Mini Stories

A Guide to Men’s Fashion This Spring

31-Mar-2017

In spring 2017, men's fashion is going retro. The latest trends for guys convey the heart of the 80s and 90s with a bit of a modern twist. You won't be seeing any parachute pants any time soon, but here are some standout trends for men's fashion this spring:

A Monarch’s Arduous Journey

01-Apr-2016

The Monarch butterfly appears to be one of the smallest and most delicate of creatures, but in actuality it is agile and able to travel thousands of miles in the span of a couple months. 

Accessory Highlight

31-Mar-2017

Chokers are back in style and have been trending recently in women’s fashion. There is a variety of types and designs for everyone, making them one of the most practical and versatile accessories right now.

Appalachian Home Design

01-Apr-2017

If a picture is worth a thousand words then a home must be worth even more. The architecture and design of a home says a lot about the people that reside in it, and for many architecture is an art that represents their tastes. In the Appalachian and mountainous regions, cottages and log cabins are a great option for those who want to incorporate designs that have character, style, and look natural.

Art Galleries

31-Mar-2017

Southern Appalachia is rich in artistic inspiration with its scenic mountains, host of wildlife, and a southern culture rooted in the lay of the land, a colorful history, and its people. Finding galleries showcasing art that reflects this culture is fairly easy. While there is an array of galleries to check out, here are a few that shouldn’t be missed.

Art Schools

31-Mar-2017

In a region so imbued with artistic expression, there are a variety of schools and facilities in Southern Appalachia that offer art instruction for everyone, from the amateur to the professional.

Atlanta to Gatlinburg Wildlife Road Trip

01-Apr-2017

Taking a road trip is one of the oldest and most celebrated traditions America has to offer. The open road offers travelers adventure and a path to do some soul searching. Coming of age trips during the summer after high school graduation are one way to do this, but nowadays even bachelorette parties have begun to mobilize. Yet still, there are others who use road trips as a way to explore the world around them. Wildlife spotting is one particular way to feel connected with the land when traveling.

Bears and Food

31-Mar-2017

Proper food storage during camping, no matter what time of the year, is important for keeping food safe from a number of different creatures. Food storage options can differ depending on where you are camping. But whether you set up your tent or camper in the backcountry or a state park campground, being knowledgeable about proper food storage is a must.

Buying Local and Fresh in Southern Appalachia

01-Apr-2017

Historically, agriculture has played a central role in Southern Appalachia, and farming is still a part of the cultural makeup of the people and the land. For those not in the farming business, fresh vegetables, fruit, nuts, honey, sorghum, herbs, baked goods, jams, herbal soaps, native plants, and sweets are all locally-sourced goods easily found at farmers markets. Luckily, Southern Appalachia has an abundance.

Crane Creek Vineyards

01-Jul-2016

Spanning 12 acres, Crane Creek Vineyards in Young Harris, Georgia, grows a variety of grapes with the belief and mission that wine made from those grapes is an expression of the unique North Georgia vineyards.

Cuban Roast Pork

28-Nov-2016

A delectable tradition for many that blows turkey off the holiday table. Juicy, mouth watering, and packed with the exotic flavors, this authentic roast is sure to leave your guests demanding more.

Cultivating Your Organic Garden This Spring

01-Apr-2017

Gardening cultivates a spirit of perseverance and diligence, but the foundation of a healthy garden is in the soil. So when getting ready to plant a garden, the place to start is to get the soil tested.

After you receive the results back from your soil test, you will know the soil’s pH and its mineral makeup. Now you know which amendments to add to balance out the soil. One of the keys to a healthy garden is plenty of compost, which is rich in nutrients.

Dangerous Animals

01-Apr-2017

With its haunting call, nocturnal nature, and large, watchful eyes, it’s no wonder the owl is associated with death, magic, and knowledge in some cultures and beliefs. They range in size from small balls of fluff weighing barely a pound to large, powerful predators that on a rare occasion have attacked humans who got too close.

