North Carolina Mountains - Beautiful Vistas & Great Retreats!

Discussion in 'Travel Stories' started by giradman, Jul 26, 2013.

  1. giradman

    giradman
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    Hi SciFan.. - thanks again (and to the others) for taking an interest in these posts - from GFM, the Sugar Top resort is a distance away (as can be seen in the non-zoomed photos) and not that noticeable unless stared at for a while, I guess; BUT, the 'Ridge Law' prevents further erection of such structures in North Carolina.

    Just wondering what other 'mountainous' states may have the same issues, e.g. have not check the laws in Virginia or West Virginia where such ridge crest buildings would have a similar 'negative' impact? Dave :)
     
  2. giradman

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    Apropos to my previous post, I was thinking of the mountainous regions of Virginia and West Virginia that we've visited over many decades. In Virginia, I cannot recall much in the way of 'huge' buildings on ridge crests; of course, the Skyline Drive & Blue Ridge Parkways traversed the VA mountains and would be protected from such projects.

    On one of our first trips to West Virginia, we stayed at the Village of Snowshoe, a famous ski resort there w/ year-around activities (we visited in the summer and are not skiers) (more detail below from the link) - a wonderful experience - now the village is at the summit of the mountain, but the buildings are 'low' (6 stories or so) and blend into the surroundings better - also being the second highest point in WVA, not much is seen from the ground until getting toward the top (some web pics below) - I checked my WVA travelogue and cannot find mention of the Snowshoe Resort, so our trip must have pre-dated the start of that travelogue. NOW, if there are others from VA or WVA reading these threads, please post your own comments on this issue of mountain ridge resort construction. Dave :)

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  3. giradman

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    Wineries, Price Lake, & Moses Cone House - Part 1

    Our second full day, relaxing morning w/ Susan at the indoor pool's hot tub & me at the fitness center - light lunch in the condo, then an afternoon of activities. The wineries will be covered in this first part - the High Country Area is a general description of the communities around this part of the parkway, such as Blowing Rock, Linville, Banner Elk, and nearby Beech Mountain - there are few scattered wineries (see map - the two visited today are circled; the Banner Elk Winery was on a previous trip). The Grandfather Vineyard & Winery was the nearest on HW105 (stop last year) - a nice creek is next to the tasting room w/ outside chairs for wine sipping - Susan did the 'sweet wines' and was not that impressed; I did the 'dry wines', both white & red - bought 3 bottles (Vermentino, Viognier, & Cabernet Franc) - vermentino seems to do well in North Carolina, an Italian island grape mainly (Sardinia).

    Our next stop was into the Linville area on HW221 to Linville Falls Winery, which is right next to the Red Barn Tree Farm, where one can cut their own Christmas tree - the northwestern mountainous region of North Carolina grows a LOT of trees for the holiday season. The vineyards are near the trees and on steep slopes, as shown by the pics. Our first visit to this winery and not thrilled w/ their products, sorry - we did purchase 2 bottles, a chardonnay for me and a slightly sweet blend for Susan. Then headed back to the Blue Ridge Parkway for the remainder of the afternoon - next post. Dave :)
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  4. giradman

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    Wineries, Price Lake, & Moses Cone House - Part 2

    After our wine tours, we headed north on the Blue Ridge Parkway back to Blowing Rock - made a quick stop at the Julian Price Memorial Park (first quote below from link) - as usual, the lake was beautiful (couple of first pics) - camping and boat rentals (kayaks & canoes) are available. Then we headed just up the road to the Moses Cone Memorial Park (see second quote), specifically to visit the Flat Top Manor, the estate mountain home of Moses & Bertha Cone, built around 1900 (see last quote below) - as described, the first floor is now a craft shop w/ excellent quality objects - beautiful views of the mountains and Bass Lake, which we walked around the next day. Dave :)

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  5. scifan57

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    Thanks for some more excellent travel stories.
     
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  6. giradman

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    Thanks again SciFan.. for your interest in these posts - we'll be leaving for home this morning (and may stop at some wineries just off HW421 (same ones as last year); plus, I'll have a few additional posts to add later. Dave :)
     
  7. giradman

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    Blowing Rock Art & History Museum (BRAHM) - Part 1

    On our last full day in Blowing Rock, our afternoon activities included a walk around Bass Lake (previous description & many pics in earlier posts in this thread), then a visit to the Blowing Rock Art & History Museum, our third visit to the new building which opened in 2011 (see first quote from link) - the museum has rotating exhibits which often are surprisingly excellent for such a small place - present ones are: 1) Impressions of the Land; 2) Romare Bearden - Li'l Dan, the Drummer Boy: A Civil War Story; 3) The Photography of Lewis Hine: Exposing Child Labor in North Carolina, 1908-1918; and 4) The Village of Blowing Rock: Exploring Our History. I'll discuss the first two exhibits in this post and the Lewis Hine photography in the next. The Blowing Rock exhibit is a permanent presentation of the town's history.

    Impressions of the Land features painted landscapes from around the late 19th to early 20th century by American artists - despite being an 'art aficionado', many of the names were unknown to me but the paintings were beautifully done, many w/ bold brush strokes - below a pic of the gallery (3 of 4 walls) and just 3 of the many paintings on view.

    Romare Bearden - Li'l Dan, the Drummer Boy: a Civil War Story - Romare Bearden, a native North Carolinian was a well known American artist and humanist (second quote from link) - he worked in many different media, and wrote and illustrated the children's book presented in this exhibit (his only book - still available - the one shown from Amazon has a CD narrated by Maya Angelou, a Winston-Salem inhabitant in her last years. Pics below show the artist, the book cover, and portions of the exhibit; plus, his work 'The Folk Musicians' which is more representative of his style (for those interested, google his name and hit 'images'). Dave :)

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  8. giradman

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    For those wondering from the photograph of Romare Bearden, he was a light-skinned African-American who could have easily passed as 'white' but did not - some interesting info in the quote below w/ link - Dave :)

     
  9. giradman

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    Blowing Rock Art & History Museum (BRAHM) - Part 2

    The Photography of Lewis Hine: Exposing Child Labor in North Carolina, 1908-1918 - I spent the most time in this exhibit; the expansion of the textile industry in the late 19th & early 20th centuries in North Carolina directly impacts on the mill owners of the times, including the Cone Brothers who had three large mills operating in Greensboro, NC - they were directly involved in organizing 'mill villages', stores, and hiring entire families to work in the mills for LONG hours (66 hour per week) and extremely low wages.

    Edited from the museum's brochure: "In 1908, Hine visited textile mills in North Carolina to document the exploitation of child workers. Hine and others wanted people to see how horrible working conditions were for many children. The exhibit showcases 40 of Hine's photographs, discusses the history, provides insight into everyday life in NC textile mills and villages, and concludes w/ a look at child labor today." The exhibit was organized by the NC Museum of History. Below are some of the pics & history - click to enlarge for reading, if interested. Dave :)

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  10. scifan57

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    Thanks for some more excellent posts. In every post I learn things about the United States I’ve never heard about before.
     
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