A Fun Visit With Friends in North Carolina!
by Rachelle Siegrist
We began our 3-day adventure early this past Tuesday, while heading over to Brevard, NC with friends Fred and Barb. It was one of those beautiful storybook days weather-wise, as we made our way along the winding road leading through the Great Smoky Mountains, while enjoying numerous gorgeous vistas along the drive. After leaving the park, we headed up along the Blue Ridge Parkway, and soon found the perfect picnic spot.
Perched atop the edge of the tallest mountain around, we felt as if we were on top of the world while we ate! It was only 60 degrees in the sun, and the breeze blowing made if feel even colder. Needless to say, I was most delighted I had brought along my black hooded sweater! We were serenaded by the melodious song of a Winter Wren as we ate, while watching hawks flying over. The next highlight of the drive was located at the end of a short walk from the road, known as the Twin Falls.
Two beautiful waterfalls, the French Broad Falls to the left and Shoal Creek Falls nearest the old building. We spent a short time enjoying the view of sound of the picturesque falls while taking photographs for future miniature paintings!
Soon afterwards, we arrived at our dear friend Don’s lovely home in Brevard, NC, where we were met by a big smile and hugs! The group enjoyed relaxing while catching up on the latest happenings, before heading out for supper that evening. Of course the most thrilling part of the evening was riding in Don’s brand new Tesla, and getting to watch it drive itself! It was quite freaky watching the car turn on it’s headlights and interior lights, fold it’s side mirrors in and starting backing up on its own. With the wheel turning, and no one in the drivers seat, it appeared as if the invisible man was stealing the car before our very eyes! The other great thing about the Tesla is that it goes from 0-60 mph in mere seconds, while pressing you against the seat, making it feel impossible to move temporarily! I personally found it most thrilling, asking Don to “Please do it again!” and was most impressed it’s actually run by bunch of rechargeable AA batteries!
Each morning at Don’s started while enjoying Wes’ delicious pancakes and Don’s yummy coffee in what Don calls the tree house, a glass back porch surrounded by lush trees and native shrubs.
I always love walking the nearby trail, which follows alongside a stream, showcasing several nice cascades and waterfalls along the way. You enter the trail while walking through a tunnel of thick Rhododendrons, giving the illusion that you are indeed entering an enchanted forest!
One of the loveliest sights along the trail, is this waterfall, and although not really big, it’s so beautiful and most peaceful to watch and listen to for awhile.
There are several other beautiful tranquil spots along the narrow winding trail leading through the dense forest, and I found several brightly colored fungi while strolling along, finding this large yellow one especially lovely!
Upon my return, we spent most of the day walking around downtown Brevard, visiting a few of the interesting shops located there, and enjoying lunch at Big Mike’s Pizza. Of course no visit to the downtown area is complete without browsing the Ace Hardware store, housed in one of the historical buildings, with old wood floors that creak as you walk the long narrow isles, lined with stuff from floor to ceiling! That evening was our big night out, while celebrating Don’s birthday, and we did so while enjoying a delicious dinner at Square Root!
The next morning it was time to say our goodbyes to Don, and start the journey home. We decided to make the most of another gloriously beautiful day, while driving through Pisgah National Forest, stopping along the way, to see Looking Glass Falls. I was thrilled to be there at just the perfect moment, when the sun peaked over the rock cliff behind the falls, it’s rays streaming down, illuminating sections of the area below! “Sweet” I thought to myself as I snapped photos, knowing it was the beginnings of yet another wonderful miniature painting!
~ Recently Off the Easels ~
An American hero was Wes’ recent miniature portrait commission. A P-47 pilot from WWII. Wes said it was really tough figuring out what was what in the B/W reference and capturing a likeness in the tiny face from the low res photo, but that it’s always fun to do something totally different! Meanwhile I’m painting an adorable dog in miniature, which I’ll be excited to share with you next post, upon finishing it this coming week.
Until next time . . .