Extra! Extra! Read All About It!

“It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No! It’s a Magpie!”

Special To Hot Springs N.C. Times: Rumors of a Magpie sighting in Hot Springs N.C. have now been verified by many sources including this writer. After rumors that a Magpie, driving with an unidentified woman in a black Volkswagen Jetta had been seen going up and down Road 209 on Sunday August 05, this writer went to the cabin  on August 06 where they were said to have lodged the previous evening.

The Magpie and her companion were seen to leave the premises early on August 06. This writer, observing at a  discreet distance, was able to definitively identify the Magpie. Through sheer persistence and keen journalistic skills this reporter now brings you an exclusive interview  with the Magpie herself , and her sister, widely renowned as The Little General,  or L. G. as she will be called in this report. The interview took place at an undisclosed location. The Magpie was attired in colorful sequined shoes with casual togs. Her rapport with the also casually dressed L.G. was easy, the conversation sparkling and urbane. The women wore no makeup, yet seemed unconcerned by this.

R: May I say how flattered we in Hot Springs are, Magpie, that a shininess lover such as yourself has chosen our town as your vacation spot?

M: Actually, Rod, our cabin was more closely connected to Luck, North Carolina, just on the other side of Trust, North Carolina. But we won’t split hairs.

R:   Magpie, can you tell us why you picked the Hot Springs area to visit?

M: Sure, Rod. My sister and I wanted a girls’ getaway that was not too far a driving distance from L.G.’s home, that afforded us with refreshing mountain views, opportunities for adventure, and no responsibilities whatsoever. I  searched on VRBO  because I felt a cabin would offer us what we needed for less than the cost of a hotel. We chose our current cabin because it was NOT a mobile home, where I found myself last year, and because it  had the right amount of space for us.  It didn’t hurt that the Appalachian Trail, with which I have long been infatuated, runs right through downtown Hot Springs.

R: And why L.G. as your companion?

M: Rod, you have clearly never traveled with L.G. If you had, you would know that no one ever spends time with L.G. without knowing they have been with an adventurous madcap woman who makes even the simplest things fun.  She could rub two sticks together and make a party out of it. Also we like to do the same things. Such as read.

L.G. Thanks for your kind words, Magpie. I would like to say that on my part I knew we  would have fun having a few days with no set schedule, and no written- in- stone. rigid  goals. In other words, with no testosterone in the vicinity.

L.G.’s car is also a female. Her name is Zula.

M:  Good point. L.G. Another important point is that L.G. would help me keep a low profile. Celebrities need their privacy too.

R: But you were noticed immediately after going up and down Road 209 so many times.

L.G.  Ahem. Things were not very clearly marked on that road,  we didn’t think.

R: Good enough. Could you talk about some of the highlights of your trip? For example, you were seen going up and down the Max Patch Bald Mountain numerous times on the 6th.

M: Yes, we wanted to hike the Max Patch Bald. We had a printout of directions. And although we got lost  the day before on our way to the cabin, could not figure out how to work the keypad to get in the cabin for some time, and we did need to use the ladies’ room, plus we couldn’t figure out the many remotes on the Direct TV and VCR, I still had complete confidence in L.G. to navigate us.

L.G. The TV and key pad directions were poorly written. And the signs on the Max Patch road were poorly marked.

R: You hiked which loop of the Max Patch Bald?

L.G. We’re not sure. We both looked at the map at the parking lot but when we got up there we both remembered the map differently. I would say we hiked a short part.

L.G. reading about invasive flora instead of reading the map.

The view on the way up.

At the top!

Authenticated Magpie photo.

R: A short part. Good. According to my notes you then drove around several other local roads, stopped, turned around and drove some of the same roads again.

L.G.: And your point is? I think we have said we were in a no testosterone zone, so no more questions about where we were when and where we thought we were going and what the signs said.

Hadn’t we already passed this?

And this?

And this?

M: Rod, the scenery was outstanding. And in my sister’s defense, things really were not well marked. All we had to do was get to the Hot Springs Spa by around 3:00 P.M., and we made it.

R: Yes. There is a man in town who waves at everyone who passes him on Main Street. He waved at your car fourteen times. But, the spa experience?

L.G.: It was the best money we’ve ever spent. A lady we call Precious, because she called us Precious, led us to our  hot mineral water  soak in a secluded little cabana along the Spring Creek. It was just what we needed after our rigorous car riding.

Here’s Precious!

View from the tub!

L.G. in the tub with the misters spraying.

M: Afterwards we walked past the ruins of former hotels on the same location up to the Spa for our deep tissue massage. That was just the massage I wanted. When I get a massage I want to know someone’s been working on me. Our two masseuses were very skilled and knowledgeable. I listened closely to my sister as she  discussed all her physical frailties with her masseuse. I had no physical frailties. After the bath and the massage we were two copacetically inclined  ladies.

L.G.: We were able to remember which road to take back to our cabin, meaning that the way back was more clearly marked. Then we were able to chill on the deck and grill out some goodies for dinner.

The more clearly marked road.

R: Could you share some of your recipes?

M: Yes. L.G. brought some lovely peppers from her garden which we stuffed with an assortment of cheeses we had on hand. You can’t mess this up.

L.G.: I also marinated some meat and put it on skewers, along with tomatoes from my garden. You may have guessed that my garden is more prolific than the Magpie’s.

M: Anyway the evenings were relaxing and peaceful. The last night we walked some of the trails on the property. One crossed a little spring. I don’t know which trail that was. We couldn’t seem to match the shape of the map to the shape of the property.

It was very quiet up there.

L.G. in a fit of stubbornness refused to pose coming out the door of the outhouse.

