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Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 26

Owning Your Home: Fall Edition

by Lisa Buchanan "Assistant on the Town"

Home ownership can be a wonderful thing. The pride of owning your home can be almost magical, walking into the door right after you sign the papers carries a unique high. But owning a home always carries responsibilities.  Some of those are every day chores, and some are seasonal related. Going into the fall season (and approaching winter), there are certain things that are good ideas to implement to prepare for the colder season ahead.

  1. Gutter Goals.
    Cleaning out your gutters, and inspecting them for any cracks or maintenance needed is crucial before it gets too cold to do so. In the fall, with the autumnal leaves drifting down every day, this can become an everyday chore till the trees finish shedding their leaves. Crowded, full, obstructed gutters can leave to improper water disposal and if left alone, water damage to your house.
  2. Roof Problems.
    Now is the time to inspect your roof for damaged areas or places that need repaired before rain and snow put additional pressure on it. Deal with it now, rather than having to deal with it in the freezing weather
  3. Driveways & Sidewalks (property inspection)
    Now is the time too, to identify any problem areas and clean the sidewalk and driveway. Keeping them free of debris so in wet condition they don’t become slippery and dangerous!
  4. Drain It.
    If you’re the type of person whose outdoor landscaping puts everyone else’s to shame (looking at your neighbors), then you need to make sure the tools you do so with are protected. Many people have outdoor faucets and irrigation systems that need to be flushed out for their protection. Busted water lines are never fun!
  5. Clean & Fresh.
    Time to clean out the vents and replace the filters! It’s a good practice to replace your filter every 30-60 days but it’s easy to get behind. Take this time of “fall prepping” to catch up on the cycle and get everything cleaned out and ready for the new season.
  6. Tighten the Hatches!
    With gaps in caulk and weather stripping accounting for 10% of heating bills, checking the nooks and cranny’s can add up to major savings.  It’s also the most cost effective way to keep your energy costs down.
  7. Check the Heating Source
    Gas, Furnace, wood burning, all the sources what will keep you warm this winter also need regular maintenance to be kept safe and functional. Have a professional check out your furnace and your gas logs. Inspect your chimney and clean it out if you have a wood burning stove or fireplace.
  8. Keep Everybody Safe
    Carbon Monoxide & Smoke detectors are vital in keeping your family safe.  Fire is always a worry, and carbon dioxide can be fatal is left undetected. Replace the batteries in the ones you already have and make sure you have one on every floor of your house. Make sure you have a fire extinguisher rated for all fire types.  And put a fire escape plan into place for each member of the family.
  9. Clean up Time

Once you’ve gone over the specifics of fall cleanup, go back and do a general clean up. Store everything that needs to be stored or sorted go ahead and take care of it. Prep the flower beds for next year and haul off trash and leaves that need to be hauled off. A little bit of extra effort now makes an easier time of it in the spring.




Home ownership takes a little more effort, but has greater reward. Doing seasonal check list help keep up your beautiful home without getting overwhelmed. If you need any numbers or advice for professionals to call, don’t hesitate to give The Dex Hubbard Team a call!

Total Eclipse of the Sun in Murphy, North Carolina

by Lisa Buchanan "Assistant on the Town"

August 21,2017

A total eclipse of the Sun. The first one since February 26,1979. The first major one in North America since Mary 7,1970.  And the first one since 1776 that has a totality path that lies completely within the united states. And Murphy, North Carolina is a prime location to watch it.

What has been described as a “quirk of cosmic geometry”, a solar eclipse occurs when the moon gets between the Earth and the Sun, and the moon casts a shadow over the earth. The suns diameter is four hundred times larger than the moon. However, the moon itself is four hundred times closer to Earth than the sun. There is a total eclipse on average every 18 months, but they are not always easy to view. The earth is mostly covered by water, and what eclipses do occur over land often times occur over less populated areas. Next year’s Eclipse path will directly cross over 12 million, but an estimated 220 million people will live within a day’s drive of it.

The difference between a partial solar eclipse and a full one was quoted as,” the difference between viewing a partial eclipse and experiencing a total one is the difference between almost dying and dying.” If you are viewing a partial solar eclipse, you will be only able to tell it is happening with special eye protection. With the right eye wear, you can watch the moon moving slowly across the face of the sun. But It’s not anything particularly special.

