August 1, 2008

Blue Ridge Blog, part three

The remainder of our short stay in Highlands was predictably serene for the most part. There was that last night when I couldn’t get a WiFi signal at the parlor. And I even had some ice cream (vanilla with peanut butter and brownie mix-ins)!

The cottage we stayed in was part of a boarding house that was built in 1885. The tiny bathroom Abe and I used had a clawfoot tub. Don’t get too impressed. You know those short demo beds they use in stores to show off linens? This had to be a demo tub. I kid you not: the base of the tub could not be more than three feet long. It’s like bathing in a bucket. I suppose I can call it quaint.

A multimillionaire has discovered Highlands and is buying it up lot by lot, rebuilding the town—for fellow millionaires. All the charming old structures are disappearing, being replaced by pretty stone and wood buildings for which you must don Prada in order to enter. It’s turning into Vail. Before the old Highlands disappears, let me show you around.

Downtown Highlands

Old Edwards Inn

Flower photography inspired by Greg, Joe, and Jeepguy. Now, who can name these flowers?

Pretty purple things with a swallowtail butterfly

Shastas? Purple pansies? Yellow marigolds

Pretty red things

Day lilies?

Main Street walkway

Behind our cottage

This new house on the lake holds two households. Price: over two million dollars each.

East of town is a stone bluff called Sunset Rock, rising 300 feet straight up from the plateau on which Highlands sits. It is a very popular spot for people of all ages for overlooking the town, watching the sun set behind the peaks, and stargazing.

Highlands Plateau

View of Main Street and two of three traffic lights

Flowers and grasses on Sunset Rock

Sunset silhouette

It’s time to head back to real life, richer by one new friend. I hope to meet more of you in my travels.


Greg said...

What sad news about Highlands - I like it just fine the way it is!

Damn my stupid dying monitor...I can't see any of the red flowers! Still, I think they might be crocosmia...and that's a white cosmos down there in the right corner.

Birdie...I'm so proud of you! You've already named most of these flowers! : ) What a good student you are.

Although I'll have to look again on the work computer tomorrow, I'm pretty sure those are purple coneflowers out behind your cottage!

Thanks for the tour!

Greg said...

Oh, and the pretty purple things with the swallowtail are tall garden phlox!

Sooo-this-is-me said...

Sad about the town changing, I find that is the way things are going. Instead of people building a house with character, a company will come in, buy up land and then build houses that almost all have the same design.

Bear Me Out said...

Actually, Highlands and Cashiers have been very wealthy towns for a very long time. Highlands became an important town for wealthy, Low Country (SC) planters to "summer", away from the heat and mosquitoes.

It has always been a beautiful place, if you have the money. "The more things change, the more they remain the same."

somewhere joe said...

What a waste of a vanilla ice cream with peanut butter and brownie mix-ins.

I knew Greg could name them, even with his half-color blind monitor. He da garden man.

I'm crazy about small towns. And I like the two million dollar house on the lake. I'm pretty flexible.

Java said...

Birdie, I love your style of flower identity. :) "Pretty red things"

I love quaint little old towns like that. And in a house with character it is so much easier to be at home. Especially if it has quirky and/or quaint things like a sample size clawfoot tub.

Greg said...

Birdie, these are even prettier pictures on a properly-colored monitor. I do think those pretty red things are crocosmia, but my relationship with them is limited to catalog shots and photos on packages of bulbs that have almost always not grown for me. There's some black-eyed susan, too.

Just beauty...thanks for the faith, Joseph!!

: )

evilganome said...

My home state of Vermont is also being turned into a bedroom community for the wealthy. Or at least all the parts that the rich folk consider to be pretty.