Thursday, October 28, 2010

Pink Lady Ghost of the Grove Park Inn

Being Halloween week, I thought I would share one of the local ghost stories.  The ghost resides at the legendary Grove Park Inn - a very haunting looking building itself, dating from the early 1900's.  The rock building glows at night in stark contrast against the sky. Let's go inside shall we?


The main entrance is decorated festively for the season with  huge pumpkins, gourds and corn stalks. Straight ahead is the Great Hall at 120 feet long and 80 feet wide. Anchoring the hall at either end are two massive fireplaces—each large enough to burn 12-foot long logs and each containing an elevator.  These hand-operated wonders run alongside the chimney shafts within the rock work of the great fireplaces and transport guests and luggage to the upper floors.  To our left is the Front Desk where guests register. As you can see, at night the flicker of lights add to the eerie look of the place. People say they have seen the Pink Lady in various places in the hotel. Seems fitting to see a ghost in a place like this.

The Great Hall is always warmly accented with flowers - this week the bouquet is quite fitting for Halloween, don't you think?

Now that we are inside, let me tell you about the Pink Lady, a young lady in a diaphanous pink gown. The story goes that she was having a rendezvous at the hotel during the 1920's with a gentleman, most likely married.  It seems her heart was broken at a debutante ball and she either fell or jumped to her death from the fifth floor of the Palm Court Atrium.  Some say that she was pregnant and her lover found out, pushing her to her death rather than face a scandal.

To get to the Palm Court we go up in the old elevator built inside the rock fireplace to the fifth floor overlooking the atrium.  The room most associated with the Pink Lady is room 545 - probably the room she and her lover stayed in.

Elevator to the Palm Court Atrium.

Room 545.

Palm Court Atrium today. It was one of the first atrium lobbies built in the country in its day.

 In 1996, the Grove Park Inn conducted in-depth research on the Pink Lady phenomenon and the resulting evidence focused on room 545, two stories above the Palm Court atrium floor
A painter from the late 1950s or early 60s and the hotel's current engineering facilities manager have reported strikingly similar tales about room 545. Both got cold chills on their way into the room so severe they never again attempted to enter. Interestingly, neither employee knew of the other's experience, or about room 545's connection to the Pink Lady. Another employee who has seen the Pink Lady several times over the past five years describes the apparition as "a real dense smoke - a pinkish pastel that just flows. It's a real gentle spirit, whatever it is."  Guests who have seen her say she is a beautiful girl with long dark hair.  She is mischievous and turns off lights, opens closet doors, and even pulls the covers off sleeping guests.

Well - I didn't see or feel anything unusual but others say the air feels heavy and their hair stands on end when in the Atrium alone late at night.  I say let's go back down to the lobby, have a drink and watch the sun set!

Hope you enjoy my ghostly post - Happy Halloween!  Since I am having a Give-Away, I am joining with Skywatch Friday, Scenic Sunday, Flowers on Saturday, Today's Flowers, Friday My Town Shoot-out and Photo Hunt this week.   I am having a Give-away (go to page to see more)to celebrate 150 followers - let me know if you want in! Leave your comment here - not on the Give-away page. The gift bag includes a mystery book by local writer, hand made local jam, soap, hand made holiday ornament and more.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Barns, Horses and Last Fall Colors

Our town is a very rural, heavily wooded area, separated by the Eastern Continental Divide at 3000 feet.  The divide is just about a mile from our house and the weather can be noticeably different on the other side!  We are surrounded by farms, horses, cows, goats and all sorts of geese, chickens and peacocks - none of them ours. All of these barns are on our road or just off it.

This sheep farm is right on the ridge of the Continental Divide - they sell naturally raised eggs and meat. (A continental divide is a drainage divide on a continent such that the drainage basin on one side of the divide feeds into one ocean or sea, and the basin on the other side either feeds into a different ocean or sea, or else is endorheic, not connected to the open sea. ...)

As we go over the Divide, we come to another narrow valley with a few more farms. Some boast large barns and others smaller ones.

Today is windy and rainy so I expect the last of the leaves will have fallen - the color lasts such a short time in fall.  Please visit my hosts for more posts - Ruby Tuesday, Rednesday, Outdoor Wednesday.

To celebrate reaching 150 wonderful followers, I will be giving away a basket of local goodies - a murder mystery book written and autographed by friend and local author Sallie Bissell (see sidebar), home made local jams, goat milk soap, Christmas ornaments and various other hand made items from the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina. In your post comment, let me know you want to be part of the drawing and also tell me what you like most about my blog.  Your suggestions are so helpful.  Thanks for visiting and for following! I will draw the winner on November 8. Due to cost of postage I must limit the drawing to US and Canadian residents. Please view the items in my Give-away page.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Mum Show at the Arboretum, Asheville

The days are still warm and we have not had a hard frost so it was perfect weather to head over to the Arboretum - to get there I can take the Blue Ridge Parkway and just after crossing the French Broad River enter the grounds of the Arboretum.

