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by Bob Allen
(This is the last of five columns about my recent trip to the mountains of North Carolina’s high country around Boone.)
Our plans for Friday were for the four of us to start out again with a hearty breakfast at the nearby Grandview Restaurant in Foscoe.
We enjoyed great breakfasts and the Grandfather Mountain profile view through the large picture window by our table.
We did miss seeing the breakfast group of 12 who meet there each Thursday, but we were happy to have the breakfast treat by the Adlers.
The next time we go to Foscoe, we will bypass taking all the breakfast food we carried this time and enjoy hot breakfasts at the Grandview.
Returning to our Hidden Valley Motel, we faced the task I always hate — packing up everything that is ours and finding space for it all in the car.
After an hour, my car’s trunk was filled to the brim. It was nothing short of miraculous that the trunk lid closed. And we had filled the back seat and floor areas such that we could just see out the back window.
We headed into Boone on SR 105 and after lunch, headed back out four-lane US 421. Beautiful mountain scenery is a nice way to start a return trip and we made the most of it.
After passing Deep Gap and the entrance to the Blue Ridge Parkway, the long descent down the mountain always intrigues me and requires careful attention to speed. It is so easy to find you have exceeded the speed limit as your vehicle gains speed easily until you drop into a lower gear and brake intermittently.
The place where there is a large-bumped gravel pull-out for runaway trucks always fascinates me and makes me wonder if they really work to stop them. I have never seen a truck in one.
There is also one near the bottom on the six or seven-mile steep grade going down the six-lane US 70 from Black Mountain to Old Fort.
When ascending this mountain, it’s not uncommon to see several tractor-trailers trudging slowly on the outside lane at an estimated 25 miles per hour.
I had a plan to make a turn just after the exit to North Wilkesboro to take the next left and go several miles into Wilkesboro after our friends, Larry and Carole, scoped this out for picture opportunities on the way to Foscoe on Monday.
They said they saw a casket partially open on the sidewalk in front of Great State Auction Co. with a sign reading: “Local one owner. Only slightly used.” And in large red letters another sign read, “Special Auction Friday, Oct. 18 at noon. Write-in, call-in, walk-in.
We all had a good laugh as we pictured someone getting up and walking away from the casket.
But a brief talk with an employee revealed the casket had been stored in someone’s garage.
After attracting a lot of passerby attention to the auction, it sold one week later for $250.
Just before we got out our cameras, a man walked up eyeing the casket carefully. We were curious and he said he would use it as a trailer for his motorcycle.
Now, that would be a sight for sore eyes, for sure!
I don’t think he won the bid, but if you’re up that way, be on the lookout.
Quote of the week
The melancholy days are come, the saddest of the year,
Of wailing winds, and naked wood, and meadows brown and sere.
Heaped in the hollows of the grove, the autumn leaves lie dead;
They rustle to the eddying gust, and to the rabbit’s tread;
The robin and the wren are flown, and from the shrubs the jay,
And from the wood-top calls the crow through all the gloomy day.
— William Cullen Bryant, The Death of the Flowers