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Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Montreat: Soulful Destination

Posted April 12, 2006

I made a horrible mistake eight years ago. I sold a small but beautiful lot at Montreat near Billy Graham's home in Buncombe County. My family had purchased the property a few years earlier with hopes of building a small mountain cottage. But Montreat is four hours away from Raleigh and Alleghany County is only three hours. We found a gorgeous perch off the Blue Ridge Parkway in Alleghany County near Sparta so we gave up Montreat. It took all of 10 minutes to sell the Montreat property for my full asking price! Last year a bus driver decided to build a full fledged race track for riding lawn mowers on his mother-in-law's pasture just one quarter mile from my cottage and 50 other homes in Alleghany County. The thunder from that track was unbearable last summer. Homeowners sued. We won an preliminary injunction but now the case goes to court on April 24. Pray for us! If this isn't a nuisance nothing is. If I had kept that property in Montreat I wouldn't have to worry about lawn mower race tracks. There is no commercial development here and no one would dream of disturbing a neighbor with excessive noise. Montreat is a beautiful cove at the foot of Graybeard Mountain. No matter where you are you almost always can hear the sound of water. The land is teeming with lakes and streams. And I love summer storms in Montreat during the late afternoon with steam rising from the pavement of the narrow and winding roads and the sizzle of tires. You will love the thirteen hiking trails and breathtaking views. Montreat is a Presbyterian retreat center and college town but anyone of any faith is welcome here. You will enjoy scholarly discussions with neighbors. You will also appreciate the lack of traffic lights and hustle and bustle. Montreat is another one of my Soulful Destinations. What about you and your experiences?
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