October 2014

Vol 7, Issue 4

Doug & Jodee Sellers
   Jodee has switched from Dahlias to gourds for table decorations.  We have placed the pumpkins and hay on the front porch and brought in a load of firewood.  But fall hasn't quite kick into full gear.  There has been no frost on the pumpkin and there is still a good bit of green on the hillsides. There is some good color on individual trees as you can see in our Sourwood tree and Flamebush and of course the higher elevations like Graveyard Fields and Mt. Mitchell are near their peak.    

The forcasters are calling for continued mild temps thru this week so fall colors will probably last into November this year. Regardless, Asheville and the whole area has been bustling all month with crowds of people, plenty of entertainment, fall festivals and full restaurants. It has been a joy to see so many of you come back for another October.  We sure appreciate your loyalty.  But if you didn't make plans to be here, a November trip will still be pretty and there will be a few less folks around.  
Asheville Holiday and Christmas Things to Do  
The holidays are just around the corner and these are a few of our favorite things to do.  
Downtown Asheville - Click for more information
1. Christmas at Biltmore Estate: The biggest holiday event kicks off on November 7, 2014, as America's largest home is decked out in festive finery. Candlelight Evenings are especially magical.  Continues through January 11, 2015.
2. Shop Downtown Asheville and Biltmore Village:  The unique shops, cafes and restaurants make shopping fun and relaxing while finding truly special gifts.  
3. Gingerbread Houses at The Omni Grove Park Inn:  For a real treat, see the amazing display of gingerbread houses from the National Gingerbread House Competition at the famous Grove Park Inn.
4. Great Outdoors: For the best views of the year, take a winter hike. With leafless trees, cool temperatures, less crowds and frequent bright blue skies, it may become your favorite time of the year to hit the trail.
5. LaZoom Comedy Bus Tours: Their Special Holiday Tour on the purple bus takes you on a fun guided tour of the city. While their regular city tour is rated PG-13, their Holiday Tour is family friendly. Meet a real Asheville fruitcake, a lonesome pine tree, a traveling Gingerbread Man and possibly catch a glimpse of Santa whizzing by the bus! 
6. Winter Lights at the NC Arboretum: Stroll through impressive displays in the gardens.
7. Lake Julian Festival of Lights:  Drive-thru show with more than 50 animated light displays and thousands of colored lights from the comfort of your vehicle. $5 for a car. 6-9 PM.
8. Christmas at Connemara in Flat Rock:  Visit on Saturday mornings between Thanksgiving and New Year's with local musicians and storytellers performing traditional holiday stories and music. Hot cider and cookies will be served. This free festive celebration honors Carl Sandburg and the family holiday tradition of music.  
9. Warren Haynes Christmas Jam: December 13, 2014 see Warren Haynes Christmas Jam in downtown Asheville with a stellar, rocking line-up.
10. A Christmas Story at Flat Rock Playhouse: Don't miss this professional production of this holiday tradition by the State Theatre of NC.  November 20- December 21.  
Mt. Biking & Beer News for the Area
     Last Monday Jodee and I drove out to
REEB Ranch by Ryan McAvoy
DuPont State Forest for a mountain bike ride with Mark and Cheryl Dillard, repeat guests from California.  They were here for a week of riding the area's trails.  Near the base of DuPont we passed the huge dirt ramps at the new Oskar Blues REEB Ranch.  For my fellow non beer aficionados Oskar Blues makes beer and opened a new brewery in Brevard in 2012.  The owners are also really into biking.  They have their own line of mountain bikes and the REEB Ranch (did you notice that it is beer spelled backwards) will be a complete bike park with bike rentals, guide service, a pump track, access to Dupont trails,  places to stay, a swimming hole for after the rides and believe it or not you will even be able to buy beer there.  There is also a pair of 43' waterfalls on the property which is part of another story that involves me and Jodee many years ago. But I digress, those 20' high jumps we saw weren't for regular riders, they were for the Red Bull BMX competition they had there Saturday, Oct. 11.  The pictures below are from the Red Bull website and you can click on them for more pictures and videos.  Thirty two of the best riders from all over the world came to compete.  We had hoped to go but discovered that the 3000 tickets that were available sold out immediately.  Maybe we will be able to catch the televised show, Red Bull Dreamline, when it airs on Saturday, November 8, at 5 p.m. EST on NBC.  After the competition they will knock down the big jumps and convert the rest to a tract that just the mildly insane can attempt.  
     The four of us continued on to the Fawn
Oscar Blues Tasting Room
Lake parking lot to check out the new Turkey Knob Trail, a fabulously, fast,fun single track off of Reasonover trail.  We rode hard for 16 miles then headed to Brevard to visit the Oscar Blues brewery.  Its a cool place, you enter the tasting room thru the beer production area.  Tours are available Mon.-Thur. at 4 pm and Fri.-Sun. 2,3,4,&5 pm.  The beer was mighty tasty, Mark introduced us to the Ten Fidy stout and the Mama's Little Yellow Pills pilsner.  The free, roasted peanuts were greatly appreciated,  Jodee and I were famished.   So biker or beer lover the trails at DuPont, REEB Ranch and the Oskar Blues Brewery are all great reasons to come for a visit.  
Red Bull Dreamline competition at Reeb Ranch
James Foster By Kevin McAvoy at Red Bull Dreamline Oct. 11, 2014
Mugs Shots Contest Winners!

     We would again like to thank everyone that sent

Marvin Fears - 2nd Place and Farthest

in a Mug Shot photo.  They were all very good and a lot of fun to see.  We would also like to thank those of you that took the time to vote.  I am so glad that I didn't have to pick the winners, it was too close to call.  There were only 4 points between first and third place.  The four that received the most votes are shown here.  We added a fourth place award for Gretchen's picture of her neice, Eugenie.  She submitted two pictures and if you added them together she was only one point from third place.  Perhaps most importantly, Eugenie was the most

Karen Peron - Third Place

enthusiastic person ever about getting people involved and voting.  Marvin Fears won second place and the picture coming from farthest away with his photo of the mug over Jerusalem.  After the voting he also sent in two pictures of the mug and the Sea of Galilee.  You can see them and the rest of the photos by clicking on any of the photos here.  Once there double click on a picture to see a larger view. Karen Peron won third place with her detailed picture of Loe-D and her husband Manny.  She also sent in a picture after the voting of the squirrel in the Mug at the top of the newsletter.  Karen was a

first place winner in our previous photo contest.

Kelly McDaniel - 1st Place

 Kelly McDaniel won everyone's heart and the most

votes for her adorable  photo of her 18 month old twin Anna using a Bent Creek Lodge mug for a vase.  


Gretchen Schellstede


4th Place



Winners, the gift certificates are in the mail.  Hope to see you again soon.  


Doug & Jodee Sellers           

Bent Creek Lodge
Remember Bent Creek Lodge Gift Certificates make great gifts and they are now available for purchase on our website.