Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Weekend Getaway: Sparta

Posted November 24, 2006

Our Weekend Getaway takes us to Sparta for a Leslie family tradition. We drive to the mountains every Thanksgiving weekend and pick out our Christmas tree from a choose and cut lot. It is obviously a tradition of hundreds of other families as well. We run into a lot of folks from the Triangle and Triad as we peruse the fields of evergreen in Allegheny County. It's not a bad drive. Only about three hours. We'll stay in our little cottage in Glade Valley overlooking the beautiful Devotions property including the Mitchell River. I guess we could cut a tree on our property. But our Colorado or blue spruce needles are a little too sharp and stiff. We prefer the Fraser Fir with its soft and flexible needles. Choose and cut lots dot the landscape up here. Alleghany joins Ashe and Avery as the most productive Christmas tree growing counties in the state. North Carolina has 1600 Christmas tree growers who generate 50 million Fraser Firs on 25,000 acres. The Fraser Firs make up more than 90% of all Christmas trees grown in the Tar Heel State. After we pick our tree probably on a lot near Camp Cheerio we will take Highway 21 into Sparta for lunch at the Little River Grill. Please share your Christmas tree harvesting experiences. That reminds me. I need to pack the bungee cords. I don't want those two trees I purchase and place on the top of my car to become missiles. Say "Hey" if we run into each other this weekend.

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Bill Leslie