If you’re in the path of totality, you’ll see the shrinking sliver of the sun and visually everything will seep sharper and clearer, even though it’s darker. Then the temperature drops, the birds start to roost, and the evening insects come out to prepare for sunset. The sky will get a deeper and darker blue and the sun sliver starts to get small enough that you can almost see it shrinking through your glasses.

It’s hard to explain what it’s going to be like. And for perfect solar eclipse viewing, you’ll need cloud free skies. And protective eye gear is a must! You can still damage your eyes during a solar eclipse. The experts recommend not trying to MacGyver gear yourself. There is cheap eye protection available for purchase all over the internet. Find a large open area that is either public land, or get permission to hang out if it’s privately owned. Bring food, drinks, sunblock, and good friends to watch this once in a lifetime celestial event.

The fact that Murphy will be one of the best places to watch this spectacular solar eclipse is only one reason to visit. Murphy is a land of mountains, lakes, and fantastic people. Visit once, and you won’t want to leave. 

Recipe for Color- The Changing of the Leaves

by Lisa Buchanan "Assistant on the Town"

Driving to work at RE/MAX Mountain Properties yesterday morning, I noticed something disturbing. A few solitary leaves were turning yellow and red. It’s mid-August, and the leaves are starting to change. I love summer and heat and would have them all year. Alas, it looks like fall is about to be upon us. As much as I love the summer sun I have to admit that fall, especially in our area, is breath taking. Several people obviously agree, as the fall season is just as busy if not busier than the spring and summer. And I will be the first to admit that I do love a good drive up on a mountain or on the Cherohala Skyway to check out the glorious autumnal color.

What causes that color though? What is the magical recipe that makes for a great leaf season?

Apparently, during the spring & summer the leaves are food factories for the tree.  But when the fall season hits the leaves stop their food making process due to a change in daylight and temperatures. The color that the leaf changes to will depend on the tree and additional chemical changes. Typically, you see red and purple hues in trees like dogwoods and sumacs while some trees like the sugar maple is orange.

Low temperatures, light, and water are the keys to hues and duration of the foliage. What we hope not to see is an early freeze, heavy wind and rain, and drought.  All those factors will cause less bright leaves and shorter foliage. The ideal environment is tons of sunlight, warm days, and cool nights.

Luckily this year we’re not in a drought, though it has been a dry summer here in Murphy. So fingers crossed the other conditions will cooperate for a brilliant autumn. If it should, you absolutely have to make a trip up here to check it out. Stay a night or two, check out our many harvest festivals, take a hike through the colorful trees, drink a delicious hot beverage sitting by a campfire as the smoke drifts into the night sky. Whatever you do, your time here is going to a fantastic adventure. 


If your dream is to wake up every morning and gaze out onto the mountains, then check out this list of homes that can make your dream come true. 

"Haints" & Haunts

by Lisa Buchanan "Assistant on the Town"

“But when did you start believing in ghosts?”
I press her, sitting across from her in the office.

She tells me that she always believed in spirits and the supernatural. And then adds, almost as an afterthought,

“But I really believed when one tried to strangle me at The Daily Grind.”

“Tried to strangle you? For real?”

“Finger prints on my neck and everything.”


Finding out new things about my town during a late night google search led me to the Cherokee County Paranormal Society. I’m somewhere between a full believer and a light skeptic about the paranormal world. So I greedily dived into the website and its members, only to find that one of the investigators worked in the same office as I did. She’s a firecracker, not one to be afraid of the unknown. And she’s a true believer and a true professional, like the rest of the members of the group.

The Cherokee County Paranormal Society is part spiritual, part historical. Their investigations are steeped in information and historical accuracy. They’ve done case studies in multiple states and worked with agencies and likeminded individuals and researchers from all over. One of my favorite things they’ve done is to create The “Legend Has it Tour”.

I’ve taken the tour 4 times. I like to consider myself an official tour guide with some of my friends. The tour combines the history of Murphy with a beginner crash course of the supernatural and the tools used to interact with them.

Generally, you begin at The Daily Grind, one of the oldest buildings in Murphy. Some of the stops include the Court House, Episcopal Church, and the Harshaw Church Cemetery. As a history buff, the legends of my town are fascinating. Not only are they informative but some are considered controversial. For example, some believe that the REAL father of Abraham Lincoln is buried in Harshaw Cemetery.  

