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Author Topic: I am going to Brushy Mountain  (Read 3861 times)
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« on: August 19, 2008, 11:07:59 AM »

Well since I am stuck in Charlotte for the day I am going to Brushy Mountain. I will tell my wife what I spent afterward.  evil

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2008, 11:28:07 AM »

Just tell her you caught the shopping bug, she'll understand! evil


...JP
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« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2008, 11:38:07 AM »

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Just tell her you caught the shopping bug, she'll understand!

Yeah!  Wives do that all the time don't they?   evil
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« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2008, 12:44:11 PM »

I'm pretty fortunate in that I only live about 30 minutes west of Moravian Falls, so I drop by there on a regular basis - mostly just to see what's new, and look for steals in the clearance/seconds building. I got really frustrated with the company this summer and took my ordering business elsewhere, but the people who work there are so friendly and helpful I still like to stop in and poke around a little bit when I'm in the neighborhood.
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« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2008, 01:15:07 PM »

i've been there a couple of times...about 1 1/2 hours from here. nice winding mountain road to get there.
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« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2008, 01:23:49 PM »

Wish we had a bee supply store closer to us. Shipping is getting out of hand.
BTW:
JP who do you use for supplys? Dadant in Paris ,Tx. is closest i can find.
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« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2008, 01:40:17 PM »

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Shipping is getting out of hand.

You got that right.  $11 for a queen, $80 on a $200 wooden ware shipment.   angry
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« Reply #7 on: August 19, 2008, 02:28:47 PM »

Been several times ---- the store is not what I expected  Sad.! All that space and such a little showroom. But of course their business is basically catalog.
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« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2008, 02:41:01 PM »

Same thing happened to me when I visited Mann Lake, about 1 hour 30 minutes from my house. I was greatly disappointed as it was just a women sitting at a small table with a whole bunch of catalogs and a very, very large warehouse next door.There were some items in a smallish room to look at, but not what I expected. Not that much fun, although I did place a nice order with them.

Sacramento Beekeeping Supply in downtown Sacramento fulfills all those expectations and it so much fun. They have everything fun to look at, bee toys, cosmetics, candle wax supplies, clothing all displayed so nicely. Plus of course the equipment, but they do have higher prices because they order from the big companies. They assemble everything for me, no charge and I appreciate the owner operated attitude.

Not for the large beekeeper, but for a few hives in the backyard they can't be beat.

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« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2008, 02:56:14 PM »

Tell her how MUCH MONEY You saved!! Not how much you spent. Always worked for my wife Wink
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« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2008, 03:56:02 PM »

 Hey Brendhan, not fair, you're supposed to be down here in the wind and rain with the rest of us.
 Rick
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« Reply #11 on: August 19, 2008, 08:05:54 PM »

Wish we had a bee supply store closer to us. Shipping is getting out of hand.
BTW:
JP who do you use for supplys? Dadant in Paris ,Tx. is closest i can find.

Yep, I call Terry and place my orders, she's very helpful, I like dealing with them, great customer service.


...JP
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« Reply #12 on: August 19, 2008, 08:47:53 PM »

ok what did you get?Huh??  evil
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« Reply #13 on: August 19, 2008, 10:15:26 PM »

Okay, first off. I want to introduce North Carolina to a novel item know as a street sign. Also I would desperately ask that they become familiar with an area more than 1 mile from where they work and live.

"Turn right where Bob's old barn use to be" is not directions or a landmark.

I mean people here are nice, sweet, very social (sort of) and completely bereft of any sense of direction.

What should have been a little over an hour to get there was three hours to get there. And to this place  to be nice, is in the middle of BFE. So for the benefit of future travelers I will now tell you how to get to Brushy Mountain. Pay attention this could save your life.

