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Gemstones and Gold Found in NC Mountains

<p>If you are a rockhound, pan for gold, or enjoy digging for treasures, Gem Valley NC is a gem mining, fluming, and gold panning facility found in Jefferson, North Carolina.&nbsp;</p> <p>Gem Valley NC, Ashe County&#39;s only public gem mining facility, is near the site of the former Ore Knob Copper Mine, which was in operation from the mid-1800s to the mid-1900s.</p> <p>Gem Valley opened in 2006 for gem mining, pluming, and gold panning, and those looking for treasures hidden below the surface.&nbsp;</p> <p>The secret to finding gemstones is knowing where to look and where to shovel.</p> <p>Gem Valley NC does this for you and will load as many buckets of soil as you wish.&nbsp; It is their promise each bucket from the mine will have gemstones.&nbsp; Gemologists are available at Gem Valley who will help you identify your stones for free.</p> <h2>Both Precious and Semi-Precious Stones Are found in North Carolina Mountains</h2> <p>There has been a growing appreciation and renewed interest for colored gemstones, such as the deep blue sapphire and the exotic, green-toned emerald, along with many other varieties of rocks.</p> <p>&nbsp;The value of a natural deep blue sapphire or an emerald either perfect or with few imperfections is more valuable than a diamond.</p> <p>Some of the more desirable semiprecious gemstones found in North Carolina include aquamarine, golden beryl, amethyst, almandite garnet, citrine, emerald, and smoky quartz.</p> <p>The North Carolina General Assembly named the emerald as the official North Carolina precious stone in 1973.</p> <h2>There is Gold in the Creeks at Gem Valley</h2> <p>North Carolina has the honor of having the first documented discovery of gold in the United States.&nbsp; With the discovery of gold in 1799, North Carolina led the gold rush until 1848.</p> <p>Not only are there gemstones found at Gem Valley NC, but the creeks that flow through the property yield an exciting amount of gold.</p> <p>Again, knowing where to pan is helpful.&nbsp; One of the best places to uncover gold is in shallow areas of creeks around boulders and in between cracks and crevices of bedrock.</p> <h3>The Gem Shop and Museum at Gem Valley</h3> <p>The Gem Shop and Museum has a plethora of information about local geology.&nbsp; The shop also offers gifts, stones, jewelry, and other information about rocks, minerals, and gemstones.</p> <p>Want to see your new stone treasures sparkle and shine?&nbsp; Gem Valley offers custom gem cutting orders by experienced individuals who will cut and design your new finds into a unique creation for you.</p> <h3>An All-Day Event</h3> <p>Many visitors stay the day.&nbsp; In the park, there are tables and grills available for picnicking and restroom facilities in the Gem Shop.</p> <p>Gem Valley is only one of the many interesting things to do for those who visit Ashe County.</p> <p>&nbsp;It is only twelve miles from downtown West Jefferson.&nbsp;</p> <p>Visit <a href="http://www.gemvalleync.com">Gem Valley&rsquo;s website</a> for hours, admission, and other information.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>

Whitetop Virginia Ramp Festival

<h2>Mark Your Calendar for May 16th</h2> <p>Ashe County and the surrounding mountains have rich soil that grows some of the most delicious ramps in the region.&nbsp;</p> <p>Neighboring Ashe County, Virginia&rsquo;s Whitetop Mountain Ramp Festival, sponsored by Mount Rogers Fire Department, celebrates the end of ramp harvesting season with unique ramp delicacies.&nbsp; Each year the festival features a BBQ chicken dinner, Appalachian Arts &amp; Crafts, and Old-Time Mountain Bluegrass music and dancing, and much more.&nbsp;</p> <p>The small community of Whitetop, located in Grayson County, VA, is a short and scenic drive from the West Jefferson area.&nbsp; The Whitetop Mountain Ramp Festival is a great outing for the full family with activities for all ages and tastes (even if you do not care for the unique ramp taste).</p> <p>The 2021 edition of the Whitetop Mountain Ramp Festival is on May 16th and lasts all day.&nbsp; Come out to enjoy delicious Appalachian cuisine and beautiful views of Mount Rogers and the surrounding area.&nbsp; The festival is located at 511 Firehouse Road, Whitetop, VA 24292.</p> <h2>Ramps in the Appalachian Mountains</h2> <p>Ramps (Allium tricoccum) grow in the Appalachian Mountain and eastern North America.&nbsp; They are easily recognized by their broad leaves that are typically around 1-3 inches wide and 4-12 inches long.&nbsp; Depending on elevation, ramps are best harvested from late March through the middle of May.&nbsp; Ramps are commonly found on cooler, north-facing slopes under dense deciduous forests.&nbsp; The plant is valued by foragers and foodies for its uniquely strong onion-garlic flavor.&nbsp; Ramps can have either red or white stems, but the plants with red stems tend to have an especially pungent flavor.</p> <h2>Just for fun try our delicious recipe for &ldquo;Ramp Gravy&rdquo;.&nbsp;</h2> <p>It is a combination of white sauce and southern gravy to eat on crust buttermilk biscuits,&nbsp;over mashed potatoes or chicken-fried steak.&nbsp;</p> <h3>Ingredients</h3> <ul> <li>2 tablespoons butter</li> <li>6 ramps finely chopped.</li> <li>2 tablespoons flour</li> <li>2 cups light cream (heavy cream, half and half, or milk.</li> <li>1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper.</li> <li>1 &frac12; teaspoon Kosher salt</li> </ul> <p>Directions:</p> <ul> <li>Melt butter on low heat, add ramps, and cook stirring frequently.&nbsp; The ramps should soften in 3-4 minutes. &nbsp;Add flour and cook, stirring constantly with a whisk until the mixture is slightly browned.</li> <li>Turn heat to medium and while stirring, slowly pour in cream or milk.&nbsp; Add salt and black pepper.&nbsp; Reduce heat and simmer, whisking often, until thickened.&nbsp;</li> </ul> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2 style="font-style:italic">The festival will be an all-day event May 16, 2021 &ndash; 511 Fire House Road, Whitetop, Virginia</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;Sources: <a href="http://www.wildedible.com">www.wildedible.com</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p>

