Streetwise: Don and Connor Horton

From left, Don and Connor Horton love to visit Blowing Rock for the hiking and fishing — and eating at their favorite restaurants.

BLOWING ROCK — You just never know who you will meet on the sidewalks of Blowing Rock’s Main Street.

Mathematicians looking for a fishing buddy need not look any further than Creedmoor middle schooler Connor Horton. He and his grandfather, a retired police officer from Durham, were visiting Blowing Rock this week, staying in a cousin’s condominium at Chetola Mountain Resort. Asked what they liked to do when visiting Blowing Rock, the enthusiastic duo said almost in unison, “Fishing, hiking, and eating in the restaurants here.”

Now in seventh grade having to pursue his education online, remotely, the G.C. Hawley Middle School (Creedmore, in Granville County, some 20 miles northeast of Durham) student said that he likes to catch all kinds of fish. When asked whether he had caught any sharks in his favorite fishin’ holes around Blowing Rock, he got this “Are you crazy?” look on his face before laughing, “No.”

Whether speckled, rainbow or brown, if they are called “trout,” consider Connor Horton all in.

When not fishing in the High Country, Connor plays soccer. In school, he revealed that his favorite academic subject is “math.” Asked why math? He quickly replied, “Because it’s easy and I am really good at it.”

That, of course, elicited an exclamatory response from a reporter, “Well, it might be easy for you!” — bringing chuckles from his grandfather, Don, as well as from some sidewalk bystanders grown curious.

Don Horton grew up in the Durham area, got his education in Durham, including law enforcement training, and stayed in Durham as a law enforcement professional for many years. He said he and the family loved coming to Blowing Rock as one of their most favorite places to visit.

“Blowing Rock is so beautiful,” said Don as Connor was nodding in agreement. “This is our go-to spot. We hike. We fish. We get up here four or five times a year.”

Again, almost in unison, the younger-older duo reported that they loved to go to the different restaurants in Blowing Rock. Their favorites are Town Tavern, Sixpence and Sunny Rock.

Connor’s eyes lit up when told that the Blowing Rock Trout Derby is held each opening weekend of fishing season, so they might be making a special trip up to town come April.

Don Horton said that he has regularly been coming to Blowing Rock the last 8-10 years.

“It doesn’t seem to change much,” he said, “and that is probably why I like it. The hiking and fishing are great. The restaurants are great. And the people all seem so friendly.”

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