rain storm

Snapshots Sunday: Land of Oz

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We're Off...Image One
Flag at the Entrance
Image is from the early 1970s
09-08-2017

In September of 2017, I paid a visit to a place I had not seen since I was about six years old…the Land of Oz. I remember bits and pieces of the trip. My parents took me in 1972 and two of my strongest memories are of riding on the balloon ride (a converted ski-lift) in a blinding mountain rainstorm and the wet ride in a bus, with no windows, down the mountain, leaving. For years, I wondered what had become of that park.

Originally opening on June 15, 1970, it was a grand place to visit and managed to stay open for a decade, even after a fire in 1975, before falling into disrepair and abandonment. Many things were stolen, vandalized or left to nature.

Appalachian State University had a cultural museum, at one time, that showcased saved pieces from the park including the yellow bricks, some munchkin houses, costumes, parts of the witch’s castle and other assorted props. All artifacts were eventually returned to the park.

In 1991, the park was included in a celebration for Independence Day for Beech Mountain. Watauga High School students dressed in costume. Emerald Mountain, Inc., purchased the property in 1994 and a slow restoration began. An “Autumn at Oz” was started as a reunion for former employees and became a yearly event. By 2010, the park drew 8,000 people.

By the 80th anniversary of The Wizard of Oz movie, 12,000 guests had come through in June of 2019. I have tons of pictures of this place, old and new and, I will be posting them over time. ~Vic

Oz Sign Image Two
Picture snapped in the 90s
Photo Credit: Emerald Mountain Realty

Land of Oz (Official Website)

Shutterbug Saturday: Frog Strangler 2.0

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We continue to have stormy, rainy weather and the temperature has dropped, considerably. We traded floods for tornadoes, yesterday. I learned, today, that two small farms south of town were damaged. I have a healthy respect for Mother Nature. ~Vic

See Part I

Rain Storm Image One
Swollen drainage ditch to the river.
This helped flood my neighbor's backyard.
04-13-2019
Rain Storm Image Two
The tiny creek at Turnip Patch Park took out one of the benches.
Rain Storm Image Three
The Riverwalk is to the far right.
The town closed it for a couple of days.
I saw a juvenile garter snake making its way back across the walk when I was out on the third day.
Rain Storm Image Four
Train trestle in the background.
Rain Storm Image Five
The wooden fence is a barrier between Gold Park & the Eno.
Rain Storm Image Six
That is the bridge I was standing on to photograph the Riverwalk & the trestle.

Shutterbug Saturday: Frog Strangler

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Or, Toad Strangler or, Gully Washer… My dad was fond of the frog saying and my maternal grandfather always used the latter. All three are good descriptions of the storm that just swept through here, today. I haven’t seen this much water since Hurricane Matthew in 2016. Have mercy… ~Vic

Rain Storm Image One
I thought my chairs might float away.
The backdoor neighbor had his own mini-river.
Rain Storm Image Two
Patio at the side door looks like a mini-swimming pool.
Water from the next door neighbor’s poor drainage…
Rain Storm Image Three
The gold pick-up in the first photo…this is his backyard.
The Eno hasn’t crested, yet and, the water is at his backdoor right now.
Rain Storm Image Four
Bench at Turnip Patch Park didn’t fare well.
Rain Storm Image Five
Entrance to Gold Park underwater.
One sewer access is over-flowing.
Rain Storm Image Six
Underwater graffiti.
See my previous post on this.
Picture #2

More to come…