Sunday, April 10, 2011

Revisiting America

Sorry that we have been out of touch but our new location in Blowing Rock, NC, doesn't have WiFi available for us, even with our new aircard.  We're sitting on the porch at Kojay's Cafe downtown for two reasons.  One is it's a gorgeous afternoon and, two, we can access the internet.  For the sake of time and limited access, blogs from here will be a collaborative effort.
Note from Janie - tried to blog regarding the end of our stay in Charleston but it didn't post.  So sorry.
The drive from Charleston was beautiful.  Spent the night in Hickory, NC, then arrived in Blowing Rock
around noon on April 1.  The last of the drive was in light snow.  Not an April Fool's joke.  It was real snow.  Made a quick run to the grocery store, in case we were snowed in, before going to the condo.  Knowing we were on the second floor with no elevator, we asked the store manager to help us find someone to unload the car.  By the time we arrived at the condo, our new angel, Warren Davis, was there. Several hours later, unpacked, still snowing, we talked with Warren for some time.  He invited us to his church, Laurel Fork Baptist Church, off the Blue Ridge Parkway.
Saturday was  spent settling in - arranging all the "stuff" we unpacked.
Sunday, we went to Laurel Fork Baptist Church and Warren sat with us and introduced to so many of the nice people in the congregation.  Enjoyed a wonderful "dinner on the ground" with lots of good food and plenty of desserts.  Then we went back to the sanctuary for music by the Backroom Bluegrass Band, a group of four/F-stop mandolin, standup bass, guitar, and banjo.  The bass player and banjo picker are a married couple.  The banjo was custom-made by Homer Ledford, whose widow was there that day.
A young man who sat with us at lunch gave us some history on the church.  He said that scenes from the movie, "The  Green Mile," were filmed in the church and graveyard.  Grandfather Mountain was highly visible from the church grounds.
Taking a wrong turn, we ended up in Boone, about six miles north, where we were going to explore at some time during our stay.  Since it was a gorgeous day, the town was teeming with students from Appalachian State University.
Monday and Tuesday - more snow, intermittent, with some sunshine between snows.  So we had a great excuse to stay warm in the condo and do nothing.
Wednesday afternoon, we rode north, intending to go to Grandfather Mountain, but it was too late as they close at 5:00.  Saw some beautiful scenery, mountains everywhere.
Thursday - we actually made it to the mountain; elevation at its highest peak is around 5,940 feet.  We walked across the mile-high swinging bridge, between two of the peaks.  Thank goodness it was a calm day, so the light breeze didn't actually swing the bridge.  Climbed to the top of the peak across the bridge.  The drive up the mountain included hairpin turns where you meet yourself coming around the mountain. 
Skip to Sunday - we attended First Baptist Church in Blowing Rock.  Beautiful sanctuary with different kinds of inlaid woods in the baptistry. large stained glass windows, wonderful message, and very friendly congregation.  We met several people that we will interview about Blowing Rock.
A person of interest  - Jan Karon wrote the Mitford series here.  Wish we could meet her, but she no longer lives here.
Our entire blog could easily be about the beauty of the countryside.  The mountains are sometimes hidden from view, except the topmost peaks, by clouds - big, billowing, white clouds.  It's awesome to be above the clouds if you're not in an airplane.
We have had some tutoring in moving pictures to the blog.  So, hopefully, you will be getting pictures very soon.
To be continued............
Lou and Janie