Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Stories of Mountain Folk Podcast 2-25-12

February 25, 2012  Stories of Mountain Folk from Catch the Spirit of Appalachia  - Amy begins the show with a story called "My Uncle Ray," along with the song "Gonna Lay Down My Old Guitar," by Jim Greer; Doreyl's interview is with Dot Conner from Sylva… they discuss Dot's mother Mary Jane Queen, and the upcoming CSA Scholarships for Appalachian Studies. Amy then talks with Bonnie Ensley from Tuckasegee, who tells the story of her father, Dave Coggins, who was an old time mail carrier on Cullowhee Mountain. The show ends with "Foggy Mountain Breakdown," by 17-year old Jacob Jones from Sylva.   LISTEN HERE

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

John C Campbell Folk School hosts Annual Empty Bowls Fundraiser this weekend

March 3, 5 PM - 7 PM -   Empty Bowls at John C Campbell Folk School   Event Tickets are $25.00 which includes a a take-home handmade bowl by a local potter plus soup, bread, salad and dessert. Enjoy  sharing a hearty meal and fun evening with friends while supporting local food banks. Extra bowls will be for sale for $20.00 after the event.  All proceeds benefit  the Clay and Cherokee County Food Banks.

The John C. Campbell Folk School provides experiences in non-competitive learning and community life that are joyful and enlivening. Located in scenic Brasstown, North Carolina, the Folk School offers year-round weeklong and weekend classes for adults in craft, art, music, dance, cooking, gardening, nature studies, photography and writing. The school also hosts concerts, festival and a variety of cultural events. Get a link for the Folk School HERE

Monday, February 27, 2012

Great Conditions at NC Ski Slopes

After a cooler weekend with several inches of natural snow along with hours of snowmaking, slope conditions are at this season's best. It's a great time to head for the hills and enjoy one of the many special events at NC Ski Resorts this weekend:

March 3 Appalachian Ski Mountain: Recess Wreck Less Rail Jam   RECESS and App Terrain Park Present WrecKLess Rail Jam, now in its 3rd year . If you like zombie hands, tomb stones, Cash prizes, gnarly rails, lots of free products, and tons of shred…ding then this is for you . Cash prizes and a raffle for spectators. Get a link for Appalachian Ski Mountain HERE.

March 4    Sugar Mountain Ski Resort:     Sugar Bear's Birthday Celebration   Join Sugar Mountain Resort's resident mascot, Sugar Bear and his friends for a fun birthday celebration. Activities include the Great Bear Race, a magic show, special treats, cake and ice cream. For additional details contact the Sugar Bear Ski School. Get a link for Sugar Mountain HERE.

March 4  
Sugar Mountain Ski Resort:    Richard T. Trundy Memorial Sugar Cup Competition   A giant slalom competition for participants with at least an intermediate or above ability level. Proceeds go to the American Cancer Society in memory of Sugar Mountain's former Director of Operations, Richard T. Trundy.  Get a link for Sugar Mountain HERE.

4   Cataloochee Ski Area:    The BIGBIGBIG One Day Season Pass Sale   All season passes will be on sale for the lowest price of this year and next year for this one day only. Ski for the rest of the season and next on the pass you purchase on March 4.  Pass sale will be from 8:30am – 4:30pm only and you can purchase in person, over the phone with a credit card or online!  Get a link for Cataloochee Ski Area HERE.

5   Sugar Mountain Ski Resort:    March Madness   Beginning March 5, 2012 and running through the end of the season, Sugar offers up to 25% savings on lift tickets, rental equipment, and lessons. Restrictions apply.  Get a link for Sugar Mountain HERE.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

A Message from Willa Mays and Appalachian Voices

"Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom."
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

One of America's most popular laws — the Clean Water Act — was passed 40 years ago when thousands of people demanded that we stop dumping waste into our water and our politicians listened.

Enforcement is another matter. It's not surprising that an industry that will blow up the Appalachian Mountains for greater profits will also defy law to pollute our mountain streams. But the failure of state agencies to enforce the law is astonishing. Appalachian Water Watch has exposed tens of thousands of water violations in central Appalachia, where living near mountaintop coal mining shortens life spans, increases birth defects, and increases cancer risk (see The Human Cost of Coal below).

In the drought-prone Southeast, where two-thirds of all water withdrawals are used to cool electric generating plants and the majority of our waterways have unsafe levels of mercury pollution, we are working for protections through the Red, White and Water campaign. The only way to ensure our water is safe is to continue the struggle and work for our freedom.

Thank you for standing with us.

Willa Mays
Executive Director, Appalachian Voices

Saturday, February 25, 2012

NC Ski Competitions this Weekend

February  25-26   USSA SARA Championships  at Sugar Mountain Ski Resort.   J1 and J2. By invitation only. Sponsored by SPYDER.  Sugar Mountain Resort is located in the Village of Sugar Mountain, Banner Elk NC

February 26   Shred for the Cup Slopestyle Finals  at Appalachian Ski Mountain.  Now in its 6th season, the SFTC series is the region’s premiere competition and features three unique events (Big Air, Rail Jam, and Slopestyle) throughout the winter season. Shred for the Cup is open to both Skiers and Snowboarders of all age and ability. Tons of prizes are up for grabs, as well as points for the entire series winners. All event participants will receive lunch and Shred for the Cup series T-Shirts.  Appalachian Ski Mountain is located in Blowing Rock NC.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Organic Gowers Conference in Asheville

March 3-4,  University of North Carolina at Asheville - Organic Growers School Spring Conference   A Weekend of Workshops for Beginning Gardeners to Advanced Commercial Growers featuring over 100 classes on all aspects of sustainable living.

