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Becky Johnson

Mapping a Prehistoric Tapestry

Alan Cressler photo

Jan Simek is an intrepid cave explorer. He’s probed the depths of more than 800 caves in the rich grotto country of East Tennessee and its border states. The master spelunker isn’t on a quest for adventure, however. more

Aug 1, 2017 12:00 AM Features

Dairy Legacy

Jon Ostendorff photo

Behind the tractor and gumboots and Tennessee accent, John Harrison has the restless curiosity of a cutting-edge innovator. more

Aug 1, 2017 12:00 AM Mountain Explorer

A Fly Fishing Lesson

Jon Ostendorff photo

More than 1 million visitors a year pass through the hallowed halls of the Biltmore House, a show-stopper of colossal proportions, draped in brilliant architecture, laced with captivating history and adorned with lavish antiquities. more

Aug 1, 2017 12:00 AM Mountain Explorer

A Fly Fishing Lesson

Jon Ostendorff photo

A few weeks earlier, learning to fly fish seemed like a great idea on the eve of turning 40. Something new and adventurous, something novel and romantic. But now I’m doubtful. My vision of whipping S-curves through the air suddenly seems far-fetched. more

Aug 1, 2017 12:00 AM Mountain Explorer

Mapping a Prehistoric Tapestry

Alan Cressler photo

Caves evoke the innate wanderlust of the American spirit. For a country built on exploration and discovery, a deep yearning to venture to uncharted places is engrained in our collective psyche. more

Aug 1, 2017 12:00 AM Features

Come rock a spell

ExploreAsheville.com photo

Black Mountain is a magnet for arts and culture, a playground for outdoor adventure, a utopia for shopping and browsing, and a feast for culinary pallets. Whether you’re a loafer or explorer, Black Mountain is a destination that does it all. more

Jun 1, 2017 12:00 AM Outposts 1 Comments

Clark Lovelace was a little skeptical when a package with a pair of cardboard eclipse glasses showed up in his mailbox two years ago. He put them on, but couldn’t see a thing through the opaque black film, so off they came. more

Jun 1, 2017 12:00 AM Features

An astronomical number of visitors will descend on the Smoky Mountains for the Great American Eclipse—an out-of-this-world, thank-your-lucky-star, universally spectacular event. more

Jun 1, 2017 12:00 AM Features

A thin beam of dimmed headlights slid around the last curve of the snaking switchbacks to Lookout Mountain Observatory, the doors of a shuttle bus swung open and a crowd of eager star gazers piled out into the night. more

Jun 1, 2017 12:00 AM Features

By a celestial stroke of luck, the total eclipse will swoop over the colossal dish telescopes of the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute near Brevard, North Carolina. more

Jun 1, 2017 12:00 AM Features

When the total eclipse descends on Cherokee, North Carolina, this August, a tradition reaching back thousands of years will live on. more

Jun 1, 2017 12:00 AM Features

Once in a lifetime. That’s the motto for millions of Americans who will journey to the path of totality when the Great American Eclipse sweeps over the Smoky Mountains on August 21. more

Jun 1, 2017 12:00 AM Features

The book features 42 trail networks and 1,200 miles of mountain bike trails, including full-color maps and photos, route details and trail descriptions. more

Mountain Explorer 1 Comments

Microbreweries of the mountains are peddling more than pints these days. The Smokies’ national acclaim as a craft-beer destination has led the burgeoning microbrewery scene on a quest for expansion, one that’s intersecting with the region’s history. more

Apr 1, 2017 12:00 AM Features

Carolina-grown

Beth Patton photo

Whether he’s scavenging the countryside in search of honeysuckle and dandelion, scouring mom-and-pop farms for fennel and carrots, or tracking down local honey and sorghum cane juice, Todd Boera is on the cutting edge of the farm-to-mug movement. more

Apr 1, 2017 12:00 AM Features

Yee-Haw came out big when it opened its brewery in Johnson City, Tennessee, in the summer of 2014. It essentially skipped the start-up stage, and hasn’t let up since. more

Apr 1, 2017 12:00 AM Features

Bellafina Chocloates

Photo courtesy of Bellafina Chocolates

From Mad Priest Coffee in Chattanooga to Aurora Studio & Gallery in Asheville and many places in between, the mountains are full of labors of love - business that put people ahead of profits. more

Feb 20, 2017 12:00 AM , Features

12 Days of Christmas

Donated photo

Partridges and pear trees need not apply: These 12 holiday destinations around Southern Appalachia offer mountain merry-makers a bit of everything—from homespun traditions to festive glamour and glitz. more

Dec 1, 2016 12:00 AM Features

moresun.jpg

Donated photo

By most accounts, Stephen Morrison lives in the middle of nowhere, the crooked no-man’s land clinging to the side of the southern Blue Ridge escarpment where North Carolina, Georgia, and South Carolina meet. more

Sep 19, 2014 2:54 PM Departments

Right direction

Becky Johnson photo

Since ancient times, man has explored the landscape with the intent to discover what lies beyond what he knows. Oral descriptions and pictographs first began to tame the wild earth, and as man charted greater territories, so grew his knowledge. more

Aug 1, 2014 12:00 AM Features