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July 18, 2018
We're KEEN on That!

KEEN Footwear - A shoe for every adventureAccording to the MacMillan Dictionary, to be “keen” on something is to be interested in something and enjoying it, especially an activity that you do often. This year, we are keen on helping KEEN celebrate its 15th year of innovation and adventures. As a brand born to get people outdoors, KEEN started its journey by asking “Can a sandal also protect your toes?” In 2003, the answer was a resounding “yes,” and the KEEN Newport was born. Millions of adventures later, KEEN is taking its business to new heights with UNEEK options and an ever-expanding line of shoes to allow you to lead the hybrid life.

June 27, 2018
A Look Back at Summers Past

Let's Find a BallgameYou should always take time out for a little fun, no matter what your age. As a result of a conversation just recently, it occurred to us that the definition of fun can change over time. What’s fun for a 10-year-old today might be considered some sort of punishment for a 10-year-old a generation or two back. This blog grew out of that conversation and a question that was asked on your blog writer’s Facebook page. We’re turning back the clock to see what was fun 30, 40, 50, and more years ago. It’s the memories of summer and those days when time moved so slowly we wished some of it away.

June 20, 2018
Spend the Night Under the Stars

Sleeping Under the StarsSo, when was the last time you spent the night under the stars? Can you remember roasting marshmallows and making s’mores? What about spinning ghost stories by the glow of the campfire? If it’s hard to remember, then we’d like for you to mark your calendars for the National Wildlife Federation’s Great American Campout. Since 2005, the fourth Saturday in June has been celebrated with tents in backyards and a public campsites. Won’t you take the pledge?

June 13, 2018
Some of Our Favorite Urban Hikes

Haywood Quilt TrailIn casual conversation, when someone mentions they are going for a hike, our mind quickly envisions a narrow path winding through tall trees and rhododendron thickets. But, there can be different kinds of hikes – ones that take you through the city, around town, and even through time. Greenville, Asheville, and Waynesville are home to urban adventures that families and historians will enjoy.

May 30, 2018
Gear Up With Columbia PFG

Fishing in PFG gear from ColumbiaFew things in life hit their mark like the Columbia Performance Fishing Gear line. These things come about as close to perfect as you can get without actually catching the fish for you.

May 16, 2018
Add to Your Summer Reading List

Time to enjoy a good book. There’s nothing like enjoying a good book under a shade tree with a nice breeze blowing or on a warm sandy beach with the sound of waves crashing on the shoreline. Summer reading runs the gamut from bodice rippers and murder mysteries to non-fiction accounts of our times and classics from long ago. We asked our employees to share some of their recommendations to add to your summer reading list.

April 25, 2018
Get-Ready-for-Summer Checklist

The Big Bubble ThingWe are eagerly waiting for sun and fun! While the April showers mode continues, we’re actively putting together supplies for a summer filled with outings, laughter, and fun. Here’s a list of items with safety and protection at the forefront, so you can focus more on the fun part.

April 4, 2018
Tips for Photographing Wildflowers

FleabanePoet Alice Oswald said about the season: "Spring, when the earth tilts closer to the sun, runs a strict timetable of flowers." As the earth is renewing itself, many of us are finding more time to spend outside. One of those is Heather, the Mast Store photographer. When she ventures out on hikes, she loves to capture wildflower beauty she encounters along the way. This week's blog features some of her tips to help improve your photography. 

March 21, 2018
Your Dog is Looking Forward to Spring, Too

Caesar and Cleo in the snowJust like you, your dog is eager for the coming of spring. He or she is dreaming of long walks and hiking adventures to discover new places and activities. They probably need to work their way up to that longer adventure, too. Let’s see what to do.

March 14, 2018
24 Hours in Winston-Salem

Heritage Bridge at Old SalemThe city of Winston-Salem is reinventing itself daily. From being a tobacco and textile mecca, the city is now a haven of arts and innovation. Many of the old tobacco factories are being reclaimed and transformed into medical research laboratories, technology hubs, and apartments for people wanting to live amongst the re-emerging downtown vibe. But what if you’re not ready to take the deep dive and move to Winston-Salem? We have recommendations on must stops for spending 24 hours in Camel City that are just a short walk or drive from the front door of the Mast Store.

