August 2015

As a wedding photographer, Kathy Beaver knows a little bit about love. She’s seen countless expressions of love and captured many of them through her lens. She also has first-hand experience with the subject — it’s safe to say she loves Western North Carolina and Asheville. And she knows the terrain around Asheville as well as she knows her camera.

The term “potluck” has been around since the Middle Ages, when families would throw leftovers into a pot rather than throw them away. The pot provided ready food for visitors or travelers passing through, although how tasty this meal might have been was left up to the “luck of the pot.”

A professional photographer’s advice for capturing your kids Kathy Beaver of Kathy Beaver Photography generously offers Simply Appalachian readers a number of tips for taking your own back-to-school photos of your children.
Swimming holes dot the Appalachian Mountain chain. There are hundreds if not thousands of swimming holes, in every Appalachian state. Some of these swimming spots are popular, while others are inaccessible to anyone but a dedicated backpacker. Some maybe haven’t even been discovered yet.
Lewisburg, West Virginia, is an unassuming little town stuck in time in the Greenbrier Valley of the Allegheny Mountains. Founded in 1782 by General Andrew Lewis (who fought in the Revolutionary War), Lewisburg today has been named one of the “coolest small towns in America.” Its charm lies in its obvious history and the natural beauty of the surrounding mountains. You can expect to enjoy both when you visit.
The Appalachian region has a rich and varied past, starting in the early settler days. The Appalachian Mountains got in the way of the pioneers of the area; the hilly terrain presented a tough barrier to those wanting to head west. It wasn’t until Daniel Boone was commissioned to build what we now call the “Wilderness Road” in 1779 through Cumberland Gap that people begin to move westward and settle in the mountains.
You may think that California and the Far East are the places most at risk for earthquakes, but the mountains of the Appalachians have had their share of earth-shattering quakes throughout history. And researchers predict the Eastern mountain range is ripe for more. A magnitude 2.4 earthquake hit the mountains of North Carolina around Boone and Blowing Rock in August 2014, and an earthquake of magnitude 2.9 struck the same location in August 2013. A magnitude 5.8 quake shook the mountains of Virginia in 2011. Roanoke Rapids and Lenoir, NC, experienced earthquakes in June 2015, at magnitudes of 2.3 and 3.0 respectively.
Native and transplant Appalachians alike agree that the best way to go through life is to share. We share our bounty and our hand-me-down recipes. We share the road and share the trails. And, to stay safe and mountain-friendly, we share our space with humans and critters alike -- including bears. You may see bears roaming mountain cities and towns, but that’s usually only by accident or when the bears are hungry or thirsty. They are great hunters and foragers, so, more often than not, their appearances in your yard or in the neighborhood park are due mainly to drought or food shortages in their forest habitats.