"Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed."

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Crossnore, Blowing Rock, & Valle Crucis with My Mom

The other day I wrote about a trip my mom and I took to the North Carolina coast last month. Well, this weekend we took another overnight trip, but this time we headed west.  Andrew and I had hoped to go to the mountains or beach this weekend. He wanted to possibly take his bike, but we got a lot of rain last week and with his work, the trip just wasn't happening for him.  I still wanted to go somewhere, and Mama mentioned that she'd tag along with me if I wanted company. So Friday morning she met me at my house, and we left Graham around ten.  (click pics to enlarge)

On the Crossnore School campus

Last year she read a book, Miracle in the Hills, about a husband and wife - a couple of medical doctors - from the middle of North Carolina who went to the mountains to care for those folks. We're talking about a hundred years ago. You can read a bit about Dr. Mary T. Martin Sloop here if you are curious. 

From that link:

Eustace Sloop devoted the bulk of his time to the medical needs of the mountain people, providing most with the first health care they had ever received. His efforts later led to the establishment of the Crossnore Hospital, which was for a long time the only medical facility serving a four-county area. Mary Sloop responded more to the dearth of educational opportunities in the region and undertook what became a forty-year crusade to offer adequate schooling for mountain children. She was particularly appalled at the number of child brides, who married and became mothers in their early teens, and worked vigorously to provide them with what she saw as the only preventative for such early marriages, a high school education. From contributions across the country she organized the collection and sale of great quantities of used clothing. The proceeds from that effort, along with financial assistance from the Daughters of the American Revolution, supplied the funds to establish and then to expand the Crossnore School. During the 1920s and 1930s a one-room schoolhouse in use for only four and a half months a year grew into a complex of twenty buildings and over 250 acres; it provided a nine-month, eleven-grade education by trained teachers, with special emphasis on home economics, vocational training, and Bible study. As a boarding school for orphans and other mountain children who lived too far from a good school, the Crossnore School came to be largely self-supportive through an adjoining working farm and through a weaving program for the students. Under Mary Sloop's guidance, the weaving sequence revived what had almost become a lost art among mountain craftsmen.

In addition to her efforts in getting a state law raising the compulsory age for school attendance to sixteen, Mrs. Sloop pressured the legislature and the governor to provide paved roads, modern agricultural assistance and training, and more effective law enforcement against moonshiners for Avery and adjoining counties.

The Crossnore School campus is very neat and pretty

So my mom read that book which she found in our local library, and passed it along to me.  I remember us talking about it, and last year Andrew and I decided to find Crossnore on one of our weekend mountain trips.  I'm glad this year I had the chance to show it to my mom.  Granted, the area has changed a bit from how it sounded in the book.  

The chapel on campus is part of The Fresco Trail which everyone is invited to see.  We photographed this in Sloop chapel.

"Suffer the little children to come unto me and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God."

After we left Crossnore, we traveled several miles on the Blue Ridge Parkway which tends to be lovely no matter the season.  I was tired of driving and wanted to just park the car and walk so we headed to Blowing Rock where we stayed for the next two hours or so.  I showed Mama some of my favorite places in the downtown area (taking pictures along the way), and then we split up for awhile.  We walked, browsed, shopped, snacked, sat, people watched, read - whatever.

The park overlooking the main street
I always love seeing the flowers there.  This early in the year seemed to be tulip season.

I took several more photos of which I will spare you, but we had a lovely afternoon in that area.

The next morning we left our hotel and were at the Valle Crucis Community Park by 9:30.  It was peaceful - the sun was shining, the water rushing over the rapids, several people were in the water fishing - one guy was looking for gems-, the frogs were ribbeting, the birds chirping, the flowering trees just looking pretty.  We walked, talked, admired, read, looked, listened, posed for pictures for about two hours before moving on just up the road to the original Mast General Store.

Notice the fisherman in the river

You can see the walking track and the river from this angle
This (Watauga River) isn't a very deep river at least along this stretch. I've stood in it a few times in past years, and it was about mid-shin on me, and didn't look that much deeper further out.  But I noticed a lady fishing in the water, and it was over her knees.  A fisherman told me it was about twice as high as normal due to a lot of rain lately.

Nice bird houses

We liked the stone chimney

a bucket of colorful flowers

Next we went to the annex to buy some old-fashioned candy, and then to the original Mast General Store (from 1883, I believe.)

front of the Mast General Store

We looked around a bit to see if there were things we wanted to buy before leaving, then I went out to do a bit more walking and photographing while Mama enjoyed the quartet singing and playing instruments on the back porch.

music on the left; Mama in blue shirt (right)

This was the sight from where I parked

preparing to leave

We stopped in Boone for a late lunch, and then went back to Blowing Rock for a quick walk around the small pond/fountain area before leaving for home.  We arrived back at my house a little before six on Saturday evening.  We had a wonderful time!


Niki said...

Beautiful pictures. I'm glad y'all had a nice day in the mountains. Love your shirt. :-)

jaraad said...

What a lovely post and pictures. Thanks for sharing these beautiful moments in your life.

Susanne said...

Thanks, Niki! I wore it in Southport, but it was chillier so I had it covered with a sweatshirt. ;)

Malik, thanks for your comment :)