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North Carolina Mountains - Beautiful Vistas & Great Retreats!

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giradman

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Riverside Cemetery

After our lunch at the NC Arboretum, we drove back into Asheville to the Riverside Cemetery, established in 1885 on nearly a hundred acres of rolling and hilly land next to the French Broad River (see map below). But as we entered the property, the clouds darkened and the rains came, so I did not have a chance to walk around the gravesites and find three individuals of interest, i.e. the authors O.Henry & Thomas Wolfe, and Zebulon Vance - BUT I did take a few pics to prove that I was there! However, there were some excellent images on the web (Source) that are shown - the first quote provides some general facts, while the second expands on some of the 'famous' people interred there. Tonight an early dinner at Edison in the hotel - next post. Dave :)

The Riverside Cemetery encompasses 87 acres of rolling hills and flower gardens overlooking the French Broad River. To answer the growing need for burial grounds, the Asheville Cemetery Company bought land in 1885 to establish what was first called the Asheville Cemetery and later renamed the Riverside Cemetery. The City of Asheville adopted the cemetery in 1952. It is still an active cemetery with more than 13,000 people buried here, 9000 monuments and 12 family mausoleums. Many of the graves in Riverside contain remains which were removed from other burial grounds and reinterred here. Once inside the large iron gates, you may take a self-guided walking tour through ancient oak, poplar, dogwood and ginkgo trees. (Source)
Riverside is the burial place of noted authors Thomas Wolfe and William Sidney Porter, better known as O. Henry. You can learn about Confederate generals James Martin, Robert B. Vance and Thomas Clingman. Some of the names recorded in Riverside Cemetery are those of the city's most prominent citizens: Jeter C. Pritchard, T. S. Morrison, Thomas Patton, and Zebulon B. Vance. Individuals of note interred at Riverside Cemetery include: Isacc Dickson, the first African American to be appointed to an Asheville City School Board; Quenn Carson, Asheville's first female public school principal; George Masa, a Japanese photographer who documented much of the Blue Ridge Mountains and was integral in the establishment of Great Smoky Mountains National Park; James H. Posey, a bodyguard to Abraham Lincoln; and the remains of 18 German sailors from WWI. Riverside Cemetery is maintained by the City of Asheville, Parks and Recreation Department and has been designated a Buncombe County Treasure Tree Preserve.
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Edison Craft Ales + Kitchen

For our last dinner of the trip, we ate at the Grove Park Inn at their Edison Restaurant - came early and had a wonderful table next to the window (shown below) w/ the same view as from the Sunset Porch - we both started with the charred octopus (see circled items in menu pic) - the accompaniments with the dish were excellent (we mail order octopus to our home which I marinade and grill - a fav of ours). For the main entrees, Susan had the Shrimp & Grits, the latter really cheesy - delicious; I had the Venison Tenderloin, medium rare w/ the sides below; also great! In summary, the food after the Omni take-over is excellent at this resort, final opinion. Back home tomorrow but maybe a few stops? Dave :)
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Folk Art Center - Part I

On our way home, we stopped at the Folk Art Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Asheville - we've been visiting for decades - see description quoted below. There is a lower gallery of numerous and varied hand-crafted items for sale, including jewelry, ceramics, wood carvings/furniture/etc., cloth wares, beautiful quilts and much more - the map below shows the Center's location and nearly all of the other pics are my own taken today - I have so many that multiple posts will be needed; the first two will show many of the crafts on sale in first floor gallery - Susan was wanting another menorah but she already has a half dozen. The final two posts will concentrate on the upper galleries. Dave :)

The Folk Art Center is a museum of Appalachian arts and crafts located at milepost 382 on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Asheville, North Carolina. It also houses offices for three separate Parkway partners: the Southern Highland Craft Guild, the National Park Service, and Eastern National. The Center, a cooperative effort between the Southern Highland Craft Guild, the National Park Service, and the Appalachian Regional Commission, features many one-of-a-kind handmade crafts and is the most popular attraction on the Parkway, seeing a quarter of a million visitors per year. (Source)
Opened to the public at its current location in 1980, the Center contains three galleries, a library, and an auditorium, and also houses the Eastern National bookstore and information center. Admission is free. One of the Center's main attractions is the Guild's century-old Allanstand Craft Shop, changing exhibitions in galleries from its permanent collection of 3,500 pieces of craft objects dating back to the turn of the 20th century. The Center also features an exhibition of traditional and contemporary southern Appalachian crafts. (Source)
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Folk Art Center - Part II

