Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Mountain Backroads

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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Fred's General Mercantile, Beech Mountain

One of my favorite places to visit in the fall is Fred's General Mercantile located on Beech Mountain. Beech, as we call it, is Eastern America's Highest Town at an elevation of 5506'.

Celebrating it's 30th year, Fred's is open 365 days a year, and they claim that if they don't have it then you don't need it! I like to pick up pumpkins, decorative corn, gourds and fall decorations here - the prices are great.

The store serves the needs of visitors, skiers, snowboarders, summer folks, and locals alike. Remember when each small town or village always had a general store that served as the center of the community? This is what visiting Fred's brings to mind. They carry food, hardware, clothing, pet supplies, bird feeders, videos to rent, books, seasonal decorations, and so much more. And they even have a deli to grab a bite for lunch while in the area.

During the summer months they offer free concerts on the green next to the store featuring local music. It is a long and steep drive up the mountain, but well worth the visit! For more info go to Fred's General Mercantile.

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Saturday, October 17, 2009

Photo Hunt - Anything Goes

This week the theme is a free one. I wanted to share some photos of my dear cats!

This is Chica my oldest at 18. A gorgeous black tortie! The one below is our Albert - sound asleep in his basket. He is deaf -being white with blue eyes.

For more Camera Critters and Photo Hunt click on here!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Castle in the Corn Maze, West Asheville

It was a warm fall day and we wanted to get outdoors and enjoy the season last Sunday. We decided to head to the 10 acre Castle in the Corn Maze staged to raise money for the Eliada Home for Children.

The Home was a short drive from the city but a world away. We had visited corn mazes before and were looking forward to this one.

There was a good crowd here with plenty of parking. A tent was set up with tables for those who wanted to visit but not walk the maze. All sorts of activities beckoned - a horse drawn wagon ride, picking out pumpkins to decorate for Halloween, a food stand with drinks and snacks and even a small straw bale maze for toddlers.

We headed right for the maze, purchasing tickets and getting our map. The castle featured three mazes - a 2.2 mile one going well to the rear of the corn field, a smaller 1 mile maze and then a tiny one for the kids. We opted for the 2.2 mile one called Dragon's Lair and headed in.

The trick is to follow the lines on the map - the lines are the path. Each map had a Sudoku puzzle in the right upper corner with stations all throughout the maze to check in, punch out the station numbers and Sudoku spaces with different shapes. This was fun - it gave you an idea of where in the maze you were and a goal to achieve while walking it. I have been in other mazes without this feature and found this to be a great bonus.

Since I am directionally challenged, I let my husband do the map reading while I took photos and enjoyed the walk. The field was hilly so it was a good physical workout just walking the path plus a mental workout finding our way. We ran into many other families struggling to read the map or offering directions if they were already on their way back.

The corn stalks towered over our heads and at times you could only see the corn and nothing else! People of all ages were out enjoying the challenge - young kids, couples with babies in backpacks and grandparents with their grandchildren.

Once out of the maze, fill in your Sudoku puzzle and turn the bottom slip in for prizes at the ticket booth. We sat for a bit to rest and eat a snack before heading back home. This maze is located on Leicester Highway off Haywood Road in West Asheville. Go to Castle in the Corn for more info.

If you would like to find a corn maze near you click here.

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