For all of its bluster and bikers and bling in the summertime, Maggie Valley can be one sleepy little town in the winter.
Traditionally, many businesses in the tiny settlement close during the off-season, a habit no doubt acquired during the heyday of Ghost Town in the Sky, the mountaintop amusement park that since 1965 closed every winter as well, until it closed for good a few years ago.
It’s about finding a balance between your creative soul and your sanity.
“When you feel you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing, and things aren’t going well at the same time, and you still believe in what you’re doing, but there’s no relief,” said Thomas Johnson. “It makes you feel crazy, because you believe in what you’re doing, and you think it’s important and good, and it’s not connecting. Am I crazy? Am I too close to it?”
Heather and Robert Acton have it all figured out. Living on the outskirts of Swain County near the national park boundaries, they have found a perfect balance of business and pleasure.
With the quiet evening sun fading behind the Great Smoky Mountains last Thursday evening, a single building glowed bright at the bottom of Miller Street in downtown Waynesville.
I fixed my hair in the rearview mirror and exited the truck.
Heading up the steps, I was already five minutes late when I reached for the doorknob. Leaving the heat of a sizzling Thursday afternoon last week in downtown Waynesville, I entered the cool air of Bosu’s Wine Shop.