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Jonathan Austin

Some people exist in your life on the periphery; important, yes, but for whatever reason they are there yet seldom actually present. Jean Wall Penland was such a person for me, and I was saddened to hear of her death in early July. Read more

Stories

‘Daydreams’ Become Classic Stories for Young Adults

Jenni Chandler Photography

Author Megan Shepherd has created worlds filled with fantastical and otherworldly characters by seeking inspiration from horror tales of an earlier age. Read more

Stories

For documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, the stories he chooses to illuminate help explain the history of America. Few can better tell that multifaceted tale than Burns, whose palette birthed the seminal documentary The Civil War in 1990. Read more

Art+Music

I often drive across the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, and I always feel the presence of nature around me. Read more

Stories

How much of what we do as adults is the result of how we were raised? I pondered that question as I worked in the yard recently. My maternal grandmother and my mother were the two most responsible for making me a lover of digging in the dirt. Read more

News

The Upper Cheat River Water Trail, which includes 38 miles of beginner-friendly, class I to II water, is perfect for canoes, recreational kayaks, and family trips. Read more

Outdoors

Brad Sherwood says he and Colin Mochrie have some idea what is going to happen when they take the stage for their popular comedy improv show, although what “some idea” means might be somewhat vague. Read more

Art+Music

Make it Merlefest

Money Combs photo

Art+Music

It was odd in mid February to hear the weatherman on the local television say something like, “is this the last blast of winter for the season?” Read more

News

Early rising on cold winter mornings almost always kindles for me a momentary feeling of comfort, safety and well-being. What, specifically, keys that response? It is the memory from my childhood of feeling forced warm air on my bare feet. Read more

News

Backpack Explorer: On the Nature Trail is a take-along guide for children ages 4 and up, designed to jump start their curiosity about nature. Read more

Outdoors

The Channels Natural Area Preserve

Eric Middlemas photo

Our guide is Eric Middlemas of The Mid-Appalachian Highlands Club, a hiking and outdoor activity club in the Tri-Cities area that was founded in 1976 and is one of the oldest organized hiking clubs in the region. Read more

Outdoors

As the history of Asheville is written, residents and visitors alike would be remiss to overlook the impact of the man named Warren Haynes. Read more

Art+Music

For many in the mountains, that first car you got was a ticket to explore. In North Carolina, we took driver’s education class in high school when we were 15 years old. Read more

News

Maybe it’s just me. Do others raised in these mountains forget what trails they’ve hiked? Do you lose track of which parts of these beautiful ridges you’ve seen up close and personal? Read more

News

The Mountain Mile development, near the Teaster Lane and Wears Valley Road intersection, is the site of the proposed August Moon drive-in movie theater. Read more

News 1 Comments

Carol and Jim Steiner say they understand that the idea of a jaunt on the Appalachian Trail can intimidate some would-be hikers. After all, the AT is about 2,181 miles long, known as the longest continuously marked footpath in the world. Read more

Outdoors

It’s a name that often stands alone, bereft of more because it is complete in its singularity. Chihuly. From Venice to Jerusalem, the exhibitions of Seattle artist Dale Chihuly have attracted fans and critics alike. Read more

Art+Music

A friend’s Facebook meme last month caught my eye. It was the image of a boy playing in the mud, and the caption read: “They didn’t know their clothes were hand-me-downs, or that their home was not a mansion." Read more

News