Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 44

COURTESY OF BELLE GROVE

By JOE TENNIS

G

et out in your car in any of
the mountain states and set
out for the best of fall-not
just taking in the colors of the
season, but also making new
friends, learning about ghosts
and glory, checking in on colorful history and sampling the tastes of
the region.

JOE TENNIS

NORTH CAROLINA

ABOVE: Patsy Cline's performance outfits
are on display at a museum in Winchester,
Virginia.
TOP: Belle Grove Plantation, in Virginia's
Shenandoah Valley, dates to the 1790s.

44

BLUERIDGECOUNTRY.COM

It's Saturday afternoon and I'm tooling
to the top of the fabled Chimney Rock-
standing on the spire then opting for the
Opera Box, a natural perch overlooking
Lake Lure, North Carolina.
Climbing is a ritual if you want to see
"CRSP"-the Chimney Rock State Park
(828-625-9611). And, for three years, the
only way you could get to the top was to
follow flight after flight of stairs when the
elevator was out of commission.
In all, that meant surviving stairs numbering 830 to reach the tip-top of Exclamation Point-a cliff overlooking the actual Chimney Rock.
Yet, now, coming back a year and a
day later, I easily made it to Chimney Rock
again by simply following a tunnel then
boarding the 26-story elevator that went
back into service on June 22.

Back down in the village of Chimney
Rock, I reward my hike with a Reuben
at the vintage Old Rock Cafe (828-6252329) then go next door to Hershey's Ice
Cream (828-625-0052) and attempt to eat
a Rocky Road milkshake-nuts and all-
with a straw: what proved to be almost as
much a struggle as climbing all those steps
above me!
Getting to Chimney Rock affords a scenic drive on U.S. 74-Alternate from Rutherfordton, a charming small town where I
nest for the night with my son, John, inside an 1925 municipal building; John actually takes the big bed in a room guarded
by a glass door marked "POLICE DEPT."
But, says the Firehouse Inn's owner,
Kitty McCammon, "The room that you're
in was the tax office."
The Firehouse Inn was once primarily
that-a firehouse. And, it is outlined with
gardens that shine magnificently with the
colors of autumn. "There is yellow-reddish," McCammon says. "It's real pretty."
An interior designer, McCammon
grew up in Rutherfordton. "It's a little bit
quaint," she says, "a little bit Mayberryish."
Facing North Washington Street, the
Firehouse Inn (828-286-9030) affords an
easy walk to the succulent servings at the


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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018

Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - Intro
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - Cover1
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - Cover2
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 3
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 4
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 5
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 6
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 7
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 8
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 9
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 10
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 11
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 12
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 13
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 14
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 15
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 16
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 17
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 18
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 19
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 20
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 21
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 22
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 23
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 24
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 25
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 26
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 27
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 28
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 29
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 30
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 31
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 32
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 33
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 34
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 35
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 36
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 37
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 38
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 39
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 40
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 41
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 42
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 43
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 44
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 45
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 46
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 47
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 48
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 49
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 50
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 51
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 52
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 53
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 54
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 55
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 56
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 57
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 58
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 59
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 60
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 61
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 62
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 63
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 64
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 65
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 66
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 67
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 68
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 69
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 70
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 71
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 72
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 73
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - 74
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - Cover3
Blue Ridge Country - September/October 2018 - Cover4
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