Thursday, November 8, 2012

A mid-November opening for (some of) the slopes

Despite all the autumn snow up in the High Country, it looks like many of the area's ski and tubing slopes will open next weekend. Opening day at Appalachian Ski Mountain is set for November 16, while Hawksnest Resort (tubing) is scheduled to open the next day. (Have we mentioned before that Our Mountain Place is right beside Hawksnest? Oh, we  haven't? Now you know!)

Of course, none of this is written in snow -- er, stone.

From Hawksnest's website:

We are targeting the weekend of the 17th to open, but it will depend on the weather.  Please watch our webcam for snowmaking progress.  We will be open daily for zipline tours, weather permitting.  Please call ahead for zipline reservations.

Sugar Mountain IS already open, according to its website:

Snowmaking in progress as temperatures allow.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

THIS is a good sight to see!

We talked yesterday about the crazy weather that Superstorm Sandy has brought us. One of the benefits is the early snow on the area's ski slopes! Here's an image from the webcam* at Appalachian Ski Mountain, via Ray's Weather Center%.

*The High Country is blessed with a host of great weather-related webcams. For conditions closer to Our Mountain Place, be sure to check out the Seven Devils webcam, looking back toward town hall:


%And no trip to the mountains should be complete without first checking out Ray's Weather Center. Bookmark it TODAY!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

From peak season to a foot of snow

First of all, thoughts and prayers to everyone affected by Superstorm Sandy. The latest sounds like she has dumped quite a bit of snow in the High Country. I can only imagine what it looks like up around Our Mountain Place. I'm sure it's gorgeous -- but I'm sure it's also treacherous. Be safe, everyone.

It's hard to imagine that this was our view up there just over a week ago (via Instagram).

We had a FANTASTIC time in the High Country, made all the better by spectacular weather. (The calm before the storm, perhaps?)  Oh, screw it; here are some more great autumn photos -- all taken from our place.

We packed a lot of cool things in a couple of days. The kids loved gem mining (once again) at Foscoe Gem Mining Co. The adults had a GREAT time at the Grandfather Winery. (The kids also had fun throwing rocks into the Watauga River -- coming *this close* to hitting the poor dog that apparently lives at the vineyard.) And we had a nice time in Blowing Rock, strolling around the bass lake at Moses Cone Park, enjoying the park behind the Mast General Store annex, and even a tasty (if slow-going) meal at Mr. Original's Gyros.

In short, I'm ready to get back up there. It is, after all, ski season (already)!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Green siding and blueberries

As advertised, we have completed the new siding and new gutters/paint trim. It is quite fine, don't you agree?

Also, the family recently enjoyed some very fun blueberry picking in Banner Elk. It was an extremely relaxing (and economical) way to spend a morning.

If you want to enjoy all that the High Country has to offer, please contact us at . Book today!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Grandfather Mountain Highland Games coming up

The Grandfather Mountain Highland Games are coming up July 12-15. I have never made it to this event, but it is one of those quintessential North Carolina Bucket List items. More than 100 Scottish clans and societies sponsor this celebration of Scottish dance, music and athletics at McRae Meadows in Linville --at the base of Grandfather Mountain.

This link will take you to information about the Games, as well as ticket info.

Unfortunately, Our Mountain Place is not available for this weekend. Sorry!

7D area 'a cyclist's paradise' has a piece on the Seven Devils/Hawksnest area -- and what it is like for a serious cyclist.

Aaronwest gives us the commentary:

The climb started in the nearby neighborhood of Seven Devils. This is a small resort town with an off-season population of a mere 129. The climb started easily enough when I turned from Highway 105, but it wasn’t long until it turned up into double digit grades and stayed there. It was a challenging climb, with a few tight switchbacks and steep pitches. Little did I know how much more would be coming ahead.

After navigating the steep grades for just under two miles, I found myself in the heart of Seven Devils. It really is a small town, an intersection really, with an apartment complex and a Town Hall. There were lots of small roads that led to other houses and resort facilities, which I didn’t try, although I imagine there are steep climbs throughout the town.

