boot tray:

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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?

 

 

Otter Falls, Very Cool

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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.

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You can view the Falls from several different vantage points, including a viewing platform that is very close.

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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.

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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.

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We were really happy when we made it back to the car. Otter Falls was well worth the effort.

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