Blaine and Margaret Norris of Dublin, Ohio, capture the scenic view at Richland Balsam Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Waynesville on July 5. At 6,053 feet, the overlook marks the highest point of the famous parkway that winds through the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Blaine and Margaret Norris of Dublin, Ohio, capture the scenic view at Richland Balsam Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Waynesville on July 5. At 6,053 feet, the overlook marks the highest point of the famous parkway that winds through the Blue Ridge Mountains. sshaw@newsobserver.com
Blaine and Margaret Norris of Dublin, Ohio, capture the scenic view at Richland Balsam Overlook on the Blue Ridge Parkway near Waynesville on July 5. At 6,053 feet, the overlook marks the highest point of the famous parkway that winds through the Blue Ridge Mountains. sshaw@newsobserver.com

Best-Kept Secrets: NC becomes wilder west of Asheville

July 13, 2014 10:22 PM

UPDATED August 31, 2014 08:52 PM

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  • Solitary mailbox on North Carolina beach holds stories from visitors around the world

    The Kindred Spirit Mailbox stands on a beach on Bird Island, North Carolina. It houses notebooks where visitors from around the world share their prayers, joy, grief, and secrets. Some write about the loved ones they lost, some show gratitude to what they have in life, and some even get engaged here. To get to the mailbox, it is not an easy walk. The closest parking lot is a mile and a half away. Frank Nesmith, keeper of the mailbox, put it up to communicate with his girlfriend, Claudia, 40 years ago. While their summer romance slipped by, the mailbox stays. In 2012, University of North Carolina Wilmington Randall Library Special Collections became home to the notebooks.