From Mark’s VW shop in VA, we headed to North Carolina. Our destination was Camp Jomeokee near Mt. Pilot (or Titty Mountain as some called it). First we stopped by Floyd, yet another hippie mountain town that was on our way. Cool place – and some folks there insisted we stick around for the Friday night jam – but we were anxious to meet up with the Full Moon Bus Club.
We did have to make one other stop – Mayberry. The hometown to Andy Griffith is actually called Mt. Airy, NC and it was the basis for TV’s Mayberry. Now since driving through this town 4 days ago, I have actually seen The Andy Griffith Show on TV 4 times. We don’t have a TV, and we’ve been camping, but it has just been appearing randomly when we do see a TV ever since our visit. Weird. Anyway, the soda shop, Floyd’s barber shop, Wally’s garage and the police station–check! We opted out of the Andy Griffith Museum and headed to the campsite.
We rolled in just as it was getting dark, and found about 15 buses. By morning there were 25. By afternoon, there were about 40. Bode’s first rule of business–find the dogs and the kids, so off he went looking. We didn’t see him again until Sunday morning… it was that kind of campout. Okay, not really, but it was kind of like that. First, he met Ben, a precocious 8 year-old and Bode’s new best friend for the weekend. A few hours later there was Austin (Bode wants to clarify that this is a different Austin than his friend from California). Austin, 7, and his dad brought all the cool toys.
By Saturday, we had 6 kids in the pop-top fort above the van… a new record. They seemed to appreciate Jason’s custom platform, and if Bode wasn’t already convinced, he now thinks our bus is pretty cool. At one point, there must have been 15 kids running around Austin’s campsite. It was a little like Lord of the Flies and I can’t say enough good things about Shaun who was able to oversee the mayhem. Despite the raucous playing, all the kids were really great and took care of each other extremely well.
Ben’s mom, Nikki made these awesome Camper necklaces. Check them out if you know anyone that loves her some Vee dubs!
Calling this weekend a campout is really an understatement. It’s a party. A good one. We pulled in knowing nobody and left feeling like we were part of a family and made some great friends. We’ve told everyone so far that our favorite part of the trip has been meeting so many great people, and this weekend was no exception.
Now, let’s talk about moonshine. We’ve all seen the Dukes of Hazzard and we knew we were getting pretty close to moonshine country, if such a place exists. It does.
I’ve never even seen moonshine before this weekend, but I learned quite a bit about it. According to these folks, plain moonshine tastes like kerosene, and ‘makes your insides feel like they’re on fire.’ Nobody drinks it that way anymore, so now you infuse moonshine with fruit (peach, cherry, etc) or flavor it like apple pie. Where do you get moonshine? No one claimed to have made it, but everyone knew someone that made it or could get it. The Fairy Dust Girls even had a neighbor that would leave it on their porch! By the way, these tasted nothing like kerosene. In fact, the peach moonshine tasted like peach iced tea. Dangerous stuff. Cherry moonshine was pretty good, and the cherries were like little booze bombs bobbing in the bottom. Strawberry… it was fine, but the discoloration of the fruit after sitting in the mason jat made it’s appearance a little off-putting. That’s the other thing – moonshine is served communally from a mason jar. Just like you think it should be. Awesome!
If we could buy this stuff in the store, we’d buy it. It was good! Really! We have friends who make beer, and friends who make wine… but we implore you guys to make some MOONSHINE!
The Fairy Dust Girls had the really cool blue bus with a sparkly paint job – we should have done this. We met Hot Dog, Beetle, Outhouse Mouse, Kooky Math Teacher – everyone had a nickname. Great people and colorful folks. Damn, we’ve missed The South.
Saturday evening was the traditional Thanksgiving Misgivings meal. Deep fried turkey, people! It was the best! The kids had a picnic in the meadow and we stuffed ourselves with delicious food. The “almost world famous dutch oven bread pudding with whiskey sauce” was served as one of the deserts and was talked about by everyone.
Later, the kids decided to try to sell rocks. Bode came back with 4 quarters.
In a large group there are always interesting conversations going on. We walked up on the infamous “Animals I’ve Eaten” conversation (squirrel, turtle, various rodentia, etc.)
But my personal favorite story of the weekend (oh, there were so many)… The story began as he hitched around the U.S. for a number of years. He warned us that all the perverts live in Florida (apparently, you learn this when you hitchhike.) One couple that picked him up said that they had met each other when she picked him up hitchhiking, and they told him that love would find him soon. Six months later, he was selling lemonade for a carnival. Three days into a new town, he met his now wife. She owned her house and a Harley Davidson outright, and he remembered what the couple had told him. 18 days after they met they were married. He took her on the road with him for a month and they lived in a tent until they decided that living in their own home (and having a Harley) was a better life-plan. Now they home-school their 5 kids. These kids were so nice and smart, and the family were just all-around good folk. This guy was a real story-teller and had everyone laughing hysterically. We listened closely and heard many real words of wisdom – the kind you can only learn by living life on your own terms.
All around good times were had. Bode didn’t want to leave and I don’t blame him. He ran all over the place with great kids for 2 days straight. We had a blast, and this was probably the most fun we’ve ever had camping. I hope we can make it to another Full Moon campout some day!