Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Abieto Art: An Interview with Emi Olin


Abieto Art: An Interview with Emi Olin

with Gina McKnight, Monday Creek Publishing

Looking at The Athens News several years ago, I saw a photo of Emi Olin at the local Rathacon. She was signing her award-winning art and interacting with the crowd. A graduate of Alexander High School, currently attending Ohio University, Emi has won several accolades at the local and state level. At the age of 14, Emi won Ohio’s Doodle 4 Google competition (read the article in The Athens News here!). We are thrilled to have Emi as a Monday Creek Publishing artist!

Welcome, Emi!

GM: Describe your studio and where you like to create...

EO: My studio is a small, simple drawing space filled with anatomy books, plants, and fairy lights over the wall. I like to balance the lighting from the screen to my surroundings without using too much of a harsh single source (like a lamp). Sometimes, when I'm referencing a certain object, I'll try to have it right beside me until I finish the piece!


GM: I adore your magical art. What mediums do you use?

EO: I use traditional ink and digital work as a main form of practice!


GM: Who is your favorite artist?

EO: Frank H. Netter is an anatomical artist I hold true to my heart for his illustrative narrative for medical research and illustration.  I also love an artist named Janice Sung, for her abstract art focusing around women, plants, and abstract conjectures throughout the work.

 

GM: Do you have a muse or other motivation that inspires your creativity?

EO: Whenever I create art, I like to think that I do it for someone. I often look to my friends for artistic input, and simply to be around them and feel encouraged, happy, and content with what I create. While in college, I also do my best to incorporate my skills for professors to view, constantly gaining new insight, opportunities, and skills to further aid me in my goals to become a children's book and medical illustrator!

 

GM: Of all the pieces you've created, do you have a favorite?

EO: One of my favorite pieces so far, is a piece called Honeycomb. Throughout my artistic career, I have very strong bonds towards symmetry, complex detail, and contrasting colors. I completed this piece first as a study for faces, which ended as one of my first details of a human face. I continued to flesh out the details, made mistakes, and found those mistakes as new insights to the layering processes available I had never considered before. The stark contrast and heavy uniform of symmetry constantly brings me a sense of organization, and suddenly with a twist of ununiform color schemes. It reminds me that even if I want to organize my entire life and all of its contents, things will always blend, things will spill, and it reminds me to do my best and breathe.

 

GM: You have a large local (as well as world-wide) fan base. People enjoy seeing your art. Are you currently exhibiting? Where?

EO: Yes! Currently in 2020, since March and in the Summer (2020), I will have a showing in Casa Nueva, Athens, Ohio, where originals will also be available for purchase! I chose this space specifically for the ties I hold to the restaurant, the staff that has known me since I was small, and as a way to give to their business.

 

GM: What are you currently creating?

EO: Currently, I am in the process of creating a project with Mark M. Dean, author of Doggy Deck Day and Fancy Flowers by Faye to create another book titled, Habit Rabbits, which explores narratives teaching children how to teach themselves healthy habits to keep themselves and others healthy. This book was originally prompted to start later in our book series. However, given the current pandemic of COVID-19, this project was brought to the front-grounds in efforts to get the book out and give to children to help parents teach their children about habits without scaring them of the current world situation.

 

GM: List 10 things your fans may not know about you...

EO: 1.) When I was younger, I was allergic to orange juice. However, I loved the stuff and would steal it every moment I could and would break out in horrid hives the next day. It was always worth it. I have since gotten over this allergic reaction, but I miss the scheming days of asking for orange juice the moment my mother looked away, chugging it down as fast as I could, hiding the evidence, and playing with the other children as nothing happened.

2.) I have the ability to lucid dream! I managed to achieve this ability by keeping a dream journal, where I detail all of my experiences in a visual form. Although, it's very dear to me, and not many are allowed to see it.

3.) My favorite color: Periwinkle!

4.) I can fire spin, and love to spin fire over the summer when the grass is damp (don't want anything catching on fire!!)

5.) I made my own major in my university! I was originally Pre-Med, but I decided that I wanted to go into iconographical illustration, but still focusing on anatomical thematics. As a result, it took me a while, but I managed to create my own Medical Illustration major! So far, I am extremely happy

6.) My favorite season is summer! The warm sun on my feet, going to ponds, hiking up hills to watch the subset, campfires with friends, fireflies at night, fresh fruit and vegetables? Sign me up!