Ashe County Hiking Trails

<h2>Ashe County Hiking Trails</h2> <p>With the warmer weather here to stay for the season, it is time to plan a few trips to enjoy the beautiful scenery that Ashe County has to offer.&nbsp; North Carolina&rsquo;s &ldquo;Lost Province&rdquo; is in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains - offering a perfect respite from hotter weather experienced in the summer months at lower elevations in the southeast.</p> <p>While there are near endless options to explore the great outdoors in western North Carolina, some of the best hikes in the state are in and around Ashe County.&nbsp; Clear mountain rivers, panoramic views of the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains, rushing waterfalls &ndash; you name it.&nbsp; Locals in Ashe County are blessed with multiple nearby well-maintained trail systems, and terrain suited for all abilities.&nbsp; Some of these hikes are virtually in our listings&rsquo; backyard, so check our website to find your perfect mountain getaway.</p> <h2>Mount Jefferson State Natural Area</h2> <p>Mount Jefferson is a prominent peak that rises above the towns of Jefferson and West Jefferson. &nbsp;Visitors can drive close to its peak and access several hiking trails with impressive views of Ashe County and beyond.</p> <p>Mount Jefferson offers 541 acres of natural woodlands with long-range views of the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, Virginia, and Tennessee.&nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>The natural area features hikes for all abilities ranging from 0.3-4 miles in length.&nbsp; The most popular trails are Rhododendron Trail, Mountain Ridge Trail, Lost Province Trail, and Spur Trail.&nbsp; Mount Jefferson State Natural Area is especially popular due to its proximity to many of Ashe county&rsquo;s best restaurants and attractions within the urban centers of Jefferson and West Jefferson.</p> <p>Rhododendron Trail is magnificent in early June when the native purple Rhododendron is in bloom.&nbsp; The trail is 1.1 miles and has stunning views of the valley below with views of the surrounding Blue Ridge Mountains.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2>Doughton Park</h2> <p>Located on the Blue Ridge Parkway in Laurel Springs, Ashe County, and Allegheny County.</p> <p>Doughton Park has more than 30-miles of hiking trails, camping, picnicking, a restaurant in season, and many more attractions.&nbsp; More information on<a href="https://www.nps.gov/blri/planyourvisit/doughton-park-trails.htm" target="_self"> Doughton Park hiking trails</a>.</p> <h2>Elk Knob State Park</h2> <p>Elk Knob State is part of the amphibolite range &ndash; a prominent part of the Appalachian Mountain Range. &nbsp;The amphibolite-gneiss rock (for which the range is named) yields a more neutral soil &ndash; enabling an abundant diversity of plant life. &nbsp;In the summer months, these mountain peaks are lush with wildflowers and other vegetation.&nbsp; Other notable peaks of the amphibolite range include Snake Mountain, Rich Mountain, Potato &ldquo;Tater&rdquo; Hill, and Three Top Mountain.&nbsp;</p> <h2>Hiking in Elk Knob State Park</h2> <p>There are several popular hikes in Elk Knob State Park that are especially beautiful with the greenery&nbsp;of the spring and summer.&nbsp; The summit trail (4-mile round trip) is one of the most popular trails.&nbsp; It offers an expansive view of three states (Virginia and Tennessee, aside from North Carolina). Hikers see a variety of wildlife as well as a plethora of wildflowers along the trail. &nbsp;In addition to the summit trail, there are also options at the saddle of Elk Knob that gain less elevation while still offering a tranquil outdoor experience. &nbsp;Maple Run Trail and Beech Tree Trail are great options for those looking to get outside but not climb to mountain peaks.&nbsp; Both loops are around&nbsp;a mile and offer visitors a peaceful escape into a pristine Appalachian Mountain forest.&nbsp;</p> <h2>Cascades Trail</h2> <p>The Cascades Trail, found just north of Deep Gap along the Blue Ridge Parkway, is a hidden gem treasured by Ashe County locals.&nbsp; The most common start for this hike is at the Cascades overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway at milepost 272.&nbsp; From the overlook, it is a tame hike to &ldquo;the cascades&rdquo; &ndash; formed as Falls Creek tumbles down a cliff and begins descending over a thousand feet into the Yadkin Valley.&nbsp; The turn-around point of the hike features one of the most impressive views: a 200-foot waterfall framed by mountain laurel and rhododendron which blooms in the early summer.&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>

