I'm sitting in a very different environment for me...in the woods high in the mountains with millions of birds singing and carrying on, rather than hovering over my ocean bluff. That's right, I'm in NC! Staying with my sweet friend Linda in the upstairs suite of her gorgeous log style home here:: LeatherwoodMountains.com
I'm seriously thinking this could be the spot, though I'm generally not keen on manicured, homeowner association properties. It's lovely driving up paved roads instead of pot-holed roads for a change, and the people are so nice! Trails into the Appalachians abound, creeks running for miles along meadows with forested backdrops.
I checked out the campsites within this horse community yesterday and quite loved the one on the far side of the creek, or is it a river? It's more remote and quiet, but a flash flood came through for the first time in 40 something years last year, taking out the corral fencing and a fair amount of topsoil with it. But still, what are the chances???
I'm now an official NC resident, and will fly back to CA with plates, tags and my NC license! Of course I carry some degree of trepidation, having lived the bulk of my life in the beautiful Golden State. I've spent almost half of it in Goat Rock State Park!
Change is good, adventure is good, and right now I'm enjoying each moment. Despite the unrest and fear plaguing our country, I sit with hoards of birds twittering about and rainstorms sweeping through in a verdant reality wondering the names of the trees, birds, and flora. There are five sweet dogs, one a Havanese puppy, Katie Boo who entertains us around the clock. I also began catching up with the last season of Outlander, which as some of you may know is responsible for steering me to this region.
The people I've encountered are extremely sweet. The shops lack sophistication and the food is often saturated with fats which I'm not used to. But the Whole Foods in Charlotte had most of what I eat at home, though I believe that part of the reason for traveling is to break from your routine, right? We've had a lot of fun eating out...had fried green tomatoes with pimento cheese and 'Pig Candy' for the first time in my life that was quite the sensation. (Ask me for the recipe...I snagged it from the restaurant owner!) We ooohed and ahhed and I took 3 bites instead of the more graceful one of my friend's dish. I wondered if she wondered when I was going to stop! I had a beautifully cooked, crispy topped salmon on a bed of greens with walnut encrusted Goat cheese balls that was very nice. Had I not an allergy to mango, I bet the dressing that was intended would have been great.
The day before yesterday, we trekked up to Blowing Rock and ate at a nice restaurant called Bistro Roca. Hamburger was delish, the fries hyper-saturated in fat, but had an interesting twisted shape. What was stellar there were the warm figs with Manchego, drizzled with honey and sweet balsamic. Super yummy!
I'll enjoy a jacuzzi bath this morning, wash and style my hair, and drive through the Blue Ridge Parkway where I plan to walk off more fat than I've ever carried! My body is so disgusting right now. It's ok for others to be fat, but I just don't feel like me anymore and it's tiring carrying the added Covid-bulk around.
Tomorrow, we'll go see Linda's Gypsy Vanners featured in my last 2 newsletters. She's buying one of those beauties named Sugar but won't bring her home until she's foaled in the next few weeks. She plans to continue building her new horse art project, and I'll be assisting her with some website basics.
Well, the bath is calling...some siren song...
Writing now, since returning to California: Just before leaving, I toured several houses that were for sale with the fabulous Trevor, of LeatherwoodMountains.com. Needless to say, one of those is haunting me something terrible! It has an amazing stone and wood house, a stairway off the screened back porch leading to an observatory platform overlooking its own tiered waterfall and looking down the canyon. This spot is perfection, and likely a quarter or less what I'd have to pay for it in CA. Further down the drive is a very good-sized pasture, nice and sunny that could double as a garden, with a lovely horse shelter and 2.5 car garage with tack and hay rooms. Beyond the pasture is a trail into the woods. I can hike or ride from this property to the many trails in this 5000 acre gated community! WANT!!!