Join farmers, gardeners, chefs, seed-savers, backyard chicken-keepers, homesteaders, permaculturists, herbalists, composters, beekeepers, orchardists, foresters, landscapers, cheesemakers, local food lovers, wild food aficiandos, butchers, bakers, and sauerkraut makers for the largest gathering of its kind in the Southeastern US!  
Click HERE to register online .

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Adopt-a-Stream Program from RiverLink Ready for Spring

RiverLink has been  gearing up for the spring rush of Adopt-a-Stream team clean-ups of The French Broad, Swannanoa, and tributaries within the watershed. Thanks to updated GIS information, there are plenty of stream sections mapped out and ready for adoption. To adopt a stream, all you have to do is select your site. Take pride and ownership over streams and rivers by protecting the health and aesthetic value of these beautiful systems flowing through our mountains and townships. Gather your group and join today!

What is Adopt-a-stream?  The Adopt-a-Stream program is a hands-on way for local residents and businesses to get actively involved in improving the water quality of the French Broad River Watershed. This is a very flexible program that gives you the tools and knowledge to make a difference in your watershed by cleaning up your local stream.

What are the requirements?

 -Minimum of 2 cleanups per year
-Report any water related issues/problems to RiverLink

Why Participate?  By participating in a RiverLink Adopt-a-Stream Team, you are improving one of the region's greatest natural resources-our creeks and streams!  Everyday pollutants such as trash, used oil and hydrocarbons, pesticides, fertilizers and yard wastes reach our urban streams. Although some pollutants are easily detected, some go unnoticed without the watchful eye of concerned and involved citizens. Adopt-a-Stream Teams are crucial in protecting our rivers, creeks, and streams and in reporting water pollution problems, making RiverLink's Adopt-a-Stream Program critical to the continued health and vitality of the French Broad River Watershed.

Who Can Participate?  Anyone who is concerned about water quality within the French Broad River watershed can participate! Adopt-a-Stream Teams may include: individuals, communities, families, student organizations, youth and church groups, scout groups, civic organizations, businesses and industries.

How to get Involved:

Step #1

Contact RiverLink's Assistant Volunteer Coordinator, at or (828) 252-8474 ext. 17 to request information and find out which sections of a stream are available for adoption. Please specify if you have a specific stream section or area in mind.

Step #2

After a stream section has been determined, download your Adopt-a-Stream Team Manual complete with Adopt-a-Stream contract, river cleanup reports, and participant waivers. The participating group must complete two river cleanups in order to have their Adopt-a-Stream team sign installed in their adopted section.
Step #3

Prior to each scheduled stream cleanup, volunteers are asked to contact RiverLink at 828-252-8474 ext. 17 or at least 2 weeks in advance to arrange the pick-up of gloves, trash bags, pick up litter sticks and other materials. (The Adopt-a-Stream program asks that volunteers commit to a minimum of two stream cleanups per year).
Step #4

Upon completion of each stream cleanup, volunteers are asked to complete river cleanup reports and turn them back in to the RiverLink office with details such as how many bags of trash collected, how many tires collected, and any strange or interesting items or stories collected along the way.
Step #5

Pat yourself on the back! Thank you for your time and dedication to help protect and improve the water quality of our streams and lakes!

Also ask about Riverlink's Adopt-a-Greenway program. Call Worth McAlister, Assistant Volunteer Coordinator at 828-252-8474 x 17, or email at 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Iron Lady this weekend at the Flat Rock Cinema

February 24 - March 1, 4 PM, 7 PM at The Flat Rock Cinema: The Iron Lady - Golden Globe winner for best actress and nominated for 2 Oscars. The movie is a  surprising and intimate portrait of Margaret Thatcher, the first and only female Prime Minister of The United Kingdom. One of the 20th century's most famous and influential women, Thatcher came from nowhere to smash through barriers of gender and class to be heard in a male dominated world. Streep's performance, as usual, is remarkable.

The Flat Rock Cinema
, a locally-owned clean and friendly bistro cinema featuring great food, cocktails and local brews",  is located at 2700 Greenville HWY in Flat Rock NC.  Get a link for the Flat Rock Cinema HERE

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Biltmore Offers March Specials

March Biltmore Tickets Special:
  • Kids under 16 FREE
  • free audio guide to Biltmore House with each admission ticket
  • March Madness:  Wear your favorite sports team shirt (or hat, etc.) and receive $10 off adult regular admission of $45. Offer must be redeemed in person at Biltmore’s Reception and Ticket Center.
  • $35 admission price ($10 discount) if you book your visit online or by phone 7 days or more in advance of your visit
    These offers valid March 1-31 2012. 

