Blogs from West Jefferson, North Carolina, United States, North America


It’s been a while since our last vacation, but two weeks ago, my family and I had to get away. Between the sweltering sun and the molasses-slow days, it seemed we would melt if we stayed put any longer. Plus, the community swimming hole was becoming over-crowded, too expensive and a precursor to red cheeks and sore shoulders. So, my husband and I decided to pack up the kids and head up to the mountains! An avid camper and an Eagle Scout, he loved the idea of setting up a little camp stove and telling ghost stories under the stars. Me? I just wanted to breathe in the fresh, chilled mountain air and escape for a little bit. I didn’t grow up camping, but my parents did, as did their parents. This love of exploring has ... read more
One of the churches with frescoes
Molly Chomper Cidery
Mount Jefferson State Park

When my husband and I were first married, one of our first major purchases was a renovated and restored Volkswagen Vanagon Bus. When he was younger, my husband’s family had a similar bus, though theirs was an older model. We found this one at a specialty VW shop in nearby Greensboro, NC and we bought it on the spot. Since then, we have had many adventures in this vehicle, chief among them camping with our family. We took the van onto some family property in the country as newlyweds and hiked and camped there. Then, when we had our first child, we took her to a nearby camping site at Hagan Stone Park in Pleasant Garden, NC. However, we had yet to attend the High Country Bus Festival in West Jefferson, NC. We heard about the ... read more
Our Restored VW Vanagon
Patriotic VW Van
Us with our VW Vanagon

We stayed at Tom and Berks for a while longer and built a log cabin out of sassifrass for her to play with. And we experimented with natural dyes. And loved our time with the family. And loved the dogs - and adopted hobo for a time. And we hiked. And a friend came. and we made amazing bread. And we saw T's family for a night and a day in Morristown, TN. We also have met a great group of people through a Couchsurfing potluck. A great women invited us all over to her home and music was played and we saw some people we had met before. There could be great community here. And a new friend took me to see Starhawk speak about the power to speack out truth at the Boone Unitarian ... read more
making bread
finished breads
more bread with Aila

We have gotten a cold and rain snap here and work has been evolving. Just thought i would add some photos from what we have been up to the past little bit... We tore down the old outhouse that blocked a lot of sunlight from the garden and while taking it town we found where all the ladybugs had made their home. Really crazy and i felt sort of bad about taking their cozy space to the burn pile. im sure they will adapt and find a better home that doesn't house crap. And then the burn pile... When we got here it was a small pile of sticks and planks. Then we arrived and daily added many wheelbarrows full of brush to it. And if you look at the photos - the pile we finally ... read more

So Tom travels around the festival circuit and has a little food stand called the "sugar shack". Why? Cause he taps trees in Vermont, makes syrup from the sap, comes home and makes candy from the syrup, and then sells the delicious maple candy at the sugar shack. So he taught us to make candy and we have helped him out a few times. We also wanted to learn to tap trees and so Tom took us out one morning and after locating the maple's we put up tap buckets. We've gotten some sap from them and made about half a pint of syrup in the last two days. Not a ton, but pancakes are going to be delicious in the near future. And i get to eat all the sugar scraps from the candy that ... read more

Been working on some random projects at Tom and Berkeley's. We have also gotten to explore the area a little bit and it is beautiful. I did some fun crochet projects including a cozy for T's camera. I really like the way it turned out. check out the photos if you want to see more of what i've been up to Places gone: Bohemia - in downtown West Jefferson Things loved: My Mind "A coin with more than two sides A magnet that draws its own to itself A knife that cuts unequal slices A sky where a comic drags a bright tail - BARBARA LAWING... read more
Cascade Falls

Tom and Berkeley left with Aila to go on a visit to West Virginia the morning after a storm rolled in. Travis and I got to take care of their home. Being alone in a cabin in the woods has been lovely. After so much time hopping from one place to another, staying with friends and family, it has been nice to have a place of our own. It has got me dreaming of how much i want a piece of land of my own. A place to come home to and a place to restore and build up. The weather here has gotten so warm and i am happy to have two wonderful Februarys in a row. Last year - Arcata and the red woods. This year - Homestead in the mountains. Here in the ... read more

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