“The fog comes, on little cat feet. It sits looking, over harbor and city, on silent haunches, and then moves on.” —Carl Sandburg.
This poem, “Fog,” is one Chris Bainbridge grew up with his mom reading and quoting any time they encountered a foggy day. Poetry is a beautiful art form that can touch people in many ways. It’s fun to listen to, read, and write. Carl Sandburg is one of the many poets who has contributed beautiful poetry for people to enjoy. Bainbridge takes you to Carl Sandburg’s home, Connemara, in Flat Rock, North Carolina. If his verses alone don’t inspire you, the beauty of this place will.
This sprawling National Park covers more than 200 acres. It contains the Sandburg home, miles of nature trails, rock outcroppings, a stunning lake, and one of the park’s largest attractions—goats!
The goats are the reason why Sandburg made his home here. His wife, Lillian, whom he called Paula, had a thriving goat herd at Lake Michigan’s house. It thrived so well that she needed more room. When Lillian visited the property in the North Carolina Mountains, she knew their family and goats would soon travel south.
Connemara is a reflection on the advancement of America. A slave owner and Confederate government official from Charleston owned the original structure. It became home to a man who was one of the foremost biographers of Abraham Lincoln, and one who would receive a lifetime membership from the NAACP for his work in civil rights. Sandburg produced about a third of his works and won his second Pulitzer Price while living here.
As soon as you enter the home, you can learn about Sandburg on the exciting and informative panels. You can also pick up one of several brochures, which are an excellent way to guide your venture through the park. The booklets contain fun and educational ways for kids to set out on adventures.
The walking trails are some of the best in the region. They’re perfect for all ages, with many benches along the way. You can also test your stamina on some of the more strenuous hikes, with one that goes all the way to the top of Glassy Mountain.
So, hit up your local Ingles, bring some snacks or a picnic, and make an afternoon out of it. Learn about one of the greats in American literature, soak in the mountain beauty, and enjoy Connemara. Your weekend is waiting.
To learn more about Ingles Market, visit their website at ingles-markets.com.