As I began my work, I realized the Echo Mountain Inn had three key components to help me achieve my goal:
The Echo Mountain Inn is so spacious and well-seated that there are a wealth of spaces for hiding away and writing.
The Inn is the perfect blend of peace with activity. The dining area for breakfast is a huge, spacious room, surrounded in windows. In every direction you can see the beauty of the mountains. I would begin my day by taking my journal down, siting in the sun and writing my opening thoughts.
But I had many other favorite places to go. I loved taking my laptop down to the four-season porch, a comfortable and warm room off the main house with large windows and lots of greenery. One afternoon, the sunset was so breath-taking, I sat on the patio and the energy from the scenery brought clarity to my work. The chair and desk in my room was also well-used, as it sat facing a dazzling view of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
The words came so much more easily and clearly in such incredible surroundings.
There were moments when the words for my manuscript just seemed to jump out of my mind and on to the page, but there were moments when I would hit a wall mentally and become frustrated and discouraged.
On those particularly hard days, I would pack up a few things and head into nature to get some fresh air and a reset for my mind. Dupont State Forest and Pisgah National Forest are a reasonable drive away and afford excellent short hikes and lookouts. The waterfalls are breath-taking. One, High Falls, provided me a place to sit and stretch my mind, giving it time to refresh before heading back for more writing.
Some days, I would drive up to Jump Off Rock, which is just a mile up the road, and is a fantastic scenic look out. On one occasion, I took the short hike around the rock and found new ideas and concepts that ultimately landed in my book. Without this incredibly inspiring beauty sitting just a short drive away, I would not have been able to finish.
Echo Mountain Inn is owned and operated by the Bonnema family. I introduced myself when I first visited and learned we were mutually from Minnesota. As I stayed, Travis and Becky and their children became good friends and wonderfully encouraging.
Between having an excellent breakfast to get me started on my day to offering to help me locate places to go for refreshment and rest, they were uniquely invested in helping me achieve my goal. Because they took such attentive care of me, I was able to focus more fully without any worries or concerns.
One night when I couldn't sleep, I went down to the main living room with my journal and sat and processed my thoughts. That was the moment I realized that in many ways, I felt like I had connected with that great home: and that it, too, was rooting for me.
I went back again to spend one more week and when I was finished, gladly dedicated part of my book to that lovely house on the top of that mountain, with that generous and kind family who helped make my dream come true.