Still in the lower sales gallery - many more items to consider - Susan was really interested in the glass menorah, as stated before, but has enough with two that we alternate. BUT as is evident from these two posts, there are numerous hand crafted items from all sorts of art disciplines - prices vary considerably but can be quite expensive, since not only the artist but the Craft Guild and Park Services all benefit. Final two posts are from the upstairs galleries. Dave :)
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Folk Art Center - Part III - Southern Highland Craft Guild Collection

The Southern Highland Craft Guild consists of hundreds of artists from many southeastern states, as briefly described below - if interested, check the two links given for much more information. Their main gallery is located on the second level of the Folk Art Center - pics below are from that exhibit area. Dave :)

Chartered in 1930, the Southern Highland Craft Guild would grow to become one of the strongest craft organizations in the country. Second in age only to the Boston Society of Arts and Crafts, the Guild now represents 900+ craftspeople in 9 southeastern states. The craft shop is oldest continuously operating in the United States, dating back to 1897. (Source)
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Folk Art Center - Part IV - Third Upper 'Sales' Gallery

This gallery has larger items, many on sale and others of historic interest, along with exhibits highlighting events around the center and the Blue Ridge Parkway. I was most attracted to the furniture, made of both common hard woods, such as walnut and white oak and more exotic species such as sapele (an African mahogany); one woodworker used ambrosia maple, a wood that I've included in a number of my 'less impressive' pieces. The 1876 'bicycle seat foot powered scroll saw' was also a highlight.

The Folk Art Center is the most visited place along the 496 miles of the Blue Ridge Parkway and in my opinion is a MUST see - you can certainly walk away spending under $100 USD, but come w/ deep pockets, some of those furniture items were in the $5000 range! Dave :)
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Folk Art Center - Part IV - Third Upper 'Sales' Gallery

This gallery has larger items, many on sale and others of historic interest, along with exhibits highlighting events around the center and the Blue Ridge Parkway. I was most attracted to the furniture, made of both common hard woods, such as walnut and white oak and more exotic species such as sapele (an African mahogany); one woodworker used ambrosia maple, a wood that I've included in a number of my 'less impressive' pieces. The 1876 'bicycle seat foot powered scroll saw' was also a highlight.

The Folk Art Center is the most visited place along the 496 miles of the Blue Ridge Parkway and in my opinion is a MUST see - you can certainly walk away spending under $100 USD, but come w/ deep pockets, some of those furniture items were in the $5000 range! Dave :)
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Your posts on the art for sale were amazing. If this was in my area I would certainly visit and probably buy some items.
 
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Your posts on the art for sale were amazing. If this was in my area I would certainly visit and probably buy some items.

As stated before, the Folk Art Center is the most visited attraction on the Parkway - we've probably purchased at least a half dozen items there, including several art works and 'stuff' for Susan - don't believe we ever spent more than $400 or so on any one piece, so you don't need to 'blow' a fortune BUT you certainly could! :cool: Dave
 
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Scifi.. - after our post exchanges, I was wondering which 'art works' we bought at the Folk Art Center over the years - hard to decide since we've been buying artwork on trips for decades and the walls of nearly all of our rooms are filled w/ various items - BUT, the first image below 'Sticks & Stones', an original print (30 in the edition) w/ some collage was purchased there, and I believe the second print (edition of 200) of the owl called 'Night Messenger' is from the Center. Dave :)

P.S. Pardon the 'skewness' of the first image - taken from the side and could not get all of the frame in - and in the owl print, the ceiling light in the room is being reflected.
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Blowing Rock and the Chetola Resort - July 2021!

A return trip to one of our favorite mountain get-aways, Blowing Rock just 90 minutes from home and only an hour to get onto the Blue Ridge Parkway - this time we have restaurant reservations each night rather than bringing our own food during the COVID 'isolation period'. Again staying in a condo at the Chetola Resort (first pic from the web - we're near the ponds again).