7.) I have moved (so far) in 19 houses in my life, which means that for every year of my life, I have lived in a new house! It's a great way of keeping chapter memories of my life

8.) I use Painttool SAI vers. 2 and Photoshop as my digital software!

9.) Favorite food? Inarizushi! It's a bean-paste soaked in sweet liquid in a can that you can open up down the middle, stuff with rice (with a dash of rice vinegar) and eat with a little topping of red ginger! My grandmother made it every time we came over for events, and I remember eating them so fast, I would choke on the rice. I still do, but at least now I have a cup of water close to me when it comes.

10.) I love sewing clothes and animals! I'm terrible at ceramics, however. But! I've always wanted to make my own bowl and plates collection.

Connect with Emi…

Instagram

Fancy Flowers by Faye

Doggy Deck Day 

My Journal: Thinking Too Much



Monday, July 27, 2020

Milliron Monday: Pharaoh's Horses 7 27 2020

Abbott "Pete" Smith, D.V.M.
June 16, 1938 - February 22, 2010


Welcome to Milliron Monday where every Monday we celebrate the legacy of Pete Smith, D.V.M., and  Milliron: Abbott “Pete” Smith, D.V.M. The Biography (Monday Creek Publishing 2017). A graduate of Colorado State University and a well-known veterinarian in southeast Ohio, Dr. Smith continues to motivate and inspire. 

The harness shop had seen a lot of traffic through the years. It was the early 1950s. Jody Haley Smith, Dr. Smith's widow, was a young horse-crazed girl. Visiting downtown Mansfield, Ohio, to run errands, Jody's mother dropped her off at the harness shop. It was Jody's favorite place to visit. As she walked through the shop door, the smell of leather and Neatsfoot oil permeated the air. Buckles, clasps, worn and new leather laid neatly in a row. But, something was different this time. Instead of working at his bench, the old harness-maker was packing boxes.

"Why are you packing?" Jody asked the old harness-maker. 

"I am retiring," he said. Weathered, calloused hands gently placed awls, bevelers, cutters, punches, and other tools into a box. He enjoyed Jody's visits and her questions about horses and harnesses. 

Near the front counter, an old picture, delicately framed, was leaning against the wall. "I like this painting," Jody said. "Will you take it with you?" 

The painting, Pharaoh's Horses, was a print of the original by J.F. Herring. The painting is of the renowned Arabian horse Imaum. It presents three poses of the grey stallion's beautiful head. The painting was first exhibited in 1848. Imaum was stabled by Queen Victoria. She gifted the stallion to the Clerk of the Royal Stables who sold Imaum to Tattersalls where he was purchased by the artist J.F. Herring. Herring used Imaum as a model for many of his paintings. Herring stated, "Imaun is the most brilliant horse I've ever known." Herring loved and kept Imaun until his death.

"I want you to have it," the harness-maker said, knowing the picture would continue to be adored. 

Jody, without hesitation, was grateful to own the picture and thanked the old man for his kindness. She has treasured the art throughout her lifetime, hanging it in the Smith family farmhouse. Now, many years later, the print belongs to her son, Pat. 

My friend, Carmel Rowley, shares a great article about the painting and it's history. Read it here.

Have a great week ahead.


Through captivating, powerful, and emotional anecdotes, we celebrate the life of Dr. Abbott P. Smith. His biography takes the reader from smiles to laughter to empathy and tears. Dr. Smith gave us compelling lessons learned from animals; the role animals play in the human condition, the joy of loving an animal, and the awe of their spirituality. A tender and profound look into the life of a skilled veterinarian.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

A Writer's Journey: Now What? by T.W. Harvey, Author



Guest Post 5
November 12, 1994, 10:00P.M
Shaker Heights, Ohio

Now What?

