2010 USA Tour : March 16th, Bryson City NC

KitumahLay in, repairs and then to lunch

This is one of the few resting times of our tour so we both took advantage of a little lay in though I was up early to handle essential correspondence and catch up blogging.

The RV plumbing repair man appeared, to discover a hidden valve we needed to open to make the system work, that we were not shown. All is well in the RV now.

Its a cool misty morning with a forecast or warmer sun to come later this afternoon.

After a bit more writing and organising, its off to Maggie Valley town for lunch before heading to Bryson City for tonight’s show. We were hoping to dine at “Country Vittles” a restaurant that we were curious about last year, but was closed. This time we discover it closes on Tuesdays, today!

The only place open for lunch in the whole town was Subway.

We then received a phone call from friend Ymani Simmons, who could not find our gig yesterday, and was in Maggie Valley. She asked if we would join her for lunch, so a shared lunch at Subway it was. A wonderful interesting conversation time we had.


Kitumah Sign

After lunch we were treated to a very warm summary sunny afternoon, and one of my goals of this tour was some sacred time at Kituwah. This turned out to be a perfect experience.

It was easy to park in a quiet place then gently walk toward this sacred mound, the mother source of the Cherokee people, sort of an equivalent of Ireland’s Tara Hill. I sat there awhile surrounded by the abundance of wild spring flowers and wild sage.

Around the site crows squawked and their voices echoed to sound like the calls of the Cherokee. Again, revelation of how we are so inspired by birds for ritual and ceremony.

I moved from there for some quiet time at the nearby riverbank, returning for another quiet moment beside the mound, before we moved onto Bryson City

Bryson City, Smoky Mountains Theatre

It was so wonderful to be back at this venue, and the audience reminded us why. Local Celtic group Bean Sidhe opened with a very tight set of tunes and songs instrumented with a range of instruments including a beautiful sounding harp built by local pastor and host, David Russell.

The curtain closed briefly before re-opening for the presence of Claire and an instant cheer of wolf whistles, yeehaw and general excitement before she said a word or played a note. I’ve never seen such a rousing welcome for Claire anywhere. For a moment I thought Madonna or Shania Twain had stepped on stage. Claire immediately responded to this to provide one of the best opening sets I have ever heard her perform. I also found myself presenting my Harry McCrory story with more gusto and more jokes.

The overall concert was stunning and it was wonderful to meet friends after. It was wonderful to meet poet, storyteller, farmer, and environmentalist, Lamar Davis and his beautiful daughter Claire.

After the show some of us congregated at a local Italian restaurant. Normally i am not a huge fan of Italian food, but the food here was stunning. I had a very generous seafood and pasta dish.

When we returned to our camping pitch at Maggie Valley, we were satisfied from having a most wonderful day


  1. Really enjoying the tour blogs, thankyou. Are you taking pics of the concerts and people, would love to see more. There's surely a book in this.

  2. Dear Claire and John,
    Was such a treat to spend time with you at dinner and the concert was brilliant. Hope the rest of your travels are well met. Blessings, Kathy


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