Dangerous Cats

01-Apr-2017

The phrase “wild cat” may bring to mind the mountain lion or puma with its tan fur and large claws. However, the Eastern mountain lion, also referred to as a puma or panther, has long been considered extinct after being excessively hunted in the early 1900s. According to BlueRidgeOutdoors.com, the last official sighting was in 1938, and now all that remains is a subspecies in Florida called the Florida panther.

Dangerous Wildlife

31-Mar-2017

Just like people, the wildlife of the Appalachian Mountains become more active in the spring. Black bears, for instance, begin to venture out in search of berries and beehives. It’s also the time of year when rattlesnakes begin to slither out of their holes and warm themselves on sunny rocks and patches of the trail. Hikers should always take dangerous wildlife encounters into account when planning for a spring day trek.

Exploring Southern Appalachia with the Kids

01-Apr-2017

Warmer temperatures make it easy to get out and explore the Southern Appalachian region with your kids. Here are some options to create lasting memories:

Fly Fishing in Appalachia

01-Apr-2016

A line swishes back and forth above the water, and a fly lands with a quiet plop. The fish below begin to investigate the insect that has landed above. Many might define fly fishing simply as the use of a rod and line to send an artificial fly across the stream towards a fish.

Fresh Ideas for Barbecue Season

01-Apr-2017

While ringing in the warm weather with an outdoor barbecue this year, add a unique twist and change up the typical drink and burger options. Here are several ideas to put to the test this spring:

From the Pond to the Table

01-Apr-2017

In Southern Appalachia, where mountain streams run cold with trout, fishing is a popular pastime during the region’s long warm season. But there’s no need to head out into the wilds of the mountains, there are plenty of trout farms that allow people to fish the day away while providing on-site services for cleaning, and sometimes cooking, the fish when you’re done.

Furniture with Character

01-Apr-2017

When it comes to furnishing homes in mountains, there are plenty of homeowners looking for pieces that are rustic, hand crafted, and full of character. By preserving wood closely to its original state, it’s possible to attain that appeal. Instead of sanding away the surface to make it perfectly smooth, the natural knots, nicks, and roughness are left to give pieces a look reminiscent of a log cabin. Here are three rustic furniture shops to check out in Southern Appalachia.

Green Interior Design

01-Apr-2017

Many who choose to live in the mountains do so because they feel a connection with the environment. While having nature at your doorstep may sound enticing, first consider how interior design choices can affect animal habitats and our health. There are many ways we can decrease the impact a home’s interior design has on the ecosystem while still having a home that is appealing to those who enter.

Holiday Rum Cake

28-Nov-2016

A holiday favorite

Keeping Pesty Animals Out of Your Garden This Spring

01-Apr-2017

For those who live in the Appalachian Mountains, the close proximity to wildlife allows nature lovers to observe animals as they go about their daily routines. But for gardeners, there are two animals that are dreaded. If you wake up one morning to see a section of your garden patch devoured the culprit is most likely deer or rabbit. Both leave a trail of evidence that can be discouraging to gardeners who, after eyeing their precious tomatoes for a whole month, discover them gone.

Montefino Style

31-Mar-2017

Every style paints a picture. Whether people realize it or not, what they wear sends a message about who they are and who they want to be. Montefino style is the perfect fusion between rustic and chic—where the mountains meet your Instagram. It means you're ready for anything, whether it's a picnic with a view or a night out on the town. It can be easily dressed up or down, and the best part is it's so simple! Here are some tips on how to incorporate Montefino style into your daily wardrobe:

Moonshining in the Southern Appalachian Mountains

01-Apr-2017

Southern Appalachia’s moonshining history is storied. Old timers can talk back on the days when their grandaddies were distilling in the back rooms of businesses and under the noses of the law. Today, however, it’s perfectly legal and a growing industry in the region, sparking a new generation of moonshine that can be distilled with variety and finesse. Those fond of moonshine now have options, so when visiting the tri-state region of Southern Appalachia, or when you just get a knackering for the hard stuff, here’s a selection of distilleries to visit:

More Than Appearances

01-Apr-2017

The differences between resorts and cabin hotels may seem obvious, but the truth is that both types can offer relaxation in a unique way. Cost, service, and preferred amount of privacy can differ wildly between cabins and resorts. To catch the best deals, travelers should research ahead of time and book the kind of leisure lodging best for them.

