About Early Blue Motel

Our Values


Foster Presence and Stillness

The world can be overwhelming. We seek to provide space for guests to reconnect with what is important in life.


The Golden Rule

Treat others as you wish to be treated. For us, this applies to our guests, staff, vendors, our Saluda community, and planet Earth. We’re all in this together.


Help People Get Outside!

There is something special that occurs when we step into the forest. We want to be a hub for outdoor enthusiasts of all types.



We choose to celebrate similarities over differences by welcoming guests of any nationality, race, religion, gender identity, and romantic orientation.


Mitigate Our Footprint

Little by little and one step at a time, we strive to reduce our property’s environmental impact.. Stay tuned for exciting updates on this front…



As dog lovers, we understand that bringing the whole family completes the vacation. We hope your pup enjoys Western North Carolina as much as you do!

Our Story

There is a Native American proverb:

“We do not inherit the Earth from parents… we borrow it from our children.”

With this spirit in mind, we (Nathan Silsbee and Chris Gragtmans) acquired Early Blue Motel in July, 2021. As lifelong friends, entrepreneurs, and avid kayakers in the Green River Gorge, Saluda and the community that surrounds it has always held a special place in our hearts. We truly believe the area to be a hidden gem... Western North Carolina’s best-kept secret.

Because this river and these mountains have had such a profound impact on our lives, we believe deeply in being thoughtful stewards of our little mountaintop. We want this to be a place where lifelong memories are created… whether it be zipping through the trees at 40 miles per hour, fall leaves crunching underfoot on a quiet hike with the puppy, forging that most sacred commitment to your partner before a stunning vista, or unwinding from the day’s adventures beside the fire with a hot chocolate. And as a hub and catalyst for these adventures, we acknowledge that we are nothing without our fantastic staff, vendors, neighbors, and community. We owe integrity, honesty, and an excellent experience to them just like we do to our guests.

So thank you for considering a visit to Early Blue Motel. We hope our passion is contagious, and that you will continue to return in years to come as our motel and your experience continues to improve. Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions, and we look forward to seeing you soon at the motel or (better yet) on the river!

Outside view at the lodge