Monday, February 20, 2012

Presidents' Day

Our modern Presidents' Day celebration has evolved from the original holiday established in 1800 to commemorate George Washington's birthday. Washington's actual birthday, February 22, was the official date for the national holiday until 1968 when Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Bill moving a number of federal holidays to Mondays.

Still legally known as Washington's Birthday, Presidents' Day has become a day to honor not only Washington, but Abraham Lincoln, the 16th U.S. president who was born on February 12,  as well as the lives and accomplishments of all U.S. presidents.

The holiday now provides workers another "long weekend" which was the intent of the Uniform Monday Holiday Bill. Celebrations are conducted in Washington DC and other cities across the country and sales for mattresses and other retail goods have become a hallmark.

Interesting Facts about US Presidents:
- Calvin Coolidge (1923-29) kept the most pets, including 6 dogs, a bobcat, a goose, a donkey, a cat, an antelope, a wallaby, 2 lion cubs and a pygmy hippopotamus.

- John Tyler (1841-45) fathered the most children - 15.

- Richard Nixon (1969-74) played the most  musical instruments - piano, clarinet, accordion, saxophone, cello, violin

- William Taft (1909-13) gained the most weight - 50 pounds in one term (he also lost 75 after leaving office).

- James Madison (1809-17) was the first to wear long pants

- John Quincy Adams (1825-29) was the first president to be photographed (no cell phones then!)

- Rytherford B. Hayes (1877-1881) was the first to use a telephone.

- Barack Obama (2009 - 2016) was the first to write his own Email.

- James Buchannan (1857-61) was the only bachelor president.

- Ronald Regan (1981-89) was the only divorced president.

- Andrew Jackson (1829-37) survived a duel and lived 40 years with a bullet in his chest.

- Chester A Aurthur (1881-85) had the longest sideburns - they reached his lapels.

Find more information about US presidents at

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Lake Lure and The Blue Ridge Foothills Sweepstakes - Romance Dirty Dancing Style

Sweepstakes Deadline February 29 -  Enter to win another terrific sweepstakes getaway from the North Carolina Division of Tourism. This one features the setting for  the movie "Dirty Dancing" and who knows how many other classic romances...maybe yours?

The sweepstakes includes:
  • $500 gift card at The 1927 Lake Lure Inn & Spa to be used for overnight accommodations, dining and other amenities
  • Classic car cruise for two with Bennett Classic Auto Museum
  • Aerial tour for two of Rutherford County with Plane Werks
  • Round of golf for two, including cart, at Rumbling Bald Resort
  • Dinner for two at The Esmeralda Inn
  • Dance lessons for two with Mr. Keith Darby
  • Boat tour for two with Lake Lure Tours
  • Rutherford County Tourism gift basket
  • Plus a $500 Visa gift card to help you get here
Entry deadline February 29, 2012.
Enter To Win HERE!

(one entry per email address)

Friday, February 17, 2012

NC Ski Events this Weekend

Feb  17-20,  Calatoochee Ski Area   -  President's Day Weekend at Cataloochee Holiday rates in effect 2/17/12- 2/20/12. In addition to the regular twilight and night skiing schedule of Tuesday through Saturday evenings, there will also be twilight and night skiing on Sunday, February 19. Maggie Valley NC

18 , Beech Mountain Ski Resort -    Snowman Building Contest Strut your frosty stuff at our Annual Snowman building contest. Your creativity is the limit (family friendly), just bring your own accessories. Prizes will be awarded for the most creative and superlative snowman/woman.  Beech Mountain NC

19,  Sugar Mountain Resort -   High Country Junior Race Series Giant Slalom - Championship. A Giant Slalom competition for all High Country junior racers. Registration is from 7:30am-8:30am. Race start is 9 AM on Big Red. Sugar Mountain NC

20,  Appalachian Ski Mountain   -  50th Celebration Family Days Special “Family Days” continue ASM's 50th year celebration with a Live 60’s Band; Every “Elvis” skis free (Sideburns & Costume Required;  Tethered Hot-Air Balloon Rides 1:30 – 3:30; 50th Celebration Golden Scavenger Hunt Parts 4 & 5 (Items 31-40); The Sanctuary Massage Stations 1-4pm; Free Professional Family Ski Portrait 10am – 3pm; Pig Pickin’ 11am – 3pm; Free Junior Ice Skating (ages 12 & under) with paid adult / limit 4 Juniors per family, Offered at special morning session 9 – 11am.  Blowing Rock NC

Wolf Ridge Ski Resort will have 10 of 23 slopes open with two lifts on a base of  23-29 inches of groomed surface.
Ridge Lodge will be re-opened, along with the Ridge Runner slope and lift, for the Holiday weekend starting at 5 PM today. Marshall NC

Sapphire Valley Ski Slopes is planning to be OPEN Saturday, Feb. 18, 9am to 9pm, Sunday 9am to 6pm and Presidents' Day, Monday 9am to 9 pm. weather permitting. Confirm the slope status at 828.743.1169. Sapphire Valley NC

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Diana Wortham Theatre Celebrates African American History Month with Rennie Harris Puremovement

