August 15, 2023 Last night about 2 AM it started to rain lightly. I woke up and could hear it on the roof. Later, a thunderstorm must have moved through because I also heard thunder. It rained off and on all night as each band of rain moved through the area. Amazingly, Auggie slept through it all and never asked to come into bed with us which he normally does with thunder. By the time we got up, the rain had stopped and the sun popped out. It was 72 degrees with an expected high of 80. The forecast called for more pop-up showers around noon. We made plans to visit the town of Black Mountain after lunch. Around noon, we left to take the 15-mile drive into Black Mountain.
Black Mountain gets its name from the Black Mountains that surround the town. The Black Mountains are the tallest range in the eastern United States.
The town has 40+ arts and craft shops, 30 restaurants, and 3 breweries. We entered town and it wasn’t too busy for a Tuesday. We found parking on the street easily.
Black Mountain is located at the intersection of North Carolina Byway 70 and Scenic Highway 9, so a lot of traffic passed through town, but didn’t stay.
Our plan was to walk around the 3-block radius in the downtown area and do some window shopping. If something peaked our interest, we would stop in. We stopped to look at the Town Square, a park featuring memorial gardens, a fountain, and a clock.
We like to visit small town hardware stores. They are usually very interesting and have all kinds of cool stuff inside. This was no exception. The Town Hardware and General Store seemed to be a hub for all the activity. There were lots of people inside.
The store contained a little bit of everything as a General Store does. There were 2 whole end shelves filled with different kinds of root beer and flavored sodas.
There was a whole section on toy guns for boys and girls and different kinds of boomerangs.
And don’t forget the old-fashioned Coca Cola cooler.
There were some interesting murals painted on the sides of the buildings. This town has some very talented artists.
There were some unusual shops like this one called Fun Shirts for Weird Folks.
Bob wanted his picture taken next to this scary “Shirtmandude”.
Next door was this cool carving of 4 owls. There are some very talented carvers in the areas we’ve traveled in this summer.
We stopped at Trinity Pharms and Hemp Co. to check it out. We learned a few things about hemp while we were there.
The old City Hall, still active, stood next to an old fire station house which is home to the Swannanoa Valley Museum and History Center where you can learn about the history of the area.
Black Mountain is the hometown of singer Roberta Flack as depicted here in this mural on the side of this building.
The town of Black Mountain encourages you to relax and enjoy the slower pace with these rocking chairs that are located all around town so you can rest and take in the mountain views. The chairs have been painted by artists–young and old.
The Periwinkles Shop had a beautifully painted awning.
The Old Depot Gallery is housed in the original train depot.
We spent about 2 hours walking around town and made a quick stop at Ingles Grocery Store from some fresh ginger (19 cents) before we left town. We have never been in an Ingles Grocery Store before and it was VERY nice.
Back at the campground, Bob did a repair on one of our cabinet doors while we watched TV outside. New campers arrived as we watched dark clouds float over the mountains multiple times, but they never dropped any rain. It was a pleasant afternoon with a cool breezes and temp of 78. Tomorrow, we have to change campsites for the rest of our stay here. We will wait for the other campers to vacate site B16 and then we’ll move over to the next row.