2010 USA Tour : March 15th, Max Patch Road NC
Getting away from Bristol
As this was one of our shorter driving days Claire decided to have a lay in to catch up some rest and I caught up on laundry as at least this overnight RV site had good laundry facilities.
I was then approached by the manager of the RV park, a saddening moment. The manager was a very frail elderly lady who could barely walk. I did not know she was the manager until I saw her fall down, helped to pick her up, and before a thank you she asked me for my overnight rent. Actually, I did not get a thank you but a request to help her collect the other rents. Apparently her brother, who lives far away, owns the RV plot and employs her to manage it and collect the money. How and why he could not provide her with an electric mobile chair was a mystery. The frail lady also asked me to help her home and on the way explained all the metal parts installed around her body. Poor thing, her knuckles were bleeding and she was awfully bruised.
Into The NC mountains
The sat-nav (gps) was leading us to Maggie Valley, where we were to camp, through the I40 which we knew was blocked due to rock landslide. I knew our alternative was to return by I26 through Asheville. We put on a delightful CD of Sandra Parker, our singer harper host in Abingdon, and it sounded so wonderful. We were carried away and drive right past the I26 junction.
I punched in the GPS alternative detour which took us through Greenville then deep into the NC mountains through gentle country roads until we reached the Pride RV resort in Maggie Valley, an hour later than intended, but wonderfully into blue sky and warm sun.
To Tayria’s Cabin on Max Patch Road
After an hour’s settling in, including a discovery that our RV toilet was not functioning properly, it was time to travel to our evening venue, after booking an appointment with the RV plumbing repair man.
Tayria phoned us to warn us of the treachery of the journey ahead, which was hard to imagine under the warm sun blue sky conditions we were setting off from. Sure enough when the tarmac of Max Patch Road ran out and continued as gravel and mud the sun was gone and heavy cloud upon us. As we climbed more we were in the cloud as mist and the road was muddy, slippery and narrow hugging on the side of the mountain and we were hugging the RV to this. Settled snow appeared on the sides of this un-surfaced road, and then the snow was the road! Strangely, the only problem we had was getting up Tayria’s driveway. That took a few sliding attempts.
And again it was the best Craic ever !!
If there was anything to warm us, at was the determinations of around 30 people on the snowy mountain and climbing the mountain that arrived to share an evening with us. The community, support and love of this peak point of the Appalachians is so hard to describe. I feel this is truly home from home.
Tayria is also an incredible host in so, so many ways, from the way she arranges her cozy cabin for a gathering, the food, the company, the whole thing is magic at its best.
Claire performed beautifully encouraged by the good company. The folks seem to enjoy our Ogma’s Tale Of The Trees, seeing as many of these folks are forest people.
Highlight was Claire performing “Essence” on piano that several people there could relate to. Its the first time I have seen Claire perform Essence and have it on video for YouTube upload sometime.
The evening finished with a treat from local musicians giving us a session of wonderful Appalachian songs and music. The voices and harmonies for this take you to another place.
Back down the mountain
At the end of the show its was snowing again, and we had the daunting drive back down the mountain through the snow, slush and slippery mud, but with care we made it back to the bottom safely, and then quickly return to the Pride RV camp in Maggie Valley for a stunningly good sleep.