January 17, 2018
Do Your Feet Hurt?

Do your feet hurt?Ask any builder. They will tell you how important it is to have a good foundation on which to build your house. That’s exactly what your feet are for the rest of your body, so it is important to make sure your foundation is as sturdy and healthy as it can be. Superfeet helps maintain healthy feet and may mitigate some maladies to make everyday life more enjoyable. Making your feet “super” is quite easy.

January 3, 2018
Layering 101

LayeringIt’s winter, and we’re all ready for some outdoor, sub-freezing, fun. By now, you’ve probably been told that “layering” is the key to staying warm during winter activities, but what exactly does that mean? The simple answer has always been to dress in layers of clothing that you can easily add or take off as temperatures change but, actually, there is more to consider if you want to be truly comfortable in a wide range of weather conditions.

October 11, 2017
24 Hours in Valle Crucis, NC

VCBlogLocal historian John Preston Arthur wrote, “There’s a dreamy spell that hangs over this little valley.” That spell is further magnified during the month of October. With eye-popping visuals – think brightly-colored leaves, cattle quietly grazing in pastures, orange pumpkins peering out from amongst their leafy vines – the curvy road that brings you from Boone or Banner Elk is like a portal that slows time to a more relaxing, almost lazy, pace. To take in all of the activities we’re recommending for this 24 hours, you won’t be able to tarry long.

September 13, 2017
Please Take Your Seats – The Show is About to Begin

PriceLakeLeaves3.jpg

Perhaps a better directive would be “please begin planning your itineraries and booking your reservations; the show is about to begin.” As the calendar continues its march to the fall equinox, the anticipation of the changing of the leaves builds.

Will this be a good fall color season? How will the recent hurricane affect the leaves? Just what happens to make the leaves change anyway? The answers to these questions will vary depending upon who you ask, where you live, and the types of trees in the general area. To get a better handle on an answer that is applicable for the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains, we contacted Dr. Howard Neufeld at Appalachian State University.

September 5, 2017
Friends' Day in Knoxville Benefits the Friends of the Smokies

FOTS-Cable-Mill-SamHobbs.jpgThe Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the most visited unit in the National Park Service. On September 9, the Mast Store in Knoxville is hosting volunteers from the Friends of the Smokies (FOTS) and will donate 10% of the day’s sales to help this group’s continuing efforts to preserve and protect this important, beautiful, and biologically diverse park.

September 4, 2017
Friends' Day Is September 9 and Supports the MST

cover.jpgSaturday, September 9, 2017 is Friends’ Day at Mast General Store. On that day Mast General Store will donate 10% of proceeds from the day’s sales to support local partners. For all of the North Carolina stores the recipient of that support is the Mountains To Sea Trail.

September 3, 2017
Friends of the Reedy River Receives Support on Friends' Day in Greenville

FORR-1.jpg The Reedy River flows through Downtown Greenville and is inextricably linked to the city’s success.  On September 9, the Mast Store in Greenville is hosting volunteers from the Friends of the Reedy River and will donate 10% of the day’s sales to help this group’s continuing efforts to improve the river’s condition.

August 15, 2017
Check Off Your Summer Bucket List

TheMoon.jpgIt’s hard to believe it’s already August, and everyone is talking about back-to-school plans. Even so, there’s still time to check off a few more items on your summer bucket list. Just in case you’ve already completed yours, we have a few suggestions for you to consider adding.

August 8, 2017
There's Going to Be an Eclipse - August 21, 2017

Eclipse2The most anticipated event of the century is happening on Monday, August 21. For the first time in almost a century, a total eclipse of the sun will sweep across the United States from the coast of Oregon to the coast of South Carolina. Astronomers and serial eclipsers are heading to the Path of Totality, a 70-mile wide band where the moon’s shadow will totally block the sun.