          Now, this was an interesting day, a Saturday in mid-November in blustery, gray Cleveland, Ohio. Thankfully, Ohio State beat Indiana this afternoon, 32 – 17, but I didn’t watch it. You see I wanted to continue my work with the Western Reserve Historical Society of Cleveland about the letters in the crates. By the way, things had gotten interesting with Paula as we had continued to see each other, but she wasn’t interested in hanging out at the library of the Historical Society. So, I had gone down there by myself as I had on previous Saturdays.
I had met the curator of the Archives, Mabel Hendershott, on my first visit a couple of weeks ago when I first mentioned that I had found the letters and wanted to know how to protect them. Mrs. Hendershott provided the wisdom that I did not have. That’s when I got the lecture.
Scribbling on a legal pad as quickly as I could, she told me the first thing I was to do was to get a box of surgical gloves for handling the letters. Next, I had to go to the Burrows Bros. stationery store to get a box of acid-free file folders and acid-free storage boxes. Oh, and I wasn’t to forget labels for the file folders that I could run through my printer to identify each letter. Then the next stop was Russo’s market to purchase a box of black polyethylene trash bags in which to keep the box, keeping light out. She then asked me the most important question, “Just what are you going to do with the letters?”     
I told her once again about the “Lincoln letter” and that I had a feeling there might be a book in those crates. But that meant I would have to transcribe them into WordPerfect files in some sort of order, most likely chronologically by author, to see what the story really was.
Well, today, I reported to Mrs. Hendershott that I had done everything that she had assigned and had even bought two boxes of 3½” by 3½” floppy disks (well, they weren’t really floppy; they were plastic, but everyone calls them floppy) and a case to store them. So, now I have 24 disks on which to store the letters, using my word processing system called WordPerfect. This let me type up the letters and store them on disks so I could retrieve them if necessary and not have to type it over again like I would have had to do with a typewriter.
Quite relieved, she seemed to approve of my approach and very nicely asked if she could be of any more assistance. I politely said that I didn’t think so, thanked her for the education, and quietly walked out into the brisk November air, the gray skies of Cleveland suggesting snow. As I drove back to the condo at Shaker Square this afternoon, I felt really good, but wondering if there was really a book in those two crates, just waiting to be published.
A couple of hours ago, I got off the phone with Paula, having told her about my afternoon, and she asked, matter-of-factly, “Do you know what you are getting yourself into?”
“Well, no,” I had responded, “but I gotta find out. You want to go to a movie tomorrow afternoon. It’s supposed to be pretty good. About the Civil War.”
“What’s it called?” she asked.
Gettysburg.” I replied, It’s playing out at Richmond Mall. I’ll pick you up at 1.”
“No, thanks. I’ll pass. I’m gonna play tennis at the Chagrin Valley courts.”
“It’s gonna be cold.”
“No, it’s indoors, dummy!”
With that, I said to myself, “Well, nobody’s called me ‘dummy’ for quite a while, if ever. The hell with her. I’m going to see Gettysburg tomorrow.” Just so you know, she was kidding with the “dummy” comment.
          The condo is a mess, especially the small bedroom I am using for a study. I’ll clean it up tonight. Wonder what that movie is gonna be about. The battle of Gettysburg, but that’s all I know.
          Supper came and went around 7 this evening. Then I gave some order to the study, putting the acid-free boxes right by my chair in front of my PC, labels for the file folders on my worktable on the right. Floppy disks in their cases right beside the computer. I’m ready to begin this adventure.
          About an hour ago, I tired of the sit-coms and thought I would watch something else. Standing by the TV, I clicked around on the dial. Landing on the new cable channel, Turner Classic Movies, I said out loud, “Damn, it’s Midway with Heston, Glenn Ford, and Fonda.” ‘Night all.



About Dr. Harvey
Dr. T.W. Harvey is a retired Associate Professor of Finance at Ashland (Ohio) University. He has published two books, Quality Value Banking: Effective Management Systems that Increase Earnings, Lower Costs, and Provide Competitive Customer Service, with Janet L. Gray, and The Banking Revolution: Positioning Your Bank in The New Financial Services Marketplace. Further, he had articles published in both practitioner and academic journals.

Dr. Harvey has always been fascinated by the history of the United States and was grateful to have the opportunity to study it in detail while researching and writing Seeing the Elephant: One Man’s Return to the Horrors of the Civil War.

He was born and raised in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. He graduated from Hillsdale College with a BA in English, from Case Western Reserve University with an MBA in Finance, from Cleveland State University with a doctorate in management and strategy. He and his wife, Paula, reside in Cleveland Heights, Ohio.



