S: SUMMER 2011
BC: Y'all come back now, y'hear?
FC: Martha and John Church visit Brevard July 24-30, 2011
1: July 24, 2011 Arrival Martha and John have come to the mountains. We are so excited to be together and share our home with them for the week. The first thing to do - take them out for a walk through the Nature Trail, which Tess loves, and to see the clubhouse and lake. Bbq pulled pork for dinner, then tea on the front porch to watch the hummingbirds and plan the week. An evening dip in the pool wraps up our first day together.
2: Day Two: July 25, 2011 A drive through the Pisgah Forest brings us to Looking Glass Falls, the perfect first waterfall of Transylvania County. On the way to the Blue Ridge Parkway, we are caught in a thunderstorm, and stop to view Cold Mountain hidden in the clouds. By the time we get to our lunch spot at Pisgah Inn, the weather clears for a beautiful lunchtime view.
3: Views along Blue Ridge Parkway | After lunch, we stop at several of the overlooks to see the views. Looking Glass Rock stands out among the hills. We also see lovely butterflies in shades of neon blues and black. And the clouds open to display Cold Mountain clearly.
4: Yellowstone Falls hike | The hike to Graveyard Fields is a short, easy walk. Just in case the weather turns, we go as far as Yellowstone Falls and scrabble in the rocks We see many strange formations among the falls.
5: Sam Knob Meadow modeling our hiking hats! | The meadow below Sam Knob is filled with wildflowers and butterflies. I'm on the lookout for snakes, and prefer not to stand too long in one place! | We see many rocks that Chris might like to carry back to the car...
6: Devil's Couthouse Chris, John, and Martha head up the path to the top. The wall along the edge allows for the more adventurous to climb over and teeter on the edge. | Margo prefers to wave safely from the parking lot, and visits with many of the tourists who are contemplating the hike.
7: July 26 | Today we set off for DuPont State Forest, stopping off at Connestee Falls along the way. | DuPont Forest was begun as a luxury mountain neighborhood, but when funding dried up, it was sold to the state. The roads make hiking and biking easy, and the entryway has a lovely covered bridge over High Falls. | High Falls | DuPont State Forest | Day Three
8: From High Falls, we walk the trail to Triple Falls, and join others playing on the rocks and enjoying views. Chris volunteers to go back and get the car, and we continue the trail to Hooker Falls. At Hooker Falls, we see a group of llamas hired to carry the packs of a local girl scoout troop. On the way back up the trail, we meet Chris, and continue to Flat Rock. | Triple Falls
9: Flat Rock Carl Sandburg's Home In Flat Rock, we take a tour of Carl Sandburg's home. Our guide, Kathy, is a knowledgeable local volunteer who shares her memories of the Sandburgs. | Mrs. Sandburg raised goats for milk and cheese and we can still see and pet the goats on the farm.
10: Day Four July 27, 2011 John and Chris take Tess up Stone Drive and along the water tower trail. Martha and Margo head into Brevard to visit with the local historical librarian, who shows Martha around her area and happily answers all her questions. Then it's off to Main Street (or is it Broad?) to do some shopping. We come home late to meet the guys for lunch. | writing postcards | Sadly, these white squirrels on Main Street are the only ones Martha saw.
11: Later in the day, Margo takes Martha and John to see the views of South Carolina from the top of Ceasar's Head.... | ...then down the open steps to the ledge below. On the way home, we visit The Glass Feather and do some shopping at Mud Daubbers Pottery. | We end our day with a delicious dinner at Square Root, courtesy of the Churches. | Afternoon drive to Ceasar's Head
12: Day Five July 28, 2011 Asheville, by Red Line Trolley | Pack Square, Vance Monument, City Hall, and downtown views. | Spending the day in Asheville is a great way to learn about the local history and see the beautiful architecture.
13: Biltmore Village, Grand Bohemian Hotel | Grove Park Inn rooftop | Grovewood Gallery | ...and back to Pisgah Forest for a late barbeque dinner at Hawg Wild.
14: Last Day July 29, 2011 | Martha and Margo take the morning to explore the Davidson River while John and Chris climb John Rock. Tess has her customary run in the rapids. | Home for lunch and some white squirrel huntingon the deck. | John, Martha, and Margo take a quick run into town so John can visit his favorite store for the last time. He buys a CD and sheet music of the mountain music he loves.
15: Martha and John present us with an owl "whimsey" for the garden - now if only the owls would face the right direction... We build our own rock cairns and then bid Tess goodbye before heading off to a picnic supper at the Brevard Music Center.
16: Brevard Music Center July 29, 2011 | We have tickets for the orchestra, featuring Thomas Wilkins, conductor, and Joyce Yang, pianist. The program includes Arturo Marquez Danzon No. 2, Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 2, and Mussorgsky Pictures at an Exhibition. | We begin the evening with a picnic by the "shed", soon realizing we had forgotten to pack a wine cork screw and glasses.....
17: John bravely borrows a cork scew from another picnic group, and buys a glass of chardonnay and two glasses from the concession stand. We are all set, until he recorks the bottle too tightly. After several attempts to uncork the wine creatively... Chris again borrows the cork screw and we drain the wine, laughing all the way!.
18: The picnic is a success, helped along by the appearance of the Kiwi Gelato concession stand. Martha enjoys her peach gelato almost as much as Chris loves his chocolate/strawberry blend. | We have wonferful close-up seats in row H. The evening cools off only slightly but the humidity doesn't damper the enthusiasm of the performers or the audience. We all agree it was a highlight of the visit. | John and Tess share a goodnight cuddle.
19: Saturday morning, July 30, 2011 We are all up early to say goodbye. Martha and John write in the guest book out on the deck, still hoping to get a glimpse of Albert, our resident white squirrel. They perform their "Favorite Things" tribute to Brevard, making us all laugh. They leave with a promise to come again, maybe during a cooler season, for another dose of mountain hospitality.