Charlotte (Big Scary City to natives, not so big to me) to I-77 North(toward where Santa lives). Exit number 65. This falls between to towns, Union Grove and Harmony. The hwy is NC 901 which is called Memorial Hwy. and yes there are a lot of cemeteries there. All filled with those who got lost trying to find Brushy Mountain Bee Farm. I know budgets are tight but how about a couple of signs people. You want to head west that is toward the Pacific ocean and California. If you see a sign that says HOLLYWOOD you have gone to far. However you will see a place on the south side called the Union Grove Burger Barn(it's not bad, kinda like a Dairy Queen without the franchise). It's a good landmark and one of only a few you will see. Now you drive on 901 and go west until it ends which is about 6 miles. 6 long miles of nothing. Now it's very pretty as long as you aren't concerned you have missed a turn. When it ends you are facing Hwy 115 aka Wilkesboro Hwy.. However that is only if you go south. If you go north it is Statesville Road. So remember south not north. Now don't speed or you will miss your next turn. Sorry to late in the time it took you to read this you missed your turn. You are turning right onto a street called Linney Mills Rd. Please do not confuse this with every other street in the area which also is some type of Mills Rd. Now Linney Mills Rd winds through more of the gorgeous area that is North Carolina county. People have been living here for generations they know everything about their neighbors and you aren't one. Tourist season is open year round and requires no permit and no license. And if you need to turn around in a driveway everyone will be more than happy to let you know they have a gun rack. Linney Mills Rd turns into Sulphur Springs Rd. However if you start seeing that you may have gone to far. Now they are doing some bridge work in the area. Correction they are doing a lot of bridge work in the area on different bridges all within a mile of each other. One is on Sulphur Springs Rd. Just past Sharp Mills rd(see another Mills rd). It blocks the road and should be a sign you have gone way to far. There is a big bridge project where Linney Mills Rd turns into Sulphur Springs Rd and a third turn off. That unmarked turnoff with a little sign that says Wilkes Co is the road. that is Brushy Mountain Road. According to the locals that bridge project is where the DOT is storing rocks. There are no rocks being stored there but there is a large bridge being built there. Don't ask how I know what the locals call it. Just be impressed that I know what the range of a shotgun is. So turn up the unmarked brushy Mountain Rd. In about 1000 feet you will stop due to the road being blocked by the backhoe that is working on the small bridge on Brushy Mountain rd(That's bridge #3 under construction for those keeping track). Once he decides to mosey on over an let you pass you will have finished War and Peace(A really long book) and continue down a road that actually follows the winding path you see on those yellow road signs that say you are on a winding road. Now this road goes for a nice stretch but you will only see two signs that indicate you are on Brushy Mountain Rd. So learn to breath as you hope you are in the right area. Now be careful because the one and only sign on the road that says you are near Brushy Mountain Bee Farm is behind you. Yup the big fork in the road with no road sign indicating that is Bethany Church Rd that is it. And it faces the opposite direction of your travel. The fact that I read it backwards in the rear view mirror should not be that incredible. The fact that I made U turn without going over the cliff now that is impressive. Drive up to Bee St (yes there is a sign there also, be amazed). And follow Bee St to the end. Don't worry I parked in the employee lot the first time too. When you go to leave you will have become familiar enough with that area of NC that you will be able to make your own shortcut back. Now I warn I have a pretty good sense of direction. I fear for those who do not.

I will follow up tomorrow with my wonderful time at Brushy Mountain tomorrow evening. I did enjoy meeting everyone. I just think that it is just slightly (warning understatement) out of the way.

Sincerely,
Brendhan





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JP
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« Reply #14 on: August 19, 2008, 10:32:14 PM »

Great synopsis!!! BFE is right!!!


...JP Wink
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« Reply #15 on: August 20, 2008, 12:14:44 AM »

Wander why they put it there, maybe tourist (Fla.) evil Wink!!! To some BFE to others Gods country shocked. Go figure grin.

All jokes aside it is in the middle of nowhere and two directions to get up the mountain to reach Brushy Mountain road and I'm still not sure which is better?
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« Reply #16 on: August 20, 2008, 09:11:40 AM »

I went to Brushy Mountain Bee Farm Tuesday. From 421 in Wilkesboro directions are a snap, and there are at least 3 bright signs on the road that direct visitors to the Farm. But it is in the country -- beautiful country -- Brushy Mountain Road runs along a high ridge, lots of farms, orchards, etc.

Here are some pictures. I'm not great at estimating acreage, but I'd say a hundred at least. The buildings and grounds are well-kept, neat and organized. Not much of a showroom, but as has been pointed out, this is primarily a mail-order business. I heard some comments among the employees about some things being back-ordered; dunno what's up with that. What I did see was a UPS semi 1/4 filled within a half-hour. It's an impressive operation. I picked up a couple of 8-frame mediums from the Bargain Barn for $12 each, some frames, and a screened bottom board.