Monday, July 20, 2020

At Huachipa They Lost the Bets by Carolina Yepes


At Huachipa They Lost the Bets

Almost 10 years ago, I was invited to work as a foreign veterinarian at an equestrian club near to Lima-Peru, after the loss of several horses because of lack of appropriate medical attention, especially in urgency cases, and after facing the toughest challenge, both personal and professional till that moment, and still being a newcomer, I wrote the following storytelling: 

Last Tuesday, after a long working day at Club Ecuestre Huachipa, near to Lima, and after being for a while inside a traffic jam, I got to an internet cafe to communicate with my family, and as soon as I sat down, I had a call to attend a colicking horse: The first horse colic in Peruvian territory. Then I grabbed a taxi, which took me to La Molina neighborhood in Lima, to meet the owner of  Mozo de Caba (the sick horse) and, together, go back to Huachipa. We arrived at the club at 9:15 pm, and I went to my office to get ready all the basic stuff to attend Mozo de Caba, and suddenly its owner shows up pretty upset, almost crying and she says Carolina: The horse is pretty bad. I went to see the horse and in fact, it was sweating, barely standing, and its vital signs were not good at all.

Capturahua ~ Photo by Carolina Yepe (c)

Capturasalto - Photo by CArolina Yepes (c)

I got everything ready and some club members in solidarity showed up to help. To be honest, I must say that I was in front of the worst colic I ever attended until that day. Mild analgesics were not working at all, so I needed something stronger, so I could keep working with the horse. The "fun" thing was that I was surrounded by people wanting to help, but no one had any idea of what to do and that was complicating things a little, and I was not sure where to start, because I had some things to do at the same time. As a treasure, I had with me 2 endovenous catheters, which I took from Colombia (because in the time I was in Lima, I couldn't find them in the market), and these would be the tools which were going to allow me to keep giving fluids to the horse for a long time, and although I explained this to my helpers, and that it would be important to keep the catheter in place while fixing it, they let both catheters out of the vein: both were lost.  This meant the beginning of long endovenous hydration using regular needles, and I was thinking that if they let the catheters go out of the vein, the needles had no future.   

On the other hand, as soon as I got in the club for the very first time, I was asking for ringer lactate for fluid therapy, but in Lima, I learned something new about this matter: They used 5 lt of sodium chloride and they thought it was enough, so given the circumstances, anything was better than nothing, so getting together all the fluids they had, I gathered a total of 13lts: still not enough. I moved on with the protocol and I remember to hear them talking about what I was doing and saying: We never sought someone doing what you're doing. After about 2 hours, or so, everything I knew that could help the horse was done, and the horse was getting worse, not better. If there was a horse clinic around (an around I mean in Peru), I would have derived the horse immediately, but I hadn't that option, so I was alone with this horse and the club members who wanted to help. At that point, I asked them to call my mentor, who brought me there and who was in Bogotá-Colombia, and he told me: Keep the horse hydrated and you will have a patient. It was like midnight, and I was managing needles and losing the veins to work because once I put my attention in another issue, and the horse moved, the needles went out and the person who was holding the horse didn't care much. I felt that water was getting into my ship, but as it was, I should keep giving fluids to this horse. It was 4 am, and the horse stabilized, so I decided to stop hydration, we let the horse rest for a while, and I fell asleep inside the box with him, and after half an hour I went to sleep at my home's couch (my house was not ready yet) for another hour. Suddenly: knock knock in my door, it was Mozo de Caba's owner saying: Carolina, the horse is not well. And I thought: No way, but these things are like that. Let´s begin once again: needle, fluids, analgesics, nasogastric tube. I spoke to my mentor once again, and he made them understand the urgency of finding ringer lactate, and I don't know how they got it, or where, but they brought a bunch of ringer lactate bags by 9 am.  By noon, I was reaching 6 hours beside the horse and holding the needle by myself, and at this point, I barely had 5cm of the vein to work, and now my ship was sinking: The horse was getting worse.  All the bets of the club members were going that the horse would die: just before I arrived, they lost 3 horses, so statistics and experience dictated that Mozo de Caba should die too. The owner was crying besides me, and she was even offered "the injection" to put him down. But my mentor from Bogota encouraged me to continue with other medical treatment options. 

