Drenched in pink

June means blooming rhododendrons, and one of the best places to see them has reopened after a yearlong wait: the Blue Ridge Parkway from Bull Gap (milepost 355) to Mount Mitchell State Park (milepost 375). I first visited this area 10 years ago, but in March 2008, the beloved section was closed after the steep […]

One on One with D.G. Martin

Walking alongside the college campus on North Main Street in Davidson, N.C., following a little ridgeline that marks the border between the Catawba and the Yadkin/Pee Dee river basins, my mother would mark the clearest days by stopping at a high point near the college entrance. Then, pointing west with one hand, she would put […]

Land rich, cash poor

The Blue Ridge Parkway and the Great Smoky Mountains National Park may be in for a windfall of sorts—$1.5 million and $1.9 million in new funding, respectively—if the Bush administration’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2008 is approved. That represents an 11 percent increase for both parks over fiscal year 2006 levels. (Congress has not […]

Asheville City Council

“Brevity,” wrote Shakespeare, “is the soul of wit.” That particular bit of wisdom, however, isn’t generally reflected in Asheville City Council meetings, which typically drag on and on, leaving those in attendance at — well, at their wits’ end. But The Bard would probably have approved of the Oct. 12 formal session, which clocked in […]