WNC Travel Guide

The further you meander down the road of life, the more you come to realize just how haphazardly bumpy and ever-rolling the trek actually is — and remains so — when push comes to shove.

When you’re young — full of confusion about the ways and means of a “stable adulthood,” amid a hazy sense of what and who you are (or hope to become) — the idea of clarity is something you desperately want to find and obtain. 

Now, let’s get this out of the way.

What happened to U.S. figure skater Nancy Kerrigan from within the social circle of her rival, Tonya Harding, was a tragic crime. Folks went to jail for assault and conspiracy, and lives were forever tarnished on both sides of the vicious attack on Kerrigan just before the 1994 Winter Olympics. 

Cape Cod.

Well, to be more specific, the small seaside town of Chatham, Massachusetts, on the southeastern coast of Cape Cod. April 20, 1999. My family and I emerged from our old Nissan Quest minivan to check into our bed and breakfast for spring break. 

The solidarity was evident.

Sitting onstage this past Monday at Nantahala Brewing in Bryson City, I conducted another episode of “Smoky Mountain Voices,” where local characters and officials are interviewed during an extended face-to-face conversation. It’s in an effort to learn more about the people and places that make Western North Carolina such a unique and cherished region.

For the better part of the last four years, Nick Dittmeier & The Sawdusters have zigzagged to and fro every nook and cranny of the Southeast and Midwest.


I’ve been saying that an awful lot while currently down here in Cancun, Mexico. Ten days of feet-in-the-sand with a cold-drink-in-my-hand. Isn’t that the words to a county song or something? If not, should be, eh?

It’s like pulling teeth.

As your arts and entertainment editor for Western North Carolina, I find it difficult sometimes to not only “rally the troops” to attend local art events, but also get folks to support and share these ongoing gatherings and vital interactions in our mountain communities.

The time had come.

Last Friday, right around noon, I received a message on Facebook. It was a fella looking to purchase my old pickup truck. Though the engine had died in October, the beloved truck itself was still sitting in front of my apartment in Waynesville. Partly due to my longtime and sentimental history with the vehicle, partly, due to the mere fact nobody had shown any interest (yet) in taking it off my hands.

They said it happens.

When I was younger, and very much so in conversation nowadays, it was always said that as you get older, you tend to circle back to the music of your youth.

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