The closest town to where I live is Hot Springs. It’s a quaint mountain town with a population of approximately 600 people. Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains where the Appalachian Trail passes through and across the French Broad River (3rd oldest river in the world). It’s a popular place for a weekend getaway for folks from Asheville, and Tennessee. Vacation time also attracts folks for rafting, hiking, fishing, and just enjoying a small mountain town.
I find myself “in town” maybe 2-3 times a week on average. The Dollar General store is a convenient place to get cleaning supplies for vacation rentals, and other essentials I may need. The Spring Creek Tavern is located on Spring Creek (which passes through my “neighborhood” and travels 10 miles into Hot Springs) and has an outside deck which is enjoyable this time of year. You can find someone fly fishing in the creek while you enjoy a beverage, and maybe their wings (which I recommend).
photo: Courtesy of hotspringsnc.org
This past week I made a few trips to town. I had occasions to shop at the locally owned Gentry Hardware store, it’s an old stone building situated on the Appalachian Trail. Gentry Hardware is a family owned since 1946 and feels “lost in time”, and that’s a compliment not a negative comment. Step inside and wander through the store walking on old wood floors. The Gentrys are welcoming and accommodating folks, sharing what’s gone by the wayside in many places… customer service with a personal touch. This is not like shopping at a franchise home improvement store, and although they may not have the same volume of inventory they sure do offer a good inventory for home repairs, projects, and functional items including everything from kitchen supplies to hummingbird feeders.
I have to say the experience at Gentry Hardware store is one of the reasons that Hot Springs is appealing to me. Sometimes I may be simply shopping for one item, but will find myself browsing, and sitting in a chair to chat while they tend to other customers.
If you want to feel back you’ve stepped back in time to an easier, slower lifestyle be sure to stop in Hot Springs, and Gentry Hardware if you visit the area or live here.