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Jennifer's blog

Finding Frights in the Mountains

Halloween is less than a week away and I still have no idea what to wear.

halloweenHalloween is one of my favorite holidays. I love the fun of dressing up, the idea of getting scared, celebrating fall with corn mazes and hay rides and of course, rotting my teeth on lots of candy.

I have trouble getting scared at haunted houses these days, but I still love the idea of slinking through the dark, hands out in front of me, hoping some ghoul doesn’t jump out from the shadows and send my heart into my throat.

To that end, I’ve been digging around online to see if there are any good Halloween scares in our area.

Mountain Meal at the Dry Hill Store

BUTLER, Tenn. – When Richard Dugger moved back to Butler from Ohio, he had to drive to Johnson City three times a week for supplies. 

On his drive, he spotted a patch of land with nothing but briers on it. And he had an idea to make things more convenient.

“My husband was bored,” says his wife, Carolyn Dugger, with a laugh.

Whatever the reason, he opened the Dry Hill Store seven years ago.

Finding a Mountain Wedding

BOONE, N.C. – Andi Gelsthorpe Peters was at her wit’s end.

She and her fiancée, Rob, had searched high and low all over the North Carolina/Tennessee area for an outdoor wedding venue.

Andi and RobThe couple, in their mid-thirties, had each been to dozens of weddings. They didn’t want to drag family from other states only to spend a few hours with them. They didn’t want everyone to drive back and forth from hotels to a rehearsal dinner to the wedding site back to a reception. They wanted to create a sense of community and spend time with everyone for a weekend.

But they couldn’t find the perfect place. Some venues were close, but too expensive or had strict rules.

“Someone wanted $10,000,” she said. “I thought we weren’t going to be able to do this.”

A friend suggested Sugar Hollow Retreat.

“We had passed the signs for it on 321, but we’d never been up there,” she said.

She and Rob drove up the road to take a peek at the 300-acre getaway in the Cherokee National Forest.