Something else -- when I was in the shop there was a nice-looking man with a long ponytail who seemed to be working on a problem with the computer, so I assumed he was their computer fixit guy. Later he mentioned he was from Florida, and was harvesting Leatherwood honey. Could this have been Understudy?

http://picasaweb.google.com/hjdunlap/BrushyMountainBeeFarm
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« Reply #17 on: August 20, 2008, 09:58:29 AM »

I always go to Brushy Mountain if we need anything because of the shipping.  Yes their store is small, but it does seem to have everything in it you need.  When we first started going up there, they had an observation hive in the store. It was neat to see a working hive like that. And unless you do know the area, (like Understudy found out), it is a bit out of the way.  But then too, they have lots of apple, peach, and other fruits for the bees to enjoy.
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« Reply #18 on: August 20, 2008, 10:51:03 AM »

A City Slicker goes to the Country !

GPS wasn't working ?

Watch for the fork in the road, after the low-water, just a short ways as the crow flies.

Remember all the traveling salesmen jokes ?

Perhaps a aeroplane and a parachute would have been better.

We'ns will be setting on the front porch, watching you pass us by again, and again, and again !

Looking forward too your next visit, we'll have some vittles on the table, probably be cold by the time you get here if you keep driveing around in circles.

Take care now You hear !

Bee-Bop
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« Reply #19 on: August 20, 2008, 01:10:21 PM »

You guys are too much!!

Don't worry Understudy, we have the same problem here in Jersey and I would hardly call where I live "country."

Everything is in relationship to which shopping centers used to have which stores (turn left past the old Caldor/Rickle's shopping center...that sort of thing).

The problem is, when I moved here it made me crazy - now that I have been here 18 years I find myself doing EXACTLY the same thing. It is very sad.

However, I would still be able to give you the name of roads/routes and actual present day landmarks, too.....

Sounds like you had quite an adventure. Can't wait to hear what you bought. Oh - and if you are the leatherwood honey guy that Eri mentioned, be sure to get it on the market quick - this month's Martha Stewart living recommends it for some of her recipes (although she lists Tasmanian Leatherwood). FYI, she is also pushing comb, hawiian white, corbezzolo, buckwheat, acacia, scottish heather, and orange blossom honeys.

- Jess
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« Reply #20 on: August 20, 2008, 01:54:27 PM »

I went to Brushy Mountain Bee Farm Tuesday. From 421 in Wilkesboro directions are a snap, and there are at least 3 bright signs on the road that direct visitors to the Farm. But it is in the country -- beautiful country -- Brushy Mountain Road runs along a high ridge, lots of farms, orchards, etc.

Here are some pictures. I'm not great at estimating acreage, but I'd say a hundred at least. The buildings and grounds are well-kept, neat and organized. Not much of a showroom, but as has been pointed out, this is primarily a mail-order business. I heard some comments among the employees about some things being back-ordered; dunno what's up with that. What I did see was a UPS semi 1/4 filled within a half-hour. It's an impressive operation. I picked up a couple of 8-frame mediums from the Bargain Barn for $12 each, some frames, and a screened bottom board.

Something else -- when I was in the shop there was a nice-looking man with a long ponytail who seemed to be working on a problem with the computer, so I assumed he was their computer fixit guy. Later he mentioned he was from Florida, and was harvesting Leatherwood honey. Could this have been Understudy?

http://picasaweb.google.com/hjdunlap/BrushyMountainBeeFarm


Yes that was me. I remember you getting the items from them. I was actually showing her the beemaster forums page. Shameless plugging even on a trip.

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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« Reply #21 on: August 20, 2008, 02:44:32 PM »


Yes that was me. I remember you getting the items from them. I was actually showing her the beemaster forums page. Shameless plugging even on a trip.

Sincerely,
Brendhan


Small world, eh? If I'd stayed in the office and not gone to the Bargain Barn maybe we would have discovered each other sooner and we'd have had photos to post smiley

I showed Beemaster.com to my county Ag Agent last week and at some point will use it to demo for the County Beekeepers as an alternative communications format to the current Major Domo listserv (ick). Everybody be good now, you never know who's watching!

When I was on a business trip in New Jersey several years ago I was given directions in terms of the average number of minutes it took to get from one road to another. No road names, of course, no mileage, just vague landmarks. Thank goodness for Internet maps now, when they're accurate.

  -- eri

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« Reply #22 on: August 20, 2008, 02:53:26 PM »

The trip is gorgeous, don't get me wrong in that aspect. But it is hard to appreciate when you are trying to make sure you haven't made a wrong turn on a road. I made several. All this while getting directions from a person at Brushy Mountain.

