The holidays are upon us — and so, too, are our holiday visitors.
You’re eager to show your visiting friends and family why you love living in the region: the outdoor opportunities that make this such a wonderful place to explore. You also don’t want to alienate your guests — or worse, harm them! — by taking them on an outing beyond their capabilities. Fortunately, you can do the former while avoiding the latter with the 10 hikes below, hikes that offer considerable esthetic bang for minimal physical exertion.read more
I ran into an old camping acquaintance Sunday in the Wilson Creek area Sunday and we spent a few minutes updating one another on our travels. Among her recent exploits: a February visit to Roan Mountain. Roan Mountain in February? I thought. Risky business being above 6,000 feet in the dead of winter. A better time, I thought, would be … right now.
Massive Roan Mountain straddles the North Carolina/Tennessee line, and is popular for many reasons: its vast balds, sweeping views, and endless skies. What it’s best known for outside hiking circles are its expansive rhododendron gardens. These effusive pink blooms have come and gone in other parts of the state, but because of the higher elevation at Roan Mountain, the rhododendron are just now exploding — and just in time for the July 4 holiday weekend now upon us.
There are multiple ways to explore Roan beyond the traditional two-mile drive to the top ($3 entrance fee) and short walk to the actual gardens.
Here are four adventurous ways to celebrate the Fourth in Roan Highlands.read more
Today, I have a story appearing in both The News & Observer in Raleigh and Charlotte Observer dealing with holiday stress. Not basic run-of-the-mill holiday stress, but last-minute, there’s-just-four-days-left, curl-into-the-fetal-position, AHHHHHH! holiday stress. You can click on the link above to read the story or, come back tomorrow and Thursday for an expanded version, complete with extra info & tips, outtakes, a blooper reel, an interview with the director, free popcorn —read more