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Today’s Email Announcements

1) Watauga Soil and Water Meeting

The Watauga Soil and Water Conservation District Board will hold its regular meeting Wednesday, July 22 at 8 a.m. at the Soil and Water office located at 971 W. King St. in Boone. The public is invited to attend.

2) Ranger Programs on the Blue Ridge Parkway

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Cone Manor – Milepost 294

10:30 am – Informal Upstairs Tour at Cone Manor

From 10:30-12:30, the second floor of Cone Manor will be open for a do-it-yourself tour. Rangers will be on hand to answer questions.

Saturday July 25, 2015

Cone Manor – Milepost 294

10:00, 11:00, 2:00, 3:00 -Upstairs Tours at Cone Manor

Ranger led tours of the second floor of the former home of Moses and Bertha Cone. Tour is approximately 45 minutes long and reservations are required. To reserve a tour: call 828-295-3782 or sign up at the NPS information desk at the Manor House. Reservations are accepted beginning at 10:00am Friday for the upcoming weekend only. No advance reservations, please.

Julian Price Campground Amphitheater – Milepost 296          

7:00 p.m.The Civil War in the Mountains with Award Winning Historian

and Author

In recognition of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, Civil War author and 2010 North Carolina Historian of the Year Michael Hardy will give a presentation on the Civil War in the Appalachian Mountains

Approximately 45 minutes in length

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Cone Manor – Milepost 294

10:00, 11:00, 2:00, 3:00 -Upstairs Tours at Cone Manor

Ranger led tours of the second floor of the former home of Moses and Bertha Cone. Tour is approximately 45 minutes long and reservations are required. (See Saturday above)

3) Evening Programs on the Blue Ridge Parkway for Saturday, July 25

 Linville Falls Campground Amphitheater – Milepost 316

7:00pm- Picture This

The Blue Ridge Parkway’s scenic vistas, abundant wildlife, and diverse flora have been subject to cameras both small and large since before the Park was constructed. Come learn about photography fundamentals and how to apply them along the way.

Approximately 45 minutes in length

Crabtree Falls Campground Amphitheater- Milepost 340

7:00pm- O Christmas Tree

There is a special place for this holiday decoration in the hearts of everyone. Along the Parkway can be seen this symbol of Christmas, but come and learn about this beloved fir beyond is tradition.

4) Shop Christmas in July at Humane Society’s Boutique

Shop our huge assortment of Christmas decorations and in store specials on anything and everything from jewelry and clothing to toys, books, movies, antiques, housewares and linens.

Friday July 24 Black Friday manager specials 10 am to 5 pm.

Saturday July 25 Christmas Day in July specials 10 am to 5 pm.

Sunday July 26 After Christmas Day in July specials 1pm to 5pm.

All proceeds go to the care and feeding of the animals at the Watauga Humane Society Adoption Center

2670 Old Hwy. 421 South Boone




5) Scenic and Historic Mountain Railway Excursion

If you’re experiencing the Summer Doldrums, we have the cure for you – getting out of the house and taking a great train ride! Escape the Dog Days of Summer with a cool, refreshing and scenic train trip through the mountains of the Southern Appalachian region. On Saturday, August 15th, 2015, the Watauga Valley Railroad Historical Society & Museum will sponsor its “Summer 2015 Excursion” – a train ride on the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad through the majestic Smoky Mountains and the beautiful countryside of Western

North Carolina. The train follows the route of the former Southern Railway’s Murphy Branch line, established in 1891, with its five percent grade, many bridges, and the beautiful whitewater Nantahala Gorge. Much of the route hugs the banks of the Little Tennessee and Nantahala Rivers and crosses Fontana Lake Trestle, standing 100 feet above the lake and spanning 780 feet. After crossing the lake, the train will enter the breathtaking Nantahala Gorge – a natural wonder. Passengers can choose to ride in comfort in Coach Class, or Crown Class. Both classes offer seating in vintage, restored passenger cars. Coach Class features windows that open and close for fresh-air viewing and ceiling fans. Crown Class offers larger windows for better viewing (windows do not open) and climate control for passenger comfort. First Class offers lounge type spacious seating. A meal will be served to you at your seat which is included in the ticket price.

Ticket prices for adult Coach Class seats are $79 and $58 for children (2 to 12 years). Adult Crown Class seats are $93 and $71 for children (2 to 12 years).

First Class seats are $147.00 (you must be 21 years of age or over) and includes a dinner at your seat.