I followed [author] John’s [Summerson] instructions for what he calls the Hawksnest climb. This is a ski resort that boasts of snow tubing and the longest zipline in the Southeast. I turned onto Skyland Rd, which would take me almost to the resort. This was a much more moderate grade, maybe in the 3-4% range, with a downhill about midway and one steep hill just to keep me on my toes.

I could see the ski hills up ahead in the distance, and knew this meant my next turn onto Skiview Road would be coming up. I saw a seriously steep road to the right and thought that was probably a driveway. To my surprise and anguish, that was my turn. The steep grade hit me like a ton of bricks. It must have been right around 15%. It stayed in that vicinity for the majority of the climb. After getting past the first pitch, I saw was a retiree couple driving down the mountain. They looked at me curiously as I huffed and puffed slowly my way up the insanely steep hill.

I came across another pitch in the road, with a sign that said blind hill ahead. That can’t be good. It wasn’t. That was easily the steepest section. My Garmin showed that it was mostly in the 18% vicinity with a peak of 20% at the end.

After winding around for around a mile, the road narrowed to one lane. The steepness persisted around the 13-16% range, with occasional breaks to around 10%. There was one last road near the top, which was just a small hill, but John listed it just to extend the climb. This was Divine View Road. This was practically a driveway, as there was only one house on the road. I could tell that the so-called ‘Divine View’ was probably from their patio. I was tempted to cross the driveway if it weren’t for the No Trespassing sign. Not a good idea to disobey those signs in the mountains of NC.

All told, the climb was about 4 miles, of which I averaged between 5-6 mph.  ...

The descent wasn’t much better. With narrow roads and steep grades, I found myself sitting on the brakes, wearing out my hands. I had to stop a couple times. It was a relief to get back to Hawksnest, where the road eased off. Seven Devils was a technical, but manageable descent.

It was tough to leave. The Boone and Banner Elk area is a cyclists paradise. There were so many other climbs I wanted to try out, but alas, I had not the time, nor the legs. Another day.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Touch ups almost complete!

We don't have any photos yet, but we decided -- since we have lovely new siding -- that Our Mountain Place ("Honey Bear House") needed some gutters. The chocolate brown gutters are on, and now we are wrapping up doing some similar-colored trim touch ups. In addition, the front door will be a nice red when it's all said and done.

Photos to come!

Friday, May 4, 2012

The siding is finished!

Honey Bear House has a new "cover."

We just completed replacing the, ahem, interesting yellow siding with a much more appealing "cypress" (also known as green).  Below are some photos taken by my brother-in-law, who is enjoying his honeymoon there as I type this.

Next to come are some chocolate brown gutters. I mean, if you don't want to rent the place from us now, you're certifiably insane.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Town of 7D has a new site, new photos

The Town of Seven Devils launched its new website this week. (Huzzahs all around.) One cool feature is the list of photos from around town. Granted, there are only 3 photos thus far, but it's still a nice feature. In fact, the Town is hoping that citizens and visitors will submit photos to build it up.

You can view the image gallery here. Look for it to grow, so check back.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

This is so ex-siding!

We are changing things up at Our Mountain Place!

Honey Bear House is in the process of getting new siding. The exterior of the home is in need of a little TLC, and since we're not exactly in love with the color ...

... we decided to make an improvement. Here is a (camera phone) photo of how it's coming along. We are changing it from what I like to call "Blah Yellow" to "Cypress."

We will also be adding chocolate brown gutters.

What do you think so far?

Monday, April 2, 2012

Tweetsie opens on April 13

North Carolina's oldest theme park will open its season on April 13. Go to Tweetsie's website for more info.

Other High Country events of note include the Blue Ridge Wine & Food Festival in Blowing Rock (April 1-15) -- featuring New Jersey Housewife Teresa Guidice! -- and the Blowing Rock Trout Derby on April 7.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Seven Devils beer: For when six devils just isn't cutting it

Found some more about Seven Devils beer, from Olde Hickory. Funny stuff about the beer named "in honor of the poor souls who live in a part of the Blue Ridge Mountains said to be 'as cold as seven devils.'" Cold? Sometimes. Windy? You betcha.