February 23-24 Meet the Women of Rennieo Harris Puremovement at the Diana Wortham Theatre in Asheville NC.   The national theme for this year's celebration of African American History Month is "Black Women in American Culture and History" -- so how fitting that Rennie Harris Puremovement's tour includes three incredible women hip-hop dancers (it was all men for the company's stop here in 2005). Be on the lookout for these inspirational women, and the company's seven male dancers:
Dinita AskewDinita Askew was only 16 years old when she joined Eleone Dance Theatre's second company in 1999 for two years. She earned her degree in Dance at University of the Arts in Philadelphia studying Modern, Ballet, and Jazz, and later expanded her knowledge into hip-hop and funk styles. "Princess Di" continues to motivate, inspire, and educate as a choreographer and a dance teacher to all levels and age groups. Click here to check out a video of Dinita freestyling hip-hop and funk styles.
Nina FlaggAs a California native, Nina Flagg attended Los Angeles County High School for the Arts and received her B.A. in Sociology from University of California, Los Angeles. In addition to being a principal dancer for RHPM, she is often a guest choreographer and on faculty for universities all over the United States. Nina has worked with such artists as Prince, Bette Midler, Tina Turner, Chris Brown, and Will Smith. Nina's mission is to be a part of a supportive network that promotes and enhances artists, dancers, choreographers, and directors, with "the optimum result being a world of opportunity in which we are fully self-expressed and recognized for our creative endeavors." Check out Nina's website for video, photos, and more info.
Crystal Frazier
Crystal Frazier is a native of New Jersey. She began training in dance and gymnastics at the age of six, and went on to earn a degree in Dance from University of the Arts in Philadelphia. "CryStylz" now teaches hip-hop, tap, jazz, lyrical, and afro-funk to all ages, children to adults, throughout the world. As the new tap/hip-hop instructor at Hope College in Michigan, Crystal has arranged a weekly "Skype with Crystal" communication with her students while she tours with RHPM this spring in a State Department-organized international cultural exchange to the Middle East. Click here to read more about this amazing opportunity.
Free Pre-Show Discussions for ticket holders take place in The Forum at Pack Place at 7:00pm each evening prior to the 8:00pm performances. Come early and enjoy an intimate discussion with Puremovement's Company Manager Rodney Hill.
The 10:00am School Show Performance of Rennie Harris Puremovement on Friday, February 24 is sold out. Student Rush tickets ($10 for students with valid I.D.) for evening performances are sold beginning at 12-noon on the day of the show, based on availability.
Rennie Harris Puremovement's Asheville performances are funded in part by South Arts; and are made possible by Performance Sponsors Michael & Catty Andry; and by Mainstage Dance Series Sponsors BMW of Asheville, Hedy Fischer & Randy Shull, Tina & John McGuire, and Michael Witaszek; with additional support from Media Sponsor WNC magazine.
Special Offer for Mainstage Dance Series Tickets
Buy tickets for all three Mainstage Dance Series Performances - Rennie Harris Puremovement, Diavolo Dance Theater, and Keigwin + Company - and save 10% off Regular ticket prices. Call the box office at 828.257.4530 for details.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Appalachian Ski Mountain Celebrates 50th Anniversary with Family Day

February 20 - 50th Celebration Family Days  at Appalachian Ski Mountain. The special “Family Days” continue ASM's  50th year celebration with a variety of events and fun activities for family members of all ages. Enjoy a Live 60’s Band playing all the old favorites. Every “Elvis” skis free  - sideburns and costume required. Get above it all with Tethered Hot-Air Balloon Rides from 1:30 – 3:30.

The 50th Celebration Golden Scavenger Hunt continues with Parts 4 & 5 (Items 31-40). Relax tired muscles at  The Sanctuary Massage Stations from 1-4 PM  Get a FREE Professional Family Ski Portrait from 10AM – 3 PM. Fuel up with the Pig Pickin’, 11 AM – 3 PM.  Junior Ice Skating (ages 12 & under) is FREE with paid adult and a limit of l 4 Juniors per family,  offered at a special morning session from 9 – 11AM.  Get a link for the 50th Family Days Event HERE.

Appalachian Ski Mountain is located at
940 Ski Mountain Rd in Blowing Rock, NC. A variety of style and prices of ski lodging is available:

Blowing Rock vacation rental near town Minutes from Blowing Rock, Boone and Appalachian Ski Mountain - 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, sleeps 6. Large deck with gas grill, fireplace, master bedroom with king bed, jetted tub and skylight. $150 - $200 night, $850 - $1,050 Week   See cabin photos and check availability

This vacation rental overlooks Appalachian Ski Mountain Vacation home rental with view of Appalachian Ski Mountain - 4 bedrooms, 3 baths, sleeps up to 12. Hot tub with mountain views, gas fireplace, wrap-around deck with gas grill, kids play area, WIFI. Only 3 miles to the slopes!  $1275 week.   See rental photos and availability

Chalet on Appalachian Mountain ski in - ski out Appalachian Mountain Vacation Rental - 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, sleeps up to 8. Chalet style with wrap around deck, gas grill, huge fireplace, HDTV, WIFI Internet, Ski in - Ski out to Appalachian slopes. $185 - $230 night, $650 - $1600 week.  Check rental availability and get more photos.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Love Quotes for Valentine's Day

We are all a little weird and life's a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.
- Dr. Seuss

Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies.
- Aristotle

Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.

