Fontana Village 2018 – A Journey Begins


Last year I posted a daily journal of my family vacation to Fontana Village in the North Carolina mountains. Now we are back. I do not plan to focus on our daily activities this time, although some I may add some. Instead, I will write about my personal thoughts regarding writing and the events which provide inspiration for my thoughts. I do not know whether I will post each day. I will take each day as it comes.

Last night I did most of my packing, and I set out my suitcase. This morning I found Arwen sleeping on it. I let her stay there as long as I could, but then I had to move her so that I could pack my clothes.

My commute passed without problems. I knew it would take me longer than usual this year because I planned to make several stops and take my time. On the last section of NC Hwy 28 there are some rest stops with nice views where I stop for a moment each year.

While looking at the mountains here, I tried to get my “what if” creative juices flowing. After a few moments I wondered, what if I saw a dragon flying over these mountains? I do not know where that came from or why I thought of it. It was not much, but I decided to write it in my notebook anyway. I did not know how I would use it, and so I decided to let it simmer in my mind. I did not know that further inspiration would come soon as the idea continued to develop during my commute.

A few miles later I stopped here with another nice view. Motorcycles are common in these mountains. A large group of bikers were here. Some of them wore American Legion patches, a biker organization which supports veterans.

I looked over the Fontana Lake and thought that maybe the dragon has an underwater tunnel into a cave inside one of the mountains on the other side of the lake. This cave has no above water access, and so humans have not discovered it.

At the exit of this rest stop I met this guy taking pictures. He works for the founder of who photographs people driving the Tail of the Dragon. I spoke with him for several minutes and watched him photograph the bikers and other passing vehicles. He also photographed me as I left.

At the next stop overlooking the lake I imagined people in a pontoon boat who see the dragon swim under them.

I arrived at Fontana Village before my cabin was ready. I left quite early today, and so I expected that. Before getting lunch, I walked around inside the lodge for a while and looked outside the back window. A few years ago there was a forest fire in these mountains. It was too far away for my family to see it or have reason to be concerned, but we could smell the smoke and see a haze in the air. Some of the fire fighters who were assigned to fight this fire were staying at the lodge. I heard that campers started the fire, but today I wondered, what if the dragon started it? This dragon idea is developing.

During lunch at the grill I decided I could not keep calling him “the dragon,” and so I named him Louie. That is not much of a dragon name, but that it what come to me. On the other hand, if Pete can call his dragon Elliot, then I can call mine Louie.

Yes, the dragon is imaginary, but I have decided to run with the idea this week and see where it takes me. I am reading Jeff Vandermeer’s Wonderbook: The Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction. He emphasizes the role of imaginative play in strengthening imagination and story telling. Last year I wrote a series of posts detailing my vacation, partly to challenge myself to write each day. That series was a basic vacation journal. This year my posts may be a journey of imagination. This could be fun.

About henrywm

I am a graduate from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary with a Ph.D. in Systematic Theology. I am interested in Christian theology and church history. I also enjoy science fiction and stories which wrestle with deep questions.
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