Sallie shared some of her pictures from earlier in the season when Mountain Air's Dining Divas had a great meal in Heritage Ridge Park. If you like to cook and enjoy sharing delicious food together, talk to Sallie about joining Dining Divas. Sallie is also one of our Heritage Ridge Villas' board members.
Every year, the Property Owners Association at Mountain Air hosts the Ferrari Club. They enjoy the three mile ride from the gate up to the runway at the top of the mountain. They get to do time trials on the runway and have lunch. We residents get to enjoy the show. This year, a few Heritage Ridge Villas residents invited friends and we sat along the side of the road to watch the Ferraris roar up the mountain. In the video below, you get to see a view from a drone. It's a nice tour of the mountain.
One of our residents, Louise Lindsay, created the following interpretation of her favorite red Ferrari, as it sped by in a time trial on the runway.
There are always fun activities at Mountain Air. Last Saturday, runners and walkers made the 5 K climb from the gate to the top of the mountain. The 5 K race is open to all who are interested and happens every fall, in the midst of the beautiful leaf season. Part of the ascent comes right up through our Heritage Ridge Park and neighborhood, and we get to cheer everyone on, or maybe join in the race.
Last week one of our residents drove the Blue Ridge Parkway from 80 S to past Mt. Mitchell. She had the privilege of witnessing an afternoon of the great Monarch Butterfly migration from all over Canada and the eastern US to Mexico. Thousands of Monarchs were pausing on their 2500 mile journey and refreshing themselves (nectaring) on the Blue-ridge wildflowers. You could see them all over the wildflowers and everywhere in the sky. Pure heaven. She stopped at every overlook, sat in the grass, and simply experienced this awe-inspiring event. She shared these pictures with us.
In the landscape images of the views from the overlooks, you may be able to see the butterflies in the sky, although it's hard to see on small internet images.
Normally monarchs live 2-6 weeks. The monarchs who fly south to Mexico live closer to 9 months. The same butterflies start the return trip to the States and Canada. They start an inter generational relay of sorts when they reach Texas, as one generation dies out, and successive generations carry on the migration back to their many northern homes!
If you look up to the skies above and around Mountain Air, often you see the monarchs flying through in the fall. The Nature Center in the Mountain Air Village also has coccons which hatch and a whole program dealing with monarchs. Stop by to take a look.
#MonarchMigration #MonarchButterflies #nectaring #BlueRidgeParkway #GreenKnobOverlook #BaldOverlook
A Heritage Ridge Villas resident's daughter, Emily, visited and took this picture of the view from the 18th hole. The 18th hole is right next to the Heritage Ridge Villas, and is one of the most photographed places on the mountain. We hope that everyone has been out enjoying great games of golf.
Residents of the Heritage Ridge Villas enjoy hiking on the Jump Off trail at the top of the mountain. This trail follows a ridge line, and has a long gentle trail, with a lookout point. For those who want a bit of a steeper hike, it's a short climb up to an even higher lookout. This trail goes through an old growth forest, with these giant trees. Residents of the villas have access to the many miles of hiking trails within Mountain Air. The trails are well maintained and well marked. What a beautiful way to spend part of a day.
Two of our Heritage Ridge Villas residents have enjoyed wonderful hikes at nearby Rocky Fork State Park in Tennessee. It is about a 30 minute drive from our villas, mostly on 4 lane highway. Louise contributed the videos below.
Rocky Fork Park
We walked along a gentle path, with the above river gently flowing along the path. A beautiful, peaceful and easy walk, with many places to pause and sit along the river. A great place to bring a picnic.
There also are many harder trails and waterfalls in the park.
The park literature says: "The park is predominately Appalachian cove forest, one of the most biologically diverse habitats in North America. The well drained, loamy soil supports the growth of a variety of hardwoods and evergreens. Oak, hickory, beech, pine, hemlock, and rhododendron are just a few of the species found here. The diversity of tree species has historically made the area a desirable timber ground. The park and the surrounding Cherokee National Forest offers miles of old, unmarked logging roads.
Native wildflowers find ideal growing conditions and include Pink Lady’s Slipper and Yellow Fringed Orchid and Lesser Purple Fringed Orchid, and several native lilies, including Turk’s Cap and Michaux’s Lily. Diverse and varied fungi thrive in Rocky Fork’s cool, damp climate.
. . . The park contains a noted cultural site at the junction of Flint Creek and Rocky Fork. This location was the winter encampment of Creek and Cherokee Indians in the late 1700s when Colonel (later Governor) John Sevier and his troops surrounded the encampment and mounted a surprise attack in response to long standing tension between the two groups. The Creek and Cherokee sustained heavy fatalities and casualties during the conflict."
The Mountain Air Property Owners' Association just sponsored the first annual 5 K run up Mountain Air. You might want to sign up for next year's run! It is open to anyone. It was a big success.
