Saturday, November 7, 2015

Rocky Knob Show & Shine June 27, 2015

I think for this section of the blog I'm just going to post pictures......they say a picture is worth a thousand words so I'm going to let the pictures speak for themselves....

Bye Ya'll.........

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Preparations for a Festival.....OK let's take a deep breath

Well with anything new you have a learning curve.....

Once all parties agreed that we were going to have a "Moonshine" festival, preparations started.  Mark Rogers (our local celeb) has his own signature brand of moonshine that is distilled and distributed by "Sugarlands Distilling Co." in Gatlinburg, TN.  After talking with them they were excited to participate in a moonshine festival in the Murphy, NC area and went one step further to supply some "Samplin Moonshine".

Ok so we have a Moonshiner, moonshine and the beginnings of a festival........and the work continues.......

As it turns out, our new friend, neighbor and cousin to Mark Rogers has became a local celebrity as well...... "Huck" as he is known to us and now the Discovery Channel Moonshiners, made several appearances in the last few episodes of last seasons series.  As I watched one of the episodes, I soon realized that there were many familiar faces on the show.....whoa.....this adventure just keeps getting more and more interesting.....

Since my husband was on site at the campground, he was in charge of coordinating the event locally.  This included talking with local artisans, food vendors, and entertainment groups to drum up some additional activities so that this would be an event for families to come for and spend the day.  My husband also knew that we needed a name for this event.  He wanted something that was local to the area but also gave the event something that rolled off your tongue.......He told me later that he was looking at names of mountains on one of the local topographical maps of the areas surrounding Murphy, NC and found one called "Rocky Knob"
Rocky Knob
so the festival had a name....."Rocky Knob Show & Shine".

Now we need advertisements, so my husband, Huck, Mark and Deputy Sheriff Chuck??, oh yeah, another member of the Moonshiners cast.  If memory serves me isn't Deputy Sheriff Chuck trying to capture Mark.....might not works so well at the publicity shoot.

Yep looks like the cuffs are on......

I think my husband was having way too much fun that day considering I had to review quite a few photos before adding to this post.  On board the   pontoon boat is Deputy Sheriff Chuck (in the green shirt), Mark Rogers  (in the camo pants) and our friend and neighbor Huck (in the camo shirt).  I was also told (since I'm not a regular watcher of the series) that the pontoon boat was a part of some of the episodes but one in particular "Shine Overboard".

As for the Florida group we were missing all the excitement being down south.  Our IT expert and partner provided the internet advertisements and developed signs and flyers that were distributed locally at farmers markets, flea markets and the local tourism center.   

While I provided some suggestions I won't take any credit for the preparations because as I stated in an earlier post I was still....... "PACKING AND PURGING" and boy what you find after 28 years of living in one place......I figured I would be more help when I traveled back up to the campground for the festival.

So now we have Moonshiners, moonshine, a name, vendors and entertainment, now we pray for good weather and good times.....

Sunday, October 18, 2015


Well I've heard of the stuff, never really thought about it much......saw something about it on the Discovery Channel a couple of times during an advertisement for a show called "Moonshiners" but again, never really thought much about it......

UNTIL......... the day my husband calls me from the campground, "hey honey, have you ever seen the show "Moonshiners", well yes, kinda, I think?????  So in great detail my husband tells me about the show, the names of some of the "characters" and that there are a few local celebrities in our midst.  Well as it turns out one of our new good friends and neighbor is cousin to one of the guy's on the series.
Mark Rogers
OK that's kind of my husband goes on to tell me that this local celeb stopped by the other night with our new neighbor and they got to talk'in........hmmm starting to feel a little deja vu.   So what does that mean for us I ponder.....

Well we have a campground that just reopened with lots of wide open space, we have local celebrities in the area that enjoy a good "get together" and when you put the two together you have the makings for a festival......and hence was born the "Rocky Knob Show & Shine".

So begins the preparations........


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Our First Season

On March 2, 2015 we opened the campground for the 2015 season and our first season as owners; however driving up to our paradise in the north we soon realized that while winter left the southern regions of Florida in February, it certainly was not going to relinquish its hold on North Carolina any time soon and specifically our campground. 
 This is what greeted us when we pulled into the campground

I've heard of winter campers and thought that this would be an opportunity for those fearless individuals who were looking for the beauty of winter in a more quite and rustic setting.

