Bill Leslie: Mountain Time

May 17, 2019 GMT

I’ve been living on Mountain Time lately and, for the most part, I really like it. Cindy and I bought a cottage in the mountains of North Carolina more than 20 years ago. We’re really just getting to enjoy it thoroughly now that we’re both retired.

Our place is in Alleghany County one mile off the Blue Ridge Parkway and ten miles south of the Virginia line. It is almost always 10 to 15 degrees cooler up there. That’s a blessing in the summer. It can be a curse in the winter. Alleghany is known for its wild winds and powerful ice and snow storms.

The pace of living defines Mountain Time. It’s extremely relaxed. No one seems to be in much of a hurry, whether it’s buying groceries, talking about the weather or rolling down a back road near Sparta.


Mountain Timers greet you on the road by raising their right index finger off the steering wheel of their pick-up truck. No need to exert any more energy than that! You know you’ve been accepted when this form of communication becomes second nature.

I love quiet moments on our porch drinking coffee and listening to the birds. The indigo buntings are the singing sensations of the morning. The whippoorwills are the rock stars after dark.

Mountain Time is good for song writing. Some of my best tunes have been penned on my Glade Valley porch. My new Storyteller album coming out later this year will feature tunes I wrote in the mountains two winters ago.

My only complaint about Mountain Time is that it can be difficult finding people to help you fix things. A neighbor told me that most mountain people “work to live” while folks in the Triangle “live to work.”

I don’t know if that’s completely true, but we have struggled to complete repair, painting and landscaping projects in the mountains.

We do have a very reliable plumber and a wonderful pest control person. We are extremely thankful for them. We are also thankful for delightful neighbors.

I’ve started keeping a Mountain Time log. I will have more stories throughout the year. Right now, Rufus needs a walk, and I need some fresh mountain air in my lungs. Talk with you soon.