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Places You Must Explore in the North Carolina Mountains

North Carolina Mountains is more than just a tourist spot. The different kinds of attraction that are present in this place bring out a...

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Our Favorite Cherokee Restaurants Open During COVID-19

The vast effect of the Coronavirus is felt all over the world and everyone is...

Places You Must Explore in the North Carolina Mountains

North Carolina Mountains is more than just a tourist spot. The different kinds of attraction...

Tips For Safe Driving In The North Carolina Mountains

What the Smokey Mountains the surround Cherokee doesn’t have in the way of jutting peaks...

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Nikwasi Mound - Franklin NC - BelleHearth.com

The Nikwasi Mound – Home Of The Fighting Nunne’Hi

On East Main Street in Franklin, NC, there is a strange i little park almost wholly dominated by an artificial hill covered in carefully...
restaraurants during covid

Our Favorite Cherokee Restaurants Open During COVID-19

The vast effect of the Coronavirus is felt all over the world and everyone is affected. It was on March 27th that Cherokee had...

ABOUT ME

I'm Rose Fontaine: Hi! And welcome to my blog that I have dedicated to sharing my experiences in the little sky valley in the mountains of North Carolina. I have seen groups of friends come to the trails of the Appalachians to have some adventure ever since I was a child. It made me want to share some of the secrets of these valleys with everyone so that they can have a better experience and keep the forest protected. I like to share some of my traditional recipes, special viewing spots, and some of the other interesting things about these mountains with everyone. If you are planning a visit, do not forget to meet me and say Hi!

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Our Favorite Cherokee Restaurants Open During COVID-19

restaraurants during covid
The vast effect of the Coronavirus is felt all over the world and everyone is affected. It was on March 27th that Cherokee had its first-ever COVID-19 positive case. Since then, there have been changes made in order to help prevent the spread of the virus. People are instructed to refrain from leaving their homes and there are also some borders that were closed to non-residents and non-citizens. The restaurant industry is one of those that are affected. There are stricter dine-in restrictions and some even opted not to open for the time being. However, there are also some that provide pick-up or carry-out services only. I understand that although we can survive and thrive with home-cooked meals, such as these recipes, we still miss some food from our favorite restaurants. I’ve compiled a list of my personal favorites. If you have any other suggestions, feel free to hit me up in the comments section.

Paul’s Family Restaurant

Pauls Family Restaurant Cherokee NC
Pauls Family Restaurant Cherokee NC
For some of the best Native American dishes anywhere, go to Paul’s.  Also featuring a wide selection of standard American fare, beer, and, drink the patio is a great place to chill-ax. However, for now they only offer carry-out services from 11 in the morning to 9 in the evening and on Sundays from 7 am to 8:30 pm. Information: Paul’s Family Restaurant 1111 Tsali Blvd, Cherokee, NC 28719 (828) 497-2235

Peter’s Pancakes & Waffles

Peter’s Pancakes & Waffles
Peter’s Pancakes & Waffles
With a line out of the door on any given weekend morning, you know you’re eating something special.  Located at Tsali Blvd, Peter’s Pancakes & Waffles’s is known far and wide for it’s breakfast, but don’t forget about it’s popular selection of dinner meals and American dishes. They also have a selection of vegetarian-friendly dishes. Although it is a big sized restaurant and social distancing is observed, they were still able to provide comfy food in a cozy atmosphere. They are open for both carry-out and dine-in. Information: Peter’s Pancakes & Waffles Website:  peterspancakesandwafflescherokee2.mybistro.online 1384 Tsali Blvd, Cherokee, NC 28719 (828) 497-5116

Wize Guyz Grille

Inside View At Wize Guyz Grill Cherokee
Wize Guyz Grille is another great restaurant that offers a variety of dishes. They serve both Italian and American dishes plus pizza. Also, they have some vegetarian dishes but one of my favorites is their chicken wings. They not only offer carry-out services and are closed every Sunday. Information: Wize Guyz Grille Website: wiseguyspizza.netwaiter.com 68 Big Cove Rd, Cherokee, NC 28719 (828) 497-2838

Front Porch Cakery & Deli

Front Porch Cakery & Deli
One of the best things I miss from this restaurant is their selection of yummy desserts. Apart from that, they also have a selection of American dishes like sandwiches and burgers. They are vegan friendly too. Dining in is available but only for their outside porch and they also offer carry-out services. Information: Front Porch Cakery & Deli 908 Tsalagi Rd, Cherokee, NC 28719 (828) 497-1776

BJ’s Diner

BJs Diner Cherokee NC
BJs Diner Cherokee NC
While it may not win any prize in the look category, BJs is definitely a diamond in the rough – and a local favorite! And certainly one of my favorites when it comes to big and juicy burgers. Ingredients are fresh and they are reasonably priced too. They offer outside dine-in and carry-out services as well. Just don’t go there on Sundays because they are closed. Information: BJ’s Diner bjs-diner.business.site 840 Tsali Blvd, Cherokee, NC 28719 (828) 497-4303