Some of the fun of winter camping can be introducing your cat to snow for the first time.....
This is the extent of his adventure with the cold stuff later we found him in the bed under the covers (Florida cat)......

During this visit (on my part) we brought along one of our grandson's from Florida for his first adventure in snow.  His cousin had already learned the pro's and con's of winter and was ready to introduce them to his buddy.
Thankfully it was the last snow for the winter and gradually the temperatures began to return to a more tolerable one for the thin skinned Floridians.......but before it left we were treated to some "Winter Art".
Crystallized Foliage

Remnants of a Small Puddle

Ice Show at the Creek

This time I stayed for a week before heading south to warmer climes.  My husband stayed for the long haul to shake off the winter's dust, do some repairs if necessary and prepare to greet the new seasons campers.

Monday, October 12, 2015

The Plan......well maybe just the first step

After the initial cleaning, setup and opening the campground for business it was time for some of the partners to exit stage left and head back to our prospective homes and jobs leaving my husband to manage the campground during the initial soft opening period between mid-August  to November 1, 2014.  As for me besides going back to work this was the beginning of a 1 year packing and purging project to breakdown a home of 28 years, to load up into containers and ship to North Carolina.......
After 40 years of marriage I now understand the trials and tribulations of wives who husbands are shipped abroad or on the road working for months at a time.....I DON'T LIKE IT!!!  We valued each evening when I came home, ate dinner (by myself) and then we would pickup the phone and call each other. 
These were our planning times for the next step in this adventure which would be preparing for the move to North Carolina. They were also times to share our days and events which I think we took for granted when my husband was home.  We had all the opportunity in the world to talk and just sat either watching TV or reading our perspective books......We really didn't have a clue as to when this move would happen, we needed to do a lot of work around the house to get it ready to put on the market and we also needed to find that house that met our needs, one of which was being near the campground.  We also need to find something at a price we could afford since we knew the campground needed sometime to re-establish itself and once I moved up their I would certainly have to look for a new job.
We knew that it would have to be a finely orchestrated process because selling a home will depend on the market at the time you are ready to list it and finding a new home within the same timeframe......the challenge seems to be more daunting the more I thought about it.......
This was also a time that I learned a lot about being self-sufficient.  I don't proclaim that I could do major or even minor home repairs for that matter but I had to learn things such as how to use a riding lawn mower......ok some will say "WHAT!" but it's true I can push a lawn mower from here to kingdom come but the riding lawn mower was a challenge.  My husband initially showed me the basics and then it was my turn to get on and meet the challenge head on.  The one thing that I learned initially was to make my husband go in the house after he showed me what to about a micro manager, I told him that once he leaves I'm going to cut the lawn any way, shape or form that suits me so there was no point in playing traffic cop.....I also took charge of other duties that were previously performed by my husband and so this was life until he closed the campground for the winter and came back home.......

Saturday, October 10, 2015

So What's in a Name

During our soul-searching period we had tossed about names for the campground but decided to keep the original name "Crawford's Campground", it seems to beg us to keep it.
 We were also delighted to learn that the original owner and builder of Crawford's Campground, Steve Crawford lived right next door!! He has since become a very good friend and is a wealth of information regarding the history of the area and the history behind the campground which I hope to include in future posts.   

Both of our families had the opportunity to visit Crawford's Campground in its earlier days when Upper Tellico ORV was the mecca for "Jeeping" and off-road adventures in the Nantahala National Forest.  Today a few trails remain open Davis Creek Road/Tellico ORV Trail #1 for a low speed thrill ride for those who want to experience the off-road adventure without the risks.

So now we have a campground and a name, now we need a plan........


Time to Roll Up the Sleeves

So now it was time to roll up the sleeve and start putting things in order, the campground needed a little (and I mean little) sprucing up.  Lawn care seemed to be the most labor intensive aspect of the campground since it features 11 acres of camping areas with a lawn that we could never in our wildest dreams have grown in Florida.......and it grows all by itself!!!!!  And just when you think you have finished mowing and trimming's time to start all over again.