- Lao Tzu

Young love is a flame; very pretty, often very hot and fierce, but still only light and flickering. The love of the older and disciplined heart is as coals, deep-burning, unquenchable.
- Henry Ward Beecher

Age does not protect you from love. But love, to some extent, protects you from age.

- Anais Nin

Give her two red roses, each with a note. The first note says For the woman I love and the second, For my best friend.
- unknown

Life has taught us that love does not consist in gazing at each other but in looking outward in the same direction.
- Antoine de Saint-Exupery

The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart.
-Helen Keller

Love does not dominate; it cultivates.

- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Love makes your soul crawl out from its hiding place.

- Zora Neale Hurston

I have learned not to worry about love; but to honor its coming with all my heart.
- Alice Walker
At the touch of love, everyone becomes a poet.

There is no remedy for love but to love more.
- Henry David Thoreau

Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.
- Robert A. Heinlein

If you would be loved, love and be lovable.
- Benjamin Franklin

I love you not only for what you are, but for what I am when I am with you. I love you not only for what you have made of yourself, but for what you are making of me. I love you for the part of me that you bring out.
- Roy Croft

Falling in love is not at all the most stupid thing that people do, but gravitation cannot be held responsible for it.
- Albert Einstein

Men always want to be a woman's first love - women like to be a man's last romance.
- Oscar Wilde

Love is a game that two can play and both win.
- Eva Gabor

Love is the magician that pulls man out of his own hat.
- Ben Hecht

The most wonderful of all things in life, I believe, is the discovery of another human being with whom one's relationship has a glowing depth, beauty and joy as the years increase. This inner progressiveness of love between two human beings is a most marvelous thing, it cannot be found by looking for it or by passionately wishing for it. It is a sort of Divine accident.
- Sir Hugh Seymour Walpole

Monday, February 13, 2012

Stories of Mountain Folk Podcast 2-11-12

February 11, 2012 - Opening the show this week, Amy tells her "O Perfect Love" story, with music by Jo Northup and Richard Birt from Asheville as they play "O Perfect Love." Doreyl's guest is Eugenia Johnson from Graham County, who talks about the Swain County Center for the Performing Arts; Amy then speaks with potter Elise Delfield from Bryson City who shares her love of pottery. The show ends with husband and wife team, Whimzik, who perform "Come Bonnie Laddie." Listen to the podcast here:

The Lettermen Perform a Valentine Concert at the Smoky Mountain Performing Arts Center

February 14  - The Lettermen in Concert at the Smoky Mountains Performing Arts Center.  Let one of popular music's all time most romantic groups serenade your Valentine with a trip down lovers lane. Enjoy many of your favorite hits, including "Put Your Head On My Shoulder" and "I Only Have Eyes for You." The Smoky Mountains Performing Arts Center is located in  Franklin NC.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Adventure Films help benefit Riverlink

February 16, from 7:30 PM - 9 PM., Horizon Line Pictures will host a night of short adventure films at the Southern Appalachian Brewery in Hendersonville, with a portion of the proceeds going to local non-profit RiverLink. Entry is only $6, with a raffle for a kayak from Liquid Logic and door prizes provided by Diamond Brand Outdoors.

Tickets for the kayak raffle are $10 and available at the RiverLink office at 170 Lyman Street in the River Arts District, Monday thru Friday 8 AM. - 5 PM. They are also on sale at the Southern Appalachian Brewery Tasting Room, 822 Locust Street, Hendersonville, NC 28792. Open Wednesday thru Friday, 4 p.m. to close, and Saturday thru Sunday, 2 p.m. to close.

Several of the films were produced in WNC, including "Longboarding Asheville" and "The Smokies: Punished into Ecstasy." The two others are titled, "The Grand Canyon in Winter" and "World Championships of Kayaking."

Legacy Paddlesports, the parent company of Liquid Logic Kayaks, recently moved their base of operations to Henderson County.

RiverLink is a regional non-profit spearheading the economic and environmental revitalization of the French Broad River and its tributaries as a place to live, work and play. Monies collected in this raffle and movie event will be used to further work on The Wilma Dykeman RiverWay Plan, a 17-mile greenway linking the French Broad and Swannanoa Rivers with walking and biking trails anchored on the south at the NC Arboretum and on the east by the Blue Ridge Parkway and on the north by UNCA.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Get Zen at City Lights Bookstore Today

Judith Toy, ordained by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh and a core member of his order, will be at City Lights Bookstore Saturday, February 11th at 1 PM to read from her book, Murder as a Call to Love. This is the true account of the young man who murders the author's sister-in-law and her two teenaged nephews hides in the garage in an affluent neighborhood, and waits until they are asleep.

