Dh and I just got back from an amazing 5 days/4 nights in the mountains of North Carolina. This is the second summer in a row that we’ve done this … just a long weekend getaway without kids (thanks to adult daughter, Catie!) and just relaxing … hiking … sleeping late … and generally re-energizing our batteries before heading into the hectic high school year ahead. Last year we stayed at the Best Western in Banner Elk, but this time decided to do something a bit different.
We stayed in a stone mason’s cottage … Franklin Smith (a 27yo who owns Living Stone Masonry) rents out the upper floor of his cottage thru AirBNB while a marble sculptor, Peter, rents out the first floor and studio space. We had a wonderful time getting to know Peter and his girlfriend and look at pictures of his amazing pieces!
One of the days, we walked from the Mill Pond in Banner Elk, along the river, and saw the Stone Mason Cottage from the opposite side. We hadn’t realized just how close it was. The cottage is about 100 yards from the Elk River … which leads all the way into town .. so we could actually have walked to town instead of driving!
Here are pictures of the Elk River just past the Dam and flowing pretty strongly up above where the Stone Cottage is:
The river was heavy, swollen with all the rains the area has gotten this spring. A couple of our favorite public parks (with GREAT walking paths) showed signs of inundation and flooding. That all said, we appreciated the rain we got while down in the mountains since it was in the upper 80s before the rains fell!
We were blessed to have my favorite SIL and her dh come visit us for Saturday night and most of the day on Sunday. We took them to a lovely little mountain town, West Jefferson, to wander in and out of antique/junk shops and enjoy the peace of a mountain Sunday afternoon (after a lovely, leisurely breakfast in Banner Elk). Many of the shops were closed on Sunday, but we still managed to see quite a bit. One of our favorite finds last year was the Ashe County Cheese Factory and Shop; unfortunately, it too was closed for Sunday, but we were still able to snap a few pix:
Those clouds meant rain … heavy at times … so Steph/Tom headed back to SC while Rick and I headed into Valle Crucis to Mast General and a quick and rainy grocery run. We were saddened to see that Rick’s favorite coffee shop in Valle Crucis had succumbed to a 7-alarm fire on Friday morning (killing one and injuring another). The Valle Landing “strip mall” was situated between the original Mast General and the Mast Annex (right next door to the Valle Crucis School). On Sunday afternoon, there was still smoke coming from the debris.
Homeward bound on Monday, we stopped at Heartwood … a lovely spot in Abingdon, VA where the views are spectacular and the handcrafts and music for sale inside are second to known.
Enjoy the rest of your summer days … and keep on knittin’