Visited October 2 – 9, 2016
From Maggie Valley, we drove through the scenic Nantahala National Forest to Murphy where we were visiting park service friends, John and Jan, who moved there several years ago. They recommended a great little campground not far from them, Creekside RV Park, and now we highly recommend it, too. It’s quiet with full hook ups and sits at the base of a beautiful and hilly neighborhood that was perfect for our morning walks!
Our week in Murphy was highlighted by a reunion with several other park friends who drove up from Florida. One friend couldn’t come as he was leading the efforts in Florida’s parks to respond to the damage dealt by Hurricane Matthew. The storm ravaged the US east coast, including North Carolina, but we were thankful to be literally high and dry in western NC.
Tom and John were outnumbered six to two, so we women sent them off to the RV while we enjoyed John and Jan’s lovely home tucked on a mountainside with enviable and colorful mountain views. What a great time we all had, together and separately! Jan is a true hostess with the mostest and a fantastic cook so we really enjoyed our time together around her meals, with some great adult beverages as well! She also suggested lots of sightseeing options for the couple days that we would go out and about. We chose wine tasting at nearby Nottely Vineyards and a visit to Mercier Orchards just across the Georgia border in Blue Ridge.
At Nottely, we had the wine tasting counter (and the owner) all to ourselves so I think we got bonus service. We must have tasted almost 10 varieties and learned a lot! We loved the story behind their War Woman Red—named for a local Cherokee who was married to a chief in 1755. The story goes that her husband was killed in battle and she picked up his weapon and led the Cherokee charge, gaining her the name “War Woman”. Later in life, she was known as “Beloved Woman” for her leadership and wisdom. By the end of the tasting (and buying!), we had named our little circle of six the War Women and I think it will stick!
Mercier Orchards is a must-go and go again place! It’s a vast farm operation with u-pick orchards, a bakery & deli, market store, gift shop, and winery. We were there on the first day of picking season and the place was teeming with eager pickers, so we bypassed picking and spent our time in the market and gift shop sampling apples and cider and buying bags full of goodies.
We got to see a lot of the countryside and towns on the drives to and from the winery and the orchards, and we added stops at a flea market and local shops and restaurants, too. But I think we might all agree that the best part was the non-stop conversations and laughs along the way. 🙂 The guys were doing the same, tooling around the countryside in John’s Jeep, making their own stops for food and libations and of course, pictures!
On our last night, Tom and John came “home” and grilled a feast for us, with lots of sides and sweets provided by Jan. Tom and John’s former park boss and wife, Torrey and Sue, were in town from Pennsylvania and were able to join us for the evening. We had tentatively arranged this a month earlier when we spent time with them in PA, and it was so great that it worked out and we could all be together again. A grand time was had by all in Murphy, NC!