In the night, he bludgeons and stabs them to death and flees. The perpetrator is the boy across the street, a 19 year old family friend. Lost in grief, Judith falls into the welcoming arms of Zen. Five years later, through her newfound practice of daily mindfulness and meditation, she spontaneously forgives the killer. She goes on to lead mindfulness practice in a medium security prison where some of the men knew the killer. Eon Alden, the City Lights publicist says, "This book will appeal to those interested in Buddhism, particularly the traditions of mindfulness and forgiving."

City Lights Bookstore is located at 3 East Jackson Street in historic downtown Sylva NC.

Friday, February 10, 2012

What to do this weekend in the mountains, 2-10-12

Feb 8-14   CHIMNEY ROCK   -   Valentine's Chimney Rock Park BOGO Tickets Nothing says "I love you" like a romantic day at Chimney Rock. That's why we're offering buy one regularly-priced adult ticket and get one free for Valentine's Day from Feb. 8-14. Hold hands on a beautiful hike to the base of the 404-foot Hickory Nut Falls. Top off the perfect day with a tasty lunch at the Old Rock Cafe. Click here to download this special coupon. Coupon must be presented to the Ticket Plaza at the time of purchase.  Read more and get a link for this event...

Feb 10   ASHEVILLE  -   8th Annual Beloved Miniatures Show at American Folk Opening Reception. Just in time for Valentines Day, 12 of American Folks artists and potters will present work no bigger than 8 x 10 for painters, no bigger than 6 inches tall for potters. “Our folks create small works for this show all year long, and begin sending them in January. We love those little containers coming our way in the dark days of winter….it warms & excite us” says Betsey-Rose Weiss, owner of American Folk. 
Read more and get a link for this event...

Feb 10-12   ELKIN  -   Raspberries and Chocolates IV
The 4th annual event at the Brushy Mountain Winery celebrating Valentine's Day with lots of chocolate with delicious Raspberry Wine served in a chocolate dipped glass with berries floating in the wine. Fri and Sat noon - 6 PM; Sun 2-5 PM.
Read more and get a link for this event...

Feb 10-12   ASHEVILLE  -   Classical Romance for Valentine's 2012 The Grove Park Inn offers a romantic getaway including an evening of stargazing on the terrace of this historically romantic resort at the Starlight & Chocolate Party. You'll also enjoy dinner in one of the Inn's restaurants, a "Spicy" cooking seminar, dance instruction and a Valentine's Dance, which offers the perfect place to fall in love all over again (or for the first time). Lodging packages available. 
Read more and get a link for this event...

Feb 11   ASHEVILLE   -   Zombies and Lusty Ladies! at ZaPow Studios and Gallery. A special Valentine's Day masquerade party and art opening. Dress up in your best zombie or lusty lady costume,or combine both. Costumes are not required but prizes will be won for the best. FREE BEER from French Broad Brewery, scoops from The Hop Ice Cream Cafe and awesome tunes from The Mad Tea. This is a FREE event. 
Read more and get a link for this event...

Feb 11   BRYSON CITY  -   Annual Chocolate Cook-off
Feel good inside and out! Taste samples of the area's chocolatiers best chocolate confections and help support the local library. $6 admission with children under 6 free. Held at the Bryson City Presbyterian Church on Everett Street. Vote for the People's Choice Award for Best Overall Chocolate Dish. 
Read more and get a link for this event...

Feb 11   BRYSON CITY   -  The Peanuts™ Be My Valentine, Charlie Brown Excursion and Valentine Sweetheart Train. The train departs at 11 AM and will travel along the Tuckasegee River to Dillsboro NC for a 1 ½ layover. Special Valentine's activities include crafts, photo ops, snacks and more. This is a fun-filled outing for the whole family.
Read more and get a link for this event...

Feb 11   ASHEVILLE   -  Second Saturday
in the River Arts District. Artists open their doors and host openings, events classes and workshops on the second weekend of each month. 
Read more and get a link for this event...

Feb 11   BLOWING ROCK   -   Shred for the Cup Rail Jam Now in its 6th season, the SFTC series is the region’s premiere competition and features three unique events (Big Air, Rail Jam, and Slopestyle) throughout the winter season. Shred for the Cup is open to both Skiers and Snowboarders of all age and ability. Tons of prizes are up for grabs, as well as points for the entire series winners. All event participants will receive lunch and Shred for the Cup series T-Shirts. 
Read more and get a link for this event...

Feb 11   NEBO   -   Overmountain Victory Trail Hike Hike Lake James State Park’s newest section of the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail with Park Ranger Clay Veasey. Learn about the plants and animals in the area. Thia is an easy hike of 1.5 miles. Meet at the Paddy’s Creek Area bridge parking lot at 10 AM. For more information, call 828-584-7728. 
Read more and get a link for this event...

Feb 11-12   HENDERSONVILLE  -   Do Tell StoryFest 3rd annual Festival Held at the Flat Rock Playhouse Downtown Theatre, listen to stories from rhymes to folk tales to history to modern personal stories from the region's best performers. The Sat. festival concert features renown storyteller and singer Michael Reno Harrell. Admission charged. 
Read more and get a link for this event...

Feb 11-12   BOONVILLE   -  Valentine Lunches at RagApple Lassie Vineyards
Choose from 2 different menus: Give Me Love and Give Me Romance loaded with gourmet delectables and accompanying RagApple wines. By reservation only - noon to 4 PM - $35.00 per person. $30.00 for Wine Club Members.
Read more and get a link for this event...