June 21, 2017
Burt's Bees - Life Lessons from the Bee Man

burts-bees-i.jpgIn the summer of 1984, Maine artist Roxanne Quimby, was trying to thumb a ride home. Eventually, a bright yellow Datsun pickup truck pulled over, and Roxanne instantly recognized Burt Shavitz, a local fellow whose beard was almost as well-known as his roadside honey stand. Burt and Roxanne hit it off. Before long, Roxanne was making candles in his 8-x-8 turkey coop with unused wax from Burt's beehives. They made $200 at their first craft fair; within a year, they'd make $20,000. It was a pretty fantastic beginning, but it was just the beginning all the same.

June 13, 2017
Chasing the Catawba Rhododendron in the Blue Ridge Mountains

Mid to late June ushers in one of the most celebrated months in the Blue Ridge Mountains: the Catawba Rhododendron blooming season. The bees buzz with delight, drinking in the flower’s nutritious nectar. The famed rhododendron’s splashes of hot pink create a stunning landscape against a backdrop of mountainsides draped in early summer green. 

June 6, 2017
Vital Travel Tip: Always Pack a Carry-On Bag

osprey-day-pack.jpgThroughout the months of May and June, the traditional beginning of travel season, we're sharing travel stories from our employees along with travel tips and tricks learned along the way. This week, our Mast Store webmaster shares vital tips for smart travelers.

May 30, 2017
Celebrate Land Trust Day 2017

lt1.jpgLand Trust Day at Mast Store is celebrating its fifteenth year on Saturday, June 3rd. We are honored to host this friend-raising day for the land trust organizations in each of our communities to visit with our guests, educate people on what land trusts do, and to garner support both in our local communities and in the home communities of our visitors.

May 23, 2017
Don't Suffer from Travel Paralysis

sheri-travel-1a.jpgThroughout the month of May, the traditional beginning of travel season, we're sharing travel stories from our employees along with travel tips and tricks learned along the way. This week, we’re talking about overcoming travel paralysis.

May 23, 2017
Bagpipes & Roadrunners in Arizona with Fox

arizona1.jpgThroughout the month of May, the traditional beginning of travel season, we're sharing travel stories from our employees along with travel tips and tricks learned along the way. This week, we’re exploring the Great American Desert with Fox.

May 17, 2017
Travel Smart With These Eco Friendly Tips

ecotransport-1.jpgAs we continue celebrating travel season throughout the month of May, we’re thinking about creative and earth-friendly approaches to transportation: cycling, walking, and carpooling. You’ll also find some helpful tips on how to become a more eco-friendly driver.

May 10, 2017
Exploring the United Kingdom with Elizabeth

elizabeth-uk-hostel-1.jpgThis May, the traditional beginning of travel season, we're sharing travel stories from our employees along with travel tips and tricks learned along the way. Last week, we explored a variety of traveling tips with Deb. This week, we’re learning about the many benefits of hostelling with Elizabeth.

May 3, 2017
Expert Tips to Kick Off Travel Season

travel-tips-main.jpgLast August, Mast Store's blogs featured our employees' stories about their favorite visit to a National Park in celebration of the National Park Service Centennial. This May, the traditional beginning of travel season, we're sharing travel stories from our employees along with travel tips and tricks learned along the way. Please join us!

April 13, 2017
Spring Happenings in our Mast Store Communities

easter-main.jpgThe beauty of spring is cascading from South Carolina’s midlands to the mountains of Western North Carolina and Eastern Tennessee. We’re excited to go outside, soak in the sunshine, and enjoy the glorious new blooms! 

April 3, 2017
The Sherpa Standard: All things, in all ways, are tied together.

sherpa-main.jpgOn Friday, March 31st, the Mast Store in Asheville hosted a special event with Sherpa Adventure Gear, celebrating Nepalese food, culture, and the history of the Sherpa people.

March 22, 2017
Celebrating Nepalese Culture at the Mast Store in Asheville

sherpa-1.jpgThe Sherpa Adventure Gear line is a new addition to Mast Store’s offerings in the Outdoor Department. The brand is a living memorial to the high-altitude climbers who have assisted individuals, like Sir Edmund Hilary, and groups in their ascent of Mount Everest and other peaks in the Himalayas.

