Greetings!
We hope you had a happy holiday season. Here at the lodge we had a wonderful time. We did our decorated tree with gifts below, the twig tree and poinsettia on the deck , the mantel stars and the stairway winter village to celebrate the season. However, I knew we had some real decoration competition when I pulled into our driveway and saw the woodie station wagon decked out with presents on the roof complete with a string of solar powered lights. They even had a red reindeer for a hood ornament. When the car's owners, Ted and Marina, came down the next morning in their matching, pink, Christmas bunny suits, I knew we had been beat. They then explained with a swing of their floppy ears that they had bought the suits last night at a Walmart close out for $5 each. They couldn't resist "new ears" for the New Year. They brightened the entire lodge and brought a smile to everyone's face.

Now the season is coming to an end, Winter is settling in,
Asheville crowds have thinned
So now is a good time to visit the inn!

(How is that for poetry)
Winter can bring anything from frozen waterfalls to springlike days around here but it is also a time for money saving deals! Our winter rates are now in effect thru the end of February and will save you 15%. Our Biltmore Estate winter tickets are down to $50 for adults thru March 20th and are still good for 2 consecutive days.


The Christmas Car
New Ears for the New Year!
The Biltmore Estate taken by Jodee after our December snow.
Ideas for Warm Winter Activities
Diana Wortham Theatre
A great place to enjoy on a winter evening. The Diana Wortham Theatre is an intimate 500 seat theater located in the heart of the Pack Square Cultural District. Jodee and I are going Saturday night to see the dance/acrobat troupe Gravity and Other Myths. Jan. 22 Damien Sneed and others perform, We Shall Overcome, a celebration of music and speeches inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Then Jan. 25th Mollly Tuttle, an award winning singer/songwriter and Bluegrass guitarist of the year performs. Then a night of Dancing with the Asheville Stars. After that are the plays Frankenstein and A Mid Summer Night's Dream by the Aquila Theatre and many more live performances of music, theatre and dance. It is one of the best venues you will ever experience. Click on the picture for more information. For other threatre opportunities visit RomanticAsheville.com
Asheville Salt Cave
Another place to escape winter weather is hidden away in the middle of downtown Asheville. The Asheville Salt Cave is a surprising man-made salt cave, a peaceful retreat for therapeutic rest and healing. Some 20 tons of natural crystal salt from Poland creates an enriched micro-climate that enhances relaxation, rehabilitation and balance.
click on the picture for more info of the Salt Cave and other spas
Rare Weather Events
Have Jodee & Doug Spending Nights at Lodge
12" December Snow Storm
French Broad River Floods Over Brevard Road
Skiing on the Parkway
With all the natural disasters that have happened recently we have been very lucky so I sure don't want to whine. But we have had a couple of mild inconveniences lately. First it was the 12" December snow. Fortunately the meteorologist gave us plenty of warning about the approaching storm so Jodee and I gathered up our overnight bags and emergency chili ingredients as we headed to the lodge. It was a good thing because shortly after it started we lost power. In 19 years the power has never been out more than 3 or 4 hours. This time it was two days! Bless my heart I actually did something at the right time for this event, I had the generator tuned up the week before. So with plenty of food, a roaring fire and enough electricity to keep the lights on and the water flowing everyone was happy. But between cooking, clearing snow, getting folks in and out, and keeping the generator going we and Heather stayed very busy. Well Jodee and I did get some cross country skiing in on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

The next event was more unexpected. The French Broad River flooded over the road to the lodge both north and south of our entrance. Again, that has happen only 1 other time in 19 years; in 2004 when we had back to back hurricanes come through. Heather had left the lodge around 7:30 pm for just a few minutes and noticed the water over part of the road. When she tried to come back the barricades were up.
She tried the 6 mile loop to get to Clayton Road to our south and it was barricaded too. That was when she called us. I met her at the Hot Spot gas station where she had rounded up two of our guests. I explained to them that the only safe way to get to the Lodge now was to park at the French Broad overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway, walk a half mile up that road and then go 300 yards thru the woods. They all agreed to give it a try so I led them on a dark night hike back to the lodge. There Heather and I counted cars and discovered that 6 more guests were still out as well. I called them and they all courageously agreed to meet me for the same trek to get to the lodge. Including the couple that was 6 months pregnant!! It was quite the adventure.

They had all been visiting the Biltmore Estate and told me that the roads there had flooded as well. It had taken them 4 hours to get into the Biltmore house. They said that the dark night hike was a lot more fun than the traffic jam. I settled into the Luhn house around midnight. Early the next morning Jodee tried to get to the lodge to help with breakfast and discovered the barricades were still up so I got to do the dark hike one more time. The picture above is actually the morning after that when the waters had come down about a foot. Hopefully, this won't happen for another 19 years.
Bear Epilogue
In our last newsletter we shared the story of how we fell in love with our visiting mother bear and her three cubs and then ended with the discovery that two of the cubs had died. The story continues.

After the early December snow storm our guests Karen and Manny Peron noticed that a black blob in the top of an oak tree near our parking area seemed to be moving. Closer inspection with a long camera lens revealed it was a bear. Karen is an excellent photographer that has taken several of our website pictures. She captured the picture below of the bear.

The most unusual phenomenon is that he stayed in the top of that tree from Friday afternoon till Sunday. We really think that it was the remaining cub trying to figure out what to do on his first winter alone. When he finally came down he wandered about the back yard for quite awhile as if he remembered finding food under our trees before. We wished him a good fare thee well as he finally rambled off.
Young Bear Hangs Out in Tree for Two Days

B ENT C REEK L ODGE
10 Parkway Crescent, Arden, North Carolina 28704
828-654-9040 • Toll-Free 1-877-231-6574
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