This must be the place: Ten years later and all I got was this crappy T-shirt

This past Saturday morning, I awoke in the top bunk of an RV in downtown Sylva. I got up and looked around the space. My friends were still asleep in the other beds. Time to head back to my humble abode in Waynesville. 

Why are the mountains so alluring?

Editor’s note: This column first appeared in a July 2004 edition of The Smoky Mountain News.

“To myself, mountains are the beginning and the end of all natural scenery; in them, and in the forms of inferior landscape that lead to them, my affections are wholly bound up; and though I can look with happy admiration at the lowland flowers, and woods, and open skies, the happiness is tranquil and cold, like that of examining detached wildflowers in a conservatory, or reading a pleasant book; and if the scenery be resolutely level, insisting upon the declaration of its own flatness in all the detail of it … it appears to me a prison, and I can not long endure it.”

— John Ruskin, Modern Painters (1850)

Theaters and playhouses

• Colonial Theatre, Canton

828.235.2760 • www.cantonnc.com

• Franklin High School Fine Arts Center

828.524.2787

• Haywood Arts Regional Theatre, Waynesville

828.456.6322 • www.harttheater.org

A closer look at WNC festivals

The proud communities that make up Western North Carolina were once mountain towns that played host to several successful blue-collar industries. These companies found a crucial, much-needed balance alongside the serene beauty and endless natural resources of our forests, rivers and wildlife.

A.T. hikers share their stories

From flip-flops to overnights to the quintessential northbound thru-hike, there are many different ways to experience the Appalachian Trail on its route from Georgia to Maine. An overnight along the trail at Roaring Fork Shelter near Max Patch was enough to meet a variety of hikers, all hiking the trail their own way. 

The magic of New York City

I was seven years old when my parents first took me to New York. We couldn’t afford to stay in the city so we rented out part of a home in New Jersey and commuted to Manhattan. These were the days before Airbnb and VRBO, so I commend my parents for being resourceful enough to find a way for us to make the trip, despite a tight budget. 

Life at two miles an hour: A.T. hikers share their stories

From flip-flops to overnights to the quintessential northbound thru-hike, there are many different ways to experience the Appalachian Trail on its route from Georgia to Maine. An overnight along the trail at Roaring Fork Shelter near Max Patch was enough to meet a variety of hikers, all hiking the trail their own way. 

Home is far way, but also here with me

By Hannah McLeod • Guest columnist

I arrived in Costa Rica at the beginning of February. After floundering for a few too many months in the shallows of real life following college graduation in May, I decided to flounder somewhere else and wound up teaching yoga and cooking meals at a surf camp in Avellanas.

Careers can wait; it’s time for some adventuring

When the text came letting us know that our daughter Hannah had arrived safely in Costa Rica, a sense of relief — mixed with pride — enveloped me. 

To state the obvious, parenting is both complicated and never-ending. You get your kids to 18 and out of high school, you feel some small sense of accomplishment. If they choose college, you do your best to help out and provide whatever guidance you can. As they enter adulthood, the role becomes more complicated. You’re not quite on the outside looking in, but it sometimes feels that way.

Smoky Mountain Brass Quintet celebrates 25 years

The Sylva-based Smoky Mountain Brass Quintet will present a concert celebrating 25 years of music, travel and fun together on Sunday, Feb. 17, in the Community Room of the Jackson County Public Library.

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