North Carolina: Summer 2014

Janet and I headed to the Asheville, NC area to spend time with my family the week of July 4th.

Our goal for this trip was to find sights to see and things to do that we hadn't visited before (see our blog on one of our previous trips at Summer in North Carolina:  2009).

West Asheville River District

We found our way to West Asheville's River District, a location where old warehouses have been converted to studios for local jewelers, potters, painters, sculptors and photographers.

Studios in the Ashevill River District

The River District is a great place to spend the day, walking through the various galleries and talking to the artists.

Conemara: Carl Sandburg Home

While we'd been to Carl Sandburg's Home, Connemara, several times, we hadn't been able to tour the house in awhile, or hike some of the trails.  So we did both, and ate lunch on a bench along the path to the house.  (See additional pictures of Connemara at North Carolina Trip:  2009)

The Grounds at Connemara

The house has been preserved to represent what a typical day would have been like during the life of Sandburg while he wrote at Connemara during his last years.  The tour of the house is an interesting time capsule experience.  And the grounds around the house are a great place for walks. 


Mrs. Sandburg's Goat Farm

Carl Sandburg's wife established a world-renowned goat farm during her time at Connemara.  We'd never taken the time to walk down to see the goats before.  Glad we did this time! 

Home of Thomas Wolfe

At the turn of the last century, Thomas Wolfe wrote about his experiences in and around Asheville.  His most famous novel, Look Homeward Angel, fictionalizes his family life. 

Mrs. Wolf's Enterprise

Thomas Wolfe's mother, Julia, ran a boarding home in Asheville called The Old Kentucky Home.  This is where Thomas grew up (and, consequently, where he became infected with the tuberculosis meningitis that eventually claimed his life at a relatively early adult age of thirty-eight). 

Mrs. Wolfe slept in a small side room off of the kitchen.  Thomas would be asked to sleep in whatever bed was available within the house for the evening. 

As a result, Wolfe spent his adult life moving from apartment to apartment in New York City, never settling into one particular location for an extended period of time. 

Fireplaces in the Wolf Home

A fixation on the fireplaces in the house took ahold of me.  I think it had to do with the tile formations in front of and around the structures. 

Wolf's Angel in Hendersonville

The angel that inspired the title of Wolfe's novel Look Homeward Angel actually stands in a graveyard in the middle of Hendersonville, a town about 20 miles to the Southeast of Asheville.  Wolfe's father, a stone mason, sold the piece to a local family for use in the cemetery.

Allison-Deaver House: 1815

The Allison-Deavor house in Brevard is the oldest wooden structure in Western North Carolina, built in 1815.


Interior of Allison-Deaver

 The interior of the house is only open to the public on weekends.  I managed a couple of passable shots of some of the rooms through the windows.  Obviously, we weren't there during the weekend!

The Barn at Allison-Deaver

 The property hosts a barn of which it is next to impossible to NOT get a perfect scenic picture.  I could not find a date for when the barn was built.  I doubt it was original to the house, and was most likely built later. 

Chimney Rock National Park

Always wanted to hike around Chimney Rock at Lake Lure.  While we've spent time on the lake (see North Carolina Summer:  2009),  I'd never had a chance to spent time in the park.  This was my year!

The Rock at Chimney Rock

The Rock projects out of the cliff, and makes for great views of the surrounding area. 

Chimney Rock: Devil's Face

Interesting rock formations easily found!  I see a face here.  Can't say I'd peg it for the devil, though.

Chimney Rock: Exclamation Point

 The highest point in the park is not The Rock.  Exclamation point is another couple of hundred of stone and wood steps above The Rock.  Worth the extra climb!

Chimney Rock: Hickory Nut Falls

 One path takes you away from The Rock and leads into Hickory Nut Gorge to a sheer waterfall that spills mistily over the rock face and spills to the ground below.

Chimney Rock: A Vertical Park

The park is vertical.  No other way to describe it.  You either walk or climb up or down the entire time you're there!

Chimney Rock: Four Seasons Trail

 The Four Seasons Trail connects the middle part of the park, where the climb up to The Rock begins, with the lower entrance area.  The move "Last of the Mohicans" was filmed here, and while the area looks nothing like New York, the whole park suggests a Hollywood movie set. 

The Hermitage: Andrew Jackson Home in Nashville, TN

So for those of you who know your American history, Andrew Jackson did not live in Asheville.  His home, The Hermitage, is located in Nashville, Tennessee.  Janet and I got great airline tickets to Nashville from Austin, and flew in and out of Nashville and drove over to Asheville and back.  Since we had some time before our return flight, we stopped off at the Hermitage, which is very near the airport.

The Hermitage House Tour

A lot of time isn't needed to tour the inside of the home.  As grand as the place was in comparison to other homes located in what was then considered to be the outback, the layout of the house is pretty basic.  That's not meant to dismiss the interest the tour and the grounds hold.  It's a very interesting place to visit.    

Gardens at the Hermitage

The resting place of Jackson and surrounding gardens are beautiful, or course.  The grounds provide a context for understanding Jackson- grand simplicity.  An elevated common man.