The Other Carolina
Just an hour from Greenville, I rolled into Flat Rock, North Carolina and arrived at Connemara, the home of Carl Sandburg and his family from 1945-1966. A week ago, my knowledge of Sandburg was his famous poem, "Fog," which did influence me to write in high school. I've now learned enough about this writer, musician and activist to know that I want to know more. When Sandburg and family moved from Michigan to Flat Rock, they packed more than 17,000 books -- that fact alone endears them to me. In this beautiful place, Lilian became internationally known for breeding dairy goats and ran the business, while Carl published one-third of his literary work during this time. In three hours, I toured the home and property, and hiked Little Glassy Mountain, but I could have stayed longer to simply sit, as well as experience the interesting little village of Flat Rock. Note to self.
Whistle along with me.
When planning my departure from Greenville, I seriously considered camping in the Pisgah Forest and hiking Mount Mitchell, but I haven't given up on the thought of hiking the entire Appalachian Trail some day. So, from thoughts of the woods and the mountains, I went straight to another pull -- the kitschy tourism of Mount Airy, NC -- yes, Mayberry. I'm not sure what would be happening in this town if not for the birth of Andy Griffith here, but it is now all things Mayberry, from a museum to a main street that's thriving, thanks to his hometown re-creation in the sixties.
I'll let the photos speak for my visit, yet I have to add that one of the amazing "by-products" of my travel is the people I share time with who I would never meet in my day-to-day life. I now hope to return here one June for the annual Mount Airy Fiddlers Convention, a festival devoted to old-time and bluegrass music. Oh, and when I see you, ask me about Eng and Chang, the famous Siamese twins from the 19th century.
Cyclist, writer, teacher, avid reader, bike/ped advocate, nomad, pie lover