My friend Dorothy Lou (Dorothy, Dottie, D Lou) has been asking me to visit her on the “The Mountain” since I met her in 2007. I politely denied her offer until a few weeks ago when I realized that she was moving to San Francisco. I’m in Nashville, TN and she was traveling from Raleigh, NC. 5.5 hours for both of us. After getting a few new tires, I jumped in my car and drove to Bryson City, NC.
She wasn’t kidding when she said that she lived on a mountain. My car found a new gear as we climbed to our destination. Bryson City is about 1.5 hours away from Asheville, NC. We were in the Nantahala National Forest which totally confused me on my iPhone.
There are places in this world that God made breathtakingly beautiful and this is one of those places. Green, is the word. The view from my room was spectacular and I enjoyed breathing fresh air and reading in the morning while Max, my new dog friend, scurried around beneath me keeping an eye on things. I arrived just in time for sunset and I knew that I was a goner. Sometimes you just need to get away and this entire experience was just what the doctor ordered.
DLou’s family is wonderful and they certainly embody the meaning of hospitable. It didn’t take me long to not feel like a “visitor”. There was tons of laughter, chatter, and delicious food. Cute kiddies running around, an adorable little town with places like Cork and Bean: Mountain Social House, Everett Street Diner, Humanite Boutique, The Chocolate Shoppe, and Madison on Main.
We hiked (eek!), decided not to go tubing (yes!), we dipped our limbs into Deep Creek (DLou just went for a full out swim), we visited Relay for Life at the local high school, had ice cream and pie before bed my first night in town, attended a family cookout, and had a grand time at the Nantahala Brewing Company.
I also happened to be visiting on Decoration Day. This was a new tradition for me and is only celebrated by a few areas within the Appalachian Mountains. Relatives celebrate this day of remembrance by decorating the graves of deceased relatives. It was moving to see people pay respects to their loved ones who have gone on to be with the Lord. Even in the rain, people sang worship songs and heard the good word from a local preacher. The rest of the tradition involves gathering and eating till your belly is full.
I think I loved this trip so much because–in no particular order (a) I was able to catch up with Dorothy Lou after not seeing her for 2 years (b) The Mountain is gorgeous and is especially so when you get to drive around in a convertible with the top down (c) I felt like I was a part of this family and I think it takes special people to be able to make someone feel that comfortable in such a short amount of time–it takes big/good hearts (d) I was so out of my element and for the most part, except steep parts of the hike, I think I did well with sticking out like a sore thumb.
I really want to travel abroad but let me tell you, sometimes going 5.5 hours away from home gives you a cultural experience like you wouldn’t believe. I’m so thankful to have spent time in Bryson City, NC with DLou and her kindhearted, funny, and lovable family.
Now, I’m totally regret not going to the mountain years ago ;). smh
Thanks Dorothy Lou for the invite. Miss you, love you, and so proud of you!
Check out my pics below:
Welcome to Bryson City, NC!
That patio was my favorite place
Me and DLou
My reading corner
Cork and Bean: A Mountain Social House
Bears everywhere–luckily, we didn’t run into any on our hike. “Act big” was DLou’s advice
Thanks for reading about my adventure.