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April 6, 2022

My Writer's escape: echo mountain inn

Guest Blog by Jenita Pace

Obviously, we've never met but if you are reading this blog entry, then maybe like me, writing a book has always been a dream and you are in the process of wanting to make it a reality.

I was visiting North Carolina and staying at the Echo Mountain Inn when I got word that a publisher was interested in having me write a book on finding faith in depression and anxiety. I drove to Dupont State Forest and hiked to Bridal Veil Falls. As I sat at the base of the falls, I meditated and prayed and decided, yes, I would take on the task.

At the time, though, I did not fully understand what my decision really entailed. As I went back to Minneapolis and began my work, I found it very hard to focus and my daily life began to weigh me down. Time was slipping away from me, and my family could sense I was struggling.

My husband (who I admit often sees things before I do!) stopped me one morning and suggested that perhaps trying to keep one foot in my writing world and one foot in our daily life was not going to work. As I contemplated his words, we both agreed, I needed to get away so I could focus and write.

Immediately I thought of my time at the Echo Mountain Inn.

I booked a flight the next day, and a room, and headed down to the beautiful home in the mountains. I booked the Magnolia Room, which was perfectly appointed with a desk, comfortable bed, and an incredible view looking over the mountains.  
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215 Magnolia
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.
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Regardless of where you are with your manuscript, I would highly encourage you to follow my trail to the Echo Mountain Inn. Your work is too precious and important not to have your full attention. And I promise that you will find what you need to stay focused, be inspired, and meet your goals.

I find hope and peace knowing that should I decide to start again, that wonderful house will always be waiting for me. As I am sure it is doing for so many others.


Be sure to check out our Things To Do page for more information about our area!
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Jenita Pace
Meet the Author: Jenita Pace

Jenita is a Licensed Professional Counselor with the state of Minnesota and am a member of the National Board of Certified Counselors.  She has a B.A. in Biblical Studies from Columbia International University (2004) and an M.A. Ed in School Counseling from Western Carolina University (2013).

Jenita Pace has been a featured speaker on film projects, in churches and at various mental health events. She is a featured speaker on the following topics: Finding God in the midst of depression and anxiety, Self-care and how to practice it, Working through Grief with God, and Teen Parenting.

For more information about Jenita, visit her website at