Day 6 – From Woodfin, NC to Boone, NC (population 17189) and Beyond; Miles: 318; Steps* (B) 13,444; (R) 11,003
* We’re committed to exercising while on the road. Look who won today. Just sayin’…
We had a great walk yesterday morning on an awesome trail along Beaver Lake, which we discovered near where we stayed last night.
Aside from getting some great exercise in a beautiful park-like setting, we saw some memorable scenes, including a beautiful bird sanctuary and a dad teaching his little girl how to fish.
We said “goodbye” to Woodfin, NC and the Asheville region and headed out to discover today’s first destination: the Town of Boone, NC. Boone is nestled in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina. It’s named for famous American pioneer and explorer Daniel Boone, and every summer since 1952 has hosted an outdoor amphitheater portrayal of the life and times of its namesake.
The drive to this college town and artist community took us on some extraordinary back roads and gave us some amazing “rural America” views. Took us about 3 hours to get to Boone, which is home to Appalachian State University. Our route to Boone’s historic downtown took us right through the middle of ASU’s campus. We were surprised at how big it was (has a huge football stadium) for such a small community.
We parked and walked along Boone’s main street (King Street). It had lots of shops, public art, galleries specializing in pottery and glass and eateries. Hmm…”eateries”.
This may come as a shock but once again we were a little hungry, so we decided to have a mid afternoon “snack”. We randomly chose Our Daily Bread Café and what a wonderful choice!
The place was hoppin’, even though it was 2:30. Rorie ordered a bowl of homemade vegetable chili, loaded with fresh from the farm everything. Bart ordered the smoky white bean and ham soup. Lord have mercy, this stuff tasted so good. The Cafe makes it owns breads and desserts. Here’s a picture of what The Discover Small Town America Tour’s “Sugar Mama” was drooling over but decided to forgo.
Reenergized, we continued our tour of the downtown area. “Met” Doc Watson, a world famous blue grass and country musician (guitarist, banjo and fiddle player, songwriter and singer).
Doc’s sculpture is located on the corner of King and Depot streets. He’s another of the Town’s favorite sons. The statue was the brainchild of a well-known local merchant who said at its 2009 dedication “Doc Watson got his start in downtown Boone as a blind musician.” Doc was said to be modest and very humble. He reluctantly agreed to having his statue commissioned and displayed, but with one condition. The inscription on the statue’s plaque must read “Doc Watson – just one of the people.”
Coincidentally, a music festival honoring Doc Watson was scheduled for tonight on the grounds of the Jones House, a historic downtown mansion (now community center) donated to the town by one of its residents.
We walked back to the public parking lot where our car was located, NOT worried about having gotten a parking ticket even though our time on the meter had expired. Boone’s warm hospitality extends to its parking lots. If you do get a parking ticket, but have a receipt from a local merchant, all you have to do is bring the ticket back to the store/restaurant and they “validate” it. How neighborly is that!
We left Boone for the second and last stop of the day – Morrisville (population 19,185). The town is near Durham, where our daughter Sara lives. Had a very cool experience as we headed toward the Durham area. One of your “blog mates” saw us and the Discover Small Town America “Tour-mobile” on the road, and posted a note on this blog saying “Just saw you guys on I-40 E in North Carolina. Enjoy your adventure!”
We had a wonderful, though short visit with Sara, who treated Rorie to an early birthday dinner at the Baby Moon Café. And in case you think Rorie made it through the entire day without anything sweet, ask her about the large Milky Way candy bar she inhaled after dinner!
Next stop? Stay tuned…