Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Weekend Wanderer

Posted August 28, 2009

The Weekend Wanderer is burning up the back roads of North Carolina again looking for unique adventures. What new jewel will be found? Well, please add to the treasure trove of Tar Heel fun by disclosing what you and your family are planning this weekend. If you need some inspiration check out our Out & About section.

I’m scheduled to go on a fishing trip with some family members. It’s good to hear of Danny’s disarray off the coast. Maybe we’ll be able to at least do some sound fishing.

If I weren’t headed east I’d probably go west to Grandfather Mountain. I’m intrigued by an article in Lew Powell’s book On This Day in North Carolina. Tomorrow marks the 215th anniversary of botanist Andre Michaux’s climb to the top of Grandfather Mountain following a four day hike. This is what Michaux wrote in 1794: “I reached the summit of the highest mountain in all of North America.”

Grandfather Mountain is a grand spectacle but at 5,964 feet it is certainly not the tallest peak in North America and not even North Carolina. Mount Mitchell in Yancey County is the tallest peak in eastern America at 6,684 feet.

Michaux is credited with finding dozens of new plants at Grandfather Mountain and other peaks in the Blue Ridge. But what was he really up to? He was looking for new species of trees for his native France. The French forests had been depleted and the country needed lumber to build warships. That was a big part of his mission to North Carolina 215 years ago.

What are you doing this weekend?  Are you looking for lumber or just a lazy stroll?


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  • donnaaa Aug 28, 2009

    We were going to see a special showing of Bela Fleck's new film "Throw Down Your Heart" at Old Salem in Winston-Salem on Saturday. celebrates the origin of the banjo in Africa and Bela's collaboration with African artists of today. Unfortunately, in the last month, my husband and myself have been waylaid by surgeries and we are leaning on my 16 year old son to drive us around. I guess we will stay in the country here in Elkin again this weekend. But, perhaps tomorrow we can walk downtown to our "fourth Friday" event. There will be a young band and good neighbors. We will have to wait for Merlefest next April to see Bela again. I must say however, that RG's banjo playing is crystal clear, filed to a crisp, sharp hear-every-note finger roll since we have been cooped up in the house. I may even be able to play the banjo myself by the time this neck brace comes off me. If you can't go anywhere in NC, you can always go home in NC.

  • enjoytheride2011 Aug 28, 2009

    This weekend is jam packed for me. We were supposed to play at the Clayton football game tonight but it was canceld and rescheduled for tomorrow at 7. We have band camp from 9-5 in the morning. On Sunday we are having a huge worship servce at CCUMC to outreach to the community from 7-9. Other than all that, I have to do homework and clean the house.

  • thinknc Aug 28, 2009

    Dillsboro......the best pecan praline fudge ever. Not this weekend, though.

  • bleslie Aug 28, 2009

    Thanks lynneslaughter & LMRA - Both of you always have such interesting things to say. I am very happy you're both regulars on this blog.

  • LMRA Aug 28, 2009

    Nothing much for me. If it rains on Sunday, I'll be staying in and scanning old family slides. I'd like to make a nice dvd for my Dad's birthday. A few old pictures, a little music in the background . . . I think he'll love it and it's fun for me too! When we were kids, we always begged my father to "show us slides" back in the day before all the gadgets we have now.

  • lynneslaughter Aug 28, 2009

    If I didn't have to work this weekend, I would love to go up on the parkway. I always find new trails to walk, stores to peruse, and good eats at local stops. Love that little resturant in Dillsboro. They have a specialty dish of brunswick stew over rice. And at least 7 different sauces for your roast pork or chicken.

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