The video to preview the road for the race also shows you the main road, Mountain Air Drive, up the mountain, all the way to the runway and Mountain Air Village at the top. The Heritage Ridge Villas are about half way up this drive of 3 miles. You can see in the video that the drive up the mountain is on a well paved and easy to drive road, with only gentle curves, not harrowing switchbacks.
The Heritage Ridge Villas are an easy 35 minute, 4 lane expressway drive, from Asheville. The final drive up the mountain is shown here. Unlike many other mountain communities, Mountain Air is close to Asheville, but at an altitude that brings cooler temperatures, with an easy drive to and up the mountain. When it is 85 degrees in Asheville in the summer, our temperatures are below 75 degrees because of our altitude. Our fall weather is beautiful and mild. Today, at night, it is 65 degrees on my outside porch.
Enjoy this video drive up our mountain, especially the views at the end. Remember that the Heritage Ridge Villas are only half way up the mountain, rather close to the entry gate. You can see how you gain altitude as you drive up the mountain. Come for a visit.
Our Heritage Ridge Villas condos are at high elevation, 4000 ft. They are an easy drive up a well paved and maintained road. Driving seven minutes down our mountain and on a 4 lane highway brings residents to our lovely local village of Burnsville (elevation 2822 ft.). A recent Charlotte Magazine article adds to the praises Burnsville always receives.
We are fortunate in the Heritage Ridge Villas, because we are near the top of Mountain Air, with all the Club amenities nearby. We have glorious long range mountain views. And we are near the entry gate and an easy drive into Burnsville. The nearest grocery store is a ten minute drive away. There is no "rush hour" traffic. Burnsville not only has lovely boutiques, but it is also home to many artists and their galleries. In fact, the Charlotte Magazine article includes pictures of the beautiful murals painted by local artist, Rhea Ormond, mentioned in a prior post.
While having a lovely dinner at Snap Dragon in Burnsville, I had the opportunity of meeting one of our famous local artists, Rhea Ormond. Rhea currently has some of her paintings on exhibit at TRAC, in Burnsville. She has painted several murals in Burnsville and Spruce Pine also. Images of two of her lovely murals appear below. Be sure to enjoy the many murals in downtown Burnsville and Spruce Pine, and catch the latest exhibits at TRAC in Burnsville, and Spruce Pine. Louise Lindsay
The Carolina Mountains Literary Festival was awesome again this year. Check their website to look into next year's festival, Sept. 6-8, 2018. There were highlights this year too numerous to mention. But one highlight was an interview with James Reston, Jr., pictured below. There was also a lovely free pre-festival concert, with musicians of local and national note. That is Rob Levin, our local and world famous glass blowing artist, but also musician, playing the washboard base. Ron and Minnie teamed up with a yodeler. And Bruce Greene played the fidel and sang old folk tunes with his wife. If you missed this event, you can experience some of the music again this coming Saturday at the Burnsville Town Center "Music in the Mountains Folk Festival.
The weather has been gorgeous here at Mountain Air. The past several days have been comfortably warm and sunny. Some of us have been hiking on the glorious trails here. Below is a view from the first look out on Jump Off Trail. Simply drive over to Timber Sky. Download the hiking trail map on this website, or get one from the Outdoor Discovery Center. There is a trail head over in Timber Sky, that takes you to a gentle trail along the top ridge of Mountain Air. You arrive at a lovely lookout, where this picture was taken. Then, you can continue on up a steeper trail, to an even higher lookout if you wish. The first part of the jump-off trail is gentle and easy, even for beginners.
© Louise Lindsay 2017, prints, etc. available at www.louiselindsay.com by request
For those looking for something different to do, try a Friday or Saturday night of star gazing in one of the few dark sky locations. The Bare Dark Sky Observatory is located at the Mayland Earth to Sky Park in Yancey County, very close to Mountain Air. The address is: 66 Energy Exchange Dr, Burnsville, NC 28714. It offers a 360 degree view. People can view the moon, planets and stars through the 34" diameter Sam Scope, as well as the smaller planetary telescope. Or you can simply appreciate the dark night sky.
The Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina have stood as silent witnesses to the uninterrupted, nightly rain of starlight for nearly a half-billion years, but artificial light now threatens this nightly show. In honor of notable local efforts to preserve the natural nighttime landscape of western North Carolina, the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) designated the Mayland Earth to Sky Park and Observatory as the first IDA-certified Star Park in the southeastern United States.
The Mayland Earth to Sky Park and Bare Dark Sky Observatory is open to the public many Friday and Saturday nights. More information and tickets are available here.
Brian Gurl has played at Mountain Air in the past. Now his new show is at the Diana Wortham Theatre. Tickets are available here.
International award-winning pianist/vocalist Katherine Alexandra takes on renowned American piano powerhouse Brian Gurl in this innovative production. Performing an eclectic and vividly entertaining fusion of classical, pop, jazz & ethnic folk genres, with shades of Victor Borge.