Mountain Flying in Autumn

19-Sep-2016

“When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned upward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.” - Leonardo da Vinci

Navigating Southern Appalachia’s FBOs

01-Apr-2017

When flying, the journey can be just as important as the actual destination. As any pilot will attest, professionalism and efficiency are important when it comes to fixed-based operations (FBO). While the airports of Appalachia might be small, the services they offer are quite diverse. From refueling to major maintenance, flyers are in safe hands at these airports:

Pet-Friendly

01-Apr-2017

The awakening season of spring is a time for many to enjoy nature in all its glory, and animals are no exception. When visiting or looking for an activity in Southern Appalachia, it’s not necessary to leave pets behind when breathing in the fresh air and taking in the sights.

Preserving Native American History in Blairsville

19-Sep-2016

As the traditional western Thanksgiving approaches, stories of pilgrims and Native Americans will be showcased in elementary plays, television shows, and at the dining room table. For Kathie Garrett, a resident of Blairsville and a member of the Muscogee Creek people, giving thanks in the fall for the harvest has been a spiritual celebration for centuries.

Sculptures

31-Mar-2017

Like all forms of art, a sculptor’s work may have a number of purposes, including self-expression, to make a statement, beautify an area, memorialize a person, or commemorate history. In Southern Appalachia, a region steeped in culture, the art sculpture landscape is rich with variety. When traversing the art scene, check out these spots:

Slowing Down the Pace in Southern Appalachia

31-Mar-2017

Perhaps it’s the hot summer heat that makes people want to slow down, or maybe it’s the small town culture, the fresh mountain air from the surrounding Southern Appalachian Mountains, or the trout fishing. One thing is for sure, in the small towns that make up Southern Appalachia, it’s okay to slow down.

Southern Appalachia is Rich in Local Brews

01-Apr-2017

Much like Southern Appalachia is rich in scenic sites, quaint towns, and culture, it has over the years become home to a number of craft beers and breweries. As BlueRidgeOutdoors.com noted, in Southern Appalachia, “craft beer has become as ubiquitous as singletrack.”

There are much too many to list, so we checked in with Beer Advocate’s top rated beers to name a few of the regional favorites.

Southern Appalachia Reclaims Wine Country

01-Apr-2017

In the 2012 song, Appalachian Wine by EleventySeven, Father Time falls in love with Mother Earth all because of Appalachian wine. While it’s certain Southern Appalachia wine wasn’t the spark that created civilization, winemakers today are re-establishing the region as a verifiable wine country.

Southern Appalachian Culture

31-Mar-2017

From coonskin hats to mountain hillbillies, there are many different perceptions of Appalachian culture. While southern culture and Appalachian culture are deeply intertwined in many ways, Appalachia has its own roots and history that sets it apart.

Southern Appalachian Food Staples

01-Apr-2017

While Southern Appalachia is plentiful in crops like cotton, tobacco, and corn, each state celebrates a variety of foods that are particularly special to their respective regions.

Georgia, for instance, has long been hailed as the peach state. While it’s ranked third in production, it’s actually the quality of the fruit that makes Georgia’s peaches so well known. The magic is in the Georgia heat.

Special City Highlight

01-Apr-2017

From towns that seem to celebrate Oktoberfest year round, to a fort that served as a major landmark on the Trail of Tears, a short road trip in the Appalachia region could lead almost anywhere.

Known as the “gem capital of the world,” this little town boasts scenic hiking trails and four different waterfalls scattered throughout the Nantahala National Forest. Because it is rich in gems and minerals, the town hosts a large, bi-annual event called the Macon County Gemboree.

Take to the Skies

Flying in Appalachia during the spring is a wonderful way to recover from the winter blues. The fresh green foliage of fields and mountain forests are sure to please anyone who takes to the skies, but there are also many destinations groundside that are worth checking out.