During the drive, the temperature was 91ºF in Wilkesboro but after the climb up the continental divide to the Blue Ridge Parkway, it dropped to 82ºF (an approximate 10º drop is typical in that ascent). First pics below from several of the overlooks with a few panoramic views; and last ones from our condo porch - a flock of Canadian geese were in the ponds, not a common occurrence on previous visits to this area of the resort. We're just here for 3 nights but weather looks good and will post if we do anything differently; the local museum is now open and we'll likely visit. Dave :)
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The Best Cellar - Dinner First Night

As usual I like to mention dinner places where we visit just in case some of our members are reading my threads and live nearby or can visit. Blowing Rock being a mountain resort town basically living off tourism has numerous places to stay and dine - many are old converted 'mansions', both small and large with their own quaint attractions. One is the Inn at Ragged Gardens, located in the center of town near the Main Street. The restaurant there is called The Best Cellar, which occupies many of the first floor areas, the basement wine cellar area , and outdoors on the porch and the patio, i.e. can seat a LOT of people. Below are pics from the web showing outside views of the Inn, just one view of the dining room (we were in another locale inside), and the menu (click to enlarge) - Susan had the New Zealand lamb and I the North Carolina trout in a butter piccatta sauce w/ plenty of capers - for dessert, Susan had their signature banana cream pie. For those reading this post and visiting Blowing Rock, a recommendation. Dave :)
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Bass Lake in the Moses Cone Park

After breakfast, we headed to Bass Lake, part of the Moses Cone Park, and just a 10 min drive from our condo (see map) - the Cone Mansion (right off the Blue Ridge Parkway) is clearly visible high on the mountain (and a frequent topic from my previous posts). The flat walking trail around the lake is .8 mile - Susan does 1 loop and I usually two - plenty crowded today. The lily pads have returned and plenty of ducks and geese were present - the Canadian goose seems to have returned to this area, saw a couple w/ growing goslings. The Cone Mansion was also reflecting in the lake as seen in a few of the pics below taken today on the walk. Dave :)
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Banner Elk Winery, Blue Ridge Parkway, Linn Cove Viaduct, and Julian Price Lake

For the afternoon yesterday, we decided to first visit Banner Elk Winery, probably our third trip there over the years - Susan had a delicious wine strawberry punch and I a small flight of 4 of their wines. The property has appeared in some of my previous posts but pics below from yesterday; Susan next to their wood elk sculpture and the grounds with some vineyards. Their Villa has 8 suites that from the link seem quite nice.

After our winery visit, we returned on the Blue Ridge Parkway mainly for me to drive over the Linn Cove Viaduct (pic below from web during the summer - I usually show a fall view w/ the leaves changing colors) - see quote below; the Parkway was started during the Depression in 1935 and completed 30 years later, EXCEPT for a 7+ mile section around the base of Grandfather Mountain (previous posts show some magnificent views from the top), done 20 more years later! Final pic at the Julian Price Lake dam. Dave :)
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Blue Ridge Parkway Milepost 304.4: Linn Cove Viaduct: Final Link of the Parkway

This seven-mile section of the Blue Ridge Parkway – once the Parkway’s missing link – was completed in 1987. It was delayed for twenty years as environmentalists, adjacent landowners, engineers, and architects sought a design that would preserve and protect the fragile habitat of adjacent Grandfather Mountain. The Linn Cove Viaduct hugs the face of Grandfather Mountain and is recognized internationally as an engineering marvel. This was the last section of the Parkway to be completed and a model of the construction technique highlights a visit to the Linn Cove Visitor Center. (LINK)
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Dinner - Storie Street Grille

Last night, we ate at the Storie Street Grille at a corner on Main Street (most of the downtown is about six blocks of Main), usually a pick each time we visit - like a small bistro from the web pics; varied menu with appetizers, flatbreads, salads (can add a protein), entrees, desserts, and of course some specials for the evening, AND one of the best values that we frequent.

We were not that hungry so just had a main entree - Susan the Marinated lamb leg skewers, tabbouleh, feta, lime & scallion aioli, cherry ginger chutney, micro cilantro which she really enjoyed; I had a special seafood dish for the night, i.e. MahiMahi grilled with a delicious creamy risotto containing a touch of cheese, asparagus bits, pancetta, cilantro, and a few other minor ingredients - enjoyed.

Again written mainly for those reading this thread that might be visiting the town - recommended. Dave :)
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