Category Archives: Western North Carolina
My family loves games and puzzles and are always up for an escape room adventure. This week, we tried Boone’s first escape room – Mysterium, and were not disappointed.
The Boone property is a completely local, original venture; not part of a franchise like so many others. Owner-creator Shaun has done a masterful job. His video, recordings, clues, and special effects are top-notch. The hour was packed with lots of interesting special effects – really the most we’ve ever experienced. Of course, I’m not going to give any hints, but don’t be daunted if you have to ask for help and get a few extra clues along the way. You are connected to the outside by walkie-talkie and can ask for assistance at any time.
The theme of the room was “The Inheritance” and we were looking for the fortune left by mischievous adventurer/explorer Uncle Ambrose. The room is not large and play is limited to no more than six participants at a time. Our team of four joined the mother-son duo Vicky and Andy (pictured above, on the left) for this quest.
Shaun is currently creating his next room and we can’t wait.
We did escape, with 8 seconds to spare.
828.865.0009 * 743 W King St. * $25 per adult; $15 students with ID * Must be 12 and, if under 18 with an adult.
For years I’d heard mention of a nearby spot where kids loved to swim and dive – this is it. Locally known as Trash Can Falls, it’s officially Laurel Creek Falls. The falls aren’t the star of the show here, it’s the hidden setting and opportunity to jump and play. We just enjoyed watching.
Students from nearby Appalachian State University mingle with local kids to scramble around the boulders and test the waters with jumps ranging from heights of 10-30 feet. The unmarked setting gives the spot a hidden waterhole atmosphere and you can just imagine Huck Finn stopping off for a swim. The river is a beautiful spot and we thought one smart couple had a great idea to hang their hammock between the trees along the shady bank.
Someone, likely unofficial, has placed a metal grate between the rocks to facilitate movement over a chasm.
One local student told me it was called Trash Can Falls because of its cylindrical shape, but further research explains that in years past a former recycle/dumpster site (called a “Convenience Center” in North Carolina), used to be the landmark for the trailhead. Today it’s hard to find.
From Boone, NC, head towards Tennessee on Hwy 421 and hang a left on Highway 321. After a few miles, just past a concrete bridge, you will see a small gravel parking area on your right (a sign for Laurel Creek Road is on your left). Park here, cross the street and enter the woods. In just minutes you’re there.
Our friend in Asheville thought we would enjoy the LaZoom City Comedy Tour and she was right on point.
The 90-minute open-air bus tour winds its way through charming Asheville and manages to impart quite a bit of local flavor and history between the funny, corny, and sometimes bawdy, commentary.
This is a great city – chock full of unique locally owned shops and restaurants (over 90%) and more craft breweries than anywhere else in the country. You can bet the breweries are mentioned during this tour, which allows consumption of wine and/or beer while on board, and includes a rest stop at the Green Man Brewery.
Two facts that made an impression:
- despite the ghost stories, no one died during the Civil War’s Battle of Asheville, and
- last month Asheville’s nationally renowned Wicked Weed Brewing company sold out to Anheuser-Busch. We hope it’s not the start of a trend.
Check out their website for times, fees and other tour options: http://www.lazoomtours.com/
A short, but rigorous hike will reward you with views of the lovely Crab Orchard Falls. Even in this very dry summer, the sound of the water rushing over the rocks is powerful. The falls are extensive and have many levels, but from what I have read, have never been officially measured. Visitors park at the Valle Crucis Episcopal Church, in the upper parking lot. It is well-marked where you should and shouldn’t park and signs will direct you to the trail leading to the Falls.
The 1/2 mile hike takes you up 500′ to an elevation of 3,110′. Benches are conventionality placed every 1/10 of a mile to take any needed breaks. After reaching the top elevation, you will head down towards a network of boardwalks leading to the falls. The boardwalks are not in the best condition and it seems some restoration work may be underway. In general, use caution due to lose rocks, prolific tree roots and the potentially slippery wood walkway. It’s worth the trip.
The August issue of Pinecrest Lifestyle Magazine is hot off the presses and I’m pleased to share my article about the thriving Rivers Arts District in Asheville, NC.
Click this link for the full article. Pinecrest Mag.Paint the Town.August2016