So whether or not you believe in ghosts, or “Haints” as they are sometimes called in the south, the Legend Has It Tour is an experience not to miss out on. Skeptic & true believers alike will be entertained and enjoy the gentle walk through Murphy with friends and fellow explorers.


Interested in going? September 2, 2016 is a tour night! Starting right after the Art Walk! Don’t miss out. 

Small Town Vs. The Internet

by Lisa Buchanan "Assistant on the Town"

I live in a small town. The kind of town where if I forget to lock my door when I leave the house for work, and I don’t worry about it. The kind of place where walking home from the local pub (I live in the city limits) at 11 at night is something I’ve done multiple times with no fear. I’ve gotten my car stuck and had to walk up to a complete stranger’s house to call Dex to come pull me out. And while the nice lady and I respected the boundaries of strangers, she let me use her phone, because that is the type of place I live in. So when once again, I had to try to explain to yet another concerned person who does not want to move to Murphy because of the crime, I got a little angry.

If you pull up the crime statistics, you will be shocked. If you have never been here, then you will wonder how so many of us can stand to live here. Some statistics quote that 3 out of 4 people are victims of violent crime. If you live or visit here, you’ll be scratching your head and be puzzled. Until you look at the map.


In the city limits of Murphy, there are 2,420 residents according to the 2014 census. The county wide census number claims 27,178, a large part living in what is considered Murphy.  The statistician’s in all their wisdom have not had the pleasure to visit our fair town. If they had, they would consider that while the city limits are only 2.625 square miles, the county is 467 square miles.

 There are two main “towns”, Murphy & Andrews, with several townships and areas. Andrews stretches to the boundaries of Swain & Graham counties. Murphy takes over where Andrews leaves off to the west and goes all the way to the state lines.

You can definitely see how problematic and inaccurate the statistics are. Unfortunately, strangers on google might only see the statistics. But we who live in Murphy know the difference. I’m a relatively recent transplant but the beauty and people of the answer were a perfect fit.

Murphy has definitely see some growth in the past few years. We’ve gotten a new Harrah’s Casino, and while it hasn’t been the huge boon projected for the housing market, it’s added hundreds of job opportunities to the area. And county wide alcohol sales have been approved, paving the way for new restaurants and gas station locations all over the county.

But we’ve still got out small town charm. If you head out to The Daily Grind & Wine, you’ll likely see familiar faces sitting enjoying a strong cup of coffee with their cigars. Taking a walk down main street, you’ll see Mr. Cowan, hurrying to put an overnight package in the UPS box.  If you stop by in at Fatback’s Gas Station, Pat will probably be there manning the store. And if you decide to enjoy a relaxing Friday evening at Doyle’s Cedar Hill Restaurants tiki bar, well you’ll most likely see some of us from RE/MAX. We don’t only see ourselves as fellow denizens of this cozy, magical place in the mountains, but we’re your neighbors.

Give us a call for anything you need. We’re only too happy to help.


Cherohala Skyway

by Lisa Buchanan "Assistant on the Town"


Hooper Bald- Photography Credit LK

I’ve traversed the “Skyway” as we call it, many times. And no matter what season, or time, the beauty is astounding.  Whether it’s the crisp almost blinding colors of fall, the stark beauty of leave less trees in the winter against the snowcapped mountains, or the bursting bright colors and fresh wind that herald’s spring, it’s always awe inspiring.  

This road wasn’t always here. Of course, that can be said of all roads. But this road, is recent. For the first six years of my life, to get “home” twice a year (from Arkansas) we took another famous road home, The Tail of the Dragon. And while it is a favorite for many motorcycle enthusiast, my mother does not count herself as one of its’ fans, especially late at night with a toddler and a new born. With the completion of the Cherohala Skyway, our family’s, and others, road trips became much easier.

Historically, the area has always been remote and hard to reach. The first settlers used whatever “roads” they could. When a lodge was built near Hooper’s Bald, wagons were the only way to access it. Rough logging roads were put in, as the area was logged for its timber rich treasure till 1911.