Spring in North Carolina Mountains

<h1>Spring comes slowly to the North Carolina Mountains.</h1> <p>It seemed ages ago since we first saw the daffodils creeping up ever so slowly, or experienced the wonderful fragrance of&nbsp;the first buds on lilac bushes which will tell us that the dreary days of winter will soon be gone.&nbsp;</p> <p>As the mountains awaken with the sounds of songbirds perching on the gray twigs, the trees begin to bud and tinge with green; when the dogwoods and the tiny colorful wildflowers are covering the landscape, and the mountain streams are rapidly flowing from the winter&rsquo;s higher elevations melting snow, it will be spring.&nbsp;</p> <p>What a magnificent time to be in the mountains.</p> <h2><strong>Visit us in the spring and experience the unfolding of the season.</strong></h2> <p>If the great outdoors is your thing, come to the mountains of North Carolina for rafting or picnicking along the New River, horseback-riding in the fresh country air, or hike and camp close-up within the beauty of nature.&nbsp;</p> <p>Spend the day taking one of the delineated road tours to see and experience the unforgettable rich diversity Ashe County and the High Country has to offer.&nbsp; Every turn and curve in the road reveals unexpected, beautiful scenic views and byways.&nbsp;</p> <p>There is freshness in the air, the unmistakable smell of spring.&nbsp; All of this reminds us that the spring season is a time of rebirth, rejuvenation, and renewal.</p> <h2>Ashe County offers a wide and diverse range of activities, whether your interests lean toward the cultural, the culinary, or the great outdoors.&nbsp;</h2> <p><strong>Our Towns, West Jefferson, and Lansing in Spring</strong></p> <p>In the towns of West Jefferson and Lansing, you will find plenty to do. After a cold and colorless winter, the warming golden rays of the sun will bring these&nbsp;small towns gently back to life.</p> <p>In West Jefferson, there is a wide variety of art galleries, unique shops, community theatre performances, music festivals, and many more activities. &nbsp;The town has restaurants galore, whether your palate prefers fine dining,&nbsp;down-home country cooking, or anything in-between.&nbsp;</p> <h2><strong>Even in the uncertainty of this past year West Jefferson and Lansing continue to grow.&nbsp; </strong></h2> <p>One of the latest additions to our town, Boondocks Brewing Brew Haus has added a Sky Deck where you can take your food and award-winning craft beer from inside the Brew Haus to the rooftop to enjoy a starlit sky while overlooking the town of West Jefferson.&nbsp; The restaurant, a block from the Brew Haus, Boondocks Brewing Tap Room and Restaurant (one of the many restaurants in West Jefferson) features a variety of excellent food offering both inside dining and a covered deck for outdoor&nbsp;dining.</p> <p>For those of you who have not visited West Jefferson in a while, as you stroll around the backstreet park in West Jefferson, you will find our own<a href="https://www.ashecountyrealestate.com/blog/Pocahontas-Statue-West-Jefferson-NC"> Pocahontas returned home.</a></p> <p><strong>Two new shops have opened recently in West Jefferson.</strong></p> <p><em>Three Little Bears and Company</em> featuring a variety of old fashion candies, gifts, and works of crafts by local artisans.</p> <p><em>Homeslice</em>,<strong> </strong>a restaurant, and bar featuring New York-style Pizzas along with a large variety of food and drink.&nbsp; It is also a place to hang out for sure.</p> <p>Owned and operated by Ashe County&rsquo;s own Jimbo Sexton and friend Mike Kesterson.&nbsp; (If you really want to know their story and feel the relaxed atmosphere of the restaurant and bar - <a href="https://homeslicewj.com/about-us/">read here</a>.)</p> <p><strong>Lansing Continues with the Revitalization of the Town</strong></p> <p>Not long ago, Lansing began a revitalization of their town by adding the Lansing Creeper Trail Park on one of Ashe Counties&#39;&nbsp;major trout streams, Horse Creek.&nbsp; Here you have access to the stream and can fish without waders.&nbsp; There are areas for picnicking or hanging out in the park.&nbsp; The park features restrooms, a section for your dogs, and charcoal grills throughout the park.</p> <p>Lansing is known for one of the best pizza restaurants in the area, Pie on the Mountain, and is just across the street from the park.</p> <p>There are many events held each year, which include the Ola Belle Reed Festival and the Greater LA Festival.&nbsp;</p> <h2>Spring has officially arrived!</h2> <p>Ashe County and our towns are ready to offer the best in things to do and see.</p> <h2>Ashe High Country Realty</h2> <p>Ashe High Country Realty&nbsp;offers real estate services to those seeking a home, land to build, or investment real estate.&nbsp; Established in 1989, we have the knowledge&nbsp;and understanding of the local&nbsp;market.&nbsp; Our years of experience&nbsp;can assist you in making your decision.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>To learn more about our real estate for sale or more about the area, browse our website.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p>

