We're going to beat the heat by blogging about the mountains this week. My first question for WRAL meteorologist Elizabeth Gardner this morning was: "What North Carolina county has the coolest average temperature?" The answer is Avery County named for one of my ancestors. Waightstill Avery of Morganton was a key colonel in the Revolutionary War, a brilliant attorney and North Carolina's first attorney general. Today Avery County calls itself the "Balcony of the Blue Ridge." Kinda catchy isn't it? And it is hard to argue when you realize that Avery County has the highest elevation of any county in the eastern US. And at 3,621 feet Newland is the highest county seat east of the Mississippi. Did you know that temperatures in Avery County are ten degrees cooler on average than those in Asheville? Here's another bit of trivia. Did you know that Avery was the 100th and last county formed in North Carolina? Avery was formed from parts of Caldwell, Watauga and Mitchell counties. I love Avery County. If I golfed I'd love it even more. Today I'd like to be hiking the trails at Grandfather Mountain and cooling off later at Linville Falls. You can "chill" in Avery County just about anytime of the year. Tomorrow - memories of Brown Mountain Beach!