Rancho Viejo Mexican Restaurant

Rancho Viejo Mexican Restaurant
Rancho Viejo Mexican Restaurant
If you hankerin’ for a taste south-of-the-border, head on down to Rancho Viejo Mexican Restaurant for their authentic-style Mexican dishes. They offer a dizzying variety of choices (all good 🙂 and are open for dine-in and carry-out service. Information: Rancho Viejo 16 Cherokee Xing, Whittier, NC 28789 (828) 497-0343 Source: https://www.smokymountainnews.com/archives/item/28772-cherokee-logs-first-covid-19-case https://visitcherokeenc.com/blog/entry/where-to-eat-in-cherokee-nc-a-covid-19-resource-list/ Info about restaurants are based on tripadvisor.

Tips For Safe Driving In The North Carolina Mountains

Rough Ridge Lookout On Blue Ridge Parkway North Carolina
What the Smokey Mountains the surround Cherokee doesn’t have in the way of jutting peaks and valleys of the Rockies in the Central US, it makes up for with abundant wildlife, trails galore, and – of course – the infamous hair-pin turns and steep declines on the roads and highways that vein around the hills and ridges. Even though I’ve lived here all my life, I still am weary taking to the mountain roads and passes, and always drive on high alert. Over time I’ve developed a few safety measure that I use every-time I drive to protect myself that I would like to share with you…

Be prepared for emergencies

Sometimes, you can be engaged in a car accident or there might be swift inclement weather. These can leave you stranded in mountainous areas for a long period. So, before you leave your house, let a family member or friend know where you are going to and when you are expected to return, and make sure that you go along with extra clothing, first aid, food, water, and tools that can be used to fix some problems in case you do not get any roadside assistance. Additionally, make sure you have a trusted towing service or roadside assistance service ready to call in case of a more serious accident or breakdown.  While cell service can be spotty, it is usually fine around the major highways and road. Here’s a great article on what to look out for when choosing a reliable on-call towing service.

Tune-up your car

You may need to give your car extra attention before you go on a trip through the mountains, most especially, after winter. Make sure that you fill-up the transmission and brake fluids. Ensure that the windshield wipers, brakes, exhaust, cooling and heating, and battery performance systems are working fine. You should also ensure that you have a spare tire available and that you inflate the whole tires. Because of the unexpected weather, terrain, and events that may affect your car, make sure that you put your vehicle in optimal condition.

Fill up

Most people do not understand that the quantity of fuel required to climb steep grades is more compared to the typical driving. Another thing is that you will hardly find a gas station in mountainous regions and there may not be a cell phone service. There are minimal shoulders and less visibility ahead in most mountain roads. If you do happen to run out of fuel/gas, you will be at risk of having a car accident. To avoid this kind of situation, you should fill up your car before embarking on the journey.

Be cautious while using brakes

When you continuously use brakes on steep grades, the brakes will quickly get overworked. If you want to use it while declining, it would be better for you to quickly and lightly tap the brake pedal (tap method) so that they can remain cool. Anticipate steep and also observe speed signs. Brake before taking the plunge to hairpin turns. Whenever you use brakes before turns, the forces will not shift to the front of the car, it will rather go to the back. This will give you more control of the vehicle and you will be able to pass through mountain roads easily.

Downshift first before downgrades

Steep topography requires you to downshift to the lower gear to have a better performance. This will help to limit the stress on the brakes of your vehicle as well as the engine and you can control your speed. Ensure that this is done before you go downhill, as it will be dangerous for you to switch gears while on steep grades.

Make use of your headlights

You need your headlights when there is fog, dawn, snow, rain, dusk, and during the night. Whenever you are in doubt, make yourself completely visible with your headlamps to cars behind and in front of you. Always remember to check that your headlights are working perfectly before you hit the roads.

