All posts tagged: North Carolina

Lake Fontana and the Road to Nowhere

In 1945, construction on the Fontana Dam was completed, the structure stretching across the Tennessee River, creating Fontana Lake. The dam was built for the war effort, creating electricity for ALCOA aluminum plants and Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Manhattan Project. The Dam also provided flood control and recreation, and part of the project included dedicating surrounding land in Swain County as the Great Smoky Mountains National park. The downside to the project was that several towns became submerged in the process of creating Fontana lake. Residents were forced to leave their communities, and along with their homes, they highway many used to travel, Old Highway 288 became submerged underwater. Residents were promised a new road, Lakeview Drive by the Federal government, which would have run along the shore of Lake Fontana, and allow them access to family cemeteries. Unfortunately the road was never finished due to environmental issues, and Lakeview drive ends at a tunnel 6 miles into the park. Ultimately, the US Department of Interior reached a 52 million dollar settlement in place of …

Kings Mountain National Military Park

No matter what historical battlefield you visit, you will find the requisite on site museum. Designed to give you an overview of the historical events and a little context, they all seem to house the same things. Uniforms, weapons, cutlery, topographical maps, and maybe some letters exchanged by historical figures. What stood out to me when I visited Kings Mountain was the way they used a relatively small museum space to truly place you in the same atmosphere that the battle of Kings Mountain was fought. Located just over the border in South Carolina, Kings Mountain is the site of the first patriot victory after the invasion of Charleston, SC. In early October, 1781, the British sent newly trained American troops to the Kings Mountain area, hoping to earn an easy victory over local milita, who were inexperienced in fighting. But as many Americans learn in grade school, what the American’s lacked in formal military training, they made up for in knowledge of the local area. The local milita knew how to take advantage of …

The Myths of Boone Cave Park

Established in 1909, Boone Cave Park is the smallest State Park in North Carolina. However, it is dedicated to one of the state’s biggest legends. Allegedly, it is where the Boone family first settled in North Carolina, when Daniel Boone was a teenager. There is no real paper trail to confirm that, only the unverified location of a cabin, tales past down by local family, and deeds that show the family owned land in the nearby area. The cave onsite is subject to several legends. Some that say the Boone family lived in the cave during their first winter. After seeing the size of the cave up myself, I find it hard to believe that Squire and Sarah Morgan crammed in their with 10 children and the other friends and family that left Pennsylvania together. In total it was a group of 25. Other legends say that Daniel Boone and his family hid in the cave from Native American raiding parties while living in the area after relocating from Pennsylvania. This is also unlikely. Daniel …

Invasion of the Tree Frogs

When I traveled to Wilmington, NC late last month, I was greeted with unseasonably warm weather for November. Along with getting to enjoy sunbathing on empty beaches, the warm temps brought out some unexpected wildlife. The AirBnB I stayed at had little tree frogs nestled all over it, and at night they would all crowd around the porch light. I found this to be adorable, but the friend I was staying with was horrified and would run into the front door with her hood on every night. It’s funny how different people can perceive the same thing as either a Disney like quirk or a nightmare inducing horror.

Pisgah Covered Bridge

I discovered the Pisgah covered bridge during a drive home from Asheboro, NC in 2017. It wound up being the silver lining of an accidental decision to take country roads home instead of the highway. This may have resulted in spending an extra hour in the car, but it was scenic, and when I spotted the sign for the bridge, I had to pull over and investigate. Pisgah covered bridge was built in 1911 to allow horses and carriages to cross the Little River. Eventually surpassed by more modern roadways, the bridge was designated a historical landmark in 1998. It later became the focus of a major preservation project in 2003 when a flood washed the bridge away. Fortunately, it was reconstructed with 90 percent of the original wood rescued from the river. Today the bridge is still accessible from the road and visitor friendly. There are picnic tables, and a short trail that loops from one side of the bridge to the other.

An old question from a Heroes Convention: If you could be any villain, who would it be, and why? 

In anticipation of conventions returning to North Carolina this summer, I’m revisiting an old post from 2017’s Heroes Convention in Charlotte. I would also like to revisit a question I posed when it was originally published: If you could be any villain, who would it be, and why? Keep in mind that isn’t the same as asking who your favorite villain is. As one panelist from the 2017 con, Dr. Michael Critzer, pointed out, “I love Darth Vader, but being Darth Vader would suck.” I would have chosen Alice from the BBC show Luther in 2017. I might have to reconsider my choice though, as Alice got a lot less likable in the final season of the show in 2019. Perhaps Dr. Hannibal Lecter from Silence of the Lambs would be a good choice. ******** Last weekend I attended the Heroes Convention here in Charlotte, NC. I’m just starting to get into reading comics and graphic novels, so I wasn’t originally planning on attending. However, I lucked into free tickets at the last minute, so …

Exploring Otter Falls in Seven Devils

When my husband and I approached the start of the trail that takes visitors to Otter Falls, we encountered a mother and her daughter at the end of their hike, huffing and out of breath. “Have you been before?” the mother asked. “No,” we answered. “Its definitely worth it!” she assured us. Given that the trail is under a mile long, her reassurances seemed strange, until we realized how steep the drop in elevation to reach the falls actually was. She was right though, it was worth it.