Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

The Quirky Traveler

Posted June 11, 2008

Are you doing anything unusual for vacation this summer? It’s easy to get into a rut. I’ve been thinking about some quirky vacation ideas. Here goes.

Let’s begin with the National Hollerin’ Contest at Spivey’s Corner. The competition has been raging for 40 years and the latest action resumes June 21st. Talk about culturally unique! This down home event may take the cake.

Avoid the body bake on the beach and go kayaking the next time you head to the Outer Banks. Check out the water in the maritime forests north of Kitty Hawk. It is a wonderful relaxing adventure.

Lucama is loaded with quirky things. Check out Vollis Simpson’s incredible collection of whirligigs. When the wind blows you will be treated to a colorful cacophony of country art and ingenuity.

The mountains are a cool magnet this time of year. Let’s plan a trip to see all of the Blue Ridge Frescoes. The large luminous wall paintings by Ben Long can be found at churches in Glendale Springs and W. Jefferson and also in a Montreat chapel as well as Morganton, Crossnore and Wilkesboro.

While out west I think I’ll revisit NC’s only cheese factory at W. Jefferson. They have a saying there: “A dinner without cheese is like a kiss without a squeeze.” I like that.

I also want to check out the fabulous new outdoor drama at Crossnore near Morganton. “Miracle on the Mountain” chronicles the courageous story of Eustace and Mary Sloop who rescued children from poverty by building a boarding school, hospital and dental clinic.  The show dates are July 22-27.

Those are my suggestions for The Quirky Traveler. What are your recommendations?


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  • racinjunki Jun 16, 2008

    We have been thinking about going back to Little Switzerland and doing some more emerald mining, but when you said cheese factory in West Jefferson, my mouth started watering for a bag of cheese curds. Might change our minds now.

  • bleslie Jun 12, 2008

    Forgive me for not keeping up with your comments yesterday. I would be honored to travel with any of you across the state. You make great company already. Now if I can just figure a way to pull this thing off!

  • shutterbug Jun 11, 2008

    One correction to wmbrantlhy's post; Aycock Birthplace is in Wayne County.

  • Riverracer8 Jun 11, 2008

    If I might add a comment about where NOT to go this weekend - the smoke from the Hyde County fire is really bad in eastern NC, and visibility is not good. This is not the best place to travel this weekend. Please keep the firefighters in your prayers. Conditions are horrible with the heat, smoke, and the legendary mosquitoes. If you feel moved to help, they could use bottled water, bug spray, alcohol wipes, sunscreen...just about anything would help. This fire is here for the long haul and it will be a long time before conditions improve.

  • thefensk Jun 11, 2008

    Sorry, Bill, I guess I started something here. The title for this blog entry would be a good title too ...

    The Quirky Traveler. A

    ctually management should jump at the chance to merge their GOLO medium into the broadcast medium.

  • fishnett5977 Jun 11, 2008

    thank ya mdoodle! Might have to start us a email campaign to get this off the ground!!! I wouldnt care where I would get to go, the main thing would be GOING!!!

  • blytle Jun 11, 2008

    fishnett: you've got a great idea. Come on, Bill. Sell it!!!

  • fishnett5977 Jun 11, 2008

    thefensk - I think that Bill, should he get his assignment - "Murphy to Manteo on 64" then he should get each one of us "regulars" and take us with him!!! We could each take a day or two or a week!!!lol I'm a roly poly too and I think that the folks I have met on here would be a GREAT addition to his report!!! Each of us would know something about the places we'll go and we would all learn things that we didn't know! Never been a reporter, but would love to try!!! ;)
    How bout it Bill, reckon we could talk the producers at WRAL to give it a try??? Might start a new trend in broadcasting!!! :)

  • thefensk Jun 11, 2008

    Fishnett, on the shuttle launch: it is an awesome thing. I saw the very first launch of Columbia.

    Bill ... if they ever go for it and you need a roly-poly comic relief sidekick, let me know.

  • MaplesMom Jun 11, 2008

    Bill- I'd love to see that story play out! I am all about the open highway. My parents are road trip people, so all of my childhood vacations happened in a winnebago. I got on my very first plane last year to fly to PA for a funeral since I decided too late and missed my parents jounrey by car. 64 is a beautiful drive, especially in the fall!!!




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Bill Leslie