Why Get a Home Inspection

<h1><strong>Why a Home Inspection? </strong></h1> <p>The well-informed buyer will request a home inspection.&nbsp; It could be prior to the contract or after but prior to the closing of the property.</p> <p>The role of the home inspector will be to supply a comprehensive report that details any defects or major problems that exist in or outside the home.&nbsp;</p> <h2><strong>Disclose Known Issues:</strong></h2> <p><a href="https://www.findlaw.com/realestate/selling-your-home/required-real-estate-disclosures-when-selling-property.html">Most states require by law, that sellers show any known major defects to a buyer or their agent.&nbsp;</a></p> <p><strong>The advantages to the seller in obtaining a pre-listing inspection:</strong></p> <p>It is becoming customary for a seller to get a home inspection prior to putting their home on the market. This inspection upfront will aid the seller&nbsp;in&nbsp;replacing&nbsp;or repairing any issues found by the inspector.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;In showing to the buyer, the issues found, the buyer may choose to make the repairs and negotiate the cost of the repairs while the seller may choose to either fix the problem or sell the home &ldquo;as is&rdquo; and let the buyer deal with the hassle and potential cost of repair.&nbsp;</p> <p>Depending on the age of the home and the condition, most well-informed real estate brokers will recommend this inspection.&nbsp; Any problems found in the inspections will allow the seller to address the issues found, or not found, and take&nbsp;them into consideration when deciding the value of the home.&nbsp;</p> <p>Problems discovered by the buyer after closing, this report can be valuable to the seller as it can show in good faith that they were unaware or corrected the problem.</p> <h2><strong>Below is a list of the little things the sellers can do prior to the Inspection:</strong></h2> <ul> <li>Outside the home, clean the siding around the perimeter from dirt, pine straw, or mulch.&nbsp; This will allow the inspector to access the foundation and will appear well kept to the buyer.</li> <li>Remove any branches that may hang over or on the roof of the house or bushes too close to the house.</li> <li>Inspect door and window frames for any wood rot and windows that may have lost their seals.</li> <li>Inspect outside and inside water spigots and faucets for leakage.</li> <li>Replace HVAC filters if necessary.</li> <li>Be sure all electrical outlets are working including outside GIF outlets.</li> <li>Check to see if all windows are operational.</li> </ul> <h2><strong>Inspections can be stressful for both sellers and buyers.&nbsp; Prepare to make this part of the sale as efficient&nbsp;as possible. </strong></h2> <ul> <li>Leave all keys to closets, sheds, garages, and all rooms available to the Inspector.&nbsp; Also, access to an outside building included in the appraisal of the home should be available to the inspector.&nbsp;</li> <li>Check to make sure all breakers are on, as well as water, gas, and electrical fixtures are running at the time of the inspection.&nbsp;</li> <li>Crawl spaces, attic, and electrical panels should be accessible for entry by the inspector.&nbsp;</li> <li>In storage rooms and basements, move items from the walls to allow access.</li> <li>Items that are hard to find, or in unexpected areas leave a note for the inspector.&nbsp; These items may include water cutoffs, alarms, and light sources.</li> </ul> <p>&nbsp; For more information on what to expect from a home inspection<a href="https://themortgagereports.com/37715/home-inspection-checklist-what-to-expect-on-inspection-day"> follow this link.</a></p>

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