"The Vale of the Cross"
My connection to this small mountain town is an interesting story. I first came here with a group of my fellow dorm mates in 1999 as a college freshman. Twice a year in fall and spring the dorm organized a retreat for the purpose of getting to know our neighbors in the dorm much better. Since Boone is right down the road from here, I made my first visits to Boone on these trips, even before my brother went to school there. The area is convenient to Boone but just far enough to be very peaceful.
We stayed at a conference center, part of the old Episcopal church here that has existed since the mid 1800s. For a little history of the conference center and the church go here. We stayed in the biggest of their buildings, an old three story inn also known as Auchmuty Hall which was built around 1910. Our meals were included with our lodging and were served in an adjacent building, the annex, circa 1938. The food was excellent and there was a lot of fun to be had here.
The porch was always inviting with several rocking chairs and a great view overlooking the valley below. In the yard was a fire pit where we would sit and tell ghost stories and the like and drink until late into the evening, staring up at the stars. During the day, we could hike up a trail in the woods behind the conference center that met up with a waterfall and followed it for some ways. During the day we could go a short way down the road to the Mast General store and annex. I will have some pictures up here to accompany all of this info, as well as some travelogues to tell of our adventures. Stay tuned.