At any point I was able to eat and drink something, and desperately I needed to go to the bathroom and I let the groom taking care of the needle and as it was expected, he let it out: Believe it or not. Then I asked my mentor: How long do you think this is going to take? I did not want to leave the horse alone, but I was starting to feel tired. He said: Caro, be patient and get ready for another long sleepless night; it was like 2 pm. As the vein was lost, again, I took the horse out of the stall to try to empty his stomach anew, this time successfully accomplished. They took him for a hand walk and when he came back, I left him stable in the stall. I went to visit my other patients in the club, and when I came back to Mozo de Caba's stall, my dog who was my faithful co-worker and adventurer was pulling me through the horse's box, and what do I see? The horse which 2 hours earlier had the muzzle on the floor and barely stood was now standing very well, calmed, stable and with his eye, he told me: I'm feeling fine. Yes, it was shocking to see. We kept watching and treating him till 10 pm, and again I fell asleep in his box, with the horse and my dog, who joined us all this time, and since Mozo de Caba seemed to be fine, was resting and looking good and calm, I went back to my couch for half an hour... Half an hour? The owner waked me up at 5 am. The horse spent the night so calm, that he was sleeping soundly, stretched over his shavings bed, and his owner thought he died and we didn't realize, but it was a new dawn and Mozo de Caba was still alive. We took him for a hand walk and to eat some grass and the club members who followed the step by step of this journey were telling me: How is he? -Fine, I answered excitedly and surprised they confirmed: Fine? Is he alive? And I said: Yes, he is alive and stable for 12 hours now: no analgesics, no fluids. I think in Huachipa they lost the bets and in what way. They were as thrilled as they were amazed that Mozo de Caba went to the other world and came back and now he was grazing in the club fields, and well let me tell you that this was the best presentation letter. My mentor congratulated me, also people did, the owner was more than excited, the other club members were confident and Mozo the Caba was alive. Now ringer lactate was a trend in Huachipa and they were bringing not bags, but boxes. After a few days, Mozo de Caba got a fever, we carried out some laboratory analysis and it turned out he had his immune system kind of weakened, so we treated him and at the time I wrote this, he was sound and jumping again.

Carolina Yepes
Bogota-Colombia-South America

Connect with Carolina...

Milliron Monday: Dr. Strouss, D.V.M. 7 20 2020

Abbott "Pete" Smith, D.V.M.
June 16, 1938 - February 22, 2010

Above: Ohio Veterinary Medical Association meeting, February 1986 - Dr. Smith (Right), Dr. Strouss (Middle), and Sylvia Snabl (right). Photo Courtesy the Smith Family Archives

Welcome to Milliron Monday where every Monday we celebrate the legacy of Pete Smith, D.V.M., and  Milliron: Abbott “Pete” Smith, D.V.M. The Biography (Monday Creek Publishing 2017). A graduate of Colorado State University and a well-known veterinarian in southeast Ohio, Dr. Smith continues to motivate and inspire. 

Dr. Smith looked forward to the annual Ohio Veterinary Medical Association (OVMA) Convention. Held over several days, the event was time to catch up with old friends and provided networking opportunities. Dr. Smith was often called upon to be a Convention speaker, being active in local, regional, and national veterinary associations.

Meeting up with Dr. Smith at the 1986 Convention (above) was Dr. Albert "Bud" Strouss, D.V.M., from New Albany (Ohio). Dr. Strouss and Dr. Smith were good friends - often traveling together and connecting for clinic advice. 

Here's an undated note from Dr. Strouss to Dr. Smith about the mysterious death of a dog...


The note reads: 

Pete - 
See if you have any ideas on cause of death. The dog belonged to the head engineer at the Harley and he has had a lot of trouble with his neighbor - becoming a legal battle. He boarded the dog at a veterinarian, and died about 3rd day. If any ideas, let me know. 
Bud

I don't know what the rest of the story is in regards to the mysterious death of the dog. I do know that Dr. Smith and Dr. Strouss were very good friends. There are many stories about Dr. Strouss and his friendship with Dr. Smith. I will save those for a future post.

Here's a couple more items about OVMA and Dr. Smith's participation...



Thanks to Dr. Smith's widow, Jody, for saving and sharing. Jody traveled with Dr. Smith to vet meetings and knew Dr. Strouss and Sylvia (see photo) well.

Have a great week ahead.


Through captivating, powerful, and emotional anecdotes, we celebrate the life of Dr. Abbott P. Smith. His biography takes the reader from smiles to laughter to empathy and tears. Dr. Smith gave us compelling lessons learned from animals; the role animals play in the human condition, the joy of loving an animal, and the awe of their spirituality. A tender and profound look into the life of a skilled veterinarian.

