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A Portrait of Home Vol. 1 | Love Valley, NC

One of the hardest things I’ve come to learn being a military wife, is that being homesick is unavoidable and sometimes it will get the best of you. I’m lucky enough to be close enough to home that regular visits aren’t so out of the ordinary, so I make it a point whenever I get the chance to visit back home to document as much as possible.

I’m pretty proud to be a small town North Carolina girl. My roots are firmly planted within the western side of North Carolina. There are few places I can think of more beautiful and vibrant to grow up in. I was born and spent most of my early years just outside of Charlotte, North Carolina in a little town called Indian Trail.

However I call a sweet little town just outside of Statesville home. To say that it is off the beaten path is an understatement. Love Valley, North Carolina is a rare gem. I’ve been lucky enough to travel a good bit through the continental US and I haven’t found anywhere else quite like Love Valley, North Carolina. Although Love Valley shares many things very typical of most small towns such as a scarcity for stop signs and paved roads, small town gossip and more front porches than there are enough chairs to fit on them, The Valley (as citizens call it) plays host to a certain something you just don’t see much these days. You won’t find many places with such a distinct combination of quiet living, poor cell phone service, wide open spaces, towering trees and a few things you probably wouldn’t expect to find nestled in the foothills of the Carolina mountains: horses and honkytonks.

Arwen
Miss Arwen

Love Valley was founded in 1954 by a man named Andy Barker. Truly a labor of love, Andy’s vision for Love Valley was a utopia for horse lovers and seekers of something you just can’t find among towering city skylines. You won’t find a very large human population, however you’ll find plenty of horses and cattle and a certain kind of southern charm I’d dare say is unique specifically to the town itself. You see, in Love Valley if you want to take trip downtown, you’d better be on foot or on horseback as it’s illegal to drive a car downtown unless it’s for deliveries.

Gandalf and Arwen
Gandalf and his mom enjoying some pasture time.

Love Valley was founded in 1954 by a man named Andy Barker. Truly a labor of love, Andy’s vision for Love Valley was a utopia for horse lovers and seekers of something you just can’t find among towering city skylines. You won’t find a very large human population, however you’ll find plenty of horses and cattle and a certain kind of southern charm I’d dare say is unique specifically to the town itself. You see, in Love Valley if you want to take trip downtown, you’d better be on foot or on horseback as it’s illegal to drive a car downtown unless it’s for deliveries.

Love Valley boasts miles of riding trails challenging to even the most seasoned equestrians. The areas downtown feature old timey, western buildings with hitching rails ready and waiting for horses to take a rest so you can run into the Silver Spur Saloon to catch a drink and some chow. The weekends regularly feature live bands and plenty of honkytonkin’, so no excuses about not takin’ your ladies out dancing fellas. And if you haven’t quite figured out how to gracefully two-step, there’s plenty of folks willing to give a quick lesson.

This place is full of amazing people. Warm, welcoming and distinctly equine, Love Valley is a mecca for horse lovers, nature lovers, peace seekers and those just who enjoy a good Honky Tonk on a Saturday night. That said, there is no shortage of beauty and cowboy charm here.

My mother and stepfather are year long residents here. Our family has mini-ponies among many other rescue horses and the latest of my mother’s new critters were two pregnant miniature mares. One of them, Arwen had her baby, a sweet boy we’ve named Gandalf (can you tell we’re Lord of the Rings fans yet?). He’s rambunctious and so full of life and wonder. He is currently obsessed with back scratches and playtime. He’s very fast, but isn’t the least bit weary of some snuggle time if you catch him after he’s worn himself out in pasture time.

My mother is one of many big-hearted folk, you’ll find around The Valley. It’s not uncommon to come across lots of folks who participate in horse and animal rescue operations. Love Valley plays host to several regular community events as well. I know of few places with such a dedication to community and neighborhood. Yearly chili cook-offs, regular concerts aimed at raising funds for the benefit of this small town only add to the charm Love Valley as a community is big on events geared at bringing business, progress and good works to the town and the surround areas.

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The Silver Spur (Love Valley, North Carolina)

This is part of the downtown area of Love Valley and the Silver Spur. Past the Silver Spur is the trail head. Be sure and stop by for some of their fine home cooking. You won’t find tastier food anywhere within 50 miles, that I can promise you. 😉

For more information about the lovely town of Love Valley, North Carolina please visit www.townoflovevalley.com or the Love Valley Facebook page. There are various places to camp if you’d like to visit as well as lodging at Miss Kitty’s for those not so into glamping. 🙂

xoxo,

Samantha

 

 

 

 

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