Thursday, July 29, 2010

Beech Mountain Club On The News: Golfing In July, But Staying Dry!

Last weekend, on local TV in Charlotte, they did a story on the great golfing that is to be experienced on Beech Mountain. You can view the story online:
Beech Mountain Club on WCNC, Channel 36, Charlotte.

Most of the vacation rentals on Beech Mountain include Club access to non-members as guests of those who own the home where you are staying; so be sure to ask for the details when you reserve your accommodations.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Melange: A Great Mountain Bistro In Nearby Banner Elk, NC

We treated ourselves to a sumptuous lunch yesterday at a new restaurant in Banner Elk, NC, called Melange. The service was impeccable and the food and wine list divine! Definitely a must-go for foodies with an appreciation for goat cheese, arugula, white truffle oil, pesto, andouille sausage, and other such delicacies, I have scanned in one of their luncheon menus. Warning: A quick glance will result in your mouth watering.

Melange is located near the intersection of Tynecastle Hwy and 105 in Banner Elk, NC.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

A Quick Trip into Tennessee: Roan Mountain, TN

This morning, we made a quick trip down from Beech Mountain to explore just over the state line into Tennessee a bit. A roughly forty-minute drive took us through as series of little mountain communities, like Eagles Nest, Elk Park, and Cloudland, on our way to Roan Mountain State Park.

We found a very nice visitor's center and small museum on the site of the old Peg Leg Iron Ore Mine, and enjoyed watching the old iron water wheel turn and examining the displays of various everyday artifacts from long ago times. The visitor's center, in addition to a pleasant little gift shop, also offered some really interesting museum displays, offering lots of tidbits of geology and history related to the area.
Behind the buildings was a trail up to the opening of the old mine, and we took the opportunity to stretch our legs and wander into the peaceful woods up the side of the mountain. Although it was fairly steep at times, there were some wooden stairs and a viewing platform part-way up, which afforded a nice view back over the trail.

And here is the opening (or one of them) to the mine. A pleasant way to while away a few morning hours on a lovely summer day.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Bullfrogs and Pollywogs: An Afternoon at Coffey Lake, Beech Mountain, NC

Just spent a few lazy hours this afternoon at Lake Coffey in Beech Mountain, endeavoring to catch a Bullfrog Tadpole or two. We didn't have any luck. Those little guys are FAST! Also, their drab coloring and ability to hold very still make them masters at blending into their surroundings, the shallow and mucky edges of Coffey Lake.

Since we couldn't catch one in order to get a closer look at it in our jar, we had to content ourselves with snapshots. Here are a couple of the more mature ones. Can you see 'em?

No? OK, how 'bout now?

More About North Carolina Bullfrogs

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Don't Forget Your Veggies! Clemmons Produce in Banner Elk, NC

Just back from stocking up Beech Mountain Bliss with fresh fruits and veggies for the family as we enjoy our Summer escape from the sweltering heat down below. Less than a 20-minute drive from us, on Tynecastle Highway leading out of Banner Elk, Clemmons is a great place to pick up some local produce, as well as good-quality specimens from much further away (since the modern lifestyle we live has gotten us used to having our pineapples, avocados and lemons whenever we desire them). But today I was particularly pleased to pick up a couple of pounds of heirloom tomatoes!

In addition to the fresh stuff, there is plenty of old-fashioned candy, jars of delicious preserves and local honey (If you haven't tried Sourwood honey, you can count yourself as deprived.), as well as amusing "hillbilly" nick-nacks to take back home with you.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Playground At Beech Mountain Recreation

When you have a sunny bright and beautiful day in July up here on Beech Mountain, it's a pleasure to spend an afternoon outdoors at a playground. The wildflowers on the bank overlooking beautiful Buckeye Lake are in full bloom, and the butterflies are going crazy over 'em! (And, unlike at a lot of other places, July afternoons up here typically are mild; so no fear of heatstroke or losing half your bodyweight in sweat.) The new play structure at Beech Mountain's Recreation Center is so neat that the adults usually can't resist trying it out too.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Another Visit to the Genesis Wildlife Preservation Center

We made a return visit to the Genesis Wildlife Preservation Center's Buckeye Lake location, this time parking at the Beech Mountain Recreation Center and walking along the grassy verge to Genesis. It's not a long walk, and the parking is easier at the Recreation Center. During today's visit, we made the acquaintance of a female deer named Gracie (Doe, a deer, a female deer . . .), who Genesis volunteers nursed back to health after she had been hit by a car. Gracie was released back to the wild a while ago, and has since mated with a buck and produced two fawns; but she often comes back to the Genesis Center to munch on their shrubbery (which is how we first spotted her - see photo below). Today, one of the folks there offered to let us help give Gracie a treat, and so we went out to greet her with a couple of plums.

Genesis is a non-profit, tax-exempt, all volunteer facility dedicated to the rescue, treatment, rehabilitation and eventual release of injured, abused, or orphaned wildlife. You can learn more about them on their website at

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Valle Crucis Community Park, Valle Crucis, NC

We took a morning this fine July to visit the Valle Crucis Community Park, in Valle Crucis, NC (an approximately 45 minutes' shady drive from Beech Mountain). Located right by the Mast General Store Annex (a.k.a. the Candy Barrel), it's the perfect place for a picnic (or a few hours running off a sugar rush) with the family. Not only are there several shelters and charcoal grills to choose from, right near a generous assortment of playground equipment, including playhouses and swings; but the park offers about a mile's worth of scenic walking trails and stretches along a pretty river where you can fish. We also noticed an outdoor stage, where free music concerts are a weekly event all through the summer.

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