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Tactics of the Mind: A Concept Poetry Book by TYE M.T.




I do a lot of things, but I think they all come
down to the idea that I'm just a writer.

Whether its scripts or stories, raps or poems,

Amateur journalistic articles...

It's all just writing. Welcome to mine.

Hope it hits/heals you.

- Tye M.T.

A Concept Poetry Book
by TYE M.T.  

In the lightest way, this is modern heavy lifting for the reader and the intellect...

and not so much the power diet for the emotionally overweight.
See it's already too much wth lemme be real...

Here's of daily dose of dealing with that messed up life thing, you know that thing called living.

Straight from my mentality, transcribed into tactics...

Through my own tactics. The ones we all use to get through.

~ Dev J.

Tactics of The Mind by Tye M.T.

A Series of poems written from the perspective of an introspective young guy, trying to figure out life while also figuring out others intentions.

Dev could care less about anything except trust and loyalty. That and getting his way. The only problem is that he can't seem to stop getting involved in situations that distract him from his goals, and cause him to hop from one thing, or person, to the next.

So he moves into new territory, thinking he start a fresh path...only to realize he's in more shit than before, too deep for it to not impact everything that happens to him from this point on.

Things keep happening and it's his responsibility to get to the bottom of it...and to understand why we do the things we do...even if there's no bottom at all.

Available HERE!

Instagram @totmtye





Available HERE!

Intstagram @totmtye




Friday, July 17, 2020

How to Spend a Day in Asheville, North Carolina by Matthew Caracciolo

View from Chimney Rock.
www.matthewcaracciolo.com

 
How to Spend a Day in Asheville, North Carolina
by Matthew Caracciolo

My wife and I were on our way to Charleston, South Carolina to pick up our son at the grandparents’ house and decided he could wait another day so we could have an adventure in Asheville, North Carolina.

Equal parts Appalachia and Portland, Oregon, Asheville is the perfect destination for travelers who want to spend the day hiking in stunning wilderness and the evening at a brewpub. The city is surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains, which means there are countless recreational opportunities within your grasp. Downtown, on the other hand, is brimming with restaurants, craft breweries, and boutiques. It’s really the best of both worlds.

What makes Asheville even more inviting is that it’s between us Ohioans and the beaches of Florida, Georgia, and the Carolinas, meaning you can incorporate a stop on your way to or from your beach destination if you’re making a road trip of it. Even if you have just one day to spend in the area, it’s well worth it to carve out some time and spend at least a night here. My wife and I spent two nights here—a late arrival and early departure—so we could have a full day in Asheville.

The Biltmore
Let’s get this one out of the way. The most notable attraction in Asheville is the gigantic Biltmore estate, built by industrialist George Vanderbilt and the largest private residence in the United States. There’s 8,000 acres of gardens, trails, wineries, and other attractions on the grounds. It’s Disney World for people interested in high culture from the Gilded Age, and as such is priced accordingly. Admission to the estate starts at $64. While I hear it’s well worth it and, depending on your interests, there may be special events that further entice you to visit (there was a Downton Abbey exhibition while we were in town), this was not in the budget for this trip. You could easily spend a half day, or a relaxing full day, wandering the grounds and exploring all its offerings. We opted for a different, more affordable experience.

Hickory Nut Falls
Chimney Rock State Park
One of my favorite things to do is find movie shooting locations and visit them. This is easier to do in Ohio than you think; big titles like The Shawshank Redemption and The Avengers were shot entirely or partly in Ohio. The mountains near Asheville have stood in for the mountains of upstate New York for at least two movies: Dirty Dancing and The Last of the Mohicans. Chimney Rock State Park was a filming location for the latter. The finale of the film, when Hawkeye and crew run up a mountain to catch up with their enemies, was shot in the park to take advantage of its sweeping views. The scene culminates at the top of a waterfall. Unfortunately, as I discovered when we visited, that precise trail that they filmed on is no longer open to the public. Still, the views are spectacular. To hike underneath the filming location, you want to take Hickory Nut Falls trail which takes you to the base of 404-ft tall Hickory Nut Falls, one of the tallest waterfalls east of the Mississippi River. To reach the top of the waterfall, where the climax of the finale was filmed, take the Skyline Trail. This trail goes into the woods and comes out to the waterfall rather than follow the path that the actors ran through.