Together with Grammy Award winning bassist Eliot Wadopian and drummer Byron Hedgepeth, Moscow Meets Manhattan takes you “Around The World in 88 Keys” - performing repertoire from Argentina, Spain, Hungary, Russia and America. This diverse duo skillfully compliment and playfully challenge each other on both one and two pianos - enhanced by lush vocal duets, Brian’s virtuoso melodica playing and an engaging rapport with the audience. From Ragtime to Rachmaninoff, Billy Joel to Broadway and Gypsy Folk to The Tango, MMM - Dueling Pianos Plus is a first class act in a fun-filled package.
© Louise Lindsay 2017
No, this was not taken at Mountain Air. Most years I am at Mountain Air for the Perseid meteor showers in mid-August. Kat, our naturalist, always has a great program on the runway at the top of the mountain. It's a great place to view the meteors. But this year, I am still in Key Largo. It is also a great place to view the meteor shower. The streaks here are star trails, as this image was created from tons of images stacked together, taken over 40 minutes. The stars move and create these beautiful star trails. The horizontal streak across the image toward the bottom may be a plane that crossed my path, rather than a meteor. But maybe it's a meteor.
The meteor showers are still active tomorrow night, 8/13/17. Be sure to look up at the sky if you are awake at night.
Nearby Asheville is always winning awards and making many different top 10 lists. A recent Country Living article ranks Asheville #1, among the top ten coziest cities! Enjoy a visit to Asheville, perhaps to one of their great restaurants, or breweries, to an art gallery, for some bluegrass music, or check out all the many Asheville activities on our helpful Links page.
We have the best location in the world here at the Heritage Ridge Villas. We are an easy 35 minute 4 lane highway drive from Asheville. But we gain 1500 ft. in elevation along the short trip. That means we have much cooler summer temperatures than Asheville. Every one of our villas has amazing long range views, as we are nestled on a ridge top with views to the east and the west sometimes. We have our own on site hiking trails and all the amenities of Mountain Air, including restaurants, a spa and swimming pool, tennis courts and golf, But lovely Asheville beckons whenever we are up for trying a new restaurant, seeing the latest movie, or attending one of the world class festivals that call Asheville home.
© Louise Lindsay
Old cars, of all sorts. The police chief and his wife, from a local small town, And the "burn out" contest at the Poplar Car Show. Photos © Louise Lindsay
For those who are old car fans, or who simply love old time Appalachian parties, check out the Poplar Car Show, coming up on August 27, 2017. Louise Lindsay and her husband and their two poodles have enjoyed these shows in the past and hope to attend this year. Louise had a lot of fun practicing "street photography" at a prior trip to the Poplar Car show and shares some of her photos with us.
Poplar is out in the middle of no where, but not too far from Mountain Air. There is a huge field, full of old cars. Then there is the local "burn-out" contest, where cars compete to spin their wheels and see who can create the most "smoke and burn". There are food concessions with "funnel cake" and all sorts of Appalachian specialties. This show is mostly for mountain locals, but is very welcoming of guests. It is a beautiful drive through the country to get there.
We get to wake up in our beautiful condos with their long range views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. We get to enjoy our lovely summer coolness brought by our 4,000 ft. in altitude. But at our finger tips, adventures await. A short drive to Asheville brings us all the restaurants and riches of city life. And a drive through the country brings us the Poplar car show, the world class arts and crafts at Penland School of Crafts, and all sorts of theater, concerts, and literary events very nearby. Or we can stay put on our mountain all day, enjoy our local hiking trails, eat in our lovely Mountain Air restaurants, and rock on our back or front porches, after a lovely massage at our Mountain Air spa, or a relaxing yoga class, or tennis game, or round of golf.
Many events are occurring around Mountain Air in June and early July. For those of you wanting to take some artistic workshops, checkout the new schedule at the world class and nearby Penland School of Crafts. There are workshops in clay, and in journal making, as well as photography and painting.
The world class Carolina Mountains Literary Festival is in September, but the time to get tickets for the banquet and keynote address is now. They usually sell out quickly. This year the Sept. 8 keynote address is by Ronni Lundy, author of Victuals: An Appalachian Journey, winner of the 2017 James Beard Award, Best American Cookbook as well as Book of The Year. You can contact them directly at: email@example.com Volunteers are also always needed.
June means the rhododendrons are in bloom on Roan mountain, and all over Mountain Air also. There are many concerts and festivities scheduled at Roan Mountain over the next few weeks. Be sure to check them out. The phone number is 423-772-0190.
Several Heritage Ridge Villas families participated in creating gingerbread houses and holiday decorations. It's not clear who had more fun - the children, their parents, or their grandparents! There are always plenty of activities year round at Mountain Air.
Heritage Ridge Villas residents and guests
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