In this podcast series, the first from Our State magazine, we travel to the state’s most remote spots: from the mountains to the ocean, deep into forests, high above the Piedmont, on to islands, and into swamps, to see what you find in hard-to-find places.

You can subscribe and listen on iTunes, Google Play, Overcast, and Stitcher.

Season 3, Episode 6: Searching For Squatch In All The Wrong Places

(Listen on Apple Podcasts) A New Yorker named Stephen Barcelo moved to a small town in northeastern North Carolina. Then he started seeing ghosts. Then bigfoot showed up. In this episode, we visit Littleton, go on a search for a hard-to-find creature, and find out what it really means to believe.

Season 3, Episode 5: The Concert on Powder Horn Mountain

(Listen on Apple Podcasts) Curtis Johnson fell in love with music while growing up in Wilkesboro, North Carolina. But when he gave up his job as a disc jockey to support his family, he held on to his dream. Now, he puts on small house-style concerts in an out-of-the-way place, and the shows keep everyone […]

Season 3, Episode 4: How To Get To Space

(Listen on Apple Podcasts) Christina Koch was once a kid growing up in Jacksonville, North Carolina. Now, she’s living on the International Space Station. In this episode, we go back to school to find out how she turned her dream of becoming an astronaut into reality.

Season 3, Episode 3: Stop Making Cents

(Listen on Apple Podcasts) A woman from Mooresville became Mecklenburg County’s first black nurse. Then she became a prolific and well-respected artist. Along the way, she got President Franklin D. Roosevelt to sit for her, and the relief sculpture she created looks very similar to the likeness that’s on the dime. Is it hers? Or […]

Season 3, Episode 2: A Rescue In The Linville Gorge

(Listen on Apple Podcasts) On May 7, 2016, a man fell hundreds of feet down a mountainside, and ended up in a treacherous spot in North Carolina’s most rugged place. This is the story of a rescue that took hours and a recovery that took months, one that shows how unforgiving the wilderness can be, […]

Season 3, Episode 1: Symbolism

In 2001, some state lawmakers were engaged in a less-than-sweet debate: Which berry should be named the official berry of North Carolina? We tracked down the teacher and fourth-graders who started it all with a class project and got a lot more than they bargained for. Plus, meet the former state senator who voted against […]

A Preview of Away Message: Season 3

In the new season of Our State magazine’s podcast, host Jeremy Markovich travels across North Carolina in search of the strange, the weird, the unknown, and the forgotten. Highlights include a strange political fight, the effort to find a mythical creature, the story of the woman whose artwork may be in your pocket right now, […]

Season 2 Bonus: Deck Your Halls With Rauch Balls

(Listen on Apple Podcasts) In this special holiday episode, host Jeremy Markovich meets the man from Gastonia who became the world’s largest manufacturer of Christmas ornaments, and used his power to make North Carolina more tolerant of all religions.

Season 2, Episode 9: Florence

(Listen on Apple Podcasts) One month after Hurricane Florence made landfall in North Carolina, we bring you three stories of strength, resilience, and perseverance in the face of the storm. 

Season 2, Episode 8: 32 Miles Off The Coast

(Listen on Apple Podcasts) In the finale of Season 2, host Jeremy Markovich takes a trip to a remote place he’s been trying to visit for years: Frying Pan Tower, a decommissioned Coast Guard light station that sits far out in the Atlantic Ocean.

Season 2, Episode 7: Stealing Bill

(Listen on Apple Podcasts) North Carolina’s priceless copy of the Bill of Rights is hidden away in a secure underground vault, and for good reason: It was once stolen, hidden away for more than 100 years, then recovered in a spectacular FBI raid. In this extended episode, host Jeremy Markovich gets the inside story of […]

Season 2, Episode 6: The Round Of Golf That Changed A City

(Listen on Apple Podcasts) In 1955, a dentist and five of his friends played a round of golf. They were black. The course was white-only. What happened next changed the course of one man’s life, and in turn, helped integrate an entire town.

Season 2, Episode 5: The Nuke They Left Behind

(Listen on Apple Podcasts) In 1961, a U.S. Air Force bomber crashed near Goldsboro, North Carolina, and the two thermonuclear bombs on board fell to the ground. Host Jeremy Markovich talks with the man who was sent to make sure those bombs didn’t explode, and finds out why the Air Force left a crucial part […]

Season 2 Bonus: The Bridge To Nowhere

In this bonus episode, host Jeremy Markovich visits a majestic bridge that, for years, was never connected to any road, and finds out why its construction almost led to riots. Read more about the bridge in this paper from Dr. Barak Richman.

Season 2, Episode 4: How To Get Away With Murder (In 1892)

What would happen if you stood in one state, then shot and killed someone in another? That scenario actually took place along the Tennessee-North Carolina border more than 100 years ago, and the murderer got away with it. But what’s the real story? Host Jeremy Markovich spent months criss-crossing North Carolina to find answers that […]

Season 2, Episode 3: The Riches Underneath Charlotte

In this supersized episode, host Jeremy Markovich goes looking for Charlotte’s original gold mines, and then gets inside a vault that’s full of billions of dollars to understand how North Carolina’s biggest city ended up being the place where the state stores its money.

Season 2, Episode 2: The Unsinkable Floating Homes of Fontana

On Fontana Lake, in far western North Carolina, sit hundreds of floating cabins, meant for fishing and weekend getaways. But when the homes were threatened with removal, the owners banded together and took their fight to Washington, DC, where they found themselves in the middle of a debate over what private citizens can do on […]

Season 2, Episode 1: The Dream Returns

Dr. Martin Luther King once gave a speech in Rocky Mount, North Carolina that energized the city and changed the lives of the people in attendance. Now, after more than 50 years, a forgotten recording of that speech has resurfaced, and the discovery is providing new insight into how one of the most important men […]

A Preview of Away Message: Season 2

In the next season of Away Message, we’re heading out on a scavenger hunt of sorts. We’re looking for hard to find places, lost artifacts, secrets, missing people, and forgotten stories. New episodes begin April 3, 2018.

Bonus: The Voyager Who Didn’t Call Back

In this bonus episode, host Jeremy Markovich finally hears back from a guy who never returned his call, and gets the greatest excuse he’s ever heard. Plus, we find out what the future holds for this podcast.

Episode 8: Short Trip, Long Walk

In the final episode of the season, host Jeremy Markovich tries to figure out whether his own home is a remote place by walking 14 miles from his house to his office. Along the way, he discovers the people and places that are overlooked from his car.

Episode 7: Blurred Lines

In this episode, host Jeremy Markovich visits the small brass disc at the western edge of the state that’s become a strange tourist attraction, and finds out how remote terrain caused all sorts of problems for the people who drew North Carolina’s borders.

Episode 6: Remote or Knott

Host Jeremy Markovich travels to Knotts Island, North Carolina — a unique place with colorful characters — where nobody can seem to agree about whether it’s a remote place, or not.

Episode 5.5: Total Eclipse of the Tar

In this bonus episode, we talk about what we’re left with after a brief, maybe once-in-a-lifetime event in North Carolina: A total solar eclipse. Plus, we gathered up the best reactions to the event.

Episode 5: What Once Was Lost

A trip to a cemetery that’s only reachable by boat reveals a story about progress, a national park, promises made, and promises broken. Along the way, we meet the woman who kept hope alive, and kept a sacred spot from being forgotten.