It's always surprising when the first leaves start to fall in the beginning of September. The summer isn't hot enough here in the Blue Ridge Mountains for it to be much of a reprieve but still, that first breath or cool crisp fall air brings with it a deep sense of nostalgia. A time to reflect on what's been accomplished in the past year and focus on what's left to be done before battening down the hatches for the winter ahead.
September has become my favorite month of the year. Though weather patterns are still a little unpredictable because of the tropics, the temperature is that perfect 71 degrees with a little bit of breeze and just enough chill in the air to make you want to make a cup of tea and sit outside. Another thing about September is that it's actually one of the slower months here in the High Country. After the kids go back to school, tourism hits a standstill until the leaves start turning in October.
Fall in the Boone/Blowing Rock area is bustling with things to do. First, and perhaps most notably to some is Appalachian State Football kicking off. The first game of the season is today actually. The mountaineers didn't take home the title last year, but prior to that, they were the National Champs three years in a row! Can't wait to see what this season holds.
The third weekend in October brings the annual Wooly Worm Festival in Banner Elk. Historically according to local folklore, woolly worms have been used to forecast the winter weather. In a nutshell, the length and severity of the winner depends on the coloration of the worm that wins the Wooly Worm Race. It's like our very own groundhog. In addition to worm race, there is also a 5k run and tons of great local food and craft vendors and activities for the kids. I can't wait till mine is old enough to go and enjoy the festivities.
The Boone Art Crawl is a fun event that happens year round on the first Friday of each month. It's a great opportunity to walk around down town Boone and browse local galleries and shops. Some restaurants like Vidalia on King Street offer a wine tasting and specials on bottles. The Turchin Center on ASU's campus will also be open to the public and have local art on display.
The Ghost Train at Tweetsie Railroad takes place October 3, 4, 10, 11, 17, 18, 24, 25, 31, and November 1st. Gates open each evening at 7:30 p.m. In addition to the Ghost Train and regular Tweetsie attractions, there is trick or treating for the kids, a 3D maze, a black hole and scary shows at the Tweetsie Saloon. Fun for kids of all ages.
This is just the tip of the iceberg as far as fun fall activities in the High Country. There is so much to do and see in general in this area but something about this time of year makes you want to get out there and take advantage of every day whether you're a local or just passing through. Feel free to contact me with any questions if you're in the area.