Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Bounty of Banner Elk

Here's a picture summary of our long weekend in the high mountains of western North Carolina. The highest peaks east of the Mississippi River are within about an hour's drive of the area we were visiting.

Even though the two days of the festival had picture perfect conditions (temps in the low 70s, cloudless skies) Friday's weather was misty with intermittent drizzle most of the day. If you've never visited the area there is a serene beauty discovered on days with those elements. We hope you enjoy the memories we brought back.

Jessie's shows off THE catch of the day!
Can you believe that little red-head caught that monster?

Joan & Jessie look for gems at The Grandfather Mountain Gem Mine. This has become a great family activity just like it was for me and my brothers many years ago.

As we returned to the campground late Friday afternoon Jessie noticed this wisp of air rising off of the hillside behind us. She says she saw an angel in it.

Jessie exercises Blaze in a unique way. Joan and I were quite entertained watching them.

This is my booth Sunday morning. I had been moved from a barren corner of the festival the evening before. I mentioned that we suffered the lowest of lows. That occurred on Saturday. We were located there due to a layout snafu and the assinine attitude of one of the vendors. It was the first time I had encountered a vendor who was a complete jerk in three years of festivals. Sue Zalewski and the folks with The Avery Chamber of Commerce came up with a brilliant solution that kept me from packing up Saturday night. The helped me move my booth to the entrance of the show. I had about ten times the sales on Sunday than I did on Saturday.

Ben enjoyed hanging out with me Sunday. I have to say that the folks that visited were incredible in regards to greeting him. There were plenty of smiles to go around!

In between races many of the charities that benefit from the Woolly Worm Festival sales talked about the positive impact it provides. This particular organization rehabilitates injured wildlife. Their staff brought along this red-tail hawk, an owl, a bobcat, and several other impressive creatures native to the area. It was a great educational experience for everyone.

A view of the stage. The white cards that are near the top of the sign board have the names of the worms (really caterpillars) that will run the next race.

Joan warms up Snorkel, Jessie's second entry on Sunday.

Post race smiles. Just like Woollywood he/she finished third.

The view from the front of my booth. The rectangular structure the the left of the peak is known by the locals as The Abomination on Sugar Mountain. That is what happens when developers from Miami, Florida decide to acquire property at the local ski resorts.


Gretchen said...

This looks like it was a wonderful time...and it sounds pretty successful too! Good for you. And congrats to Jess on her 3rd place finish :)

kimmyk said...

what a beautiful place to have a festival.

pisser about saturday-what a jerk. glad you moved your booth and it all worked out for the best.

is blaze ever gonna grow? he's so cute though.

great winners down there [post below] i'm just not that crafty at coming up with names. unless calling someone a jackass or whatever counts then i can let 'em fly.

yeah okay.

bennie said...

Kim, I'll tell y'all about what happened in regards to the asshole I dealt with Saturday morning. I have never cursed at another vendor until that moment. It ruined our day Saturday. It even trickled down to Jessie. I was so bummed that I told Joan I was quitting the art thing. It was that bad.

I'm still on board with this show if they do two things: let me have my booth where I had it on Sunday and a return of of booth fee ($150).

What is pictured is about half of Saturday's crowd. I know for a fact that 13,000 people came on Saturday. I sold $95 on Saturday. Sales on Sunday which is the worst day for the show was $800.

I could very well have had my best two day show ever. The guy and his family that were buttholes had pottery that had Christian sayings and such on their works. They are supposedly devout Jesus freaks.

It proves to me that said Jesus freaks in our business are money grabbers and know nothing of His teachings.

Gretchen said...

Bennie--that is horrible. I'm sorry all of you dealt with that.

Kyla said...

THOSE Christians irritate me more than just about anything. If they are going to call themselves that, maybe they should work a little harder at being kind.

The photos are beautiful, and I'm glad you went on to have a successful second day!

Slick said...

Just for you Bennie, I'd have shown that dude where he can shove his pottery...religious markings or not.

That's a lot of money lost on a Saturday due to poor location.

All in all, sounds like a great day on Sunday though.

The pictures look awesome!

bennie said...

Slick, had it not been for some festival volunteers stepping in said jerk was about to see a reenactment of Moses' return from Mount Sinai. Funny how broken pottery would look like broken stone tablets.

laundrylessons said...

What a beautiful weekend. My husband lived in Asheville for a year, I loved the fall weekend visits. Love the angel in the mist. Thanks for sharing.