Feb 11-12   SUGAR MOUNTAIN  -  Crescent Ski Council Competition
Slalom & Giant Slalom competitions for Crescent Ski Council members. Competitions begin at 9 AM.
Read more and get a link for this event...

Feb 12   BRYSON CITY -  Appalachian Mountain Dulcimer Concert Free concert, 3-4:30 PM
. Featuring two of the country's finest players of the Appalachian Mountain Dulcimer, Lois Hornbostel and Ehukai Teves performing a spirited traditional Southern Appalachian, Celtic, Hawaiian, and other World Music performed at the Swain County Center for the Performing Arts, 1415 Fontana Rd. in Bryson City. Read more and get a link for this event...

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Last Minute Romantic Mountain Getaways for Valentine's Day

It's not too late to treat your Sweetie to a romantic mountain getaway for Valentine's Day. Whether you choose a weekend  getaway or a Valentine's Day weekday holiday, you can still find a variety of rentals from secluded mountain cabins to exciting downtown lofts to mountain view ski condos.  At the time of posting these rentals indicated at least 3 consecutive days availability for Valentine's Day or the weekend before Check with the individual owners or property managers to verify up-to-the minute availability.   Find a complete list here.

spetacular view, hot tub and community amenitiesLog home rental with spectacular view  - 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, sleeps 6. Deck with hot tub, swing, rockers and gas grill. Fireplace , WIFI. Gated community with pool, trails, horseback riding, tennis. Pet Friendly. $179-$200 nt, $1074-$1200 wk. Located between Boone & Wilkesboro in Leatherwood Mountains.  See cabin photos and confirm availability

Peaceful wooded setting less than 1 mile to Sugar Ski and golf Cozy Forest Cabin on Sugar Mountain - 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, sleeps up to 6. Secluded log cabin less than one mile to Sugar Mountain Ski and Golf Resort. Fireplace, deck with gas grill, WIFI. $145 - $195 night, $895 week.   See photos and check cabin rental details

Ski Villa with gorgeous mountain views  Villa at Sugar Mountain’s Reserve - 2 bedrooms, 3 baths, sleeps 4. Gorgeous mountain views from the deck, stone gas fireplace, HDTV and WIFI, jetted bathtub, loft. The Reserve offers walking and parking ski access to the Sugar Mountain slopes. Get rental details and photos

rental with mountain views and professionally decoratedMountain views from all rooms - 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, sleeps 4.  Deck with mountain views and hot tub, fireplace, WIFI. May also be rented as a 1 bedroom.  $159-$279 night, $973-$1603 week.   See rental photos and availability

beautiful mountain vista from this vacaion cabin near Bryson CityMountain Vista Smokies Cabin -  2 bedrooms, 2 baths, sleeps up to 6. Beautiful mountain view, fireplace, deck with charcoal grill, hammock, media center. $100-$120 night, $650 week.  See cabin photos and confirm availability

Walk to Biltmoer Village form this vacation apartment Vacation apartment walk to Biltmore Village - 2 bedrooms, 1 bath sleeps 4. Duplex 2-story rental with flat screen TV, WIFI, neat and comfy. Easy walk to Biltmore village restaurants, shops. 10 minute drive to downtown Asheville. $85 night, $560 week.   Get details and photos

Chimney Rock vacation rental with hot tubCozy Vacation Cottage with Hot Tub -  2 bedrooms, 2 baths, sleeps 6. Walking distance to Chimney Rock Village shops and restaurants. De-stress in the hot tub. Deck, pool table, gas grill and short range mountain view. 
$85-$135 night, $510-$810 week. See rental photos and availability

Get a list of more romantic mountain getaways
available for a Valentine's Day or weekend rental HERE

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Brown Mountain Lights Symposium in Morganton

February 11 -  Brown Mountain Lights Symposium   Join the world's two most sought after speakers on the Mystery of the Brown Mountain Lights. What causes these lights to be seen? Where and when can you see them? Paranormal Investigator, Joshua P. Warren and Applachian State University Physicist and Astronomer, Dan Caton share their theories on the origins of the mysterious lights.

See Joshua's first ever video of the lights from his field observations in 2004. Hear from locals who have observed the lights. The event includes a Guided Field Trip to the Brown Mountain Overlook and catered dinner. Registration required.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Valentine's Day Events: Valentine's Wine and Chocolate Event

February 14, 5-8 PM  - Valentine's Wine and Chocolate EventBegin your Valentine's Day celebration with wine, chocolate and other goodies, hosted by Jessica and Carah of The Wine Studio of Asheville and Slow Food Asheville. Drop in as a prelude to your evening or while waiting for those reservations to sample great wines and local Raw Shakti Chocolates.        

The event includes opportunities to buy  Take the Cake cupcakes or Essential Journeys Valentine’s soap.  or enjoy a massage. You may also enter to win a fantastic Valentine’s gift basket with items from Ultimate Ice Cream, Rosebud, The Wine Studio, Raw Shakti Chocolates and more.

