(Original post date: July 13, 2010)
We had a fantastic time last Saturday signing books and meeting people at the wonderful Orchard at Altapass on at Parkway milepost 328.3. Bill and Judy Carson and Kit Carson Trubey were such gracious hosts, and what they are doing at the Orchard is pretty incredible. It was a gorgeous day, and they were swamped with people. Two musical groups played, and people listened, danced, and ate at a leisurely pace all afternoon. Yummy ice cream, fudge, delicious muscadine cider . . . clogging, waltzes, adults, kids. A historical hayride that our boys really enjoyed. And people interested in talking about (and buying) books!
We are so inspired to learn of this place, which intelligently combines crowd-pleasing fun, a reverence for history (with just the right amount — not too much! — of nostalgia), a willingness to experiment and evolve, a realistic and clear-eyed understanding of the realities of the region (past and present), and a warm and welcoming spirit to all.
One highlight of the visit was Anne’s opportunity to speak to members of the Conservation Trust for North Carolina who were there to inspect and celebrate recent agreements that protect lands near the Orchard from development that would impair views from the Blue Ridge Parkway.
The whole afternoon educated us on ways that people are acting NOW to address the historical challenges facing the Parkway in our time. We look forward to more opportunities to collaborate with both the Orchard folks and CTNC.