Where I’m From
I have spent the first half a century growing up on the Texas Gulf Coast. This is where I was born, went to school, kissed my first girl, married the woman I have spent the last 30+ years with, started four kids on the road of life, buried grandparents and parents and friends. It’s where my family and friends live. I would say it’s where my roots are attached to this earth…but it wouldn’t be so.
My roots keep calling me home to the Blue Ridge Mountains. That’s where my ancestors called home when this country was young. That’s where my heart and soul found a connection the first time I drove the Blue Ridge Parkway. It’ was the peaks of northwestern North Carolina that first called me.
The Start Of A Dream
My Mountain Dreams began in the spring of 2000 while on a two week business trip to Charlotte, NC. In the middle of the trip I had a couple free days and a rental car. On the first day I drove into the mountains only to arrive on the Blue Ridge Parkway with the fog. I took a direct route from Charlotte to Blowing Rock…I arrived to discover most of the town closed up for winter. After driving for an hour or so and not see anything further away than a couple of dozen yards, I headed back to Charlotte and wrote off seeing the mountains.
When I awoke the next day, the sun was shining and the weather was beautiful but brisk after a front had pushed through. After musing about another try over breakfast and coffee I decided to hit the road again.
The skies stayed clear and blue…That beautiful blue you only get in winter after a cold front has blown all of the trash out of the air. I no longer remember the route I took, but the drive up onto the Blue Ridge itself will always be in my memory.
When I returned to Texas and started studying the area I fell in love with, the area and the story of Valle Crucis, NC resonated with my soul. I came across the website for the Mast General Store and Grandfather Mountain which eventually led me to take the family to visit in 2003. We returned in 2004 and again in 2006.
Our visit to the Blue Ridge Mountains in November of 2007 took us all the way to the top of the Parkway in Virginia. We spent a couple of days in Charlottesville, Virginia visiting Monticello. Then drove south on the Parkway to Floyd to check out the area for the second time and meet up with some friends I had made online. From Floyd we meandered back toward Boone and then home…
The Dream Grows
My “Mountain Dream” is to make my home somewhere in these mountains I have come to love. As a result of the economic turmoil of 2008, I found myself without a job and time on my hands. I had begun these sites to share my love for the Blue Ridge Mountains, so with some trepidation I decided to expand my dream.
My original website and blog were based on North Carolina in 2006, thus NorthCarolinaMountainDreams.com. By the summer of 2008 I could see we were expanding our sights to Virginia, so I added a domain for VirginiaMountainDreams.com. By the summer of 2009 I decided to take the few dollars I had earned with adds and invest in expanding the dream again…This time I tried for the entire southern Appalachian Mountains.
So I started with a portal to lead off to the different state sites. I added TennesseeMountainDreams.com, KentuckyMountainDreams.com, WestVirginiaMountainDreams.com, MarylandMountainDreams.com, and PennsylvaniaMountainDreams.com. I plan to fill out more as I get these up and running…The only state where the brand was already taken is Georgia. Eventually I’ll try and add a site for Georgia with another domain name.
One of the many things that became evident as I began to research all of these states was…I was pretty uninformed about the Appalachian Mountains as they ran through each area. So I have been in a mad dash to increase my knowledge.
So as I start this second half of my life…I would like to invite you along for the ride. Maybe I’ll learn something in this half…Maybe you can help teach me.