The land the Cherohala passes over offers a glimpse into the primitive land that the area once was. The Cherokee Indians were the original residents. After the Indian Removal act, additional settlers started moving into the area. One of them (a relation) Dr. Ennis Hooper is who Hooper Bald is named after. In 1908, a large tract was bought by the Whiting Manufacturing Company (logging) and they allowed an agent to lease 1600 acres for a European style shooting preserve. Most of the “exotic” animals did poorly and were eventually sold or shot but the Russian Boars found the climate to their liking and escaped, multiplying into the wild boar population the area boasts today. In fact, while driving the skyway it’s always wise to keep an eye out for them.

Until the construction of the Skyway, the various bald’s were only accessible by a tough four-wheel vehicle or a motorcycle or the old school version, by wagon train. With the completion of the road, the natural beauty was suddenly available and accessible to everyone.

The Cherohala Skyway is THE most expensive scenic route highway in North Carolina, costing over a 100 million dollars. And it took quite a bit of time to complete. Official planning for the skyway began in 1958.  Almost forty years later, it was completed in 1996. Instead of the original plan of building the road from Tellico Plains, TN to Murphy, NC the road was built from Tellico to Robbinsville, NC. The original estimates of traffic have proven false. The first figures estimated that there would be 10 cars per min year round. The true average is fifty cars, and a hundred motorcycles a day. Some days that you venture up onto it, you won’t see a single vehicle. The tourist and sightseer’s flock to see the colorful leaves in the fall. And the locals count it their favorite four wheeling place to go in the winter when it snows.

Named after the two national forests it passes through (the Cherokee National Forest & the Nantahala National Forest) the 42-mile route was built for enjoying the view. If you’re looking to get your feet on the ground, there are great hiking trails. Parts of the Appalachian Trail, Joyce Kilmer Forest, and Hooper Bald, to name a few, varying from easy hiking to a bit more difficult. If the skyway entrances you not to leave, there are numerous camp sites for every level of comfort.

If you haven’t ventured up the mountain to the top of the Cherohala, trod the hiking paths, gazed over the waving grass on top Hooper’s Bald, smelled the mountain laurel as the rain soaks the mountain ground, what are you waiting for?

Awesome Date Ideas in the Mountains

by Lisa Buchanan "Assistant on the Town"

Whether it’s the first date of the relationship, a weekly occurrence, or you & your spouse’s night off to keep the romance kindled, we live in a fantastic place to exceed your romantic date expectations. If you’re a transplant, then planning a great time may seem daunting. The nearest Dave & Busters is a good couple of hours away, and pre-made date excursions are hard to come by. As a half transplant myself, the romantic possibilities dazzle me.


  1. The All Day Date (not for beginners)

This is probably not a good first date. This is a beautiful endurance race not suited for the faint of heart or the not-yet-comfortable-with-each-other people. This date begins at your favorite farmer’s market. Stroll through the booths, hand in hand if you dare, and pick up ingredients for an early dinner. Come up with a recipe as you go, or have a recipe prior. After shopping locally and getting as many ingredients as you can for dinner, head over to Blairsville, GA and stop by Michaelee’s Italian Caffe, and pick up a couple of decadent desserts. From there Helton Creek Falls. A short hike, bring a blanket or a chair and eat dessert and have some good conversation with the relaxing backdrop of the loud falls. Leave there and head to your house, to create not just a meal, but memories together.

  1. Beginners Luck

Your date may not be comfortable going to a remote mountain top to check out the stars on the first date (read: don’t creep them out). However, gazing at the stars is a tried and true romantic experience. Thankfully, tucked into the Young Harris College campus is Rollin’s Planetarium. Not only do they do shows about the universe (and music shows, holiday themes, etc) but they do so at a reasonable price (super cheap) at 5.00 per show.  The only caveat is to plan ahead as tickets stop being sold 30 mins prior to the show.  This is a thoughtful first date that doesn’t make you sound like a creeper (i.e. lets go to a remote mountain all alone even though we just met).

  1. Group Date Competition

Group dates can get a bad rap. But honestly, spending time with each other and with other people is healthy, fun, and can alleviate pressure. A great idea for a good time is going to a large flea market or local antique shop and have a contest to see who can purchase the coolest item for less than 5.00.  After everyone is done head out to eat and have everyone vote on which is the coolest. You can offer a prize, like winner gets their dessert paid for by everyone else.

