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Sunday, August 14, 2011

A Trip Through Eastern Buncombe County

Since I had this Saturday off, I decided to do some work of a project I am working on for my other Blog, Spiritual Places, Spiritual Moments, in which I we post in November. I planned on going through the towns of Swannanoa, Black Mountain and Montreat, North Carolina. I was happy when I heard Black Mountain was having their annual Sourwood Festival.

My first stop was Swannanoa First Presbyterian Church. I come here to see the grave of L. Nelson Bell, a missionary to China. You may know his daughter, Ruth Bell Graham, the wife of Billy Graham. I enjoy visiting places where great people of the faith walked or laid to rest.

After walking around the cemetery a little while, I headed to Black Mountain to enjoy the 34th Sourwood Festival. The Sourwood Festival is focused on Sourwood Honey. I like how Black Mountain had the festival setup with the vendors down by the railroad tracks, so you could still enjoy walking store to store in the rest of the town. It has been a while since I been to Black Mountain. I plan to send for time there after Jo Anne gets here.

I brought a funnel cake with powered sugar from one of the vendors. I sat down and listened to a guy singing on a stage nearby as a enjoyed the funnel cake. A funnel cake is made by poring pancake batter through a funnel into hot oil. You flip the funnel cake once to cook both side. Once done cooking you remove from the oil and top with powered sugar, cinnamon, chocolate syrup or fruit topping.

I looked around in some of the stores in town. I found a great used book store on Cherry Street. I also enjoyed looking the General Store on the corner of US Highway 70 and NC Highway 9.

After Black Mountain, I drove into Montreat for a little walk down memory lane. I went to college at Montreat College in Montreat. Montreat gets its name from the joining of mountain and retreat. I walked around the campus of the college and Lake Susan. I always feel at peace in Montreat.

I enjoyed walking the Lake Susan and remembering the many times that my friends and I would hang out down there. I even remember one time after the lake froze walking across the ice on the lake. I would not recommend doing that even after the temperatures being below freezing as my friends and I were lucky enough to have at the time. We all ran when we heard the ice crack and the police coming.

It was great to visit my old thinking spot below the dam, where I would spend lots of time reflecting on God.

After spending some time in Montreat, I headed to over to Ridgecrest to find the trail head for the Old US Highway 70 down Old Fort Mountain. This road was abandon when Interstate 40 opened and US Highway 70 was rerouted to join Interstate 40. I plan on walking down it one day. Of course, I will share my adventure here.

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