Tennessee Valley Authority

01-Jul-2016

Erosion, deforestation, and floods devastated the Tennessee River Valley in the 1930s, during a time when the United States was already suffering under the Great Depression. To help areas of the country hit hard, President Franklin D. Roosevelt created the New Deal, which included signing the Tennessee Valley Authority into existence on May 18, 1933.

The Art of Landscaping

01-Apr-2016

The bloom of spring often gets homeowners excited about gardening and landscaping. But many are at a loss when it comes to designing their yards. That’s where Beverly Bradley steps in.

The Changing of the Leaves in Appalachia

19-Sep-2016

Marked by crisp air and long nights, autumn is a much-anticipated time of year across many regions in the United States. Among the elements that make fall a favorite season for many is the changing of the leaves.

The Crossroad of Past and Present

01-Apr-2017

Jenna breathed deeply, her nostrils filling with the sweet spring scents entering the open car windows. But her mood remained sour. “Still no service,” she said, gripping the steering wheel tighter and nodding to her phone.

Her aunt Margaret, a petite woman who wore her reddish-gold hair in a short bob, curved her lips up. “Try to relax, dear.”

The Crossroad of Past and Present II

03-Jul-2017

"Wow!" Jenna ran her hands through her long, blonde hair. She blew out a breath of air and looked down at the churning water, which was tinged with purple hues from the sun’s climb down the sky.
 

“I feel nauseous.” Jenna turned her head, her eyes taking in the crowded balcony of the restaurant that overlooked the river below. She smiled at a girl who was begging her parents to take her tubing. A second later, her lips turned down when she thought about her aunt’s revelation only moments before, a revelation that had changed her life.


The Dangers of Black Bears

01-Apr-2017

Perhaps the largest predator in the Appalachian area is the black bear. The black bear has a blue-black coat with brown patches on its muzzle and small, rounded ears. The males average 300 to 400 pounds and seven feet in length, while the females are smaller at about 250 to 300 pounds and six feet in length.

The Native Footprint on Southern Appalachia

31-Mar-2017

Native American culture has had a significant impact on Southern Appalachian food, folklore, music, crafts, and art. Despite the removal of Native Americans from their lands in the Trail of Tears, Appalachian culture is deeply connected to its native people. While the Choctaw, Chickasaw, and the Seminoles all have deep ties to the overall Appalachian area, it is the Muscogee Creek Nation, ...

Three Hours in 30 Minutes

01-Apr-2017

The difference between flying and driving in the mountains is the vast amount of time you can save in the air. Thirty minutes of airtime can equal roughly three hours of mountainous driving, but there are many benefits to choosing a path in the sky.

Unpredictable Weather

31-Mar-2017

Springtime in Appalachia is one of the most popular times of the year for hiking and outdoor activities. The warmer weather brings with it more options and more opportunities for getting outside. However, spring is also the time of year when the weather is the most unpredictable, especially in higher elevations. One day it can be 70 degrees and sunny, and the next day it’s in the lower 40s with clouds looming above.

Windowsill Herbs for Cooking

01-Apr-2017

Herbs are versatile plants. They are tasty, medicinally useful, and pleasing to smell. When it comes to cooking with herbs, however, the first decision is whether to use fresh or dried. According to UrbanCultivator.net, the recommendation is that if a dish needs to simmer longer than 45 minutes, dried herbs should be used. Dried herbs are more condensed and poignant so the amount used should be cut in half.

Tracks of Winter Hikes

01-Jan-2016

It is the change of the seasons that brings out the best of nature. Spring brings a burst of new life, summer brings an array of flowers, fall rains down leaves, and winter covers the landscape with a blanket of snow.

Blue Ridge Express

01-Jan-2016

Imagine for a moment mountains blanketed with snow, branches dripping with icicles, and water glazed over with a sheet of ice. These visions are what you can expect to experience when you step foot on the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway Express during the winter and early spring months. The train runs from March to December giving visitors the opportunity to experience the shifting seasons, including mountains that transform into a winter wonderland.