In COVID times, the park is operating as first come, first served. We showed up when the park opened at 8:30am and was one of the first 20 or so cars. When we left the park around 11am, they were still letting people in, but about an hour or so later, the gates were closed until more people left the park.

Hickory Nut Gorge Brewery
Village of Chimney Rock
At the base of the state park is the village of Chimney Rock, a miniaturized Gatlinburg, TN of sorts. There are cheap places to eat, rustic and kitschy gift shops, and a good number of places to stay if you intend to spend a significant amount of time in the area, a little under an hour’s drive southeast from downtown Asheville through windy mountain roads. Lake Lure, where much of the filming for Dirty Dancing took place, is only a few more minutes east. We weren’t ready for lunch quite yet, so we grabbed a drink and some pretzels at Hickory Nut Gorge Brewery, which has a seating area along the rippling Broad River.

On the drive to Chimney Rock from Asheville, we noted the number of roadside restaurants and antique shops along Rt. 74. Nothing was screaming our name in Chimney Rock, so we stopped at a hot dog stand on the way back to Asheville and looked in at an antique store. If you’re in no hurry, this is a good way to break up the drive.

Blue Ridge Parkway
The Blue Ridge Parkway, operated by the National Park Service, connects Shenandoah National Park in Virginia and Great Smoky Mountains National Park in Tennessee. At 469 miles long, it winds through mountain passes passing campgrounds, hiking trails, and scenic overlooks. The road skirts the outside of Asheville, making it an easy option for a driving excursion. About a half an hour from Asheville is the Craggy Gardens Visitor Center, from which you can take a short hiking path through a mystical forest of scrubby, fern-thick forest to the top of the mountain where an extensive patch of rhododendrons was in bloom when we visited. My wife repeatedly said ‘this is where fairies must live.’ It was remarkable to see a completely different ecosystem than the tall trees at Chimney Rock only a few hours earlier.

The great thing about the Blue Ridge Parkway is that you can do as much or as little as you’d like and it’s free.

Craggy Gardens

Craggy Gardens
Craggy Gardens Rhododendrons

Downtown Asheville
So you’ve spent all day outside hiking and you’re ready to be pampered a bit. Grab a shower at the hotel and head to Downtown Asheville.

Asheville is gaining a reputation as a dining and craft brewery destination. The city reportedly has the most breweries per capita of any city in the United States. When you’re downtown, you’re not too far from any of them. There are also art galleries, boutiques, bookstores, and in general a lot of opportunities for grazing, drinking, and window shopping. Plenty of downtown hotels mean you could conceivably skip the sweaty hiking part of the day and spend your time wandering the walkable city center steps away from your hotel room.

My parents had previously visited Asheville and warned us of the difficulty of getting a table at dinner time. We arrived downtown just before 5pm, thinking that since we were on the early side of the dinner rush we might find something easily. We wandered into the Grove Arcade building, browsed its classy Battery Park Book Exchange (which has a champagne bar and live music), and ambled throughout town scoping out dinner options. COVID precautions negated any such luck as restaurants are forced to admit fewer patrons. Some restaurants were already no longer taking names for the evening. We lucked out in getting a table at Salsa’s with about a 45-minute wait. All that is to say you should make dinner reservations unless you’re satisfied by a take-out option.

For dessert, though we were already stuffed with salmon guacamole and fajitas, we walked over to French Broad Chocolate Lounge for some mousse. We looked into a handful of shops on the way back to our car and called it an early night—we’d done a lot that day.

French Broad Chocolate Lounge
Other Options
As you can see, you can get a lot of mileage out of a full day in Asheville. However, if you have more time to spend, there are endless hiking opportunities in the area. There are also some creative neighborhoods to check out such as the River Arts District. And there’s plenty of good food to eat and beer to drink. I hope to come back some day and check out some of the attractions we missed.


Matthew Caracciolo is a freelance writer and author of The Waygook Book: A Foreigner’s Guide to South Korea from Monday Creek Publishing. He also maintains his own travel blog, Travel is Fatal, on his website. To find out more about The Waygook Book or Travel is Fatal, please visit matthewcaracciolo.com.

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