Last month, I got to drive down to stay with one of my oldest and dearest friends, in one of my favorite places to be, Black Mountain, North Carolina. This collection is inspired by the natural beauty and fond memories from the area.
I’ve known Tom since I was five. And to say that we’ve had some good times together, highs and lows, at every stage of our lives up to this point would be an understatement. I say every stage of life, but we still usually act like a couple of unruly twenty somethings when we hang out. The difference being we probably won’t still be up when the wives wake up, and we talk more about the trials of fatherhood, politics, and aches and pains than we did back then.
We’ve shared so much in common in our lifetime, from love of music (especially live), good beer, better times, and even a couple girlfriends back in high school! I miss having my friend close, but three good things came out of him moving away. Him meeting his beautiful wife, their adorable daughter, and the discovery of that awesome little mountain town.
Just east of Asheville, Black mountain is an outdoorsy type’s dream. Nestled among some mountains in the Blue Ridge range affectionately named “The Seven Sisters”, there’s easy access to great mountain trails and rhododendrons, waterfalls, swimming holes, and unbridled beauty in the fall. The town boasts cool little shops and restaurants to poke around in, and a ton of breweries. One of which is Pisgah Brewing, and they make the best beers I’ve ever had the pleasure to drink.
They’re going through some changes around the grounds at the brewery, but up until recently, they had a great tap room with a stage, overhead doors that lead out to a space with fire pit and tables, and a short walk over a bridge took you to a big grassy lot, surrounded by trees, with a large stage framed out of skinned tree trunks that hosted national acts and weekend musical festivals. One of the best places to see a show, hands down.
So if you’re tooling down the Blue Ridge Parkway and you see Asheville, do yourself a favor and hop off on Tunnel Rd and head east. A side trip to Black Mountain might be the best part of the trip. And if you run into Tommy, tell him I said hey.