Baker Troop

20th Year Anniversary



20th anniversary header


In celebration of our 20th anniversary, we thought about elaborate plans of a big trip out west, but it just never seemed to come together as big trips once a year has never been our family style. Lots of quick trips equals lots more adventures to remember. Impromptu trips to the North Carolina mountains almost every weekend was the norm for us out of place city dwellers that loved the outdoors and the country when we got married, so it was only appropriate that we decide at 9 PM on a Friday night that we would go away for the weekend in the quaint town of Brevard, NC, county of waterfalls.

In case you didn't know, I am a big fan of waterfalls. Not only are they beautiful and serene, but I also love the sound of rushing water while strolling down a secluded woodland trail. On the other hand, Troy has always wanted to live in Montana ever since he was a child and as of late to visit, explore, fish and photograph the exquisite beautify of Idaho, which he swears is even better than Montana. Hence, the trip out west, but Troy always says if he went, he might never come back. But I digress...

We began the week's festivities with exchanging mushy cards, chocolates and flowers, and then we enjoyed mouthwatering meal at Dressler's restaurant, which never disappoints. They have top notch service and great food. They offered us complimentary champagne for our anniversary, but I opted for dessert instead, and the waitress even remembered us celebrating with them last year. Many restaurants have good food, but often they struggle with the whole package with ambience and service. They have it down to a fine science - a must visit if you are in the area. We had planned a day trip to the mountains on a to be determined place as our anniversary (February) has proved not to be the best time to visit the mountains. We have been snowed in a few times...let's just say. I was elected the cruise director, so I chose Brevard because I love waterfalls, which proved a little too far of a drive, being that I am inexperienced trip planner as Troy is our designated cruise director. So, we booked a room at Hampton Inn at 9 PM Friday night for two night stay at a bargain price.

Over the years I have found at times that I have married a very wise man, at other times a huge goofball, but all of the time, a man with a zest for life and adventure. So, in Troy's truest form...he was so excited that he couldn't sleep. Because he is so cute, we left for our impromptu trip at 5 AM in the morning. It's a good thing that I am a morning person who is used to getting up early five days a week. LOL. I had found a scenic waterfall route that was mostly driving with some short hikes. I started to write down the information when we were going to bed, but we were supposed to finish that in the morning. Needless to say, that didn't get done.

Before we embarked on our waterfall journey, I decided we should stop to pick up a picnic lunch. I found a place in Brevard where they offered a picnic lunch. As we were pulling in, I was reading about the owners and how that they used to have restaurant and catering business in Charlotte, NC. So, we walked in, instantly I was speechless because I knew them... they had worked in the same business park where I used to work. It was an crazy coincidence. It was really nice to catch up with Katina and John Hansen and see their little boy who is now a bearded man living in Asheville. But, what was truly amazing was the scrumptious assortment of homemade pastries as far as the eye could see. We came away with the sea salt and caramel brownie and the Heath bar brownie, two chicken salad wraps, with pasta salad. Had we had known the level of addiction of a taste of a super size brownie from Blue Ridge Bakery might bring, we would have bought a whole pan. Needless to say, we will be visiting there again. We would have an awesome life-size picture, but we ate it all...amateur photographers...you must take the picture before you put the entire thing in your mouth.

So, we embarked on a waterfall tour, but we didn't write down all the information and the inexperienced cruise director forgot we would not have 4G on a mountain top. So, we winged it and giggled while trying to find these waterfalls with poor or nonexistent signage as we were hot dogging in our pickup truck on a muddy bumpy dirt road...airborne in our seats...bbbam bbbam, while other four wheel drive vehicles were turning back, much like we have over the years except with a station wagon. The road less taken...that really sums up our adventures over the years. Many a time, Troy would look at a poor excuse for a road and say I wonder where this goes? We would somehow make it against all odds in our very low to the ground vehicle and have seen wildlife in action, unforgettable oddities, and exquisite scenery. We looked at each with a grin and said I cannot think of a more appropriate way to celebrate our anniversary.  Check out some the lovely waterfalls we did find.

