The one thing wrong with the Appalachian Trail is there's too much to see in one trip or in one lifetime. That's true for regular hikers who take their time and for travelers who section the Trail by car. Big Creek Country Store in Mount Sterling, NC, is an example of places too easily missed.
To say that Big Creek Country Store is in ANY town is simply not true. It's not only not IN a town, it's not near one. Maybe that's why I could not wait to visit. This, friends, is the un-Wally World.
Take their hours for example: "Generally Open Daily 10 AM - 6 PM. Hours may vary." Winter hours are Mondays, and Thursday through Sunday 10:00 til 5 PM. They're closing for the year on December 23rd until spring 2017.
If you don't like that, I'm sorry, we'll never get along. Keep your Starbucks and pork-pie hats. Live long and prosper. You go your way on public transportation. I'll take Big Creek Country Store every time by car, foot or motorcycle. I might move there and sleep on their deck beneath Mt. Sterling.
Constructed by Mack and Etta Caldwell back in 1927 -- when Mount Sterling probably wasn't much bigger than it is today -- the store served the needs of locals and folks who were probably so lost on dirt roads that they were thrilled to see a light on inside Big Creek Country Store.
Now, it's not just a place to purchase Spam or a saddle, it's the project from the heart of Mack and Etta's granddaughter, Kelly Sutton. She adored the store in her youth. So much that she re-opened it, with the help of family and friends. It's a dream come true for her. A renewal, both personal and professional.
To drive to Big Creek Country Store, take I-40 to exit 451 in North Carolina. Drive two miles down a country road to a place that you will love and not want to leave.
The best way to find the store is to hike there. You'll see the sign around NoBo mile 1949, where I met Goldie Lox and Top 3. You'll have another chance to hit Mt. Sterling road a mile or two south.
No matter how you find it. Treat yourself to a visit to the renewed vision that is Big Creek Country Store.
If you're the only person there, just wait a little while. You're bound to meet a new friend and make unforgettable memories.
Tags: Attractions, Appalachian Trail, News, Robert Sutherland Travel Writer, Information, appalachian trail hikers, and big creek country store mount sterling north carolina
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