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Escape to Black Mountain!
July 31, 2011 by Susan Murray
>Sorry about the title–I couldn’t resist it. Doesn’t it make you think of a Disney film? Anyway, it was Memorial Day and James and I had one of those weird windows of time that seem to come out of nowhere so we grabbed our camera and hightailed it over to Black Mountain, NC. We had heard that it was an interesting little town and have had guests visit it so we thought we better check it out.
Black Mountain advertises itself as “The Front Porch of Western North Carolina”. It’s a small town about 20 minutes from downtown Asheville and is considered to be part of the greater Asheville area.
It is mostly known for the crafts and art galleries which line its small main street.
Kind of looks like something out of the 1960′s, don’t you think?
It was hot, really hot, outside when we got there and we were hungry so we decided to stop for lunch before doing anything else. Down the street we spied a number of umbrellas and, upon investigation, discovered the Black Mountain Bistro.
This is not a spot for a quick lunch, one needs to linger on the front porch and watch the town go by while waiting for some home-cooked food. James had a BLFGT (bacon, lettuce and fried green tomato) sandwich with some great potato salad and I had a wonderful berry salad with goat cheese. I saw some sweet potato fries come out of the kitchen which looked very tempting as well!
Having eaten well and cooled ourselves off with large glasses of Sweet Tea and Diet Pepsi (that’s when you know you are in the South!), James and I were ready to explore the town.
This is Carol Garner of Giftcrafts. She had lived here all her life and watched the town change into its current form. She’s a lovely lady and more than willing to talk to you and tell you stories about the town. Did you know that Roberta Flack came from Black Mountain?
Heading down the other big street in town, we saw this shop right next to “My Father’s Pizza“. I am not sure if James was investigating the pottery or the pizza but it was definitely worth stopping. We found large platter for our hors d’oeurves hour made by a local potter.
Maureen Joyce is the owner of Morning Sky Pottery Shop and she wanted us to be sure to mention the Black Mountain Center for the Arts where many more of these artists works can be seen.
As we continued we saw what looked like a restored train station but a large freight train which came through right after I took this picture proved us wrong!
And I had to include this: remember I said it was Memorial Day? This young lady just started playing Taps on her trumpet and the haunting notes seemed so appropriate to the lazy May afternoon.
A the very end of the street is the Cherry Street Gallery with its large collection of local and national objects. I had a picture but then I realized that we bought some gifts there and didn’t want to spoil it! You will just have to go and look for yourself.
By now it was 3:30pm and we were tired. Black Mountain had proved
itself to be much more than expected. There was still a lot we hadn’t seen but we decided to come back another day.
Except there is always one more store! Black Mountain Quilts is, in my opinion, worth a trip by itself. All hand-quilted bedding, much of it by local artisans, at very reasonable prices! Birdie Sanderson is there to help you find what you are looking for, especially as not everything is on display.
On the way home to the Carolina Bed & Breakfast we took a brief side-trip into the town of Montreat. This largely Presbyterian community is the home of Billy Graham and while you don’t have to be a member of the church, most of the townspeople are. It’s a very pretty place, unusual for the many stone homes, and quite cool and wooded.This entry was posted in Outside Asheville, Things to Do. Bookmark the permalink.