Posts Tagged With: Blue Ridge Parkway

Is This The Coalminer’s Daughter????

Jim says:

Nope! It’s Mary wearing her Energizer Headlamp. Why is she wearing that?…you ask.

We use these headlights to conserve coach battery power when we camp without electrical hookup.

Well, many times we camp at night without the benefit of being plugged into land-powered electrical system. We get electric power from our coach batteries…the process is termed…Boon-Docking.

When boon-docking (without electric, sewer or water connections) conservation of the on-board utilities becomes an important issue. My old motorhome had four coach batteries…our new/current motorhome has only two coach batteries.

To help conserve electric power while boon-docking Mary and I bought these coal-miner-like head lamps to use when it is dark. They are made by the Energizer Battery Company (you know…the Energizer Bunny!). They have a red LED and a white LED lamp. We use them when we read our books or work on with the computer. They work really well and cost only $12.99.

In other news…
We drove about 85 miles yesterday and arrived safely in Boone, North Carolina. I thought we were going to park at the VFW, but when we got there we found it to be on a very steep incline unsuitable for RV parking.

We found a some-what level Subaru dealership that was closed on Mother’s Day Sunday. We unhooked the Bronco and went exploring. First to the local visitors center we they help us with some good local information. They told us the Moose Lodge had a nice and level parking lot not far away. It sure does and that’s where parked the motorhome for last night.

In addition we visited a local attraction called Hickory Heights with old cabins.

A replica of an 1800’s North Carolina cabin.

Then we went to a genuine old-fashioned General Store.

The Mast General Store has been in business since 1883.

The colder weather front I mentioned being due soon finally arrived. They high for yesterday was only 57 degrees…30+degrees less than a couple of days ago. The low last night was 36 degrees and the Weather Wimp (that’s me) said Brrrrr!

Today we’ll get on the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway and continue our journey in a North-Easterly direction.

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2010
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From Mary’s desk:

If I were looking for a perfect place to live, a medium sized town with great cultural amenities, good restaurants, home crafted beer, an active arts population, sitting at the entrance to the Great Smokey Mountains and the Appalachian Trail?  I’d choose Asheville, North Carolina.

The Montford district, part of a hillside, beautiful homes, fabulous church, the St. Lawrence Basilica, sort of reminds one of the Montmartre district of Paris. Here you can play speed chess in the park and lose your money quickly.

It has a Wall Street, a Flat Iron building like San Francisco, an old timey Woolworths and Kresge Store, and a Do It Yourself Doggie Wash? Yup!

Old fashioned phosphates and banana splits can still be purchased here at the counter in Woolworths.

This sculpture points the way to the Flat Iron Building, just so you won’t miss it. But the River Arts District really blew me away.

Marston Blow makes singing bowls. A former light tech and tent worker for Cirque du soliel, pottery isn’t as lucrative, but money isn’t everything.

A painter of steel. If its rusty its better and the music must play or the paint won’t flow.

The Iron Handmaidens worked a piece of jewelry with an arc welder on a wooden anvil, next to a real anvil.

Wonderful, innovative potters abound, here, Above is the work of Matt Jacobs. It was the iron work that blew me away.

Even Jim was impressed with this fence that continued on for another 20 feet.
Now, none of this was here when George Vanderbuilt came to town. He loved the area so much he bought 125,000 acres of privacy for himself and settled in. In an unheard of policy of the times, George Vanderbuilt paid black workers the same wages as white workers. He built a church and a school for blacks in town without a social movement to do so. What a guy, huh? A great town and great people.
Carl Sandburg lived nearby. It became the home of the writer O’Henry, William Jennings Bryan, Thomas Wolf, who tragically died at age 38, and other notables. Hey, if its good enough for the Vanderbuilts?
This is a seriously lovely place to visit and live.
Websites for some of the artists I met and talked too: , Naomi Diamond Rogers, who learned to mesh wool with silk and makes shimmering scarves and other fabric art.
Eric Knoche, forms huge architectural type pottery pieces in a wood fired kiln. No web site but watch for this young man to become famous. Very different work. does many raw, unglazed pieces like the hut with houses on top above.
Iron Maiden Studios no web site. Here is where the iron fencing and many, many other exciting pieces are made by a consortium of artists. Look for Tres Martin and Rheta Grimsley Johnson at And potter Julie Covington

I intend to blog more of this wonderful iron work another day.

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