February 22, 2017
Leave No Trace Principles Made Easy for Kids

2-LNT-2.jpgLast week we learned about the seven basic principles of Leave No Trace (LNT). Familiarize yourself with the LNT essentials by clicking visiting last week's blog entry. This week, we’re exploring easy ways to share these important guidelines with the children in your life. Let’s get started.

February 15, 2017
Leave No Trace Made Easy

1-LNT-6.jpgIf you’ve been to a Girl Scouts or Boy Scouts meeting, attended a wilderness summer camp, or participated in the Great American Backyard Campout, you may already be familiar with the principles of Leave No Trace (LNT). These valuable principles aren’t just useful in the woods, they can be applied in every environment. This week, we’re exploring Leave No Trace so our collective small steps can lead to big changes in the natural world (and in ourselves)!

February 1, 2017
Enjoying the Mountains in Winter

Winter is gradually making its grand appearance with sinking temperatures and driving snow. After the wintry mix is plowed and the wind abates, it’s time to head outside for some wintertime exploration. The detail, clarity, and focus across multiple mountain ranges are most spectacular in the deep of winter. Closer views are just as thrilling because the bare trees reveal details on the landscape that are easy to miss when blocked by rich foliage.

January 25, 2017
Winter Layering Tips - Part Two

2-layer-MAIN.jpgLast week, we explored the basics of layering to help you stay warm and dry in winter weather. This is the most important place to start because a warm core sends blood to the rest of your body and helps keep your extremities warmer, too. This week, we offer a few tried and true tips for pant layers in addition to ways to protect your neck, face, fingers, and feet.

January 18, 2017
Layering Tips for Wintry Adventures

layering-main.jpgWhen it comes to winter sports like snowshoeing, hiking, skiing, and sledding, layering up is the best way to comfortably enjoy your favorite cold weather activities. Used to maximize comfort, this simple concept is easy to apply when you understand how it works.

January 11, 2017
Ideas for Enjoying Snow Days

snow-days-main.jpgWith another unseasonably mild holiday season behind us, folks in the southeast were very excited to wake up to 6 to 10 inches of fresh fallen snow the first full weekend of the New Year. If your family is anything like mine, we were totally unprepared for the powdery goodness. (My husband chalks it up to wearing shorts from March straight through December in 2016.) Below, you’ll find a few ideas for how to make the most of your next snow day. Our fingers are crossed that we have quite a few more in store this winter…

January 4, 2017
24 hours in Knoxville, TN

We 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 right outside our doors. We’re excited to share a selection of our favorites with you! We’re continuing our “24 Hours In…” series in 2017.

December 1, 2016
Choose & Cut Your Own Christmas Tree This Year

tree-1.jpgThinking about the many Christmas trees I’ve enjoyed throughout the years brings up a host of sweet memories: The earliest trees of my childhood included brass clip-on candle holders. We lit the candles on the tree each evening (my parents were very brave). This tradition was passed down through the generations from our Swedish ancestors. There was the year our newly acquired stray cat took the entire tree down only a half hour after it was fully decorated…

October 5, 2016
Stanley – Loved By Generations

stanley.jpgThough it’s made great strides in mass appeal over the past decade, the vacuum steel bottle is not a new product. Well over 100 years ago, a Massachusetts man, William Stanley, invented this ingenious bottle. With over 100 patents to his name, Stanley was a major inventor during the golden age of electric development. Thanks to this prolific engineer, we have the pleasure of enjoying our cold drinks staying cold and our hot beverages remaining piping hot due to Stanley’s ingenious all-steel vacuum bottles.

September 28, 2016
Upcoming Fall Events in Area State & National Parks

AVL-FFP-1-Sep-27-a.jpgThe Indian Summer we’ve been experiencing in the southeast is slowly coming to an end. As we continue to celebrate this Centennial Year of the National Parks, we offer a few suggestions for fall events for the whole family in these beautiful places. Our State and National Parks offer much to enjoy and explore the first weekend in October.

September 14, 2016
24 Hours In Asheville, NC

We 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 right outside our doors. We’re excited to share a selection of our favorites with you!

