Enjoy this brief introduction to some of the many activities available to residents of the High Country. It includes skiing and ice skating.
Each year around this time I watch as the last leaves of fall gently descend to the ground, and while many see this yearly event as a time to move south, I know this rite of passage signals the coming of The High Country’s winter wonderland. As the temperature starts to fall and the air offers the crispness of the season, I eagerly anticipate the first falling snow. As white flakes blanket the ground and the mountain’s glow with winter’s light, there is so much to see and do here in the mountains of North Carolina.
One of the many benefits of living in the High Country during this time of year is being able to spend the holidays reconnecting with your family, admiring the beauty of the mountains, and creating lasting memories. And speaking of family memories, this is the perfect time of year to collect the whole family, a thermos full of hot chocolate, and visit one of the many tree farms in our spectacular area. The whole family will enjoy choosing that perfect tree and then taking their turn cutting it down so that you can bring it home and fill that special space with holiday joy.
And with snow comes skiing, snowboarding, and sledding. With so many ski resorts to choose from, it doesn’t matter if you are a seasoned professional or a beginner just trying to figure out how your snowboard gets attached, you will have no trouble finding a mountain, or hill that fits your quest for excitement. I should warn you, the High Country has become so well known for its excellent resorts that you may find your friends and relatives showing up on your doorstep with their skis and snowboards in hand.
Now that the change of season is upon us, there has never been a better time to decide to stop hibernating for the winter, and choose to get outside with the family, enjoy all the fun and excitement that winter brings, and live life to the fullest all year round. I believe there is no better place to live than the mountains of North Carolina, because winter is here and This… is High Country.
Now in its 24th year, the symphony at Chetola in Blowing Rock is always one of the High Country’s most anticipated events, and this year was no exception. As the beautiful lake on the grounds of the Chetola Resort mirrored the extraordinary setting, people from all areas of the High Country filled the park, finding just the right spot to place their blankets and chairs in anticipation of the night’s events.
Many people strolled by the tents surrounding the lawn, where the creativity of the High Country was on display, as many compete for the top prize of best decorated tent. While others placed the contents of their picnic baskets on their blankets for easy access. This year, hot air balloon rides offered an additional beauty, as the colorful balloon gently lifted above the earth and just as softly returned again.
The evening’s festivities began as all rose to their feet for the Star Spangled Banner, and with each new arrangement the symphony played, the cool summer breezes of the mountains and the colors of the sunset seemed to allow each note, to gradually take its place in the night, and then slowly
dissolve, making room for the next.
As darkness filled the night, the symphony began to play its last arrangement, John Philip Sousa’s, Stars and Stripes Forever. As music filled the air, the night sky lit up with bursts of color in an amazing
fireworks display, one burst more exciting then the next. As the night closed, and the last note was gone, I believe all in attendance left with a sense of pride, knowing how lucky we are to live in a community where
uncommon beauty and cultural events are a consistent element, and the friendly faces of our neighbors are a reminder of what makes our community a place where many want to be. This…is High Country.
Average Summer High Temperature:
Highest Temperature Recorded by
The National Weather Service on Grand Father Mountain:
83 Degrees in August
Average Temperature Differential Between
Asheville, N.C. and Boone, N.C.
10 Degrees Lower
Highest Point in Watauga County
Grand Father Mountain 5920 Feet
Highest Point in Avery County
Carvers Gap 6160 Feet
Approximate Population of Avery County
Approximate Population of Watauga County