My buddy Steve Kim came through and was repping his set real hard, to the extent that he dropped a North Carolina bomb on my doorstep. Even Petey Pablo wiped a tear away when he saw just how hard the block was repped. Well, here’s a style that I don’t enjoy, done by a brewery that I do enjoy. So let’s see what the net result is.


This beer is only 8% but it feels like something that would incapacitate me much more.

Man, I miss these sunrises

It's been a while since we have personally spent a night at Our Mountain Place. Fortunately, some good friends were able to get up there and enjoy the High Country over the weekend. They sent us this breathtaking shot from one of the mornings. I can't WAIT to get back up there. Soon ... soon.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Want some Seven Devils beer, Seven Devils people?

Again, ya gotta love Google Alerts. One about Seven Devils beer came in my inbox a couple of days ago.

Apparently Olde Hickory Brewery our of Hickory has a flavor called "Seven Devils," a Scottish ale. Some of the reviews (via Beer Advocate) laud the "same beautiful aromas you receive from the barrels used for Event Horizon are found here. Very well balanced. Some warm alcohol pokes through as well as dark malts and molasses. I also get small hints of graham crackers and raisin." Another says the beer "[A]lmost tastes like a whiskey sugar daddy dipped in apple cider."

I guess that's good?

Heads up: Seven Devils is a seasonal, meaning it may not be around long.

From Olde Hickory's website:

Our newest experiment with barrel aging. This time we brewed a delicious Scottish Ale (anyone remember our Nessie's?) and aged it in bourbon barrels.Our brew master says "It's like drinking a candy bar." Notes of chocolate, caramel, and coconut blend with the caramal and roasty maltiness typical of Scotch Ales. Available on tap and in 22oz bottles. 8% abv

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Snow is good

... well, most of the time it is. I'll admit: too much of it, and it can sometimes be a little "fun" getting up to Our Mountain Place. But -- for the sake of the greater good -- the white stuff is GREAT for the High Country. Especially this time of year.

"The snowfall that started Thursday night and continued into Friday, along with lower temperatures, were especially welcome during a season that's been warmer than the past few winters," writes the Winston-Salem Journal.

"It's been a gift," said Kim Jochl, spokeswoman at Sugar Mountain Resort. "Here's 6 inches, 8 inches of snow, four days of temperatures in the teens and it's fantastic."

Skies are expected to be mostly sunny through the holiday in the Northwest North Carolina mountains, but temperatures aren't expected to climb out of the 20s today with a chance of snow flurries, according to the National Weather Service.

Snow was still falling Friday afternoon at the Beech Mountain Resort, formerly known as Ski Beech, and about 6 inches of new snow had accumulated.

Much of the mountain areas, including those at lower elevations than the ski slopes, had lighter snow accumulations, with about an inch or so.

Just late last week, ski slope operators were talking about the above-normal temperatures.

Wolf Ridge Ski Resort in Madison County didn't open until Dec. 29. It had opened on Dec. 8 last year.

"We're in an industry that is driven by the weather, and we're at its mercy," said Kathy Bogdanescu, spokeswoman for Wolf Ridge. "Last year we were lucky." ...

Brad Moretz, at Appalachian Ski Mountain near Blowing Rock, said there were enough cold days to create a good base of snow. ...

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Wondering if it's snowing in the mountains? Check out a webcam

To the right of these words is a link to Ray's Weather and a couple of High Country webcams. They are all three invaluable if you are planning a trip to Seven Devils and wondering what the weather is like (or the roads, for that matter).

Well, the town of Seven Devils has added a terrific webcam to its website, . The resolution is quite good. The images are in real-time (or pretty close to it), as opposed to being a snapshot that refreshes every six seconds or so. Check it out!