Saturday, August 11, 2012

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

  High on Beech Mountain, NC sits an unexpected surprise - the land of OZ! This amusement park is an all-but-abandoned place, as inaccessible and remote as the fairy-tale land itself. One weekend every year, though, the magic returns to the mountain! I'm eternally grateful I got to visit this place in the height of my love of all things Oz in the 70s. Rhonda and I went together as part of a Modern Woodman field trip. 

Dorothy led you along the yellow brick road, and you met every familiar character along the way. 
 At the end of the yellow brick road, there was a stage show and balloon rides and everything!
All that's left of the balloons today.

 A very good friend of mine and I returned just a few years ago on the October weekend the park is open, and we had every bit as much fun on our "return to Oz!"

Return to Oz
Entering Dorothy's house.
Through the cyclone!
Is that Dorothy and Glinda I spy through the trees?

Welcome to Munchkinland!
If I only had a heart.
Put 'em up! Put 'em up!
Beware the Winkies!
Waylaid by the witch at her castle in the Haunted Forest!

Poppies will put them to sleep!
The gates of Oz!
 Farewell to Oz...

For those who love L. Frank Baum's timeless story, I discovered this weekend that there were fourteen Oz books written in all, plus one book of Oz fairy-tales. L. Frank Baum even dubbed himself "Royal Historian" of Oz. Books of Wonder has all the books available for the first time in about 90 years - there is even a wonderful recreation of the 1st edition of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Not surprisingly, they're on back order...and I think it's great.


  1. What a delightful place! I wish it had more press in the days of its glory so more people would have known about it. But, it's so great that they still open for one weekend in October, at least. What an amazing place for "little Kenna" to go, as much as you loved The Wizard of Oz...and well, bigger Kenna, too. Heck, for anyone who loves the books. Great post!

  2. What magic!! I wish i could have visited there but I never knew about it. Darn. I am so happy you have been there... twice... how exciting.

  3. The scarecrow loved us. Remember? "Hay!"

  4. I am glad to see someone who is and OZ fan. I would love to take a tour on that OZ world on the mountain. And who knew there's somuch else besides that famous old film?

  5. I want to go back there so badly! I live in NC and I got to go there when I was growing up, when the park was still regularly open. My kids are finally old enough to get something out of it, so maybe we can go next year! Thanks for sharing your photos!