Rattlesnake Lodge, NC

Located northeast of Asheville in the Pisgah National Forest, Rattlesnake Lodge was a summer home built beginning in 1904 and destroyed by fire in 1926. What a home it must have been, situated on a ridge overlooking what is now the Blue Ridge Parkway and complete with its own tennis court and outdoor pool.

We hiked from Ox Creek Road, just outside of the Blue Ridge Parkway, along a tiny part of the Mountains-to-Sea Trail which stretches the width of North Carolina.

IMG_20180402_113412036.jpgIMG_20180402_120807744_HDR.jpgIMG_20180402_121825145_HDR.jpgThe swimming pool.

IMG_20180402_122200544_HDR.jpgNatural spring.


Graveyard Fields, NC

Wonderful little section of the Blue Ridge Parkway southwest of Asheville. The forest was destroyed by a 1920s fire, leaving behind a valley of grasses and a sandy soil that felt like it belonged west of the Mississippi. The name comes from the stumps left behind, but the nature and views are anything but dead. This is a unique piece of western North Carolina that needs to be experienced.

There is a winding stream cutting through the valley, and falls on either side, the upper one offering a spectacular view from the top.


The upper falls. Note the person on the rocks below for scale…


The lower falls…


Bigger than Fort Lauderdale

Beginning with Columbine in 1999, more than 187,000 students attending at least 193 primary or secondary schools have experienced a shooting on campus during school hours, according to a year-long Washington Post analysis. This means that the number of children who have been shaken by gunfire in the places they go to learn exceeds the population of Eugene, Ore., or Fort Lauderdale, Fla.