Travel & Outdoor
Our State: Celebrating North Carolina

Our State: Celebrating North Carolina October 2019

Through compelling narrative stories and jaw-dropping photography, Our State magazine celebrates everything that makes our state great! Each month, we reflect the beauty of North Carolina, tell the stories of its amazing people and its remarkable history, and suggest wonderful places to visit. We are unabashedly in love with the Tar Heel State, and every page is designed to be an inspiring tribute to where we live.

United States
Mann Media
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12 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
mountain color guide

To make your fall leaf-peeping trip to western North Carolina more rewarding, we’re teaming up with biologists at Highlands Biological Station and Appalachian State and Western Carolina universities to create a weekly, online fall color report so that you’ll know which views — from Boone to Highlands — are at their peak. visit ourstate.com/fallcolor…

3 min.
the bigger picture

At the Burke County Visitors Center in Morganton, Ed Phillips, who oversees tourism in this area, will ask you what kind of car you’re in. You want to get to that landmark you saw from the highway, Table Rock, overlooking Linville Gorge. You want to drive, or hike, to the summit of Hawksbill, to Wiseman’s View, to Sitting Bear Mountain. There are roads, Ed will assure you, but some are unpaved and rough enough that you need a high-clearance vehicle. There are trails, Ed will say, but some are rocky and strenuous. Are you wearing good hiking shoes? Can you make the steep climb? We don’t want you getting lost or, worse, hurt. Ed will say that to you, too. To say that Linville Gorge is one of the most breathtakingly beautiful…

2 min.
vast vistas

1 Pilot Mountain in Surry County rises more than 2,000 feet in a near-vertical manner, offering spectacular views of the Piedmont. What U.S. highway passes near Pilot Mountain, providing easy access to this landmark? A. 17B. 27C. 52 2 Crowders Mountain State Park in Gaston County has several hiking trails that lead to great views. On clear days, from the top of the 1,705-foot-high Kings Pinnacle, you can see the skyline of what city to the east? A. AshevilleB. CharlotteC. Winston-Salem 3 The Fall Mountain Trail at Morrow Mountain State Park is a four-mile hike that includes a view of Lake Tillery during late autumn and winter. In what county is Morrow Mountain located? A. StanlyB. AnsonC. Cabarrus 4 At 5,340 feet, Fryingpan Mountain Lookout Tower in Transylvania County is one of the highest U.S. Forest…

2 min.

Gammy’s Southern COOKING THE PLATE OF FOOD ON THE COVER of your August issue really brought back memories. My grandparents lived in Charlotte, and just about every Sunday after church, we would go to their house for Sunday dinner. My Gammy was the best Southern cook. She could fry the best chicken. She would have mashed potatoes with milk gravy, green beans, sliced tomatoes, deviled eggs, homemade yeast rolls, and the best chocolate cake with chocolate fudge icing! I’m sure she had recipes, but mostly I remember her measuring by hand. She just knew by the feel of the ingredients in her hand if it was right. Thanks, Our State, for bringing back wonderful memories. As Gammy would say, “Tastes so good, it makes your tongue slap your brains out!” Susan EverharSPENCER Sweet…

3 min.

Many people traveling through Wilkesboro never venture off of U.S. Highway 421. But Mike and Janet Martinez didn’t want to follow the steady stream of cars heading to the big-box stores and chain restaurants, so they turned off the highway and ended up downtown. That detour changed their lives. “We felt an immediate connection,” Janet recalls. The couple bought a vacation home in Wilkes County, and after traveling back and forth from Miami for about a year, they made the foothills their permanent home in 2007. They opened a real-estate business, like the one they’d had in Florida, “to help other people discover why this is a great place to live,” Mike says. Today, the couple knows practically everyone in Wilkesboro, from the mayor and town clerks to the husband-and-wife team behind…

4 min.
a place in the sun

JOEL OLSEN had a problem with his grass. The vegetation under the panels on one of his North Carolina solar farms was unstoppable, growing four inches a day in the summer. It was 2012, and his three-year-old energy company, O2 emc, was issuing check after check to guys with lawn mowers. Then, a 10th-generation farmer named Chad Ray reached out with an idea: He and Olsen had talked about how sheep were used on solar farms in Europe to keep grass in check more economically — would Olsen be interested in experimenting? Olsen became the enthusiastic first customer of the ground-maintenance company that Ray cofounded, Sun-Raised Farms, which uses sheep from local farmers to keep grass and weeds from getting out of hand and covering solar panels. But within two weeks, all…