 

September 8, 2016
Join Us For Friends' Day with the Blue Ridge Parkway Foundation

Friends-Day-BRPF-1.JPGThe Beatles refrain is true, “I get by with a little help from my friends.” On Saturday, September 10, the Mast Store will be hosting Friends in each of its home communities that have the awesome responsibility of taking care of resources that locals and visitors enjoy every day. At the end of the day, each of our store locations will donate 10% of the day’s sales to support our local conservation partners.

September 7, 2016
Join Us For Friends' Day with Friends of the Smokies

friends-day-smokies-2.jpgThe Beatles refrain is true, “I get by with a little help from my friends.” On Saturday, September 10, the Mast Store will be hosting Friends in each of its home communities that have the awesome responsibility of taking care of resources that locals and visitors enjoy every day. At the end of the day, each of our store locations will donate 10% of the day’s sales to support our local conservation partners.

September 6, 2016
Join Us For Friends' Day with the Palmetto Conservation Foundation

friends-day-palmetto-3.jpgThe Beatles refrain is true, “I get by with a little help from my friends.” On Saturday, September 10, the Mast Store will be hosting Friends in each of its home communities that have the awesome responsibility of taking care of resources that locals and visitors enjoy every day. At the end of the day, each of our store locations will donate 10% of the day’s sales to support our local conservation partners.

September 5, 2016
Join Us For Friends' Day with Old Salem

friends-day-salem-1.jpgThe Beatles refrain is true, “I get by with a little help from my friends.” On Saturday, September 10, the Mast Store will be hosting Friends in each of its home communities that have the awesome responsibility of taking care of resources that locals and visitors enjoy every day. At the end of the day, each of our store locations will donate 10% of the day’s sales to support our local conservation partners.

September 5, 2016
Join Us For Friends' Day with Friends of the Reedy River

Friends-Day-Reedy-3.jpgThe Beatles refrain is true, “I get by with a little help from my friends.” On Saturday, September 10, the Mast Store will be hosting Friends in each of its home communities that have the awesome responsibility of taking care of resources that locals and visitors enjoy every day. At the end of the day, each of our store locations will donate 10% of the day’s sales to support our local conservation partners.

September 4, 2016
Friends' Day is September 10

friends-day-smokies-2.jpgThe Beatles refrain is true, “I get by with a little help from my friends.” On Saturday, September 10, the Mast Store will be hosting Friends in each of its home communities that have the awesome responsibility of taking care of resources that locals and visitors enjoy every day. At the end of the day, each of our store locations will donate 10% of the day’s sales to support our local conservation partners.

August 31, 2016
NPS Centennial: Fun for the Whole Family at Connemara

connemara-alaina-1.jpgMy first visit to Connemara was a breezy, blue-skied, late summer day last year. This unique and beautiful National Park offers an astonishing array of activities to enjoy: The opportunity to explore the home of a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, the sweet splendor of a laze-about in open fields with a herd of milking goats, and a gentle trail to Big Glassy with stunning views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Though I’ve enjoyed a wide variety of National Parks over the years, Connemara has easily become a favorite for its diverse offerings that every member of my family will enjoy.

August 30, 2016
NPS Centennial: Snowy Adventure on the Appalachian Trail

GSMNP-2-Scott-1.jpgWe had entered the park under clouds and wet, frozen fog. My partner, Turbo, and I left Cosby Knob Shelter around 9:30 a.m., which not exactly an alpine start, and set off into the chilly damp. As we gained in elevation, the snow got deeper and made for slow going. Often, we would fall through the crunchy top layer and sink into deeper soft snow beneath. Then things got interesting…

August 29, 2016
NPS Centennial: Black Bear Encounters in Shenandoah

shenandoah-2-mary-3.jpgAfter my husband and I retired from our careers, we lived full time in our RV for two and a half years. During that time, we traveled around the country working in different campgrounds. We worked several summers in Shenandoah National Park as campground hosts for the National Park Service.

August 28, 2016
NPS Centennial: Discovering Desert Beauty in Zion

Zion-Deb-3b.jpgThe desert offers both magical and mystical beauty. When I’m still, I can see the changes in the color of the landscape, and discover nature I didn’t see at first glance. As I see these things, I hear the desert calling me.

