Bearwallow Mountain Trail

Asheville, North Carolina, hike, Gerton

lots of pretty flowers in early June

Bearwallow Mountain Trail is near Gerton, North Carolina. On Sunday, June 7, 2015 I went to hike the trail up to the top of the mountain with my wife Megan, dog Indy, and daughters ages six and nine. With temperatures in the 80’s where we live in Asheville, we were surprised to reach the mountain and find it 63 degrees on the dashboard temperature gauge. It was a cloudy day and the mountain was surrounded by a mist. The girls called it “magical” and it turned out to give the day its own unique feel. We plan to return on a clear day to check out the views.

Mackensy Lunsford, Asheville Citizen Times, Hiking, hikes, family, kids,  karen  Chavez

the steps on the way to the top of the mountain

The hike is strenuous, about a mile in length, and it took us about 30 minutes to reach the top. Our youngest has recently proclaimed that she wants to be a professional runner, and so she’s been running a half mile in our neighborhood. So our kids are active and they made it up and down the mountain without much complaining.

Mackensy Lunsford, Asheville Citizen Times, Hiking, hikes, family, kids,  karen  Chavez

noted by Mrs. T as a possible dwelling for fairies

We found out about the hike in an article published in the Asheville Citizen-Times by Mackensy Lunsford titles “5 Perfect Places to Picnic, and How to Create a Memorable Outdoor Meal.” Mackensy is @mackensy on Twitter and she was quick to credit @KarenChavezACT for the information in the article. I look forward to following both of these ladies for all things Asheville and the outdoors.

Mackensy Lunsford, Asheville Citizen Times, Hiking, hikes, family, kids,  karen  Chavez, Bearwallow Mountain Road, Gerton, North Carolina, Bearwallow Mountain Trail

even though our views were obstructed by fog, the top of the mountain was beautiful

a short video from the top

Short Documentary: Christopher’s Garden

Torg Stories latest project is a documentary film entitled “Christopher’s Garden.” The film focuses on Christopher Mello, an Asheville, North Carolina artist who has spent thirteen years hybridizing a new blue poppy.

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film trailer music by Jeremy Vogt


The film was created in collaboration with musician Jeremy Vogt, cinematographer Alex Arcara, photographer Cindy Kunst, and Asheville librarian Zoe Rhine.

Photograph of blue poppies in Christopher Mello's garden in west Asheville, North Carolina by Cindy Kunst.

photograph of Christopher’s Garden by Cindy Kunst


The short documentary of 11 mins and 30 secs is currently being submitted to film festivals. A longer cut of the film will also be sent to film festivals a day’s drive away from Asheville, North Carolina where the film was shot.


Christopher Mello

Christopher Mello of Asheville, North Carolina


As director of the film, I have also begun work on a piece of writing about Christopher Mello and his garden. Thanks so much for taking the time to read this post.


Bill Torgerson

Vacationing at Home

When I was thirty years old, my life was a mess.  There were things I wanted to do that I almost never did: read, write, and exercise were a couple of the big ones.  However, I did other things that I didn’t want to do:  drank a lot of alcohol, stayed out half the night, and watched a lot of television, primarily sports.  I felt like I was wasting my life and stuck in some destructive cycles.  No matter how many promises I made to myself that I would change, I didn’t seem to be able to break my bad habits.

Among the actions I took to try and change my life was that  I moved 700 or so miles to the southeast of where I was living in Indiana to Charlotte, North Carolina.  My move filled me with mental and physical energy to explore:  I hiked the mountains around Asheville, I went rafting, I drove to the Outer Banks, and I enrolled in graduate school.  Beyond that, I went out of my way to avoid routine and instead try new things:  I hung out in bookstores and I went to live acoustic shows to hear artists of whom I’d never heard.  I tried to run both literal and figurative new paths each week.

Life got better. I did what I intended to do, but I also began to think about all that I had not done back in Indiana.  I realized it was in my nature (a lot of our natures?) to go on vacation and explore, but I was apt to stay put in my routines and the places I knew when I was at home.  I’d been to Honolulu with the basketball team and trekked all over the island to be sure that I wouldn’t miss anything, but back home in Indiana, I had never even been up to Lake Michigan to spend the day at the sand dunes.  Thinking back on those experiences, I’m determined to try and get out with my family to see the places near where I live.