This must be the place: Somethin’ keeps him driftin’, miles and miles away, searchin’ for the songs to play

I was already 10 minutes late to my niece’s seventh birthday party some 20 minutes away last Sunday afternoon. 

WNC museums

Although the rich history and culture of Western North Carolina is alive and thriving through the hands of our local artisans and performers, there are also numerous museums here preserving and perpetuating the heritage of Southern Appalachia. These buildings each pay homage to the crafts, sounds, and deeply held traditions of these ancient mountains and its people.

Mountain biking

This is one of the fastest growing recreational activities in the Smokies, one easily witnessed by all the vehicles with mountain bikes strapped to the back or top. Pretty straightforward as to why so may partake of this sport: the Smokies contain some of the best bike trails anywhere. Here are the popular spots:

Performance Venues

Live music is an important part of the heritage of Western North Carolina. Here’s a listing of venues that regularly have bands in the region.

The Joy of Discovery: Foreign students, host families relish cultural exchange

It’s easy to imagine the ways in which a foreign exchange student’s world is broadened by an experience studying abroad, but for many of the families that host foreign students, the world grows just as much. 

Everything is Fine

The sun was shining dry, white hot heat the day my mother and I found ourselves out of money, tired and hungry in a town we’d never stepped foot in before in Northern Spain — for the second time in less than a month. 

Pick up a book and travel

If you are like me and have been more than somewhat stranded by the pandemic for the past year or more and are succumbing to cabin fever and the isolation blues and are looking  forward to getting out and about or even doing some traveling, then I have a suggestion.

Sometimes, the urge to just go is irresistible

They didn’t know where they were going, their only waypoint the “S” on the compass rose.

They were both from Minnesota. For a laugh they could turn on the accent that became the humorous aside of the Coen brothers’ film “Fargo,” with the “yaah” and “geez” and “you betcha.” In their 50s, both had been able to retire early, she a landscape architect and he an Air National Guard pilot.

This must be the place: Turn your head to the cries of loneliness in the night

Stepping out of my truck, it was a cold wind rolling off the nearby mountains late Monday afternoon. A stiff breeze pushed across Lake Junaluska as I took the first strides of my four-mile run around the manmade body of water. Heavy snowflakes hit my face. I zipped the jacket closer to my chin. 

This must be the place: Ain’t it funny how the time just flies, don’t 
you think it’s time to get on board?

Nearing midnight here in Eastern Idaho. A landscape I used to call home some 12 years ago. The faces I chase down and interact with in these parts are familiar and beloved. The same faces I befriended when I first rolled through here to put down roots as a rookie reporter in January 2008 for the Teton Valley News. 

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