Tickets are $10 at the door, proceeds of some items and raffle to benefit Slow Food Asheville and FEAST. The Wine Studio of Asheville is located at  169 Charlotte Street in  Asheville NC.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Stories of Mountain Folk Podcast 2-4-12

February 4, 2012 - Amy's story "Granny Dawson's Basket" opens the show; Doreyl's interview is with Casey Queen from Dillsboro…the two discuss this year's Colorfest which will be held in Dillsboro. Amy then talks with Jeffrey Delfield of Bryson City, who has a deep love of making clawhammer banjos for his customers. We then hear Henry Queen of John's Creek play "John Henry" (clawhammer style banjo), and Jacob Jones of Sylva (who learned from the Queen family to play the clawhammer style) as he plays "Shortin' Bread."

Friday, February 3, 2012

Action Alert from Land for Tomorrow

Action Alert: Take action now to protect funding for conservation
State budget discussions already underway
LFT logoEven though the North Carolina General Assembly’s 2012 session won’t start until May, legislative budget writers have made it clear they are already putting together the 2012 state budget bill. We must tell legislators right now to protect funding for conservation before they make their final decisions.
It is unusual for Land for Tomorrow to urge you to take action on the budget while the General Assembly is not in session, but legislative leaders have set an accelerated timetable. We must adjust and voice our support now.

Funding for North Carolina’s conservation trust funds is at stake. Please contact your legislators today. Tell them how important conservation funding is to you and your family, and make certain they continue to protect our state’s land and water resources.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

NC Attractions Accessible Despite Tennessee Rockslide

Interstate 40 near the North Carolina/Tennessee state line is open for visitors traveling from Tennessee to North Carolina, following a rockslide early Tuesday morning one mile west of the Tennessee state line.  The interstate is also open for visitors traveling on Interstate 40 west to all North Carolina attractions in Asheville, Cherokee, Waynesville, Maggie Valley and North Carolina's areas of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Interstate 40 is closed near the Tennessee border (exit 20) for westbound traffic.  It is estimated to be closed until mid-February.
The NC Division of Tourism is closely monitoring developments and will continue to work with the N.C. Dept. of Transportation and local tourism entities to disseminate accurate information.  For information on current road conditions, visitors should check the NCDOT Traveler Information Management System website at or call 511, the state’s free travel information line.  NCDOT information can also be followed on Twitter at

Warm Weather Leads to Record-Breaking Attendance at Grandfather Mountain

Attendance in December 2011 was up 16 percent over the previous best-ever December visitation as 12,718 patrons took advantage of the unseasonably warm weather to get outside and enjoy Grandfather Mountain.
On average, temperatures in December ranged between 30 degrees and 43 degrees. Rain fell on only seven of the 31 days in the month and added up to a total of 4.95 inches. But the factor that contributed most to Grandfather's record-breaking attendance was the almost total absence of snow. The 0.2 inches of snow measured at the summit last month was 98 percent below the 56-year average December snowfall volume of 8.63 inches. The lack of frozen precipitation left travelers who had planned for ski vacations looking for other opportunities to get outside, so what was frustrating for the ski resorts was serendipitous for Grandfather Mountain.

Grandfather Mountain is the highest mountain in the Blue Ridge Mountain range at an elevation of 5,964 feet. The Mountain is owned by the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation,  a not-for-profit corporation which was established to preserve Grandfather Mountain, operate the nature park in the public interest, and participate in educational and research activities.  All proceeds from sales of tickets and souvenirs go toward caring for and presenting Grandfather Mountain in a manner that inspires good stewardship in others.

The Mile High Swinging Bridge is one of the favorite experiences on Grandfather Mountain and was built to give visitors easy access to the breath-taking view from Grandfather Mountain's Linville Peak
. The Wildlife Environmental Habitats are both an educational feature for humans and a protected safe haven for the resident animals. Environmental habitats are large
enclosures that allow visitors to see animals in natural settings. Unlike the exhibits found in city zoos which bring in plants and boulders to recreate an appropriate setting, these enclosures were built around the animals’ actual native habitat. The Network of Nature Walks and Trails can take you through gentle forests and meadows, or if you choose, through rugged terrain navigated by ladders and cables. With either choice you can glimpse the wildest of wildlife and more of the breathtaking views Grandfather for which Grandfather Mountain is known. Nature Programs allow staff naturalists to share their love and enthusiasm for all things natural with Grandfather Mountain’s guests. Many programs are offered on a regular schedule and are included in the cost of admission.  Other programs are available on request and will require an additional activity fee. The Grandfather Mountain Nature Museum houses more than two dozen excellent exhibits including the finest collection of North Carolina gems and minerals available on public display. The Museum offers guests in-depth information and exhibits about the natural history of Grandfather Mountain and the surrounding region.

The majority of Grandfather Mountain is natural rugged terrain with more exposed rocks and crags than any other mountain in the Southern Appalachians. There are 16 different classifications of natural communities on Grandfather, which means that as you hike the backcountry trails you will remain constantly enchanted with the diversity of life around you. It would normally take several days of backpacking through another wilderness area to encounter as many distinct natural communities as you will see in a single day’s hike on Grandfather.