August 22, 2016
NPS Centennial: Getting a Bird's Eye View From Bodie Island Lighthouse

Bodie-Heather-1.jpegIn late September 2013, I visited the Outer Banks of North Carolina.  One of the highlights of the trip was a stop at Bodie Lighthouse on the Oregon Inlet in Nags Head, NC.  It had recently undergone major renovations that finished at the end of March 2013.  Luckily for me, it was now open for the public to explore the interior of the lighthouse!

Tags: Winston-Salem, Columbia, Knoxville, Greenville, Asheville, Hendersonville, Waynesville, Boone, Valle Crucis, all, Mast Family Favorites, Inspiration, Adventure
August 21, 2016
NPS Centennial: Running with the Wolves in Yellowstone

Western-NPS-Tour-2-Gina-1.jpgWhen I was a junior in the biology department at Appalachian State University, I had the wonderful opportunity to travel cross-country throughout the United States, into Mexico and Canada, visiting many state and national parks. Our studies focused on the fauna and flora throughout the U.S. We traveled for 7 weeks.

Tags: Winston-Salem, Columbia, Knoxville, Greenville, Asheville, Hendersonville, Waynesville, Boone, Valle Crucis, all, Mast Family Favorites, Inspiration, Adventure
August 19, 2016
NPS Centennial: Paddling & Birding on the Congaree River

Congaree-Joey-1a.jpgGrowing up in Columbia, South Carolina, I’ve had this somewhat overlooked gem in my backyard my whole life.  My dad loves bird watching, so, as a child, I got to go to the Congaree National Park about four times a year for the seasonal bird counts.

Tags: Winston-Salem, Columbia, Knoxville, Greenville, Asheville, Hendersonville, Waynesville, Boone, Valle Crucis, all, Mast Family Favorites, Inspiration, Adventure
August 17, 2016
NPS Centennial: Exploring the Great Smokies in Tennessee

GSMNP-Chris-4.jpgI always like to visit the Great Smoky Mountain National Park because it is the most bio-diverse park in the NPS.  With everything from huge, exposed balds and ridge lines to dark and wet coves, the Smokies have it all.  They have just over 800 miles of trails that can give you whatever you want to see while in the woods.  I have been trying to knock out every trail in the Park since I was in college, and I am up to just over 600 miles complete…and don’t want it to end!  For that reason, every trip to the Smokies is my favorite trip.

Tags: Winston-Salem, Columbia, Knoxville, Greenville, Asheville, Hendersonville, Waynesville, Boone, Valle Crucis, all, Mast Family Favorites, Inspiration, Adventure
August 16, 2016
NPS Centennial: The Grand Canyon, an Ethereal Visit

GC-1.jpgZephyr-roughened and patinaed cliffs began to narrow all around.  I watched for the indications of our journey’s end, read where we were in the encyclopedic rocks in my enfeebled way.  Past the friable Tapeats Sandstone, fascinating Vishnu Schist was yards First time reactions differ.  The Grand Canyon.  One of the World’s Wonders.  Stillness pervades my whole self.

Tags: Winston-Salem, Columbia, Knoxville, Greenville, Asheville, Hendersonville, Waynesville, Boone, Valle Crucis, all, Mast Family Favorites, Inspiration, Adventure
August 15, 2016
NPS Centennial: Bikecentennial '76 Memories

Grand-Teton-Chafin-1.jpegI participated in the Bikecentennial ‘76.  This landmark event consisted of a series of bicycle tours on the TransAmerica Bicycle Trail across the United States in the summer of 1976 in commemoration of the bicentennial of America's Declaration of Independence. Best of all, I was able to enjoy several national parks from the comfort of my bicycle.

Tags: Winston-Salem, Columbia, Knoxville, Greenville, Asheville, Hendersonville, Waynesville, Boone, Valle Crucis, all, Mast Family Favorites, Inspiration, Adventure
August 14, 2016
NPS Centennial: Wildlife Encounters in Rocky Mountain National Park

Rockies-Renea-2.jpg“Whoa, what is that?” I screamed with excitement. “It’s an elk,” my friend Cathy responded.  I had never seen such a creature.  It was amazing, and what made it even more amazing was the beautiful alpine tundra on which the elk and its counterparts were standing.  We had made it…Rocky Mountain National Park. This place was not like anything I had ever seen or experienced before.

