High in the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina BLOWING ROCK has been a destination for travellers seeking a place to rest and rejuvenate since the 1800's. Just off the Blue Ridge Parkway, the village offers an array of shops, restaurants and lodging.
Hans and I certainly enjoyed our afternoon in this charming village. As it was a warm and sunny Saturday afternoon in October, people were out in droves, just walking around and even doing some Christmas shopping.
Saturday, October 30, 2010
It was a lovely sunny day, so we decided to take a drive up the Hwy 321 to Blowing Rock, which is about an hour's drive north of Hickory.
The drive up was beautiful especially with the mountains showing off their fall foliage. We got to THE BLOWING ROCK, parked the van and walked to the Visitor Center/Gift shop/ Entrance.
The price of admittance was $5.00 a person. A man stood by the entrance door to collect the entrance fee. Since it was very misty up in the mountains, we decided not to do it. Instead I browsed around the very well stocked (and pricey) gift shop.
A sign outside the Visitor Center reads:
"This 250 million year old cliff formation is North Carolina's oldest travel attraction. Located at 4000 feet above sea level, the Blowing Rock is the town's namesake. The phenomenon is so called because the rocky walls of the gorge form a flume through which the northwest wind sweeps with such force that it returns light objects cast over the chasm."
Hickory Community Theatre, located in Downtown Hickory has been named Community Theatre of the Year for 2009 by the North Carolina Theatre conference.
Consistently providing a broad mix of entertainment from family shows to the latest broadway hits to cutting edge comedy and drama, the Hickory Community Theatre is now celebrating its 60th anniversary.
Drawing from a large pool of top-notch talent, the productions at HCT rival professional touring shows that come through Charlotte.
All of this at a very budget friendly price. Standard adult tickets are just $16 and all youth 18 and under get in for only $7. There is also a senior discount.
Hickory Community Theatre offers professional quality theatre and a community friendly price!
It's the best ticket in town.
I could watch cows all day long. They don't do much. Eat, roam around, and moo. That's about it. Still, as someone who grew up in the city I find them fascinating. Turns out they will eat just about anything vegeterian.
History has always fascinated me. No doubt that it repeats itself mainly in the unkind, obtrusive way in wars, oppression, and all the worst characteristics that mankind can conceive. That part is not my fascination. I'm fascinated (more like perturbed) that we can't seem to learn from the past, can't seem to get beyond the brutal, sadistic and ancient hatreds of centuries ago, and lastly even seem to enjoy them as though they're a part of some culture to be revered. Guess What? They're Not! They are simply a barometer that says such cultures are more interested in holding on to misguided ideologies than creating an open forum towards a new future of equality and hope. Ok, I've injected over your objections a bit of a commentary when only historical photos from the New York Times came visiting to Hickory... See what History can do? Ugly, isn't it?
I hope you enjoy these few pictures taken during the recent exhibition!
Yippers! Located in the heart of Hickory is the perfect example of our Southern Sophistication... the SALT Block! This complex houses the Hickory Museum of Art and the Catawba Science Center and the Hickory Coral Society and the Western Piedmont Symphony and the Patrick Beaver Memorial Library (rated as the #2 Best Library in the State of North Carolina!). While you're in Hickory (and I KNOW you will be!), you must take time to visit and to do it fully, you'll need at least a full morning or afternoon.
Several years ago, concerned citizens came forward to save the old Hickory High School (formerly Claremont Central School) from being demolished and thus created a focal point for the arts in the area. Since this time, it has continued to grow in popularity and importance with an ever-expanding array of local art and as a host to many notable exhibitions of art and science. It truly is a BIG venue for a relatively small city. Come check it out!
HICKORY MUSEUM OF ART
I was in Hickory to attend the opening reception of a quilt exhibit at the Hickory Museum of Art by famed quilter, Patti Royster. WONDERFUL installation and display, which will be there through the spring. I actually ended up buying a N Carolina quilt at a shop nearby. (Ms Royster's quilts are priceless, so while I bought an authentic original NC quilt, I paid on a fraction of the cost!)
The Catawba Science Center is a great place for kids of all ages. It's Hickory's answer to Discovery Place, but less expensive! It's open Tues - Sat 10-5 and Sun 1-5. Fridays are free for everyone, not just members. The fee is around $2 for non-members the other days. It offers hands-on science with traveling exhibits, a resident alligator, lots of neat animal exhibits, several different age appropriate play areas, etc.
In 1997 OLDE HICKORY BREWERY began the renovation of an 1880 Historic landmark building in downtown Hickory, which now houses its brewing facilities.
A wonderful group of talented people provide quality comedies, musicals and dramas, performed in the beautiful Charles E. Jeffers Theatre.
Hickory Museum of Art and the Catawba Science Center and the Hickory Coral Society and the Western Piedmont Symphony and the Patrick Beaver Memorial Library