10-6-12 Saturday (Somewhere Over The Rainbow, Through The Fog)

We got an early start for a Saturday.  A 2 hour drive to Little Switzerland for lunch.  The restaurant was putting on a wedding so we couldn’t sit in our usual spot.  We went to the outdoor dining area and the only table available was on the lawn.  Despite a little wind and an all too frequent visit from some bees, it turned out to be a great lunch spot.  Look at the view.

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During lunch some dark clouds started to roll in:

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Look at that tree in the above photo.  The leaf color got better and better as we went higher and higher into the mountains.

After lunch we drove another hour up to Beech Mountain.  Jim bought tickets to a once a year event known as “Autumn at Oz” in the Land of Oz theme park.  If nothing else, click on that link to “Land of Oz” which will open another page and explain about this old theme park that opened in the 1970 and closed in 1980.  What a cool place.  Does anyone remember this place?  Jim stumbled on Autumn at Oz info while researching the Heritage USA site we accidently found in May

As we got higher in elevation the weather became rainy, sometimes misty and overly foggy.  It was chilly but OK.

2012-10-06 010Above: There were several people dressed in costumes.  Some were part of the entire experience while others did it for fun.

2012-10-06 011Above: Just some gorgeous trees in the parking lot.

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Above/Below: A ski lift up to Land of Oz or a really long wait for the shuttle bus.  Up into the fog/clouds we go.

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2012-10-06 015Above: Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee

2012-10-06 016Above: The first exhibit in the Land of Oz.

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2012-10-06 021Above: In the museum, an old map of the theme park.

2012-10-06 022Above: Dorothy?  Is that you?  How long have you been up here?

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Above/Below: Inside Dorothy’s house.

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2012-10-06 027Above: Into the cellar to experience the transition to “after” the tornado.

2012-10-06 028Above: The kitchen after the twister.

The funny thing about the rooms in the before and after “sets” was that they didn’t match.  I’m sure the original house did and perhaps after vandalism and neglect it doesn’t.  So the living room furniture in the before was very different from the after, for instance.  Another thing that probably plays a part in all of the differences is that you can rent Dorothy’s house.  The bathroom and kitchen was retrofitted to actually work for guests.  The “before” living room had a TV covered with a sheet.

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On to Munchkin Land…

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It was a fun time.  I can’t say that we’ll go back year after year though.  I think it’s a once is enough or maybe every 2-3 years at least.  I wished that they had the music playing in different parts it related to.

On the way home it was raining and foggy and getting dark.  You’ll have to take my word for it that the leaf colors were stunning.  So gorgeous.

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Tomorrow (Sunday) it’s up early to take Mom to the airport.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. Funny. Never heard of that theme park. But after reading about it I can understand why it didn't make it. If it stayed the same year after year, it would get old to many visitors. Then again, how could you change the Wizard of Oz?

    1. I guess that was its downfall. There was nothing it could change.

  3. Did someone say something not nice, G?

    I heart the Wizard of Oz!

    1. No Norma, it was Spam that made it past the spam filter.

  4. That looks so cool. You and Jim always find the most fun things to do. How far is Beech Mountain from you in Charlotte. I have half a mind to rent Dorothy's House for a li'l weekend getaway. Is it on property... I mean, if we rented the house would we have access to the other parts of the park too?

    Great blog post as usual Garret! Looks like you guys had a blast!


  5. The Land of Oz doesn't exist anymore. It's been closed for years and years. It's a special group thing they do once a year for just a weekend or two. I'm not sure if renting the house would give any access or not.


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