The Season of the Leafers
September 20, 2016
This morning we awoke to a temperature of 58 degrees! A few of the trees are beginning to turn. A glorious mountain fall season is on the way! And with it comes the crowds of visitors known affectionately to the locals as “the leafers”.
The mountain economy is very dependent upon tourism. The locals look forward to and enjoy the summer and fall seasons. The stores and shops expect and enjoy brisk sales and the restaurants do their best business this time of year.
There are true locals, but many of the locals began as visitors. Also, there is a strong contingent of Charleston area residents who love the mountains and end up buying “places” to escape the heat of summer and enjoy the slower pace of life.
Hiking and mountain biking are very popular for active lifestyles, with hundreds of miles of paths and trails. We recently met a young couple from Orlando who said that the Brevard area and the Pisgah National Forest provide the best mountain biking in the entire eastern United States! There is a bike sales and service shop in Brevard that is truly eye popping, both in the array of bikes available for sale and the prices. For true mountain bikers, this is not an inexpensive sport!
For fly fishermen, there is nothing like catching trout in crystal clear cool mountain streams and rivers. But remember, if you can see the fish clearly, they can also see you. Hence, the sport is magnified. When I was learning to fly fish, there was nothing as exhilarating as standing in a cool stream, feeling a gentle breeze and listening to birds chirping and singing as the cool water ran between my legs.
Mountain golf is very different from what the flatlanders are accustomed to. Uphill, downhill and side hill lies are the norm. There is nothing quite like the thrill of hitting a high long drive down a very steep fairway! Talk about “hang time”! Sure ads to your distance stats.
The aura of the mountains and the outdoor experiences it provides has turned legions of visiting leafers into locals!