Last week, we took a healing trip to the NC Mountains.
For me personally, there is always something healing about the mountains. I have never been able to quite put into words what being in the mountains does for my soul. Rejuvenation and soul-searching, compliments of Mother Nature. But, this time, the journey was much more intense. It was the first time my Mama and I had been to the NC Mountains, or on any trip, since my Daddy passed away in May. It was moving and emotional on many levels, but also unexpectedly happy being able to relivine so many memories of Daddy.
Fall in the NC Mountains
Me and The Hubbs, along with my dear and Mama and late Daddy, used to head to the NC Mountains (and journey over to the Smokies in Tennessee, too) at least twice a year. Usually in the Spring and again in the Fall. Each trip, we had our regular visits and stops such as the Old Mill Restaurant and General Store in Pigeon Forge, TN; and several restaurants and General Stores throughout the area. I knew this trip would be especially emotional for me and Mama. Visiting some of our favorite locales without Daddy along with us would be different, and oh so hard. And it was hard in many ways, but, we also had a lot of laughs and good memories, too. And in every sense, I felt he was truly there with us on this trip.
I am sharing three of our favorite spots…
We always stop by Darnell Farms outside of Bryson City, NC. I love that it’s a family farm and they practice sustainable farming. As a Farmer’s Daughter, the fact that we’re supporting a local farm family meant a lot to me.
You’ll not find anything fancy here. It’s rustic and down-home and “mountain-y” and that’s why we love it.
The “punkins” this year were beautiful. These were grown right on the farm, and you could take a tractor ride out to the fields to pick your own.
I asked for the price on the large pumpkin seen here, along with the truck. 😀
Isn’t this vintage orange tractor fabulous? I wanted this, too! As you can see, they carry a variety of homemade preserves and jams, just as you would expect from a Farm Stand.
One of the many things I loved was this pumpkin written with a Pumpkin Pie Recipe.
They are known for their tomatoes, and especially their heirloom varieties. Let’s just say that quite a few of these beauties came home with us. Homegrown tomatoes in late September was quite a treat.
I, also, purchased a few sacks of these beautiful red and green peppers which I shared with you last week.
I made some gorgeous Pepper Vinegars which I will give away as Christmas gifts.
Next, we headed to Bryson City, NC where one of our fave small hardware stores is.
The NC Clampitt Hardware Co. is small. But, boy is it jam-packed with a lot of fun stuff, as well as, useful stuff. You have to keep in mind this store does not exist for the sole purpose of entertaining tourists who have a love of old hardware stores. I know! Hard to believe huh? 🙂
Look at my beautiful Mama. She’ll be 83-years young in a few months. This hardware store was actually my Daddy’s fave because of the farm stuff they stocked. For us tourists, they also carry some fun stuff.
Like lots of yummy jams and jellies and pickles and even some NC Mountain Moonshine.
Don’t you love this old wood countertop? As strange as it sounds, one of my fave things of this store are the floors. Original, worn, rickety and screaky. Kinda like me. Ha!
We made several purchases here, and then headed out to my fave NC Mountain town…Waynesville.
I have blogged about Waynesville and the Mast General Store years ago and you can read about that here.
Among many things, Mast General Store is known for its candy located on the lower level. Barrels and Barrels, and some are your old childhood favorites.
I almost brought a set of this Vintage Red Truck dishware home with me. 🙂
It wouldn’t be a Hardware Store without jams and jellies and preserves. I like to stock up on some of my faves.
I did NOT stock up on this. LOL But, I did buy several of these…maybe one of the best things in Mast General Store….
RC Cola’s and Moon Pies. You either “get this” or you don’t. 🙂
(Is anyone else’s mouth watering just looking at this picture right now?) 😆
The second thing I ran across made me smile. Really big.
Now this is saying something. Here is My Recipe for Biscuits and Gravy, btw. As soon as I saw this, I knew I had to make a printable of this. (see below)
We had an amazing time, and the weather could not have been more beautiful. We drove the Blue Ridge Parkway for several hours, stopping along the way where we stopped at a scenic byway and enjoyed our newly purchased RC Cola’s and Moon Pies.
Here’s my beloved NC Blue Ridge Mountains living up to it’s name.
We were several weeks too early to see the Fall leaves, but some of the late-summer wildflowers were still putting on a show.
Look at my sweet Mama and my sweetheart. We were so blessed to be able to take this trip together.
As much as we missed Daddy, and we did – it did our hearts so good to walk the same steps and visit the same stores that meant so much to him, too. I felt his presence, and in some ways, it made us realize how fortunate we were to have had the good times we did with him for as long as we did. Now, Mama can’t wait to take another trip. I see another road trip in our future. 🙂
Thanks for letting me share our Healing Trip to the NC Mountains with you.
I knew I wanted to make a printable of the Biscuits and Gravy sign as soon as I saw it. I am sharing this with you FREE and you can click here to download this 8×10 printable. (Click on Kitchen Printables)
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Thank you for spending a few
minutes of your day here with me.
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