The main building houses the gift shop and special educational exhibits.

The Arboretum's 434 acres of natural beauty provides lovely trails, walkways and exhibits - a great way to spend an afternoon. I walked around the grounds for a couple of hours enjoying the scenery and sunshine. Benches are scattered throughout for a quiet rest in out of the way spots. Lots of folks had their dogs with them to hike the trials.

Various local sculptors exhibit their work here - some were quite interesting and unique. I especially liked the bench with the vine coiled around it. The spider was very Halloweenish!

The main exhibit in the gardens was chrysanthemums - deep purple colors interspersed with ornamental kale and other flowers made for a striking look. It was time for the North Carolina Chrysanthemum Society’s Annual Show.

The popular annual show showcases hundreds of chrysanthemum blooms in vibrant and varied colors. The exhibits will be judged by National Standards by expert Accredited National Chrysanthemum judges from all over the United States and Canada, by strict NCS standards and highlights the exceptional variety in size, shape and color of these popular fall flowers.

Thanks for coming by for the tour. I will be joining Flowers on Saturday, Scenic Sunday, and Photo Hunt - Orange, so do stop by our hosts for more colorful posts.  Please visit my pet blog for some wonderful cats up for adoption - they are just gorgeous.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Fall Drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Less color at lower elevations and clouds on the peaks.

A cold front had just come through and the warm balmy weather had turned cool and breezy with more fall in the air.  I wanted to see some of the colors at the higher elevations since they were supposed to be peak.  I armed myself with camera, extra batteries, warm clothing, water and snacks and set off.  I can access the parkway in the next town over, just about 15 minutes drive.  The colors were spotty and visibility was great.

Rock walls along the parkway where they blasted to make the road.

The Blue Ridge Parkway follows the ridge line from Virginia to the Smoky Mountains in North Carolina. As the road began to climb up the ridges the temperature went from mild 60's to mid 40s and you could see the clouds catching on the mountain tops which meant less visibility at the higher peaks.  The views were still impressive and I pulled over almost at every overlook.  Lots of other folks were out leaf peeping too.

One of many tunnels blasted through the mountains.

The fog got denser and denser as I got closer to Mount Mitchell - the highest peak east of the Rockies.  I don't have any pics of the fog - I was busy trying to see and stay on the road.  Driving in fog was not part of my plan that day.

At the entrance to Mount Mitchell, I stopped to take pictures but you could not see the top of the mountain - not worth the long drive up for socked in fog.  Craggy Gardens was the same way - complete fog.

Located in a 1,855-acre North Carolina State Park, Mount Mitchell (elevation 6,684 feet) is the highest point east of the Rockies.

Because of the altitude, many of the plants and animals are like those native to alpine environments of Canada. Mt. Mitchell is part of the Black Mountain range, formed more than a billion years ago. Six peaks in the small range are among the ten highest in the eastern United States. 

I did get out for a short walk at Crabtree Falls but didn't have time for the 45 minute walk down to the falls itself - some other day perhaps.

I got off the parkway at Route 80 and the road dropped down several thousand feet quickly to end up outside Old Fort.  This is Lake Tahoma and this used to be a casino jutting out into the lake.  Lovely rock building but it has been empty for years now - too bad.  It would be wonderful spot to dine!

Many thanks to the hosts of Mellow Yellow Monday, Ruby Tuesday, Watery Wednesday and Outdoor Wednesday. Please do visit the other posts on each of these great memes.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

East Asheville Art Studio Tour

 This mountains of North Carolina are known for their artists. And for some reason when you find artists, animals are sure to be nearby.  Many shops and studios have resident dogs and cats which always makes for a fun visit.  Last weekend was our fall studio tour and we visited some of the ones in our neighborhood.

Just around the corner from our house is Victor Chiarizia's glass blowing studio.  His apprentice Graham Lawing was doing demonstrations during the weekend and it was intriguing to watch.  His faithful pup was on hand to supervise along with Victor's two dogs. To see Graham's beautiful glass vases go here.

Victor's cat was prowling the studio and found my husband.  Don was loving him up when the cat jumped up on the table with all the glass set up for sale!  Uh oh!  But Don picked him up carefully and set him down on the floor with no accidents!

The next studio was Studio 208 with Fred Feldman who created clay and wood speaker systems along with other decorative items for the home and his wife Lynda who made the loveliest scarves on her loom. They had two dogs and two cats.  One of their pups (below) posed prettily for us.

Another artist that caught our eye was Janice Keeler of Edo Creek Studio. She made lovely hats, scarves and shawls of alpaca wool.  Her studio was decorated so beautifully with carved Siamese cats.

Thanks for taking the tour with us.  We consider ourselves fortunate to live close by to all these very talented people who are avid animal lovers themselves.  For more critters do visit Camera Critters and do stop by Scenic Sunday.


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