Approaching the Emerald City


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North America » United States » North Carolina » Tryon
April 12th 2011
Published: January 26th 2012
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Pine Crest InnPine Crest InnPine Crest Inn

Grounds of the Pine Crest Inn in Tryon NC
Today was another day to catch up on things and deal with errands.

The highlight, believe it or not, was a haircut.

My stylist was a recent Charlotte transplant from New Jersey.

We spent an enjoyable half hour comparing notes about the strange ways of the South.

McDonalds sells sweet ice tea to go in gallon jugs!



After the errands, it was time to start the next part of my trip, by heading west.

I had a long drive to Tennessee the next day, and doing some today made it easier.

The highway for the most part passed through rolling hills.

Along the way I had an experience that my guidebook author (a North Carolina native) described as the coming of Oz.

For an hour plus, the scenery looks exactly the same.

Then, in the distance, a row of mountains rises above the horizon.

They are the North Carolina Blue Ridge, the highest mountains east of the Mississippi River.

One sees them long before reaching them.

As the highway continues to roll over hills, the view disappears and reappears, growing ever closer.

Eventually, real foothills appear, in my case Grandfather Mountain.

Classic southern porchClassic southern porchClassic southern porch

Sit down and stay a while at the Pine Crest Inn


The rest of the drive was a series of roads through narrow valleys.

They are all incredibly pretty, marred only by the kudzu vines over everything (including telephone poles) and occasional city sprawl.

I eventually reached Tryon, an old resort town next to a railroad track.

The streets around here are narrow and hilly, and have many houses.

It’s very clear that this area doesn’t get much snow in winter, because people who have to drive on ice regularly would never design roads like this.



I spent the night at the Pine Crest Inn.

A number of resorts were built in town when the railroad first arrived, and this is the only one still in operation.

The buildings are made of old wood, and surrounded by trees and beds of flowers.

The resort is surrounded by suburban houses, but I couldn’t tell inside the landscaping.

I found it all pretty and peaceful.


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Pine Crest Inn GroundsPine Crest Inn Grounds
Pine Crest Inn Grounds

Flowering trees everywhere
Pine Crest Inn flowersPine Crest Inn flowers
Pine Crest Inn flowers

Flowers in bloom everywhere
Pine Crest dining roomPine Crest dining room
Pine Crest dining room

Historic eatery for breakfast


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