  1. Rolling on the River Date

You can’t not live in Murphy or the local area and not know about the two great water sport rivers, The Ocoee and the Nantahala River. My favorite is the Nantahala, personally, because I like a mostly tame ride, with a break for pizza at Pizza By The River. But if you and your date prefer a more adventurous and labor intensive afternoon, then you have to check out the Ocoee River, site of the 1996 Canoe Slalom for the summer Olympics.  Either River has great food options after you’ve worked up an appetite rafting or kayaking.

  1. Dinner & A Movie – At The Swann Drive In

One of the only 4 Drive-Inn movie theatres operating in Georgia, The Swann Drive In has been in operation since 1955. They accept only cash, and have a wonderful concession. From Burgers, to Fries, to standard movie fare, they also feature devilishly sweet concoctions such as the deep fried Oreo’s and funnel cakes. Watch the movie in your car or bring a blanket and lay in the back of your truck or on the grass to enjoy the movie. Not only is this a great, different movie night idea, the people are friendly and the food is delicious.


  1. Mercier Orchards

Luckily, there are many orchards that offer events like “U-Pick” but Mercier’s has been moved to the top of the list. Not only do they have U-Pick events for their apples, blackberries, and other fruits they have cool things like their own Winery where they craft their own hard cider and wine. They also host weddings and other events, which would be cool if this date turns out to be with THE one.  Anniversary or wedding venue would be a no brainer!


Basically, anywhere around here is a great place for a date. All it needs is a little thought and ingenuity. But, if you need help coming up with a perfect date then you should keep this list around. We don’t mind sharing our local knowledge/genius anytime you need it!

Fading Voices

by Lisa Buchanan "Assistant on the Town"

As the sun makes its’ ascent over the mountains, the valleys of Snowbird begin to almost glow. The dew that covers the grass captures the rays of light, and a blanket of fog rises off the surface of Little Snowbird Creek.  Deep in Little Snowbird lies a playground, a portico with tables, and a covered stage, all of which will be utilized today at The Fading Voices Festival.

Fading Voices is a celebration of national Cherokee traditions. It is a rare glimpse into a culture almost lost to time, history, and genocide. Snowbird area is one of the strongholds in the state, dedicated to the preservation of tradition and language, so it is fitting that this beautiful celebration is held here.

Beginning with The Sacred Mound Ceremony, the festival is open to everyone, and participation is encouraged. There are demonstrations set up to watch, and in some cases take part in. Wander through the beadwork, pottery, Wood Carving & Coffin building sections. Watch strong, sinewy arms churn fresh milk. Listen to the voices float through the air, or watch kids and adults practice their Blow Gun skills. Sample Bean and Chestnut Bread or Wild Greens. Wait in line (it’s worth the wait) for freshly fried traditional Frybread, golden and warm. Try and Indian taco, or strawberry covered frybread. Watch, or if you’re brave, play Fish; an all gender version of Stickball that pits women against men.

It should be noted that there are almost no rules, and the women are historically vicious in their pursuit of victory (the Women almost always win). After you watch the brave men get their butts kicked by the awe inspiring women, then watch Stickball.

The opening of Stickball Ceremonies has a certain amount of reverence. More than just a game, its historical roots played a role in keeping peace between different tribes who played it, as well as training for young warriors. Here at Snowbird, leafy tree branches are driven into the ground, two on each side, for “goals”. As the game begins, there is almost a holy silence throughout the spectators waiting for the first cry. The two teams, at opposite ends of the field, start their battle cries. Answering and responding, the cries echo across the field.

The game here is relatively small. The players today number less than 20 and are as young as 10. Each player is matched up against an opponent roughly their size. If one of them is unable to continue the game for any reason, his opponent must also leave the game.  The “Sticks” are wooden sticks generally made from hardwood saplings or trunks, bent around with leather strips stretched across the back of the loops to catch the ball. In the past, there were no rules to the game which led to some fatalities. In modern day, while injuries are common, there are rules in place. No touching the ball, no hitting below the knees, etc. Today, in the hot sun the players all play well, and end the game in good spirits, some taking a dunk in Little Snowbird Creek to cool off after their exertions.

After Stickball, the festival starts to wind down. Visitors and participants make their last purchases, perhaps grab some frybread for the road, and start wandering to their vehicles. This year’s celebration is over. But next years is only 364ish days away, and everyone is already anticipating another great celebration of culture, history, and community. 