August 26, 2016
NPS Centennial: Amazing Beauty Close to Home at Mammoth Cave

Mammoth-Cave-Tamera-1.jpgThe first field trip went on was in first grade to Tuckaleechee Caverns in Townsend, Tennessee. This trip was the first time I became fascinated by caves and bats. Once I learned about Mammoth Cave from the weekly reader during elementary school, I made a plan to someday visit there. It was interesting to me to know the largest cave system on the planet was less than 200 miles from home. Experts have explored 400 miles of Mammoth Cave, but there’s still much more to explore.  After a little research, I put the cave at the top of my to-do list.

August 25, 2016
NPS Centennial: Island Adventures in St. John

Jody-BVI-5.jpgI honestly cannot say what would be my favorite National Park because they’re all wonderfully diverse treasures. I had the unique experience of living on the U.S. Virgin Island of St. John. Did you know that more than half of this stunning island is part of the Virgin Islands National Park?

August 24, 2016
NPS Centennial: Making Family Memories Out West

Yellowstone-Amy-1.jpgI’ve long been a fan of America’s National Parks. This probably began the summer I worked in Yellowstone while I was a college student.  At 21-years-old, visiting Yellowstone was a life altering-experience.  Although I’ve visited quite a few national parks, Yellowstone has remained my favorite.

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!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.

July 27, 2016
Valuable Advice for Incoming College Freshmen

freshmen-2.jpgEmbarking on a college career is an exciting, and often daunting, venture. Few folks forget the mixed emotions we felt as we prepared for our freshman year in higher education. As the new school year edges ever closer, we’ve reached out to our Mast Store associates for their best advice for incoming college freshmen. Our contributors attended universities, as well as technical and community colleges.  From college seniors, newer college graduates, and those who've completed their education a few years ago or many decades ago, we hope you or someone you love will benefit from their words of wisdom.

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.

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?

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.

April 6, 2016
Find Your Park in South Carolina

conagree-1.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.

March 9, 2016
Spring Birding Made Easy

birding-two-4.jpgSome folks consider birding the best scavenger hunt available to mankind.  Last year, we explored Backyard Birding Made Easy. This year, we’re going to apply those principles to birding in the great outdoors. In celebration of the National Parks System’s 100th year, we’ve included a few tips on where to seek out and how to successfully identify birds in the woods and along the trail in a National Park nearest you.

March 2, 2016
24 Hours in Waynesville, NC

24-wvl-4.jpgWaynesville, North Carolina is a beautiful town nestled at the foot of the Smoky Mountains along the Blue Ridge Parkway about 40 minutes south of Asheville. From the vibrant downtown area to the lush surrounding mountains, it's easy to understand why Waynesville has been a tourist destination for centuries.  Just as we did with Greenville, South Carolina in January, we're offering a small selection of our favorite spots to visit within walking distance of Mast Store at 63 North Main Street. Please come along.

February 3, 2016
Find Your Park in North Carolina

nc-4.jpgFrom the Blue Ridge Parkway and Appalachian Trail in the mountains to the Cape Hatteras and Cape Lookout on the coast, the National Parks in North Carolina are varied in landscape and diverse in beauty.

January 6, 2016
Celebrating the National Park Service Centennial in 2016

nps-jan-1.jpgThe National Park Service (NPS) turns 100 on August 25, 2016, and everyone can take part in the celebration! Over the course of this year, we’re going to explore the importance of the NPS, the folks who helped create it, how to Find Your Park in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee, as well as tips and apps that you can use to help make the most of your NPS experience. Please join us as we learn more about and experience first-hand the awesome gift that is, as NPS documentarian Ken Burns lauds it, “America’s Best Idea!”

October 6, 2015
Fall Hike on the Rattlesnake Lodge Trail

rattlesnake-ruins-5.jpgWhile our thoughts are with our neighbors to the south who received the brunt of this past week’s storms, folks in the Blue Ridge Mountains are drying out and hitting the trails in search of brilliant fall colors.  Some leaves fell with the wind and rain, but the good news is that premature color change and bare trees appear to be a minor issue in Western North Carolina. If you find yourself in the Asheville area in the coming weeks, check out a local’s favorite along the Mountains-to-Sea trail just a hop, skip, and a jump from the Blue Ridge Parkway.

