Exploring West Jefferson With Friends

Part of the adventure of living a nomadic lifestyle is the daily need to answer the question “Where will we sleep tonight?”.  Along the way we had guessed that there would be some unusual places that we called home for a night, the butcher shop is the most unusual so far; a sofa covered with a beautiful piece of red leather and my bed was a arm chair with an equally beautiful piece of blue leather. Although the sofa and chair were comfortable, the constant hum of the refrigerators made for a light sleep.

Ann came back to the shop at approximately 10am and talked to us a bit more about her desire to hike the AT and PCT. We showed her our gear and discussed what we would take and what we thought was unnecessary. She generously offered us some sausage and eggs to cook for breakfast. While Amanda cooked, I set off to repack the bikes and secure them behind the shop. Ann insisted that we stay in West Jefferson an extra day to explore the town in daylight and then check out the art crawl this evening.

Bikes secured to Ann’s truck I wandered over to the fiber arts shop to inquire about knitting or crochet for Amanda. The shop keeper was out of town so her mother was running the place and we spent a while talking about the various types of fiber art and which were portable. Eventually I noticed Amanda looking for me outside and that was my signal to go back to the butcher shop.

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When I got back inside Ann’s shop, it was alive with activity her intern and shop assistant were processing a deer into sausage. We ate a farm fresh breakfast of eggs, sausage, and some apple cider.

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Not wanting to be in the way we set off to explore the town, by first getting another cup of coffee. Across the street, we found the town coffee house and after looking at the plethora of handmade pottery ordered our coffee and retired to a corner seat by the Christmas tree. We were talking amongst ourselves about our trip and the route through Western North Carolina, when Ann and Marc walk in.

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They immediately spot us, hugs are exchanged and we started talking. Marc needed to come into the shop to inquire about a issue with someone steal tips. Ann was given the weekend off due to extreme amounts of rain in Southeast Florida. The retail lots were flooded and the weather had stopped the customers from shopping, meaning there was no need to ship more trees. Luckily for us Amanda is a caffeine hound always wanting more coffee, so we were in the right place at the right time. Serendipity!

Ann knowing a lot about our bike trip, immediately asked where we slept last night and were we were sleeping tonight. Prior to them walking in the shop we were trying to figure out the answer to that very question. Marc and Ann generously offered to have us secure the bike in the police station and spend the night at their house. Plans were also made for us to join them for dinner with the police chief and after join us on the Art Crawl. Once again…serendipity!

After Marc and Ann left and our moment of bike touring/small town magic was over we continued our walk around West Jefferson. A few weeks before Christmas, the galleries and shops were fully stocked with crafty gifts of all types. Not wanting to leave any place unexplored we wandered through the farm supply yards, numerous small shops, and the fireplace sales floor. A wood burning fireplace is something that we look forward to in our future home so we spent a considerable amount of time talking about fireplaces, the new technology, care requirements, etc.

No visit to West Jefferson would be complete without a stop in the cheese factory. Curious how it compared to Tillamook and Cabot we had big expectations, but found the cheese unremarkable. More walking around we found the bee supply and fragrance store and fresh made fudge in the hobby shop. After a quick lesson in fiber arts Amanda tried her hand at felting.  Fulfilled enough fiber arts for one day, met Steven and Tanya for a drink and appetizers at Black Jacks.

After our appetizers and drinks we met up with Ann, Marc, and the Police Chief for dinner at the Hotel Tavern.  To our surprise Leslie was there to meet up with us; we ate and drank what would best be described as classic Americana.  Good food, good atmosphere, great friends!

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After walking the final hours of the Art Crawl we moved the bikes from the Ann Rose’s truck  to the police station and went back with Ann and Marc to their mountain home.  Diesel greeted us at the door like old friends and once again we were in the company of loving friends and enjoyed a warm bed.

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