The Arts and Outdoors of Burnsville, NC

Mid-April found us heading to new territory in North Carolina.  We stayed in the upper level of a lovely round house with panoramic views of the Black Mountains (VRBO #371267, if you’re interested, but be warned of the steep, rocky driveway).


Our view.

It was the perfect spot for some rest and relaxation, removed from town, quiet and peaceful.  Eric and I both cycled a bit, and I climbed, switchback after switchback, up my first veritable mountain!


Eric leaves for a bike ride (as viewed from the porch).

It was nice to be so near to nature.  We kept the bird feeders filled, so we always had a flock twittering about.  Hiking around our little mountain, we saw deer and squirrels.  A trail partway down the mountain led to a glorious, secluded waterfall.


Though we were in a somewhat remote area, there was a pretty significant art scene.  Many of the barns in the area were part of the Quilt Trails of Western North Carolina, meaning that each had a “quilt” square painted in bright colors and fun patterns displayed on it.  There were artist studios scattered about the countryside.

One day, we visited the nearby Penland School of Crafts, where students study everything from painting to glassworking.  The campus was a lovely place for a stroll, and we enjoyed browsing the gallery where student art was for sale.


Glass bowl with sparkly fish inlay.


Elegant vases.


Psychedelic bowl.

Back to nature, we opted for a new experience: horseback riding!


Wolf Laurel Stables

Our guide was fantastic, and our two horses were well-suited for our personalities:  I rode the patient, steady mare, Copper, while Eric rode the daredevil, independently-minded Sky.


We are so cute!


Spring was just creeping into the forest.


Sky decides to hang back a bit.


Downhill and back to the stables we go.


So long, horsies!

In search of more art, we ventured out to a landfill…an ex-landfill, actually, where methane reclamation fuels creativity.  The EnergyXchange burns the gas to heat pottery kilns, ovens used in glassworking and to radiantly heat floors and greenhouses.


Methane-heated greenhouses in the rain.

 Artists live and work there as part of a residency, and are able to hone their crafts and build businesses at the same time.  We arrived in time to witness a glassblowing demonstration, in which an artist-in-residence assisted a high school student in making a goblet.


Working the molten glass.


Here, the glass is beginning to cool, and the colors are visible.


Some of the finished pieces, available for sale.

We also hiked a little…


I wonder how this trail got its name.

And visited Mt. Mitchell in the rain.


Not much of a view that day.

It just so happened that Eric’s friend, Tom Hawley, had decided to visit North Carolina on the same weekend we stayed in Burnsville.  We had a nice dinner with him one night (sorry, no picture – we were too busy eating!).  Here’s a fond farewell from our cabin in Burnsville.



2 Responses to “The Arts and Outdoors of Burnsville, NC”
  1. Dave says:

    Great photos and re-cap TEAM NEWMAN:)!

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