R: Are there other special aspects of your trip?

M: But of course. It is refreshing to travel with people who let you have a chance to use words which don’t come up in everyday conversation. Such as sobriquet. And nonce. And read. And discuss books.

Remember to serve refreshments at your book discussions.

L.G. Yes, Rod. Never would it behoove us, in the behemothian responsibilities  to which we subscribe but need not detail,  to insinuate  that you may yet harbor some refractory intransigent iota within the labyrinthine recesses of your bald yet indefaitgble pate which may indicate an opposing tableaux.

R: Whut?

M: She means she can’t believe you don’t already know that. Another important point is that when we get to be together we don’t spend it in an intellectual vacuum. We discuss lofty subjects, such as how those Scottish characters in our mystery shows say” maird – thur” instead of “murder.” We introduce one another to vitally enduring aspects of culture. For example L.G. had never seen “The Big Lebowski”. Now thanks to me she has, and can now more fully participate in the life of “The Dude.”

R: Right. How were you treated by the natives of Hot Springs?

M: Really, Rod they were all so kind and down to earth, you would have thought they had no idea they were talking with celebrities.

L.G.: Speak for yourself. They knew I was a celebrity!

R: We know you went rafting, so that is one local business you patronized. Were there others?

M: Yes, Rod. We rafted with the Huck Finn Rafting Company. They were very professional. It was my first time to raft you know.  I don’t think they took it personally that I was too afraid to jump off a big rock into the French Broad River.

L.G. Yes but I had told you specifically that if you climb the rock you have to jump!

M:  Rod, I’ve told L.G. that my feelings about not wanting to jump were quite strong and could not be ignored. As you know I must stay in touch with my feelings because of the work I do.

L.G.: Guffaws loudly.

R: That’s actually pretty ridiculous, Magpie.

M:  This AGGRESSION, man, it won’t stand!  Anyway, after rafting we lunched at the  Spring Creek Tavern where we had a view of the Spring Creek and a chance to taste  regional beers. L.G. prefers wine but after rafting I think she was ready to take whatever she could get.

L.G: On Tuesday many places were closed, so we motored over to Mars Hill because we just had to spend some time inside a bookstore. We  also tried Marshall NC but   many places,  especially meaning the bookstore, were closed there as well.

Definitely closed.

Also closed.

Closed in Hot Springs!

We would have liked to be able to visit every establishment in Hot Springs  but the days got away from us. We were, however,  able to visit a very nice place  on our way out of town. Yes, I know that through town is not the way we came. We did that on purpose.

R: OK so you knew where you were going on your way out of town. What was the establishment you visited?

M: Rod, it was The Black Horse Consignment Shop. This little shop has only been open for eight weeks, but it is full of shininess. I immediately saw these beauties

These chandeliers wanted us!

which I knew we must have. The owner was very friendly and accommodating. We must have browsed in there for an hour. As the owner of a small business I like to patronize other small businesses.

Inside the Black Horse

L.G.: Based on her inventory and prices I would say she is off to a good start. We both admired many more things than we bought. The prices were very reasonable, but it just wouldn’t be sporting to buy the poor woman’s entire stock   after she worked so hard to open the place.

Some of our goodies from the Black Horse.

The gracious proprietor of the the Black Horse.

M: The owner gave me permission to take pictures even though she has no idea of the quality of my photos. And she said I could mention her shop on my blog. And I’m grateful because  I HAVE to show the new chandeliers. One is for me and one is for L.G.

R: Magpie,  is there any chance of your mentioning this interview on your blog? And could you keep me apprised of any more trips you plan to make to the area? I want to stay on top of this story.

M: Rod, yes and yes. I am all about encouraging creativity wherever it may be found.

R:  And just one last question. Do you ladies know how to find your way out of this undisclosed location?

L.G. Oh certainly. Just as long as the way is clearly marked!

12 thoughts on “Extra! Extra! Read All About It!

  1. What a truly creative telling of your girl’s romping adventure. No doubt Rod has marked this date on his calendar as a momentous one, one that will live on in the lore of Hot Springs, NC. Maybe to honor the date, the town fathers will add a new marker to that not so well marked road, a shiny one of a resting magpie.

    • Thank you my lovelies! I am counting your comment as two, because you and Eric read it together. I looked back on the post at the picture of the outhouse and the caption saying that LG had refused to pose coming out of it, and I was horrified. Do you think it implies that she actually went IN the outhouse???? Because she didn’t! Our cabin had two perfectly decent indoor bathrooms! Please advise!
      The Editorial Committee

  2. No, I didn’t take it that way, but you can make a quick edit if you want to. Now that I am making a second comment, I can tell you about how much I loved all your pictures: majestic! It is hard to name favorites, but I do love seeing the mist on the mountains and that battered old Texaco sign. Glorious!

  3. I did not think the way to comment on this post was clearly marked! But now that I have been here once, I am sure I can find my way here again. Reading this post of our trip was almost almost as fun as experiencing the trip itself. Like Cameron, I find the photography stunningly good for an amature such as yourself.Your are to be lauded on your efforts. And that photo caption said I refused to pose in front of the outhouse. I took that to mean that I was denying you a photo op of unparalled importance, not that i had been in the darn thing! I would love to post this on facebook. May I have you r permission so to do?

    • Yes, now that the way is more clearly marked you will undoubtedly find your way here again. You do have my permission to post to facebook. And please choose your nom de plume for future blog posts regarding your adventures!

  4. Absolutely fabulous pictures! I especially love the picture of the old abandoned building with vines growing on the roof. Jacque Smith (I met you at the Library in Rural Hall)

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