Saturday, October 8, 2011

Back to the Mountains

In a rare moment of spontaneity, we decided to drop everything after Beenie's guitar lesson yesterday and go to the mountains. Actually, I have to admit here that it's only rare because, though hubby loves to do things at the spur of the moment, I greatly dislike having my plans for the day disrupted. But I relented and we had a fabulous day. When we went apple picking we went north-west, a bit over the Virginia State line, staying just this side of the Blue Ridge Parkway. This time we headed south-east, going past the Parkway.

Being your "typical" homeschool family, we chose to turn this into a field trip and visited a very old mercantile. Mast General Store now has several locations in NC and surrounding states, but we visited the orginal store, located in Valle Crucis, that opened in 1883.
It still holds a small, operating post office for the tiny community.
If you click on the picture, you may be able to read the sign (to the right of the window) warning patrons of the store that the post office is still operational, so they should not try to open the postal boxes.
Aren't these the coolest, old organizing bins.
They still use them to keep their selection of carriage bolts and other, small hardware.
The store also comes complete with it's own pet, who apparently thinks the counter is a perfect place to sleep. What is it about cats wanting to sleep right where you need to work?
You get a clear picture of the fact that they don't take to kindly to salesmen.
This is part of the view behind the store.
I hope if you click on the picture you can see that a house sits on the very top of the mountain.
There is already more color in the trees here than down where we live, but they're still a week or two off from peak color. We did see a few isolated areas where the trees were in full color, but none where we could stop and get a good picture. Hubby has said that we may take a picnic and go up on the Parkway once the trees have reached full color. I kind of hope we do. It's so beautiful.
Isn't it beautiful, even when the colors aren't quite at they're best?
And barns are everywhere. I love big red barns.
All decked out for fall.
After we left the mercantile, we headed back to Boone in order to eat supper at the Dan'l Boone Inn and Restaurant. It's an adorable old farm house, turned inn and eatery. They serve things family style, meaning there's a fixed menu and they just bring you some of everything in bowls to pass around the table, just like you would do at home. There are precious few of these type restaurants around here anymore.
The place is just too cute, and I couldn't go home without a jar of the black cherry preserves they serve with the biscuts.
They used to have a live tree in one of the dining rooms. They had just built right around it when they added on. But after many years it finally died and they had it taken out. We got to sit at a huge round table with a lazy susan built in the center that had been placed where the tree once grew.
That lazy susan made eating so enjoyable. No-one had to interrupt anyone else's meal to ask for dishes to be passed. Maybe we should look into getting one for our house.
I have to admit that all the moss on the roof of this little store front is what grabbed my attention. I didn't even notice the sign until the photos were uploaded on the computer. Interesting name isn't it? Kind of makes me want to stop and check it out next time.

If we do indeed head out for a picnic on the Blue Ridge Parkway during peak color, I'll be sure to supply you all with plenty of pictures of those gorgeous mountains.
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