By BOB & BARB ESPTEIN
Syndicated Travel and Outdoor Writers
For The Vista
Last month we headed for Burnsville, N.C. to the Clear Creek Guest Ranch — basically a happy camp for adults and children.
We were greeted by more than 40-horses and a staff of trail wranglers, cooks, & happy workampers; all there to make your stay unbelievably wonderful! When Barb and I arrived, there were guests ranging from 7 years of age to 80 — and lovin’ it!
When we arrived in for N.C. last month we found that we were firmly ensconced in the cradle of nature, as we faced the highest mountains on the east coast. A roaring fire snapped and crackled in the lodges beautiful fireplace.
We were relaxing in a quiet valley of the Blue Ridge Mountains at an elevation of 3,000 feet (no mosquitoes) surrounded by the Pisgah National Forest.
Rex and his wife Aileen Frederick came from Alabama to develop live and work on a guest “dude” ranch, and they worked with 3-contractors on some true hardscrabble mountain rocks, to ultimately create their horse and people friendly Clear Creek Guest Ranch.
At a quite nominal rate, for two daily rides of tame, yet gorgeous steeds, 3-family style meals, extremely comfortable accommodations with full baths, hikes to waterfalls, gem mining opportunities, fly fishing on property for very exciting brown and rainbow trout; this place cannot be beat with, or without a stick, to nudge your giant “grass recycler” along the trail.
After a great ride, Barb and I mellowed out in the ranches hot tub after taking a swim in their heated pool.
There are river trails, mountain laurel and spectacular view trails at your beckon call! I put on my boots and hat, saddled up for the first time in a long time, and let nature take its course! Three wonderful days trail riding, fly fishing, hiking and exploring, and one of my favorite pastimes — eating fine country meals, “grits and country sausage in tow”, with terrific camaraderie of like-minded souls.
You meet some interesting folks when visiting a true guest ranch. Rex and his wranglers kept everything moving including the horses and people, bent on having a great experience away from the hustle and bustle of their everyday lives and they succeeded marvelously!
This is our last full day at the ranch and Barbara took the crafts trip with a few of the other women — a guided tour of the Blue Ridge Mountains’ craftiest people; throwing pots, weaving rugs, carving figures from wood, glass blowing fine art, building furniture the old fashioned way; handmade one at a time with educated fingers and historical knowledge of the way “it should be done”-with love and caring of the natural materials and hand tools of their crafts.
On the weekend there are ribs and chicken dinners, tales on the porch while rocking to your personal rhythm and chatting with workampers and wranglers who help make the whole ranch hum and stay together cleanly and safely. I promise this place is tuned in to your channel all the way! Located just outside of Burnsville, North Carolina, give a call from anywhere at 1-800-651-4510 or their local number 828-675-4510. Take a look at their webpage: www.clearcreekranch.com and you can e-mail for direct information at: [email protected]
when calling ask for Rex or Aileen and they will give the straight answers all the way!
If you’d like to read our 195 different posts go www.APtravelnews.com Note* The Guest Ranch is about a 3.5 hour drive from Fairfield Glade!
Wonderful People Here!