Click to Enlarge-Waterfall
Brevard NC Water Falls
Brevard NC Water Falls
Brevard NC Water Falls
Brevard NC Water Falls
Brevard NC Water Falls


Other adventures on our trip was a visit to the Carl Sandburg home in Flat Rock, NC and a stroll on the Blue Ridge Parkway. Carl Sandburg was a Pulitzer Prize winning poet, lecturer, song writer, and political activist and his wife Lilian was a famous goat breeder, known for breeding certain bloodlines achieving record breaking milk production. You can tour his home and the goat farm named Connemara for $5. A portion of the home was under renovation, so much of the furnishings were only view-able in pictures, but it was quite intriguing hearing about their life and the farm. When you arrive you are greeted with a lovely pond with friendly ducks and geese and a peaceful and inviting winding road to his home in the woods. There are also several hiking trails throughout the property from easy to moderate. The Blue Ridge Parkway was closed at the time. We figured it was the anticipation of falling rock from all the ice that had formed on the rock faces.

Click to Enlarge-Carl Sandburg Home
Kim-Mountains
Carl Sandburg House
Carl Sandburg House
Carl Sandburg House
Carl Sandburg Goat Barn
Carl Sandburg Goat Barn
Carl Sandburg Chiken Barn
Carl Sandburg House
Carl Sandburg House
Carl Sandburg House


I think my favorite part of the Carl Sandburg home tour was the goat farm. We headed into the field and the first goat I touched shrugged me off twice as he was sleeping as my advances were interfering with his shuteye. So, I was thinking maybe they weren't so friendly even though all the horns had been removed for their heads. So, I approached the rest the herd with a some trepidation until another visitor said rub your head on them, "They love it." So, I threw caution to the wind, got down on their level and started rubbing my hair on their face and they reciprocated, then others came around to get their turn as well. One of my little friends became quite comfortable with me as I stroked his long goat beard that he would gently nudge me with his hoof to prod me to do it again. It was hilarious. Watch the video of Kim with the goats Pardon my lack of smile. I was little worried one would turn and nibble me, and I would go to work on Monday with a huge goat hickey on my neck! One thing to remember when rubbing up against the goats, remove your hat. They would have nothing to do with it when Troy tried it with his hat on.



Click to Enlarge-Carl Sandburg Goat Farm
Carl Sandburg House Chickens
Carl Sandburg House Chickens
Barn Cat
Barn Cat
Kim petting Goat
Carl Sandburg Goat
Carl Sandburg Goat
Carl Sandburg Goat
Kim petting Goat
Kim petting Goat
Kim petting Goat
Kim petting Goat
Kim petting Goat
Kim petting Goat
Kim petting Goat


We have been around Brevard a few times over the years, but this was the first time that we spent much time in Brevard. We had no idea that they had so many good restaurants to choose from. It was difficult to choose. One time we stopped in Brevard on our way home at an old fashioned drug store Rocky's Soda Shop. It is a must especially if you have young kids with its old fashioned bar stool diner with sundries store. Since we were celebrating our 20th anniversary, we decided on Jaime's Creole Brasserie, a new restaurant in town. For an appetizer, we had escargot with mushrooms and a cup of Brunswick Stew that was absolutely awesome. We could have eaten those appetizers and have been quite content, but when the main course arrived we couldn't resist, lamb sandwich for Troy with a Greek sauce and steak sandwich for me. Talk about melt in your mouth and full of unique flavor. That it was. Definitely worth another visit, but as with all new restaurants, they are still working out some of kinks with service reservations vs. walk-ins as the hostess seemed a little confused and made us wait longer than necessary as there were tables to be had.

On Sunday afternoon, we finished our trip by having brunch in Asheville at the Black Bird Restaurant because we forgot that our favorite hole in the wall 12 Bones was closed on Sunday.  I had a fantastic Spinach and Goat Cheese Omelette, and Troy had the best Huevos Rancheros ever.  We took our time going home talking about old times and enjoying spending time with our best friend (each other).  I cannot think of more strikingly different people that are so perfect for each other.  God is the best match maker! Here's to many more years together, hon!


Click to Enlarge-Jaime's Creole Brasserie
Jaime's Creole Basserie Brevard NC
Jaime's Creole Basserie Brevard NC
Jaime's Creole Basserie Brevard NC


Watch the video of Kim with the goats

Baker News

ourstatecoverTroy was published in a major state magazine called "Our State." He wrote an article about fly fishing in Western North Carolina. A publisher at the magazine called Troy after seeing his fly fishing web site. Read the article.