Archive for March, 2010

Canoe the New

Saturday, March 20th, 2010

Spring seems to be here, at last. It conjures the image of folks drifting down the New River in canoes, hands lazily dangling in the cold, clear water. It is easy to picture yourself sitting comfortably around a fire at our Blue Ridge Mountains cabins, tired after a day on the river.

The New River’s North and South Forks gently meander 100 + miles through a wonderland of dense woods and pastoral valleys, until they join just south of the Virginia border. The South Fork is generally a forgiving river; it tends to be shallow, and it’s rapids are most exciting for the faint of heart. In short, it is an ideal place to canoe no matter your age – toddlers, parents and grandparents will all feel at ease once settled in a secure canoe.

New River Outfitters opens for the season in April. It isn’t too early to start planning for a trip, for advance reservations of at least two days are required. You design the canoe trip you want; it can be as brief as two hours, or as long as several days. You can float down river, or paddle up river. Many folks opt to float for a while, stop for lunch, and float a while longer. Bring your own lunch, or purchase it at the General Store at New River Outfitters.

Time spent on the New River is always time well spent. True, it may be too cool yet to jump in the river, or float in a tube. It is also unlikely to be uncomfortably hot. In the event excessive rain or snow creates dangerous conditions on the water, New River Outfitters will schedule rainchecks.

Plan to spend some time this spring at our Blue Ridge Mountains vacation cabins. Ride your bike, take a hike, or paddle the New River. Bring the whole family, or plan a romantic retreat. Either way, you’ll be happy you did.

Blue Ridge Wine and Food Festival

Friday, March 12th, 2010

April 15, 2010, kicks-off of the Blue Ridge Wine and Food Festival. The “Uncork the Festival” opening night party is just the first of many fun events that will involve great foods and outstanding wines. The festival takes place in and around Blowing Rock, about an hour southwest of our Blue Ridge Mountains lodging.

Hope to see you at the 2010 Wine and Food Festival

Hope to see you at the 2010 Wine and Food Festival

Friday, April 16th, will be a day full of wine tastings, wine seminars and cooking classes. Learn about pairing wine with spicy foods, chocolate and cheese. Learn the basics with Wine Tasting 101, or delve into Bordeaux wines. All seminars and classes are relaxed, with the hope that they will be as enjoyable as they are educational.

Taste wines from North Carolina, the greater region and the whole world at the Grand Wine Tasting on Saturday, April 17th. You may also watch the Fire on the Rock Chef Challenge on Saturday and Sunday, as chefs take the stage and do battle with their finest creations. Taste what they make, and you can help decide who’ll be the victor.

They’ll be live music throughout the event, and art shows. Blowing Rock takes on a festive air for this festival, so it is a fun time to browse the shops and explore the town.

Close to 20 wineries are expected to participate. This is a great opportunity to sample a wide variety of regional wines all in one place. You’ll probably want to pick up several bottles to bring back to your Blue Ridge cabins, where you can enjoy them at your leisure.

Art in West Jefferson

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

West Jefferson is a charming town just 20 minutes northeast of our cabins Blue Ridge Parkway. A trip to the R.T. Morgan Art Gallery is a lovely way to spend an afternoon.

Sculpture by R.T. Morgan

Sculpture by R.T. Morgan

The gallery is open Monday through Saturday, from 10 am to 5 pm. R.T. Morgan has devoted most of his life to the creation of one and two dimensional art. Camille Morgan is a glass artist who stretches the boundaries of what can be done with glass. Their gallery is full of their own work and that of artists from around the country, some of whom are internationally recognized.

Visit the R.T. Morgan Art Gallery in the heart of downtown West Jefferson, where you’ll find several good restaurants and many nice shops. It makes a great outing from our NC vacation cabins.