Meadows keeps pledge to make time for constituents

In his brief five months in Congress, U.S. Rep. Mark Meadows, R-Cashiers, has kept busy — voting on several pieces of key legislation, sitting in on committee hearings, drafting bills of his own and when he can, traveling back to Western North Carolina.

Smoky Mountain anglers gain toehold in competitive fly fishing scene

travel fishingLike New York is known for its basketball legends, and Texas is known for its football stars, Western North Carolina has become one the big names in a slightly less conspicuous sport: competitive fly fishing.

Fly fishing was long dominated by regions in the Rockies and Sierras out West. But the sport has seen a shift in both interest and talent to the Southeast — and specifically the Smokies.

Swingin’ for the Smokies

travel golfCraig Hartle just might have the best job in Western North Carolina.

The head golf professional for High Hampton Inn and Country Club in Cashiers, Hartle spends his days instructing any and all visitors ready to step foot on the majestic 18-hole course that snakes through the rich and varied landscape of the Southern Appalachians.

Head for the hills

travel motorcyclesWhen he was a young boy, Jason Hardin fell in love.

It was a 1973 Harley-Davidson Sportster. Owned by his father, Hardin remembers watching his dad kick-start the bike in their basement. 

Getting your fill in Appalachia

travel fillingstationStrolling through downtown Bryson City, one tends to cross paths with the scent of delicious food wafting from a nearby building. Upon further inspection, that building is The Filling Station, a popular deli. That scent is their renowned flagship item — the Cuban sandwich.

Heinzelmannchen Brewery taps into the Smokies

travel beerDieter Kuhn was 4,500 miles from his hometown in Germany when he came across Sylva, a small community tucked away in the heart of Western North Carolina.

“The Great Smoky Mountains are pretty unique, with a lot of similarities of terrain and temperature to the Black Forest (Germany),” he said. “It’s very comfortable here, and being part of this town reminds me of home.”

Getting away from it all

travel gettingawayDavid Lippy was sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic in Orlando when it hit him.

“The city was so congested with vehicles,” he said “I had to go three miles to work from my house and it would take me a half hour one way.”

Opening up Appalachia for all

travel festivalsAmid the cherished traditions of Western North Carolina is the deep foundation of family and friends getting together to celebrate their heritage, whether it be through music, dance, food or craft. 

Advocates want to save little-known old growth pockets

coverHidden among the expanse of forestland in Western North Carolina are little-known pockets of trees that are several centuries old. Either overlooked by loggers or too difficult to access, the old growth stands act as windows into the past and markers of Appalachian history.

Since the end of the Civil War until the 1930s, most forests in the eastern United States were clear-cut. However, some tracts were able to escape that era of industrialized logging and continue to grow.

More hellos than goodbyes: Topography forces cell phone companies to weigh cost-benefit of erecting new towers

coverAs long as Realtor Sammie Powell leans back in his chair in his home office, he can talk on his cell phone all day long. But as soon as he stands up to reach for something across his desk, his service goes from good to nonexistent.

“I could be sitting at my desk, and if I lean over, I might not pick up,” said Powell, who lives and works from his home in Villages of Plott Creek neighborhood in Waynesville.

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