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Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Cool mountain adventures

Posted July 6, 2010 9:28 a.m. EDT
Updated July 6, 2010 9:39 a.m. EDT

We'll spend the rest of this week talking about cool mountain adventures. We'll beat the heat by heading west.

My first recommendation is Roan Mountain 6,200 feet up in Mitchell County. You may be a little late for the spectacular rhododendron display but you will love the trails and panoramic views. There's a great state park on the Tennessee side of Roan Mountain or you can find a nice bed & breakfast in Bakersville on the NC side.

While you're on your Roan trip be sure to check out Jack Dellinger's historic gristmill along Cane Creek near Bakersville. Jack is my mountain cousin with a wonderful personality and wealth of stories. He restored a mill that has been in the Dellinger family for more than 150 years. Jack grinds the best cornmeal and grits this side of heaven. You may have seen Tar Heel Traveler Scott Mason’s story about Jack who restored the mill after helping put man on the moon as an engineer. The Carolina Photojournalism Workshop also featured Jack in a recent essay. Links are included.

The third prong of this mountain jewel of a trip is Bill Carson at Little Switzerland. Bill runs The Orchard at Altapass along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Be sure to take a hayride and listen to Bill's fabulous stories about mountain life. Bill was part of our recent special on the 75th anniversary of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

What else would you recommend for this journey to the Roan Mountain area?

Tomorrow we will head to Grandfather Mountain for some cool and colorful fun.