Rumbling Bald Golf Course at Lake Lure

At the far north end of Lake Lure is Rumbling Bald Resort, and the centerpiece of the popular destination is the golf course. With spring suddenly arriving last week, it was the perfect time to get back out onto the links.
Canada Geese at Lake Lure
The Canada Geese had the same idea…

Bald Mountain Golf at Lake Lure
No wonder they call them “Greens”…

Rumbling Bald Golf Waterfall

Rumbling Bald SIxteenth Green
This was the location for a memorable scene in the film, Dirty Dancing. It’s the 16th green.

Springtime has Arrived at Lake Lure

It was 78 degrees today around an almost full Lake Lure. After six days of mild temperatures, Spring is here, and it has happened in just a few days.

Lake Lure Houses
The far north end of the lake features the classic boathouses and the elegant mountainside homes.

Rumbling Bald 18th Hole
This is the 18th hole at Rumbling Bald Resort.

Lake Lure Magnolias

Youngs Mountain at Lake Lure
Young’s Mountain overlooks the golf course.

Lake Lure Columbia University Crew
Three northeastern schools arrived this week for Spring Training. This is the eight man crew from Columbia University. Today, the Ohio State eight and four man crews were also on the Lake.

Lake Lure Spring Training
After two roundtrips on the three mile long lake, the afternoon session is finally over for this exhausted crew.

Hickory Nut Gorge at Lake Lure
From a high ridge on the east side of the lake, Hickory Nut Gorge stretches toward Bearwallow Mountain on the western horizon. Hard to believe that all of this was covered in snow just seventeen days ago, and that the coldest temperature in ten years was recorded just three weeks ago.

Vibrant Color in a Winter Mountain Valley

Horsetop Mountain at Sunrise

Even before any signs of the approaching Spring are visible in Otter Creek Valley, the colors of the winter forest are as bright and electric as any other time of the year.

Horsetop Mountain Winter View
Roan Horsetop Mountain catches the rays of the rising sun.

Mount Shumont from Otter Creek Valley
A distant Mount Shumont at Lake Lure still dominates this winter sunrise, with Dick’s Mountain on the left.

Wolfpen Mountain in Winter Shadow
3,100 foot Wolf Pen Mountain hides under a heavy cloud bank as the Sun finds an opening from the horizon.

Below is a 15 second video that shows Hunter and Buddy oblivious to the striking beauty all around them.

Lake Lure at Sunset in Mist and Clouds

Lake Lure is called the world’s most beautiful manmade lake, and it sure lived up to its reputation yesterday at sunset. With no wind, the water was like a mirror, and a mist clung to the surface like the vapor of dry ice. Recent rain left behind low clouds that hugged the mountains. Over the past week, the dam has been almost closed so that the lake can refill after being lowered last November by almost six feet to allow for dock and seawall repairs, and dredging of mud and silt at the Rumbling Bald Resort on the far north end. Within a week, the rowing crews from many northeastern colleges will arrive for their spring training.

Lake Lure Mist

Rumbling Bald Mountain Fog

Lake Lure Boat Houses

The Gorge along Otter Creek

Otter Creek wends its way from deep in the forest below Roan Horsetop Mountain, to where it eventually flows into Cove Creek, a course of about four miles. As it passes below my house, it makes a sudden right turn, and heads under Otter Creek Road through double culverts placed there decades ago. Before it gets to those crushed and flattened metal pipes, it passes along a rock wall that has been carved for millenia by countless flash floods.
Otter Creek Gorge 3
Sandbars form and reform as the water makes the turn…

Otter Creek Gorge 6
Buddy likes to cross the creek and climb the hillside, looking for mice and moles among the granite rocks.

Otter Creek Gorge 5
The water runs crystal clear as it goes under a submerged rock ledge.

Otter Creek Gorge 2
The wall of the gorge rises thirty feet to the top of the ridge. Ancient layers of rock are made visible as the creek works its sculpting magic. Rhododendron covers most of the hillside, shielded from below zero temperatures by the moving water below.

Otter Creek Gorge 4
Looking like a giant green bullfrog, this boulder tumbled down the wall eons ago, making the perfect home for mosses and leichens that want to be near the warmer water in winter. Ferns thrive just above the water line, even in the dead of winter. These mountain creeks often create their own micro climate zones, sheltering plants and critters from the harsh extremes of weather.

Otter Creek Bend
About a quarter mile west up the creek, another sharp bend carves a steep fifteen foot cliff. During heavy rains, the creek will rise six feet, rushing over Otter Creek Road, leaving large logs and small boulders strewn in the woods along the creek’s banks. Rushing water is a very powerful thing.

More Shelby, N.C. Mansions

Two more remarkable houses were both constructed in Shelby, North Carolina, in the same year, 1875. Because Cleveland County, where Shelby is the county seat, was the cotton capital of the Carolinas, the barons that owned the largest mills built the most elaborate homes.

Banker's House 1875 Shelby, N.C.
This Second Empire style home was built by the owner of the largest bank in Shelby, and was successively owned by the city’s wealthiest bankers. It became know as The Banker’s House, and is still a private home to this day. Years ago, the property was given to Preservation North Carolina, who continues to manage the property today. Occasionally, the house is opened for tours. It is made from yellow stuccoed brick, and features hand painted roof tiles.

James Heyward Hull House 1874
This impressive frivolity was constructed in 1875 as a traditional Georgian house, but when new owners bought the house in 1907, they added the monumental portico in the neoclassical style, with ornate Corinthian columns. Today the house is known as the James Heyward Hull House, and is suffering from neglect. Even with flaking paint and rotting ornamentation, the house still stops passersby in their tracks.

Heavy February Snow in Otter Creek Valley

Snow Pond at Otter Creek

On Wednesday and Thursday, February 25th and 26th, five inches of wonderful snow fell in Otter Creek Valley.

Hemlock House in SNow

Hemlock House Snow Trees

Otter Creek Snow Reflections
Otter Creek…

Hemlock House Deck View
From the deck at Hemlock House…

Toward Toms Mountain
Toward Tom’s Mountain before sunrise…

Brushy Top Mountain in Snow at dawn
Brushy Top Mountain at Dawn…

Otter Creek Valley Sunrise Snow


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