19 Acres and Four Keys

tractorLanding in Alleghany County, North Carolina, might have come about due to pure chance, but it is a serendipity shared by more than a handful of my friends and neighbors.

There are hundreds of great stories about how people come to relocate in Alleghany County, North Carolina.

Sometimes, like in our case, it’s love at first visit. For others it starts with a weekend, that evolves into a second home, that evolves into relocation for full time mountain living. However it happens, you become hooked on the mixture of sunshine, moonshine, and the scent of pine. You find yourself happily nested in a community of authentic and generous people who are happy to welcome those who share their love of music, appreciation of the arts, respect for the land, and strong sense of community. Once you come up the mountain and catch “Alleghany Fever,” you are here to stay.

We first ventured into Dave Linebeck’s coffee shop in 2008. Melvin and I were on our way back from Grayson County, VA, where our real estate agent sent us to look at a little farm. The farm was adorable, the neighborhood not so much. I knew knocking on a door at 3am in an emergency would not be wise. On the drive from Grayson to West Jefferson we stopped in Sparta for a cup of coffee. The people were friendly, engaged us in conversation, and even had some suggestions on property for sale. We followed up one of their suggestions and bought the land. Since then we have scaled down from two houses, a boat, and over 100 acres of property to 19 acres and four keys…the house, the car, the truck, and the tractor.

No one questioned Melvin’s attraction to this location. Plenty of room for his shop and all of the equipment it takes to work on his hot rods, and plenty of open space for the amateur radio towers that keep him connected with the short-wave world.

Friends from my past life as a city girl wonder how I can manage in this rural setting with no mall or big box stores. (Ava Gabor in Green Acres has been mentioned more than once.) They don’t realize that all we really need is close at hand, and everything else can be obtained online and delivered by FEDEX or UPS.

Once you’ve experienced how the body unwinds as you climb up the mountain, or witnessed a sky so dark that stars and planets shine bright to the naked eye, or felt your mind come to rest on the night sounds funneling through the window on a breeze. Then you know that living off the beaten path isn’t a trade-off, it’s an upgrade.

Ginger B

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