September 30, 2015
The Autumnal Rumpus is Upon Us

alaina-drawdy-cox-autumnal-1.jpgBeginning with a few random leaves on your lawn in early to mid-September, October cascades into a brilliant wash of color, flaming our hills and valleys with hues we can only dream of creating with a paintbrush. Enter Mother Nature, the master artist. Her palette of reds, golds, greens, and russets creates quite a spectacle, and the changing fall foliage never fails to delight us.

September 17, 2015
Planning Your Trip for a Spectacular Fall Leafing Season

alaina-drawdy-cox-fall-2015-a.jpg“Autumn seemed to arrive suddenly that year. The morning of the first September was crisp and golden as an apple,” J. K. Rowling once mused. Local fall foliage predictors are echoing the same sentiment.  Due to drier than usual spring and summer seasons, we're anticipating this year’s color to be more spectacular than we've experienced in many years. Your friends at Mast General Store and the Fall Foliage Primer hope to help you get the most out of your leafing tour this year.

August 27, 2015
Stop By and See Us Along America's Favorite Drive

alaina-drawdy-cox-craggy-pinnacle.jpgLate Summer is a magnificent time of year to enjoy the Blue Ridge Parkway. In fact, you could string together a trip through the mountains, soak in their beauty and rich history, and also find time to meander into your favorite Mast General Store at many stops along the Parkway.

August 6, 2015
Savoring the Last Days of Summer

sunflower-baby-alaina-drawdy-cox-1.jpgYou know the summer is coming to a close when the sunflowers start to droop in the heat of the noonday sun. Checking in with a large field of cheery sunflowers near the Mast Store World Wide Headquarters, it’s clear from the sleepy blooms that summer is ever so slowly fading. Before we get back into the swing of another school year, here are a few of our favorite ways to enjoy the last days of summer.

June 17, 2015
Honed in Norwegian Beauty and Practicality

helle-1.jpgWhen you think of Norway, blue fjords snaking among tall mountains, small fishing villages, and making first tracks in new fallen snow all come to mind. Out of this beauty, and the need to feed the family and make a living, came the tradition of Helle Knives.

May 6, 2015
Boone, NC – Outdoor Magazine's Next "Best Town Ever"

Boone-Outdoor-Magazine-Best-Towns-Tournament-1.jpgAs the birthplace of our first Mast General Store outside of Valle Crucis, we've had a love affair with Boone, North Carolina for centuries. As the home of Appalachian State University (ASU), folks are drawn to this busy college town for more reasons than an exceptional education and exciting athletic events. The surrounding area is one of the country's best destinations for outdoor adventures. Walk across the Mile High Swinging Bridge or scale Linville Peak, the highest peak in the Blue Ridge at Grandfather Mountain. Grab your bike and head to Pisgah National Forest, featuring over 200 miles of exciting trails.

April 8, 2015
Tilley Hats: A Friend for a Lifetime

040715-tilley-hat-4.jpgAlex Tilley, the founder of Tilley Hats, became frustrated when he couldn’t find a good sailing hat. He decided to oversee the making of some proper hats for himself and other Toronto sailors. He wanted the hat to float, stay on, not to shrink, last indefinitely, and look good. He didn’t realize that such a thing was considered impossible.

March 18, 2015
Join Us Along the Haywood County Quilt Trail

alaina-drawdy-cox-spring-daffodils.JPGCrocuses and daffodils popping up all over the southeast serve as a cheerful reminder that spring is just around the corner. The longer days of sunshine and warmer temperatures always inspire us to get outside and explore something new. This year, we're looking forward to enjoying an urban outdoor adventure along the Haywood County Quilt Trail.