Wilkesboro is North of where I was coming from. I guess they don't get to many customers from the southern areas. I caulk this up to part of the adventure of life. If had been easy to get to I wouldn't have a story to tell. Smiley

When I arrived I was very impressed with the size of the facility and the number of buildings on the property. It is definitely not  small time. I went down to the store and met Laurie. Laurie was working the register in the store. Now I kinda of expected the set up where everything is a display item only. I am use to dealing with that with other warehouse type operations. I had a chance to talk with Laurie and had a wonderful conversation. I showed her the Beemaster Forums and a couple of the cool things on the site. Smiley I also discussed what has been a problem with just about every bee supply place out there. Where you order something they take a week to process it and then ship it to you. Basically the answer was there has been an increase in beekeepers and a decrease in supplies. The one thing that may have saved the wood as a raw material is the housing crunch means that wood for houses is now going to build hives. I went on a tour of the assembly warehouse and meet Greg who was the person who explained the wood issue. He also mentioned they may have to expand the operation because it is still hard to keep up with.

I found it very interesting to learn they make all their own parts except for frames. Someone else mills the frames and sends them them frame parts. I also met Ken in the shop warehouse where they fabricate everything. He showed me some of the current items being made and how they get everything fabricated load it on pallets and drop it off next door to Greg and his crew to assemble if needed and ship out. The operation is amazing. They also have very little scrap. What little they do have is usually pieces to small to be used for any other purpose. Some of it that can be used but isn't perfect goes in the discount bin.

While I was in the store I bought Honey B Healty, Some conical screens , a queen rearing DVD, and commercial bee pheromone.   I want to try the pheromone against the lemongrass oil. Laurie also gave me a jar of her honey which I will use with the culinary programs the association does over the school year. I also bought a bunch of honey straws. Fortunately the TSA did not steal any honey this time. (Put TSA Theives in the search for that story).

Overall the staff at Brushy Mountain is really nice to deal with. The backlog and shipping costs are an issue but I think that they will try to deal with the backlog. I doubt UPS will do much about the shipping. Maybe if we could get them to open up a few branch offices say in South Florida. Smiley

Sincerely,
Brendhan

In the time I was writing this. I received a call from pdmattox. He will post the full story but my thoughts are with you Beemaster.

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« Reply #23 on: August 20, 2008, 02:56:02 PM »

Quote from: Eri
...heard some comments among the employees about some things being back-ordered...
Which is exactly the reason why I got so frustrated with them this summer. I can understand if an order is going to take an extra week or even two to fill. That's not a big deal to me. What I don't understand is why things could be on backorder for months without any real explanation or additional communication, and (even more irritating) why a business would still be accepting orders for that item. It seems to me like there should be a point when you say "We can't accept any more orders on that item until we get caught up a little bit."

Quote from: Eri
If I'd stayed in the office and not gone to the Bargain Barn
Yeah, but let's face it - the Bargain Barn is the #1 reason to go to Brushy Mountain in person. cool
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« Reply #24 on: August 20, 2008, 03:34:41 PM »

Been there twice and didn't know there was a bargain barn, and no one bothered to tell me Cry!
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« Reply #25 on: August 20, 2008, 03:40:21 PM »

Yeah, it isn't signed up very well. I wouldn't have found it myself if I hadn't been wandering around one morning this spring when I went to pick up my packaged bees.

You know where the main office/store thing is? If you're standing on the front porch of that building just look up the hill and to your right, over towards where Steve has his hives in the open field. The Bargain Barn is over that way. It's where they put all their rejects, seconds, and clearance items.
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« Reply #26 on: August 20, 2008, 05:30:41 PM »

Brendhan,

There is just something in the way Tarheels give directions that drive others mad.  Up rivver from me are 2 Tarheel communities; Darrington and Concrete.  Directions along the Sauk Valley Road will still refer to Ba'r Reese's place (Ba'r Reese was an old
Tarheel in the 1950's who used to trap bear in the spring and fatten then on corn and butcher them in the fall) and he's been dead for nearly 50 years.  The other part is taking the second road (deer track) past the dead oppossum about a mile past the old cedar stump.

Tarheels are great people, they'll cross the street to shake you hand and they'll cross the street to bloody your nose.  City slicker's have a hard time understanding them. 

The way you identify a Tarheel is that he's driving an old pickup truck with a gun rack (guns included) and 2 or 3 coon hounds and a gallon jug in the back.
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« Reply #27 on: August 20, 2008, 09:39:59 PM »

The way you identify a Tarheel is that he's driving an old pickup truck with a gun rack (guns included) and 2 or 3 coon hounds and a gallon jug in the back.
Ah, Brian, you know not of what you speak. You are referring to rednecks, or an old definition of rednecks.

