Friday, October 21, 2011

Valle Crucis, NC

We returned home last night from a very quick trip to the Blowing Rock, NC area, a fabulous spot in the Blue Ridge Mountains.  Hate to admit that I had not been there since the early 90's but certainly will make much more frequent visits going forward.  Some things do get better with age, although it was a lot more crowded than I remember it.  We started our journey in Valle Crucis (it means "Vale of the Cross" which is west of Blowing Rock). It's claim to fame today is the home of the Mast General Store.  Many tour buses make the journey today. 

Charles Kuralt proclaimed the Original Mast Store was “a destination” in his most recent book Charles Kuralt’s America. Since 1883, the Original Mast Store has been the gathering place for the community. Stop in early in the morning for a cup of 5¢ coffee, to pick up your mail, and to get the morning news.
“All general store are satisfying to visit, but one of them, The Mast Store, is a destination.” – Charles Kuralt
The Mast General Store opened in 1883 and quickly grew in reputation for carrying everything from “cradles to caskets.” Even today, you’ll still find shelves packed with all you might need for life in the 19th century and most of this one. Entering this landmark, you’ll notice advertising posters untouched since Mr. Mast hung them decades ago, stand at a counter where locals once bartered their goods or mail a letter at the community’s corner post office. Your might even discover a few old-timey bargains along the way.
The Original Mast Store location features mercantile items that you may remember from your grandma’s house like jams and jellies, real maple syrup, stoneground cornmeal, comfortable rocking chairs, sturdy hiking boots, comfortable casual shoes, and Chacos. Located along the Mission Crossing Scenic Byway, this mountain tradition will greet you with the warmth of its potbellied stove and its people.

We stayed the first night at the Mast Farm Inn with is just down the road from the Mast General Store in Valle Crucis.  It was raining much of the time.  The Inn has a few rooms in it and there are cabins scattered about. We stayed in a small cabin.  It is very quaint and extremely well done but our cabin overlooked the road and there was a lot of traffic on the road, read noise. So I am not certain I would recommend it unless that kind of stuff does not bother you.   Breakfast was beyond gourmet belief!

We had a nice porch with rocking chairs. The leaves had already peaked by the time we arrived. 

Here is our cabin from the exterior:

There are other cabins on the property:

The entire area is very well done.

Another view of the main house:

I love the moss growing on the roof of this building behind the main part of the inn:

This is a good spot for those who like things a bit more rustic, although it is quite sophisticated and elegant in its own understated way.  We did not dine here but that is an options. Reservations are a must. 

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