Wow! What a weekend! 

Dan and I have been here @ The Swag over holiday times since 1969.  We genuinely think these were the most perfect days we have ever experienced.  There was a gentle breeze and the view went forever.  We could even see Mt. Mitchell.  There were a lot of mellow weekenders who checked out on Monday and Tuesday.

Family Fun
The Foster family returned for their twice-seasonal visit — all 10 of them.  This was a magical time for the grandchildren.  They got to  enjoy Donald Davis’s after-dinner stories and went white-water rafting at the Nantahala Outdoor Center on Sunday afternoon.

On Sunday four campers from Campsite 41 down by the Big Trees appeared at the Dogtrot.  They ended up staying for brunch.  I had a chance to visit with one.  He said they came up the Hemphill Bald Trail and had intended to go to Hemphill Bald, but decided to take the Park’s Asbury Trail to the left for a bit when a scarecrow appeared in the field across from the Park Fence.  Then they saw a man with a Navy blazer on and a Sunday NYTimes in his hands.  Dan greeted them and that is how they ended up having brunch with us.

New Trail Signs
Dan and I spent quite a bit of time — last week and this week — working on signs for the trails.  Dan had a man rout some really big heavy oak boards with trail signs.  We have been filling in the routing with white paint.  (Sometimes I wonder if there was someone in Dan’s family’s past who was involved with making those highway Burma Shave signs!)  I promise you that you will never have to wonder if you are taking the right direction when you get off of the Nature Trail.

On Monday two couples took the “Round the Block” all-day hike down to Caldwell Fork, via McKee’s Branch or Double Gap Trail (recently renamed by the Park as Hemphill Bald Trail).  They left @ 10:30 and got back @ 4:30 — just in time for cookies and a dip in the Hot Tub.

Birmingham, Alabama Guests
We had a coincidence earlier this week — two separate couples arrived within hours of one another, each after taking their child to Greystone Camp. They are both from Birmingham and were familiar with one another but had not known of each others’ plans to visit The Swag!  Tuesday morning at breakfast, just about everyone decided to sit at “The Grownup Table”  to visit and talk about favorite hikes.

“The Chestnut Grove”
Mac and Margaret Foster have been working for some time on what they call “The Chestnut Grove” in the land below our Cottage.  They have been collecting chestnuts from our land, nurturing them over the winter, and then planting them back @ The Swag.  McRae, our gardener, has put some fencing around the smaller ones, but there are some that are quite tall and the trunks are thickening.  We plan to put up some signs, when we have a good trail marked around them so that folks may take a look at them in the fall.

Jumping Rocks Photography
Yesterday,  Matthew and Mark, our web site photographers, arrived to photograph for you the spruced-up rooms with their new quilts, window treatments, and meals, etc.

They will be here for a couple of days.