Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 59

Closer to home, he loves his regulation-size shuffleboard court beside the house, not far from the dock.
After the day's activities, he and his wife will often
relax beside the outdoor fireplace. Or they'll soak in
the stainless steel hot tub after a pleasant meal in the
outdoor dining room. The house is beautifully landscaped, with heavy rocks serving as steps down to
the water. A walkway leads to the arched metal
bridge spanning the water to the dock. The dock,
covered to keep the weather off the boat, gets plenty
of use come swim time.
Bald Mountain Lake, N.C.
If it hadn't been for the skinny dippers, Jim and
Coleen Hester might not have found out who was
stealing their birdseed. The theft of sunflower seeds
from a squirrel-proof feeder may not seem like high
intrigue. But the fact that it is - or was - tells you
how peaceful things are at the Hester house on Bald
Mountain Lake in the western North Carolina town
of Lake Lure.
That's the kind of peace the North Palm Beach,
Fla., couple was looking for when, in 2004, they
decided to move back to the mountains. Jim hunted
and fished growing up and preferred being in the
woods or on the water. Coleen grew up by the ocean
in Florida and had gotten tired of its sometimes
dangerous weather. They had both gone to college
in the mountains (Western Carolina University in
Cullowhee, N.C.) and longed to return to cool summers and breezy lakeside evenings.
Right before Thanksgiving 2004, Coleen found
this house on Bald Mountain Lake, located inside
Rumbling Bald Resort, a golf community of some
3,600 acres. Jim was as excited as she was.
"It was our first visit to Lake Lure, and we were
amazed with the beautiful scenery," he says. "The
real estate agent took us to see the house, and the
leaf colors were still brilliant. Young's Mountain
(elevation 2,700 feet), is directly across the lake
from the house. We were blown away."
The Hesters decided within two hours of their
visit to make an offer on the five-bedroom house.
Jim completely renovated the 1970s home. Every
room has a view of the lake. Each bedroom has
double sliding glass doors that open onto one of the
decks, which run the length of the house on both
levels. A staircase of 40 steps descends to the water
and the family's two docks. In the water is their
floating dock - "definitely the highlight," Coleen
says. "Everyone loves an anchored floating dock,
including us. You put your coolers and chairs out
there and hang out for hours. Some friends of ours
down the lake saw ours, and they built one. They
put a motor and a permanent sofa on theirs and
came trolling by one night with a flashlight. Talk

"What we love about living
on the water is the great
peace and tranquility. ..We can
hear the wind howling on the
ridges.We feel safe and secure
in our cove on the lake."
about one-upping the Joneses. "The Hesters' floating platform allows them to stay in the sun in the
late afternoon. When that becomes too chilly,
there's the fire pit on the shore.
"What we love about living on the water is the
great peace and tranquility," Jim says. Geese and
duck have taken up residence on the lake, and during winter and spring, loons, osprey, peregrines,
great herons, bald eagles and Arctic Circle ducks
spend days resting up while migrating through.
"If you sit quietly, you can see so many birds,"
Coleen says. "If you're up early, you can see deer
down by the lake, laying on the ground. That's just
really sweet." Coleen, an artist, especially loves the
way sunlight plays off the water. She'll walk into a
bedroom and notice the reflected light filling the
room. The light changes as the sun moves overhead.
It creates such a dramatic effect on the ceilings that
the Hesters named their house Dancing Waters
Lodge.
Last summer the Hesters' daughter Myra got
married, and groom Alex Hooker and all his
groomsmen stayed in the house before the wedding
("they had a great time," Coleen says). The Hesters'
other daughter Claire likes to come down from
Asheville to stay over with a bunch of her 30-something friends. They're the ones who skinny dip at
night. They're the ones who solved the mystery of
the birdfeeder: Sometime during the night, the
swimmers noticed tiny flying squirrels soaring
through the air and landing on the feeder so lightly
that the squirrel-proofing traps weren't tripped. One
by one they'd slide down the wire to the feeders,
kind of like an assembly line, Coleen said, to eat the
seed. Alerted, Coleen watched for them herself.
Mystery solved.
It just adds to the mystique of living on a mountain lake. There are only so many of them, Jim
observes, and it's unlikely that any more will be
built. The Hesters feel pretty snug in their mountain
home.
"We can hear the wind howling on the ridges,"
Coleen says. "We feel safe and secure in our cove on
the lake."
JULY/AUGUST 2014 | 59



Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014

Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014
Table of Contents
Print to Mobile
From the Editor
From the Farm
Festivals & Events
The Hike
Creature Feature
Mountain Report
Country Roads
Potomac Highlands Adventures
Get Up Early! Great Farm Vacations
Saving Mabry Mill
Photo Essay: Mountain Skies
Signature Mountain Dishes
Waterfront Living
Mountain Garden
Cabin in the Woods: Canaan Resort
Guest Column
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - Cover2
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - Table of Contents
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 4
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - Print to Mobile
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - From the Editor
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 7
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - From the Farm
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 9
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - Festivals & Events
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 11
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 12
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 13
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 14
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 15
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - The Hike
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 17
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - Creature Feature
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - Mountain Report
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - Country Roads
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 21
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 22
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 23
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - Potomac Highlands Adventures
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 25
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 26
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 27
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 28
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 29
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 30
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 31
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 32
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 33
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - Get Up Early! Great Farm Vacations
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 35
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 36
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 37
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - Saving Mabry Mill
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 39
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 40
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 41
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - Photo Essay: Mountain Skies
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 43
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 44
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 45
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - Signature Mountain Dishes
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 47
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 48
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 49
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 50
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 51
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 52
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 53
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - Waterfront Living
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 55
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 56
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 57
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 58
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 59
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 60
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 61
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 62
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 63
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 64
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 65
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 66
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 67
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 68
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 69
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 70
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 71
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 72
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - Mountain Garden
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 74
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 75
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 76
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 77
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - Cabin in the Woods: Canaan Resort
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 79
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 80
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - 81
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - Guest Column
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - Cover3
Blue Ridge Country - July/August 2014 - Cover4
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