Bear Paw Resort

by Lisa Buchanan "Assistant on the Town"

As I reline on the boat, feeling the sun’s rays bathing my body and the soft, cooling wind dancing over, the peaceful slapping of the waves against the hull and the gentle rocking of the boat gives me a sense of peace that I associate with Lake Hiwassee.
Bear Paw Resort is one of the few places around the lake that you can live “on the lake”. With over 163 miles of shoreline, Lake Hiwassee is an anomaly, with only 7% developed.  In the summer, when you are out on the lake, you do see the occasional boat or jet skis but it’s practically empty compared to surrounding lakes which can be up to 97% developed.  There are only a few marinas on the lake, one of the best ones is at Bear Paw Resort.

Murphy is a historical area, and Bear Paw brings its own set of tales. Part of the TVA’s plan, the Hiwassee Dam is one of the 51 Dams of the Tennessee Valley Authority water control systems.  It’s the third highest dam of the TVA system and named after the river it holds back. To house the workers that would build the Dam, they built 42 permanent houses, 73 Temporary houses, 5 men’s dormitories and one woman’s dormitory. They also built a cafeteria, hospital, community building, personnel office, school, multiple garage buildings, service station, a bowling alley and an observation building.

In 1959, Hiwassee Lake Resort Village was organized to own the land the village sat on. Development continued but it wasn’t until 1965 that more than 50% of the home sites had been sold and steps were being made to make it into a full time resort. In 1973, the village became known as Bear Paw. Today it has 1,090 lots, 200+ homes, 42 cottages, 23 Condominiums, and a marina. It has twenty-four-hour gated security, well maintained roads, and a vibrant community life. While the resort is popular with second home owners and vacationers, it also boasts full time residents.

Bear Paw Resort doesn’t have “HOA fee’s” like you would think. It exists under a special service district provision. Instead of fees, there are standard taxes that are then given back to the district and the board that takes care of the land and road.

Today as your drive down the roads, you drive slowly, waving to people riding around on their golf carts (a favorite way of transportation), walking their dogs, jogging, and riding down to play tennis or go swimming. You might hear the echo of music at the club house from a dance class or the laughter of neighbors & friends as they take a moment to speak to each other. On the Fourth of July, Bear Paw has one of the biggest parties and best fireworks. And every day of the year, Bear Paw Resort is a fantastic community to live in.

If Bear Paw sounds like the kind of place you’d like to call home,

We can help that dream become a reality. 

4th of July Celebrations 2016

by Dex Hubbard

It’s time for Murphy to roll out their Fourth of July Celebrations, and this year will not disappoint. Kicking off the weekend is Murphy’s Art Walk. The first Friday of every month, this year falls the weekend of the Fourth. During the Art Walk, not only will there be great vendors and local artist, but the Cowboys & Indians Band will be playing at the Red Brick Deli. Andrews Brewing Company is having live music Thursday, Friday, & Saturday. The Folk School is featuring The Chuck Nation Band at 7 pm on Friday the 1st.  Monday, July 4th, Murphy kicks off their celebration with their parade, starting at 10 a.m. During the day, there will be bouncy houses, competitions, food vendors, the much anticipated Peanut Drop and much more at the Park all day. Weather Permitting there will be tethered RE/MAX balloon rides from 7-9 with all proceeds benefiting a local charity, always a large draw. The festivities will be concluded in the evening with fireworks!

Our neighbors to the south of us in Blue Ridge are going to have a lot of fun. Head out to Lake Blue Ridge to check up the Light up the Lake Boat Parade.  July 2nd in downtown Blue Ridge is the Fourth of July Day Parade with fireworks to follow at dusk at Blue Ridge Marina.

Blairsville, GA is having their firework celebration at Meek’s Part. Vogel Park is having their annual celebration starting with their Flag Raising Ceremony at 8:30 am. During the day expect pedal boat races, sandcastle competition, a watermelon eating contest, sack race, greased pole climbing and much more. 


Have a great, safe weekend. Get out and explore. 

Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 26




Contact Information

Photo of Dex Hubbard Real Estate
Dex Hubbard
RE/MAX Mountain Properties
1151 W US Hwy 64
Murphy NC 28906
Fax: 828-837-8372