Me: Officer, where do we go for the Land of Oz park?
Officer: You don’t. All the tickets are sold out.
Me: Oh … are you sure?
Officer: Yes, but y’all can come back tomorrow.
Me and Courtney: uuuuuuuuuhhhhhhhmmmmmmmmm
On Saturday, after gorging ourselves on fair food, Courtney and I rolled ourselves out the door and headed to western North Carolina for our best road trip yet. Our destination was Beech Mountain, NC to see what is probably North Carolina’s biggest secret: the dilapidated Land of Oz theme park. But we almost didn’t make it…
We got sidetracked in Boone, home of Appalachian State and so many glorious hippie stores and vegetarian restaurants. Not to mention a delightful store [insert sarcasm] where you can dress up as Rhett and Scarlett from Gone with the Wind and take old-fashioned photos, or read books about how the South was right about the Civil War. We spent way too much time exploring King Street and purchasing necessary items like fake glasses, decorative plates and vegan sandwiches.
We also stopped at the Mast General Store in Valle Crucis. We spent so much time exploring that we almost missed the festival!
My phone gave us the most backwards directions to the park. We drove on windy gravel roads up a mountain and got so lost. We drove up this mountain for about an hour, trying to find the roads we needed to be on. We finally found an actual person to give us directions, and learned that we had in fact gone the worst possible way – but that we were close to the destination! FINALLY we made it to the top of Beech Mountain and stopped to ask a police officer for directions – when we learned that all the tickets were sold out AND the festival apparently ended at 5 (it was 5:30 by the time we made it).
Plan B: there were shuttle buses from a parking lot to the festival. I decided to see if we could convince a bus driver to let us ride up to the park so we could at least see what it looked like (and then we’d try to sneak in or sweet talk someone). I’ve recently discovered that if you’re honest and just ask people for exactly what you want, they’re likely going to give it to you. “Excuse me sir, but we’ve driven 3 hours to get here and found out that all the tickets are sold out. Is there any way we can ride up with you so we can just see what it looks like?” “Well sure you can, come on on! And I’ll drop you off early so you can try to sneak in.” My kind of bus driver!
After sneaking in, these are some of the glorious sights we encountered at the top:
And then we began the journey to Oz. First up: Dorothy’s house:
All of a sudden, we were in the midst of a tornado!
We barely made it out alive. When we hit ground again, the house looked like this:
Imagine our horror when we realized the house had landed on a woman (who was wearing very snazzy shoes)
Through the woods, we saw what looked like a path
And began jumping for joy at seeing a real live yellow brick road
We wandered along until we found this colorful place called Munchkin Land
Saw where the Tin Man and Cowardly Lion live
Avoided dangerous paths and dodged apple-throwing trees
Woke up in a field of poppies
And finally, after a long and tiring journey, we made it to the Emerald City and met the Wizard
It’s hard to believe that a place this wonderful actually exists. I guess there really is no place like home…
Ok, that was a cheesy ending 🙂 Basically, if you live in North Carolina, you’ve got to check out the Land of Oz for yourself!