Tags: Winston-Salem, Columbia, Knoxville, Greenville, Asheville, Hendersonville, Waynesville, Boone, Valle Crucis, all, Mast Family Favorites, Inspiration, Adventure
August 12, 2016
NPS Centennial: Honeymooning in Glacier National Park

Glacier-Travis-2a.jpgThis summer, my wife and I drove 2,210 miles to Glacier National Park in Montana for our honeymoon.  We chose Glacier because we had a friend in Bozeman, Montana that told us about her experience there. After we did some research, we decided that traveling to Glacier National Park would be out perfect honeymoon destination.

Tags: Winston-Salem, Columbia, Knoxville, Greenville, Asheville, Hendersonville, Waynesville, Boone, Valle Crucis, all, Mast Family Favorites, Inspiration, Adventure
August 10, 2016
NPS Centennial: All Things Beautiful and Blueberry in Maine

Acadia Laura 3My husband and I recently went to Acadia National Park for our 5th wedding anniversary. It was the best trip we’ve ever taken. Spectacular views, warm sun, cool breeze, and flowers in abundance… It couldn’t have been more perfect!

Tags: Winston-Salem, Columbia, Knoxville, Greenville, Asheville, Hendersonville, Waynesville, Boone, Valle Crucis, all, Mast Family Favorites, Inspiration, Adventure
August 8, 2016
NPS Centennial: Endless Exploration on the Blue Ridge Parkway

BRP-2-Fox-1.jpgMy favorite National Park is the Blue Ridge Parkway. It’s wonderful to be able to experience it by car for as little or as long as you'd like. You can take a short drive to refresh your mind when you've got just an hour, or you could spend entire weeks driving and stopping at all the overlooks and park attractions. 

Tags: Winston-Salem, Columbia, Knoxville, Greenville, Asheville, Hendersonville, Waynesville, Boone, Valle Crucis, all, Mast Family Favorites, Inspiration, Adventure
August 7, 2016
NPS Centennial: Treasures Abound at Cape Lookout National Seashore

Cape-Lookout-Sheri-4.jpgCape Lookout National Seashore includes a Visitor Center on the Mainland at Harker’s Island, North Carolina, as well as Shackleford Banks and North and South Core Banks. You can reach the Cape Lookout Lighthouse and Shackleford by ferry (from Beaufort or Harker’s Island), or if you are adventurous, by paddling out on a kayak.

Tags: Winston-Salem, Columbia, Knoxville, Greenville, Asheville, Hendersonville, Waynesville, Boone, Valle Crucis, all, Mast Family Favorites, Inspiration, Adventure
August 5, 2016
NPS Centennial: American Pride at the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island

Liberty-JD-header.jpgThe first time I viewed the Statue of Liberty, I was sailing into New York harbor on my way to Montauk, NY. That was nearly three decades ago. We slipped beneath the Verrazano Bridge and there she was. I was awestruck. The next occasion was a fly over nearly a decade later, but the same feeling was evoked. However, it wasn’t until June of this year that I actually visited Lady Liberty in person. I was again awestruck.

Tags: Winston-Salem, Columbia, Knoxville, Greenville, Asheville, Hendersonville, Waynesville, Boone, Valle Crucis, all, Mast Family Favorites, Inspiration, Adventure
August 3, 2016
NPS Centennial: Finding Peace in Shenandoah National Park

Shenandoah-Theresa-1.jpgShenandoah National Park is a family favorite and we travel there often. My husband, Eric, and I love it so much that we got married in the park - right off Skyline Drive at Timber Hollow Outlook.  As you see in the photos, I got married in a gray wool suit. I am not very “girly” and it was late November.

Tags: Winston-Salem, Columbia, Knoxville, Greenville, Asheville, Hendersonville, Waynesville, Boone, Valle Crucis, all, Mast Family Favorites, Inspiration, Adventure
August 1, 2016
NPS Centennial: Honeymoon Adventure in the Western National Parks

Western-NPS-Tour-Carter-1.jpg For our honeymoon, my wife, Michelle, and I went on a journey westward.  We started in Colorado and looped our way through Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, and Utah visiting friends, family, and National Parks along the way. It was truly an adventure, and a magnificent start to the real adventure that is the rest of our lives.