While some Tarheels are rednecks, and conversely, some rednecks are Tarheels, Tarheels are native residents of the great state of North Carolina (never to be confused with South Carolina), the state itself is the Tarheel State, home of the sometimes spectacular sports teams of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Tar Heels.

Here's how it is:
I'm a Tarheel born and a Tarheel bred and when I die I'll be a Tarheel dead.

The ONLY Tarheel "communities" are here in North Carolina. Always have been and always will be. We Tarheels don't take kindly to misrepresentation  Wink

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« Reply #28 on: August 20, 2008, 10:34:07 PM »

Eri:  Well said.  But don't be too hard on him.  If a person is not a native Tarheel, they cannot be expected to understand.


I go to Brushy Mountain about once a year.  The store is small, but it is interesting and items are well displayed.  I like the ambiance of the old farm house.  They should have a large porch with rockers where beekeepers could sit and talk looking out over the valley with hives a few feet away. 

If you have plenty of time and a full tank of gas, go the back way through Hiddenite.  You get a feeling of time slowing down to the pace of the old South of 2 generations ago.  And the drive if gorgeous. 
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« Reply #29 on: August 20, 2008, 11:25:18 PM »

The way you identify a Tarheel is that he's driving an old pickup truck with a gun rack (guns included) and 2 or 3 coon hounds and a gallon jug in the back.
Ah, Brian, you know not of what you speak. You are referring to rednecks, or an old definition of rednecks.

While some Tarheels are rednecks, and conversely, some rednecks are Tarheels, Tarheels are native residents of the great state of North Carolina (never to be confused with South Carolina), the state itself is the Tarheel State, home of the sometimes spectacular sports teams of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the Tar Heels.

Here's how it is:
I'm a Tarheel born and a Tarheel bred and when I die I'll be a Tarheel dead.

The ONLY Tarheel "communities" are here in North Carolina. Always have been and always will be. We Tarheels don't take kindly to misrepresentation  Wink

Esse Quam Videri


I said we have 2 Tarheels communities here in NW Washington.  They were brought in to log the north cascade mountains after the Norwegians and Sweeds ran out of steam.  The area is crawling with them.  But if you want to qualify that a Tarheel is no longer a Tarheel once he moves out of South Carolina, far be it from me to correct you,  I'll leave that for those who've left NC.
BTW, a real Tarheel, direct from NC, proprosed to my wife for me.....he had a 4X4 truck complete with run rack and hound dogs and would be offended at your  statement.  He was a good man and I miss him...he's a Tarheel dead (died riding a snowmobile on the loweriglaciers of Mt. Raineer).

FYI, countrified Tarheels are the epitamy of Redneck everywhere else in the USA except for NC, SC, and GA.  Ask Jeff Foxworthy.  :b)
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« Reply #30 on: August 20, 2008, 11:56:19 PM »

Kinda getting off subject but  grin:

>Tarheels are native residents of the great state of North Carolina (never to be confused with South Carolina)

Wow what a cheap shot --- wonder why they call it NORTH carolina : YANKEE  evil!!!

My blood runneth ORANGE grin Sad!
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« Reply #31 on: August 21, 2008, 08:03:18 AM »

Ya'll all know I'm funnin' you about this whole Tarheel pride thing, right? Fact is that now in any gathering of folks, work or play, it's hard to find a native (both sides of my family were in NC before the Civil War, longer on my father's side), much less a true native from the Cherokee or Lumbee Indian tribes.

Winding through confusing but beautiful back country roads like those on Brushy Mountain used to be the norm but now are the exception, and these days "Southern hospitality" is marketed as a commodity I barely recognize.

As for shotguns, ain't much left to shoot but them gall-durned deer!
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« Reply #32 on: August 21, 2008, 10:03:31 AM »

>Ya'll all know I'm funnin' you about this whole Tarheel pride thing, right?

I assure you no offense has been taken by anyone  Kiss Wink!

Tarheel Blue pretty color --- but not as exciting as TIGER ORANGE Wink!
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« Reply #33 on: August 21, 2008, 04:32:01 PM »

My son and I went on a road trip to Brushy Mountain back in May. I can second that it was as hard to find as you said. And the directions that I got off of Mapquest angry didn't have a clue. We had to stop and ask for directions. needless to say it was an all day trip. If your going, be prepared, leave early and compare maps. Some of them have things wrong around that area.
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« Reply #34 on: August 21, 2008, 07:58:08 PM »

for some reason it must be a lot easier going there from anywhere but south of it. if you get on 421 and get off at the right exit its pretty hard to get lost.
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