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Life with Jody--former Soldier (medically retired), writer (in training), and lots more
#885509 added June 24, 2016 at 8:44am
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Nature Center, Haunted Tour, and No Hot Air Balloon Ride
Dear Friend,

How are you? I am fine.

Hahaha...kidding. Well, I AM fine, but anyway, this isn't a letter...exactly. lol

Today my visiting friend, Karen, and I went to the Western North Carolina Nature Center. http://www.wncnaturecenter.com/. It was nice and peaceful, save an occasional howl or scream from something wild, but most parents usually kept their kids in check. HAHAHAHA I crack me up!

ANYWAY, it's kind of like a zoo, but with North Carolina animals. There were otters (didn't know they lived in NC, but apparently), mountain lions, coyotes, grey wolves, red wolves, and even possums. (There were others, but you get the point.) In fact, the possum had previously been a pet and thus was tame so we got to pet it. Pretty cool. Just so you know, they aren't that soft. Not super rough, but not like a cat--more like a dog, sort of. Also, who know, possums clean themselves and are actually very clean animals, minus the crap they'll eat. lol

We also learned that red wolves were almost extinct at one point. It's estimated there are less than 100 left in the wild and many of these were released from captive bred wolves in an attempt to reintroduce the red wolf to the wild. The red wolf is smaller than a grey wolf, but larger than a coyote. Interestingly...and inconveniently, they've started cross-breeding with coyotes...not what we'd like to keep them from becoming extinct.

One of my favorite parts was the petting zoo. Not because I got to pet the animals, though that was cool. But because over half of them were on the Livestock Conservancy's list for being at risk for extinction. (Fyi, as you might guess, the "Livestock Conservancy" is trying to conserve livestock, so we're talking endangered breeds of goats, sheep, etc.) For examples of breeds of livestock at risk for extinction, check out http://www.LivestockConservancy.org.

This evening we went on a haunted trolley tour of the city. It was really interesting to hear all the stories of haunted places and they things that ghost hunters have found. One place was an old insane asylum (mental hospital, but insane asylum sounds scarier) that burned down when Willie Mae, a former patient, set a 3rd fire that year. Apparently, when patients started doing better, they could actually be discharged and start working there instead. It seems Willie Mae wasn't doing as well as everyone thought. Nine women died in that fire, including the wife of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Zelda. Our tour guide said when EVPs (Electronic Voice Phenomenon) were recorded there, all they got were screams. The coroner's report said some of the women had been strapped down at the time of the fire and some had screamed so hard they "broke their vocal cords." Sad.

Here's a link that briefly discusses the fire and also shows a picture of a yellow house. The house (currently used for administrative purposes) is for sale. It started at $1.3 million but is now listed for under $700k because it's also haunted. People's desks will have everything shoved off of them and the files will be thrown out of the file drawers in one of the rooms. https://www.nps.gov/nr/travel/asheville/hig.htm Beautiful building. Anyone looking for a steal? *Wink*

Tomorrow we'd decided to ride in a hot air balloon. Why? As someone scared of heights, I HAVE NO IDEA! Did I mention I'm doing this blog because of peer pressure? Well it's worse in real life. lol Anyway, THANKFULLY, it's too windy tomorrow and I've been saved! Whew! Oh, but the lady who texted to cancel said to let her know when we'd like to reschedule. DOH! (Cue funeral dirge...)

TTFN...or should I say, it was nice knowing you... *Wink*

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