An Unexpected Sighting In North Carolina - Scott Livengood

Indelible Memory: An Unexpected Sighting In North Carolina

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The morning was chilly as we drove at a leisurely pace along the deserted Blue Ridge Parkway to Waynesville, a charming town at the foot of the Great Smoky Mountains in North Carolina. With cloudlike mist curling out of the range’s deep valleys, we felt far removed from the troubles of the world. We pulled over at a scenic overlook to appreciate the hazy mountains and the bright pink and white seasonal flowers, but the fast-moving fog foiled our attempts at photography.

As we drove off, a black bear emerged unexpectedly out of the mist and sauntered across the road, seemingly unfazed by our presence. Though we had been warned about the unpredictable and aggressive behavior of black bears, we felt no fear as we watched the large animal amble past us on all fours. He looked calm in his element. As he climbed up the hill, he stopped and turned to stare back at us. His black eyes, long snout and rounded ears were easily discernible. We sensed an immediate connection and to the nature surrounding him.

Awestruck by our encounter, we felt grateful to have been granted a glimpse into his world, and as we continued on our way, John Muir’s words came to my mind:

“In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.”

The High Country of North Carolina is a beautiful area to visit year-round. I love the spring, when azaleas, pink laurel and rhododendron trees bloom and grand poplars rise from valley floors. But fall, when the Appalachian Mountains are ablaze in orange, red and yellow foliage, is extraordinary.

The best way to behold the splendor of the landscape is to drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway, a 469-mile route that connects Shenandoah National Park in Virginia to the southern entrance of Great Smoky Mountains National Park in North Carolina. Roll down the car window and enjoy the sweet scent of the fall leaves in all their polychromatic glory.

About Scott Livengood

Scott Livengood is the owner and CEO of Dewey’s Bakery, Inc., a commercial wholesale bakery with a respected national brand of ultra premium cookies and crackers.

Previously, Scott worked at Krispy Kreme Doughnuts for 27 years, starting as a trainee in 1977. He was appointed President of the company in 1992, then CEO and Chairman of the Board.

Scott has served on numerous boards including the Carter Center, the Calloway School of Business and the Babcock School of Management, Habitat for Humanity of Forsyth County, and the Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce.

He started a new business, StoryWork International, in 2016 with Richard Stone. The signature achievement to date is LivingStories, a story-based program for improved patient experiences and outcomes in partnership with Novant Health.