Not my husband and not the lawn mower we use but the head scratching yeah I'm sure there was and still is a lot of that!!
So we spent a week taking care of minor repairs, setting up our own campers and motorhomes and learning about the new business we just bought and for some of us what would be our new home.
Setting Up Camp

Being in the middle of August we were also learning about the North Carolina summer but for some reason (maybe because I lived in Florida most of my life) it did not seem too hot but we also have air conditioners in our RV's so that was a definite plus. 

I think just about the time the ink was done drying on the contracts we signed, the final touches were in place to officially "Open for Business".  We decided that a soft opening was best for us and potential guests.  As most campers whether primitive tent campers or the RV'ers are painfully aware you have to have that "Shakedown Run" where you learn all about those little bleeps and blunders that can happen to you those first few times you venture out to your relaxing camping trip......and  being new campground owners we felt that same shakedown run would help us understand just how to create that wonderful camping experience for all of our potential campers.  We have a number of combined years of camping experience between the partners and it is our hopes that we can use that to help everyone else experience the rewards of camping whether for a couple of days, a week or longer and to promote the beauty that surrounds our New Adventure.


Friday, October 9, 2015

Best Laid Plans

I think by the time I got home that night my husband and our now "partner in crime" had already been discussing when they were going to go to see the campground first hand.  The impending trip would be soon......very soon.  What could it hurt I thought, the campground had been closed for about two years which meant lots of rebuilding and no matter what the cost up front it would probably be a money pit and they would come home counting their blessing....

Not so much.....what they encountered was a beautiful well loved campground in a valley about 1850 feet in elevation surrounded by unblemished mountain views that boasted spectacular sunrises and sunsets.  I believe the word used numerous times during the short visit was "unbelievable".

After some very intense soul searching and several ups and downs we received notification that we were ready to close on the campground and make it a partnership between two families that shared a love for the great outdoors and wanted to make this little campground shine again as a place to "Enjoy all the beauty of the mountains without camping off the edge of the highway” .

So on August 9, 2014 we traveled in our perspective Motorhomes, Trucks, and Jeeps like a band of gypsies headed north to our "New Adventure"......Oh did I forget to say that one of us had to quit our job and take on the daunting task of running this little gem for a two month period to facilitate a "soft opening"......yeah my husband begrudgingly "NOT" retired from his position of 12 years to make the ultimate sacrifice and the dream happen.....

 Not that I minded too much, because after we arrived for the first time and walked the campground, and walked it again and again and again I began to say the same thing "unbelievable".

Two small creeks meander round the campground with one smaller creek running straight through.........It boasted 34 RV sites and 3 acres of primitive camping for those that like to sleep under the stars, and boy are there stars!!

Bunky 1 Campsite #45
Additionally there are three bunky's....oh my goodness these have to be the  most awesome idea for camping that I have even seen.  They are what we call camping in a cabin, roughing it is not really the idea that comes to mind since they all have air conditioners for the summer and heaters for the winter.  But......besides the bunk beds (one has a queen size bed) there are no facilities in the cabins.....yeah you have to walk to the bathhouse for those private moments.  As my daughter learned rather quickly, no cups of water for the kids before bed because it will require that late night, flashlight guided tour of the campground.
The campground also supports two bathhouses, one is located in the north side of the main office and the other is located between the primitive camping and RV sites.  Each bathhouses support  4 private bathroom facilities that includes a shower, sink and toilet giving campers a more private area for washing off the days grim or the mornings sleep.
Bathhouse #2

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Our New Adventure

Our New Adventure, I decided this would be a good starting post for my blog since this is the first blog I have ever attempted, my first real move (on the other side of town doesn't count) away from family and my first time being an owner.  An owner of what you might say.......

Ok, so picture this, I'm sitting at my computer at work
when a email message comes in from my husband....."Watch the attached video, it's 15 minutes long and then call me".....hmmm

As my husband is painfully aware I don't read long joke emails, and I certainly don't watch video's while I am at work......again hmmm

So I watched the video and slowly realization sets in......"oh no, he's going to buy a campground"

And the adventure begins................