The trip will begin in downtown Johnson City, TN, where passengers will board a motor coach departing 9:15 a.m. from the Legion Street (Big Burley) parking lot across the street from the Johnson City Recreation Center. Upon arriving Bryson City, NC, passengers will have time to shop, snack, and visit the Smoky Mountain Train Museum before boarding the excursion train at 1:45 p.m. for the 4.5- hour roundtrip to the Nantahala Gorge and return. There will be a layover at the Gorge for sightseeing. Expected arrival back to Johnson City is 8:30 p.m.

To order tickets (and lunch for Coach and Crown Classes, if desired), send your check or money order along with the number of tickets, the class of car you choose and lunch choices to Summer 2014 Excursions, Watauga Valley RHS&M, P. O. Box 432, Johnson City, TN,37605-0432. A printable ticket / lunch order form is available by going to our web site at www.wataugavalleynrhs.org and clicking on the “Excursions” link. Please specify if you will accept an alternate class of service if your choice is sold out; you will be refunded the difference. Money will be refunded if you do not wish an alternate service.

Passengers will have several options for lunch:

  1. Bring your lunch (small coolers only).
  2. The following box lunch meals will be available for purchase at $9.00 per meal

and must be pre-ordered with your train ticket.


Included with the box lunch are chips, cookies and a choice of drink (unlimited

coffee, tea or soft drink) in a disposable cup. Box lunches can be picked up in the

concession car once boarded.

  1. We’re excited to offer our passengers a dining in historic dining cars. A truly

unique, on board dining experience in the grand tradition. A choice of meal (see

menu below) will be available for selection. Note all dining car meals must be

pre-purchased when ordering train ticket. These dinners include a choice of drink

(unlimited coffee, tea or soft drink); and a special dessert. The cost is $14.00 per person.

  1. Purchase food from the concession car.

For questions about the trip, visit our web site at www.wataugavalleyrrhsm.org; phone (423)

753-5797; email wataugavalley@embarqmail.com; or write us at Watauga Valley RHS&M, P. O. Box 432, Johnson City, TN 37605-0432.

Nearby attractions

Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Cherokee Indian Reservation, and the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC.

Watauga Valley Railroad Historical Society & Museum

Headquartered in Johnson City, TN, the WVRHS&M is engaged in all facets of railroad related interest and history. We sponsor scenic railroad excursions; restore and lease historic railroad passenger cars; and are in the process of developing a museum in Jonesborough,

  1. Membership is open to everybody of all ages with an interest in railroading.

The Great Smoky Mountains Railroad

The railroad has become a favorite of film producers over the years. The train wreck scene in the 1993 movie “The Fugitive,” starring Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones, was filmed in Dillsboro along the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad. The wreckage of the set can still be viewed on the outbound train excursion from Dillsboro. The Great Smoky Mountain Railroad also was used in the filming of the 1996 comedy “My Fellow Americans,” starring Jack

Lemmon and James Gardner, when they stumble on to a charter train full of UNC-Chapel Hill Fans headed for the NCAA Final Four. Train scenes in the 1998 movie “Forces of Nature,” starring Ben Affleck and Sandra Bullock, also were filmed on the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad.

6) Caldwell Arts Council Junior Musicians Summer Camp

Hey Kids!  Pick up an instrument this summer and come JAM with us! Regardless of experience, Caldwell JAM (Junior Appalachian Musicians program) is offering you a chance to have fun and learn a tune or two in old-time and traditional music. JAM Camp is open to any child aged 7-17 and offers classes in fiddle, guitar, and mandolin.

The Caldwell JAM Summer Camp will be held August 10-13 in downtown Lenoir and on September 5 at the Happy Valley Old-Time Fiddlers Convention. Students will perform what they learn on stage at the Happy Valley Old-Time Fiddlers Convention.

Cost is $40 (for registrations received by August 1) or $50 after August 1. Register at the Caldwell Arts Council, 601 College Ave SW, Lenoir, or onsite August 10 at the St. James Episcopal Church. Registration forms are available on our website: http://www.caldwellarts.com/174-caldwell-jam-junior-appalachian-musicians-program/

Instrument rentals (guitar, fiddle or mandolin) are available for $10. Scholarships are available – please inquire.

For more information, call the Caldwell Arts Council at 828-754-2486.

This Caldwell Arts Council program is supported by the N.C. Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources, with funding from the National Endowment of the Arts and grants from the Unifour Foundation and the Wayne Henderson Music Festival.