Publisher’s Note

Celebrate the Season

Winter’s silver lining is evident on each page in this issue. With my second cup of coffee in hand and looking at the sweet little Carolina Chickadees jockeying for position on the feeder, I am proofing the final pages to be shipped to the printer later today. It is always so much fun to see this big jigsaw puzzle come together. During the duration of this issue, I will mark a big birthday, and in saying that, I have decided to truly make our Winter magazine my personal guide to fun, adventure, exploration, shopping and dining experiences. I am also choosing to do things that might have been outside my comfort zone previously.

I endeavor to ski a more challenging slope, hike a more strenuous path, build the biggest snowman with my granddaughters, dust off the snowshoes and go explore a new trail, go see as many shows as my calendar can hold and cook my daughter’s recipes to see if I can match her flavors and style.

It’s been a while since I have gone below the earth to visit Linville Caverns or looked to the skies at Earth to Sky Park in Spruce Pine (see pages 16 & 32). I see in our winter fun guide beginning on page 26 that I need to add a lot to my agenda—from tubing and sledding with the grands, to visiting the Turchin Center, then taking a night out to dine and see a show with my hubby! The listing of upcoming events and shows is quite amazing!

X-country skiing on the Viaduct, taking a walk on the Middle Fork Greenway, fulfilling my promise to myself to be a regular at the YMCA of Avery County. I want to go back to the trail where I saw the architecture of local beavers and understand more about that species after reading Blue Ridge Explorers.  Do the Mile High Swinging Bridge at Grandfather on a beautiful snowy day, and, with new tips from our cover photographer, Jim Magruder, try my hand at some new shots.  

We are thrilled that we received permission to run National Geographic images in our story on Dr. Baker Perry and App State’s Climate Science program. That will be one hike I won’t be taking!

Grab a Kleenex while reading Wisdom and Ways—what a sweet tribute. Make notes on local non-profit agencies while planning your giving.

Hopefully writer Samantha Steele knows that the key points in her Sharpen Your Edge story could not have been better timed as we all plan our priorities in 2024.

We hope you find new ways to explore this area. Please let us hear from you about what you learned, tasted, or experienced. Email us at: [email protected]

~ Babette

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