JULY 2, 2012
The Lodge at Primland
B I later learn that the hue comes from
a heat-sensitive organic compound called
isoprene that is released into the atmosphere
from the leaves of trees. And hardwoods grow
prolifically on the sides of the hills that rise
and fall all around me. Mostly old-growth
hickorys and oaks.
It is quiet this sunny spring morning, and I
am first off the first tee of the track English-
man Donald Steel routed across a vast plateau on top of a 2,800-foot mountain. A pair
of whitetail deer scoots along the edge of the
leafy woods to my right, and a quartet of wild
turkeys strut through a swathe of field grass
on the left. I hear ring-necked pheasants call
to each other in the oaks, and I wonder about
the bobcats and black bears that are known to
prowl the 12,000 acres that make up this resort. I haven’t seen any of those animals yet,
even during an afternoon-long trout-fishing
expedition the day before along the Dan River,
which snakes its way through a narrow valley
that is flanked by steep, forested hills. And
I think I’d like to, as I tee up a golf ball. But
then again, maybe not.
My fishing guide told me tales of this land
as we tempted browns and brookies during
yesterday’s outing with a variety of dry flies
– without a lot of luck. A number of Indian
tribes visited, claimed or lived on this terri-
tory centuries ago. Primarily the Cherokee,
but also the Iroquois, Monacan and Sapony
people. Its rich soil yielded healthy crops for
the first Europeans who settled in the area in
the mid-1700s. Mostly corn and cabbage, po-
tatoes and buckwheat. It proved to be prime
grazing land for livestock, too.
w The Lodge at Primland is 72,000 square feet and features
26 guestrooms and suites as well as three so-called fairway cottages along the 10th and 18th holes. In addition,
the resort offers 11 mountain homes for guests.
w In addition to stargazing from its observatory, Primland boasts numerous other activities. There is a spa
at which guests can enjoy massages, skin care treatments, facials, manicures and pedicures; and special
golf therapies. It also has a yoga and Pilates studio as
well as a pool. Sports is also a significant part of the
scene, whether hunting for deer, turkey and pheasant
or fishing for wild trout along a six-mile stretch of the
Dan River. Hiking and tree climbing are available, as
well as sporting clays shooting.
w Last summer, the resort opened its Golden Eagle tree
house for visitors, a one-bedroom structure of red cedar
built in a sturdy oak near the fourth green and overlooking the gorge, whose bottom is some 2,000 feet below.
w The closest airports for commercial flights are
Greensboro, N.C., and Roanoke, Va., both roughly 90
minutes away by car. For those who prefer to fly privately, there is a helipad by the north gate of Primland
and airports at Martinsville, Va. (45 minutes away) and
Mt. Airy, N.C. ( 35 minutes). J.S.