- January 3, 2018
- Layering 101
It’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
Local 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
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
The 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
Saturday, 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
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
It’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
The 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
In 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.