We love the Smoky Mountains. Wish you were here!

Archive for May, 2011

Strawberry Jam Draws Draft Horses and Antique Plows

Farmers from all over Western North Carolina brought their work horses and antique plows to last week’s Strawberry Jam festival at Darnell Farms, just east of Bryson City. R.A. Luker (above) of the Tuckasegee Community took part in the plowing demonstrations using this 19th century Oliver #83 plow pulled by his two Belgian Draft Horses, Dick and Don.

Jeff and Nate Darnell stage the festival each spring at the peak of the Strawberry season to celebrate the delicious berry …and possibly, as someone laughed, “to get the field plowed.”

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The Strawberry Season Peaks in the Smokies

Three-year-old Jewlz White samples one of the juicy ripe strawberries she had just picked at Darnell Farms yesterday. She and her grandparents came from the Stecoah Community to pick berries at the Darnell’s Strawberry Jam festival, held annually at the peak of the berry season.

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Annual Ice Cream Run Brings ‘Minis’ to Bryson City

Downtown Bryson City was literally overrun with Minis. On Saturday, April 30, more than 100 of the sporty British compacts made the annual “Ice Cream Run” to Soda Pop’s Ice Cream Parlor on Everett Street. The Saturday side-trip was part of 9th annual “Minis on the Dragon” rally which brought more than 500 of the cars to Fontana Village for the four-day event.

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Championship Mountain Bike Racing at Tsali

The first wave of racers bursts off the starting line as the second wave moves into position. It’s the start of the annual ‘Knobscorcher’ mountain bike race at the Tsali recreation area near Bryson City.

On your mark... The Knobscorcher is one of four popular mountain bike events held at Tsali each year and one of 10 races in the South Eastern Regional Championship Series where racers throughout the southeastern US compete for cash, prizes, and the honor of being the best cyclist in this part of the country. Amateurs, experts, and professionals all hit the flowing, 15 mile cross country course. Amateur groups rode one loop and experts and professionals sprinted two for a total of 30 race miles. There was even a kids course.

The SERC series, 12 Hours of Tsali, Tsali Xterra, and Tsali Challenge are all organized by GoneRiding, a mountain bike event organizer out of Ocala Florida.

Thanks to Andy Zivinsky and Diane Cutler of Bryson City Bicycles for their assistance with this week’s Postcard.

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As Fontana Fills, Fields of Spring Wildflowers Become Lake Bottom

Each Spring, while Fontana’s lake levels are still rising, fields of grasses and wildflowers briefly appear, but their flowering season is short-lived. As the lake gradually swells to full pool, scenes like this patch of Purple Toadflax give way to the rising lake.

Photo by Scot Warf

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