February 16, 2015
Easy Photography Tips for Winter Landscapes

winter-photography-2.jpgLong-range views, snowy scenes, and gorgeous sunsets: Winter provides ample opportunity to capture beautiful photos and you don’t have to be an expert photographer or own a lot of expensive equipment to get the perfect shot. This week our Mast Store Photo Stylist, Heather, shares some helpful tips for shooting winter landscapes with your point-and-shoot camera or your cell phone too.

February 6, 2015
Nine Essential Winter Hiking Tips

Hiking in winter poses challenges that are very different from hitting the trail all other seasons of the year. Shortened daylight, lower temperatures, and quickly changing conditions may present obstacles, but they are all easy to safely navigate with proper planning. We sat down this week with Dan, one of our resident “hiking experts” at the Mast Store Asheville, for some valuable tips you’ll want to use as you plan your outdoor adventure in the coldest season of the year.

January 28, 2015
Exploring the Mountains in Winter

Winter is gradually making its grand appearance with sinking temperatures and driving snow. After the wintry mix is plowed and the wind abates, it’s time to head outside for some wintertime exploration. The detail, clarity, and focus across multiple mountain ranges are most spectacular in the deep of winter. Closer views are just as thrilling because the bare trees reveal details on the landscape that are easy to miss when blocked by rich foliage.

December 8, 2014
A Gift to Enjoy the Outdoors

ChristmasTentIt is often a challenge to find just the right gift for everyone on your list, particularly if you are trying to find something for the outdoor enthusiast. Just a few questions that can be asked in casual conversation can help steer you to a thoughtful and useful gift that will serve him or her for years to come.

October 6, 2014
Smart Travelers Get a Head Start on Fall Weekends in the Mountains

DSC03420.jpgGardens are bearing the last of their summer gifts. Children awaken early for hours filled with learning. The length of sunlight shortens with each passing day. Some mornings there’s a familiar crisp scent in the air reminding us that fall is fast approaching. Knowing this beloved season is quickly come and gone, it’s never too early to plan your autumn excursion to the Blue Ridge and Smoky Mountains.

June 26, 2014
Packing Light for Summer Travel

travel-light-1.jpgWhether you’re flying with your family on a big trip across the country or going on a quick weekend road trip to the beach, smart travelers like to pack light. Not only does it make packing easier, but it makes finding what you need when you reach your destination easy, too.

June 13, 2014
Summer Road Trip With the Furry Children

furry-friend-travel-2.jpgTaking the family for a summer road trip oftentimes includes the furry children. Kennels and pet sitters are costly and no one wants to leave the four-legged family members out of the fun. Your friends at Mast General Store are here to offer some tips that will help make your summer adventure a safe and enjoyable one for the furriest members of your family.

June 9, 2014
Savoring the Journey with Frank and Peggy

Jaskolka-Great-Smoky-Mtn.jpgWe all want to invest our lives in the things we love. For Frank and Peggy, their great love in life, in addition to each other, is exploring the outdoors together.

June 6, 2014
National Geographic Explorer and Best-selling Author Visits Boone Mast Store

helen-1.jpgThe Turchin Center for the Visual Arts, Mast General Store and Cordura are proud to host National Geographic Explorer and best-selling author Helen Thayer for a free presentation on Wednesday, May 14 in the lecture hall at the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts in Downtown Boone. The presentation, “Polar Dream,” begins at 6:30 p.m. A meet and greet reception with light refreshments will be held immediately following the presentation. 

March 14, 2014
Backyard Birding Made Easy

backyard birding 1Bird watching is full of surprises. Did you realize that chickadees are as fond of peanut butter as your four-year-old… and as prone to squabbling over it as toddlers are? Have you ever watched a cardinal feed a choice seed to his mate?  Listened to the joyous song of a sparrow after a rainstorm?

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Friends' Day in Columbia Salutes the Palmetto Trail

PCF-3.jpgThe Palmetto Trail, a project of the Palmetto Conservation Foundation (PCF), begins in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains at Wahalla and stretches across the state of South Carolina to the Low Country near Charleston. On September 9, the Mast Store in Columbia is hosting volunteers from the PCF and will donate 10% of the day’s sales to help this group’s continuing efforts to conserve South Carolina’s natural and cultural resources and to promote active outdoor recreation on the Palmetto Trail.