The Nikwasi Mound – Home Of The Fighting Nunne’Hi

Nikwasi Mound - Franklin NC - BelleHearth.com
On East Main Street in Franklin, NC, there is a strange i little park almost wholly dominated by an artificial hill covered in carefully maintained grass. Traffic whizzes by,and no one seems to pay the mound much attention. Which is just as well, since something about it seems to want to keep a low profile and repel visitors. No one knows what that might be. Known as Nikwasi Mound, it is at least 1,000 years old and may be a great deal older than that. It’s one of the few ancient sites that have never been excavated. Mounds in other & places have contained things like human burials, stone sculptures, and artifacts made of copper or formica, but this one continues to keep its secrets. It is a good deal smaller than it once was. A few centuries of erosion and neglect have worn it down since the time it was surrounded by a Cherokee town of the same name as the mound here (sometimes spelled Nequassee, Nucassee, or Noucassih). The Cherokees never claimed to have built the mound, but said they only maintained and used it. It was probably built by an earlier people usually called the Mississippians. According to legend, it may contain an ulunsu’ti crystal from the forehead of an uwkteng, the giant snakes that live in deep holes or in caves near high mountain passes. It is also said to contain the Cherokee’ most powerful allies. The Cherokees considered the mound to be inhabited by a race of powerful spirit-beings called the Nunne’hi, who also had other “townhouses” inside Pilot Mountain in Surry County, and at the head of the Tugaloo River in Oconee County, SC. According to folklorist Gary Carden, Nunne’hi, means “those who live anywhere.” “In ancient times,” he says, “smoke from their underground townhouse could be seen emerging from the top of the mound. (They also fished in the sky and hunted deer on the bottoms of rivers.) Since they were favorably disposed towards the Cherokees, they often gave them advice, socialized with them (they loved to dance) and even came to their rescue in a battle fought near the mound.” Anthropologist James Mooney recorded the story of this battle when he visited among the Cherokees in the 1890s. According to what the Cherokees told him, the warriors of the old town of Nikwasi kept scouts constantly on guard, looking for danger. One morning before daybreak, their lookouts saw an enemy approaching and at once gave the alarm.
The Cherokees considered the mound to be inhabited by a race of powerful spirit-beings called the Nunne’hi, who also had other “townhouses” inside Pilot Mountain
The Nikwasi men rushed out to meet the attack, but after a long, hard fight they found themselves overpowered and began to retreat. Suddenly a stranger stood among them and shouted to the chief to call off his men. He himself would drive back the enemy. The Nikwasi fell back along the trail, and as they came near the townhouse, they saw a great company of warriors coming out from the side of the mound as through an open doorway. Then they knew that their friends were the Nunne’hi, the Immortals, although no one had ever heard before that they lived under Nikwasi Mound. The Nunne’hi poured out by the hundreds, armed and painted for the fight But the most curious thing was that they became invisible as soon as they were outside the settlement, so that although the enemy saw the glancing arrow or felt the rushing tomahawk, they could not see who sent it. The invaders tried to retreat and hide, but the Nunne’hi arrows went around the rocks and killed them from the other side, and they were defeated. When the battle was over, the fighting Nunne’hi went back into the mound.   And they may still be there… In the Civil War, when a strong party of Federal troops came to surprise a handful of Confederates posted in Franklin, they saw so many soldiers guarding the town that they retreated without making an attack. Today, some people believe that it is possible to hear drumbeats from deep within the ancient mound, where the Nunne’hi are said to have their living quarters. We hope no one ever digs into the place to find out if they are really there. Some things need to remain a mystery.
Here’s a great overview of the efforts to preserve the mound in Franklin, NC  

Places You Must Explore in the North Carolina Mountains

North Carolina Mountains
North Carolina Mountains is more than just a tourist spot. The different kinds of attraction that are present in this place bring out a homely feeling that is sure to capture everyone’s imagination. As a result, coming ahead to witness them will be of great help to raise a toast to adventure. But if you’re confused about where to begin, then our following list will clarify everything. From the Mingo Falls to Biltmore Gardens, we have listed the most beautiful places in the North Carolina Mountains. Hence, go ahead and check it out.

1. Mingo Falls

Mingo Falls When was the last time you went out for a hike? If it was too long ago, then it is about time that you make matters count. Visit Mingo Falls and proceed to go on a small hike that is relatively easy to climb and complete. With over 160 steps and a short hike, you will be able to reach to the top of the falls. Once you’re up there, then everything else will be forgotten, and you will be more than happy about making it. So get ready to taste some adventure.

2. Museum of the Cherokee Indian

Museum of the Cherokee Indian The history and culture of the Cherokee Indians are captured in the right manner at this particular museum. Through various displays and modern computer images, it paints a decent picture about the past. In terms of reviews, the place has been gaining a positive word of mouth thanks to all that it has to offer. Hence, if the combination of history and culture is your thing, then the Museum of the Cherokee Indian is your destination.

3. Blue Ridge Parkway

Blue Ridge Parkway The Blue Ridge Parkway is a 469-mile drive that manages to bring together Great Smoky Mountains National Park and Shenandoah as you come across their scenic beauty along the way. Once you’re at the parkway, then the natural features of the entire place will leave you mesmerized and it will bring out a divine feeling. The best way to feel everything as you move is to drive slowly and enjoy the lush deciduous forests and rushing waterfalls as they pass. So what are you waiting for? Start your engine to begin the drive to Blue Ridge Parkway.

4. Biltmore Gardens

biltmore-fall-garden When the time is right, Biltmore Gardens will be in full bloom and opens the door to help you enter another world. The gardens are surrounded by unique species of plants which stand to be the highlight of the entire trip. While it may be crowded during peak seasons, it manages to put on a comfortable show even on the first day of spring. Hence, consider all these points and proceed to discover Biltmore Gardens.

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