The essence of power is a towel

There, in Sumter County, Georgia, not far from the Alabama line lies the tiny town of Plains (pop. 784), a most unremarkable place home to a most remarkable man. 

Home for President Jimmy Carter has always been the clay roads and cotton fields of Plains, except when he was at Annapolis, in the Navy, or serving as state senator or governor or president. 

‘When did we see you, a stranger, and welcome you?’

By Autumn Woodward • Guest Columnist

The Irish morning was cool. I’d tumbled over a stone wall into the park to go walking. Under two lines of ancient beech trees a peculiar, crooked figure dressed all in black was moving down the path. Overtaking it (it wasn’t moving fast), I peered sideways. The figure stopped.

This must be the place: ‘A little before she left me, I asked her what it’s all about’

Hello, from the “Mile High City.”

Sitting here in Denver, onward back to Asheville tomorrow morning. This summer has been quite the physical and emotional odyssey. The fog in my heart and soul is slowly lifting, disappearing into the cosmos. I went north in July and out west in August to find myself once again. 

The Naturalist's Corner: It’s getting pinker

Our annual beach and marsh R&R at Wild Dunes on Isle of Palms, South Carolina, is history. Thanks to the generosity of dear friends we have been making the trip for a decade or so. It has become the high point of our summer and it never disappoints — but how could it, with wonderful beach and marsh access. 

This must be the place: With a little help from my friends

Bolting up Interstate 95, just outside of Portland, Maine, this past Monday, I finally could smell that smell that conjures innumerable cherished memories, genuine emotions and deep thoughts in my mind — the ocean. 

My eyes and heart open after Mexico trip

Though my parents were both teachers and worked second jobs to give my sister and me all we needed, they never put travel on the back burner. Their mentality was “less stuff, more experiences.” We always had a used station wagon and a modest home but we never sat still very long, and for that I’m forever grateful. 

A life stranger than fiction: Local author releases novel of true-life confessions

As Royal Phillips packs up her belongings that signify the last 20 years she’s spent in Waynesville and prepares for her next chapter in Palm Springs, California, she can’t help but to feel like her life has come full circle — and what a crazy circle it has been. 

Backyard trails: Local mountain bike trails surge to popularity

In 2013, Western Carolina University cut the ribbon on 7-mile trail system zig-zagging an otherwise unbuildable piece of university property. 

Over the five years since, the trails have become an indispensible resource for mountain bikers — as well as trail runners and hikers — in the Cullowhee area, and last fall a trio of WCU employees set out to back up those observations with hard numbers. 

Sharing the craft: Jo Ridge Kelley Fine Art

With the traffic and noise of a busy Main Street in downtown Waynesville zooming by outside her window, Jo Ridge Kelley creates works of tranquility and natural wonders inside her cozy studio. 

“I love being able to pull from myself,” she said. “I’m a very soulful person, and painting is a way to work with my feelings — to be living in the moment.”

Blue Collar Dreams: A decade in, Balsam Range looks ahead

Ten years into his tenure with Balsam Range, Tim Surrett can only shake his head.

“The most amazing factor is that somebody hasn’t gotten killed in 10 years,” he chuckled. “It’s amazing because every band in the world is one bad weekend from nonexistence. We’ve been through a lot, ups and downs, frustrations and traveling distances, and it’s still relevant after 10 years. I don’t know how long that will last, but it’s cool to me that it’s still top-shelf relevant.”

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