This must be the place: Olden times and ancient rhymes, of love and dreams to share

Though the baseboard heat was on in the living room, my downtown Waynesville apartment was quite chilly come Tuesday morning. Under warm covers with the anticipation of a blanket of white over the mountainous landscape outside the front door. 

2001: Elk return to Western North Carolina

“A large herd gathered last week on a remote, historical farmstead maintained by the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, in Cataloochee Valley,” Don Hendershot wrote for The Smoky Mountain News on Feb. 7, 2001. “The herd, however, were bipeds — nearly 900 people were in attendance for the first of three scheduled elk releases.”

Hiking through history: Little Cataloochee offers a window to the past

One hundred years ago, the parking area and campground just past the fields in Cataloochee Valley where elk often hang out was better known as Nellie, a remote community in what is now the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. 

As anybody who’s ever driven the steep and narrow access road from Jonathan Creek can imagine, it was hard to get in and hard to get out in the days when horsepower came mainly from actual horses. People didn’t have much, partly because of how difficult it was to transport outside goods up and over the ridge. 

Elk fest coming to Maggie: Event will celebrate elk, wildlife and the outdoors

A new extravaganza will prance into the Maggie Valley Festival Grounds this year — the Smoky Mountain Elk Fest, an event years in the making designed to offer education and celebration of all things elk and of the outdoors in general. 

“It’s actually been talked about for at least four years, and there have been several meetings where all the state agencies and regional agencies have come together and talked about it,” said Lynn Collins, executive director of the Haywood County Tourism Development Authority. “It was just a situation where there wasn’t anybody that would step up and spearhead it.”

Wandering elk dies following car crash: Overall prognosis positive for elk population

A youthful lark ended in tragedy July 1 for a Maggie Valley elk that trekked through the Pisgah National Forest to wind up in Henderson County. 

The young bull’s travels ended when he wandered onto I-26 near Hendersonville, just before 5 a.m. Sunday, July 1. A woman driving a minivan struck the elk, and while nobody in the vehicle was injured, the elk was hurt badly enough that he had to be put down. 

Many ways down the mountain: Adaptive ski program opens doors at Cataloochee

The sky is a flawless, cloudless blue over Cataloochee Ski Area as Mark Brogan, 37, suits up for a morning on the slopes. A U.S. Army veteran who was previously stationed in Alaska, Brogan has a longstanding love for the outdoors and for the unique thrill that comes with a snowy slide down the side of a mountain. 

All set up with rented gear and an instructor, Brogan delays his journey to the lift long enough to hold his 19-month-old son Connor in front of the ski school lodge as his wife Sunny snaps a picture. 

Warm weather forces Cataloochee Ski closure

Unseasonably warm weather and the drought have combined to temporarily close Cataloochee Ski Area.

Beat you to the bottom: Race night offers competition and community at Cataloochee

out frAs the sun goes down on the snow-covered mountain at Cataloochee Ski Area, anticipation spikes among the enlightened few who know what Thursday night on the slopes means.

Coming down the mountain: Cataloochee turns attention to user experience

out frIt’s a feeling that Chris Bates can’t shake. “Being outside, in the winter, on the mountain — there’s nothing like it,” he said. “There’s a sense of exhilaration when you’re on a pair of skis. It’s a rush I’ve never gotten enough of.”

Bates, who has been the general manager at Cataloochee Ski Area for 17 years, is sitting inside the main lodge high above Maggie Valley this past Monday morning. Gazing out the windows onto the snowy slopes, the troves of eager skiers and snowboarders already cruising down the mountain, Bates can’t help to be excited that the 54th season at “Cat” got underway this week.

School on the slopes: Cataloochee’s expanded kids program spreads the joy of sliding

out frRain was beginning to set in on a fog-ridden day on the slopes when Annie Dephouse gave her 5-year-old charge, Phillip Meacham, the heads up that it would soon be time to head indoors. 

“We can do two or three more,” Dephouse said as the ski lift swung on its way up to Cataloochee Ski Area’s easiest slope. 

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