Tags: Winston-Salem, Columbia, Knoxville, Greenville, Asheville, Hendersonville, Waynesville, Boone, Valle Crucis, all, Mast Family Favorites, Inspiration, Adventure
July 7, 2016
Grandma's Cures for Summer's Bumps & Bruises

grandma-approved-2.jpgWe all enjoy getting outside and taking advantage of the longer daylight hours in the summertime, but an abundance of outdoor activities often leads to the need to give our bodies a little extra TLC. Thankfully, grandma’s old timey cures have withstood the test of time. From soothing sunburns and softening “gardener’s hands” to helping heal cuts and repelling pesky mosquitoes, we offer a few of our favorite cures for summer bumps and bruises: grandma approved! And best yet, all of these cures are made in the USA.

Tags: Gardening, Mast Family Favorites, At Home, all, Winston-Salem, Columbia, Knoxville, Greenville, Asheville, Hendersonville, Waynesville, Boone, Valle Crucis
June 21, 2016
Volunteering in the National Parks

nps-volunteer-5.jpgThroughout 2016, we’re celebrating the 100th anniversary of the National Park System by exploring the history of the parks, offering ideas about how to Find Your Park in the southeast, as well as tips to help you make the most of your park adventure.

Tags: Winston-Salem, Columbia, Knoxville, Greenville, Hendersonville, Asheville, Waynesville, Boone, Valle Crucis, Local Flavor, Inspiration, Adventure
June 14, 2016
The Mast Store Knife Shop Celebrates its Grand Opening at the Original Store

knife-shop-1.jpgThis Father’s Day weekend, we’re celebrating an exciting new addition at Mast General Store. The Knife Shop is re-energizing what was once a feed/potato-grading room in the Original Store. This upcoming weekend officially marks the Knife Shop Grand Opening in Valle Crucis, with three days of events that will surely delight the dads, as well as knife enthusiasts, in your life.

Tags: Winston-Salem, Columbia, Knoxville, Greenville, Asheville, Hendersonville, Waynesville, Boone, Valle Crucis, Mast Family Favorites
May 25, 2016
24 Hours in Hendersonville, NC

24-hvl-6.jpgWe at Mast General Store feel so lucky that many of our stores are located right in the middle of vibrant urban settings.  There’s so much to do and see outside the doors of our stores. We’re excited to share a small selection of our favorites with you! This year, we’re offering a series that features a day’s worth of places to enjoy within walking distance of each of our urban Mast Store locations. Over the past few months, we’ve taken a stroll through Greenville, SC HERE and Waynesville, NC HERE. This week, we’re exploring Hendersonville, North Carolina. Won’t you join us?

Tags: Hendersonville, Mast Family Favorites, Local Flavor, Adventure
May 10, 2016
Find Your Park in Tennessee

tn-nps-2.jpgThroughout 2016, we’re celebrating the 100th anniversary of the National Park System by exploring the history of the parks, offering ideas about how to Find Your Park in the southeast, as well as tips to help you make the most of your park adventure.

Tags: Knoxville, Inspiration, Local Flavor, Adventure
April 13, 2016
Southland in the Springtime

alaina-drawdy-cox-spring-3.jpgIt’s been said that “there’s something about the southland in the springtime.” New baby goats are arriving weekly at the Carl Sandburg National Historic Site in Flat Rock, NC. A pair of house finches who crafted a tidy nest on my porch weeks ago are now awaiting the arrival of their 5 chicks. The cherry blossom tree in the front yard is heavy with pink blooms. Everywhere you look, new life is bursting forth as winter transitions into spring.  Our Mast Store communities are also celebrating the season with activities the whole family will enjoy. Below is an offering of a few of the many events we’re looking forward to enjoying this April.

Tags: Winston-Salem, Columbia, Knoxville, Greenville, Asheville, Hendersonville, Waynesville, Boone, Valle Crucis, Local Flavor