There seems to be no end to the beauty of Western North Carolina. And there seems to be no end to our quest to see it all during this holiday vacation. Lake Lure is a finger-like lake stuck in the middle of nowhere, as in one road in and one road out according to the map.
From our place it was a relatively short drive down Hwy. 64, through Rutherfordton and then along a byway of astounding beauty (even in the middle of the winter). Icicles hung everywhere like prison bars, blinding and brilliant as they melted in the midday sun. We took turns with our sing-song of “I could live there” as we passed beautiful cottages and farms straight from a poem we’ve yet to read.
Why am I emoting? Because this place would make anyone want to become a painter or poet or writer or simply spend the rest of their lives “messing about in boats.” The shops were filled with cabin style and every conceivable facsimile of bear. Everything we saw we wanted to buy. And the only thing missing from this Utopia was crowds. We fairly had the place to ourselves. By the time we caught our breath and started up the other side of the mountain, we were vowing to return in warmer weather and hike the trail (if there is one) to Chimney Rock. Maybe you can drive? Perfect.
Our real destination was Hendersonville, and while we ate our Irish fare at a window seat and watched the hustle and bustle of that perfect little town, we blurted out delight over the prices of Lake Lure properties we found in one of those real estate booklets, some of which were downright affordable. Of course, like the test of human endurance, affectionately known as our “home,” we don’t know the condition of these houses on the inside, and we’re fairly sure there would be few ways to earn a living beyond flipping burgers or selling trinkets at The Lake – something my husband will probably not jump on at this stage in his life. But we can dream, and dream we did.
It’s out of the way but easy to find; Lake Lure is a must see for anyone visiting this area. And when you get there, you may recognize a few things since most of Dirty Dancing was filmed at the lake. They even have an annual Dirty Dancing Festival where you can play watermelon games, dance, and do that ” flying lift” thing in the lake and get your picture taken. Summer is purported to be “standing room only,” so now is a great time if you’re coming for the vistas (and snaps for future paintings) because you can find a parking place and get a seat at a restaurant. Every season will provide spectacular views.
This really is God’s country.