Tasting North Carolina by Shirley Perryman, Piedmont Unit.
On May 31st thirteen eager caravanners led by Marge and Bob Bennett met at Lake Leamon campground near Wallace, NC. The group came with a wide range of travel experience from self-admitted newbies ( Perrymans) to very seasoned campers (everyone else)! In addition to members of the Piedmont Unit we were joined by WBBCI members from Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee, South Carolina and Wilmington, NC which made for plenty of visiting opportunities to get acquainted. We met at nearby Mad Boar Restaurant for our kick-off arrival dinner. The next day we toured and sampled wine at the Duplin Winery in Rose Hill and enjoyed lunch at the quaint Country Squire Winery in the countryside. Members were not deterred by rain the next several days and explored Wilmington and other nearby sights.
The second stop found us at Zooland Campground near Asheboro on June 4th. We enjoyed our arrival barbeque dinner at Henry James BBQ the first night. Bob and Marge kept us very busy on Day 2 as we began our tour with Southern Supreme Fruitcakes complete with ample taste tasting. From there we drove to Crossroads Grill in Bear Creek for another variation of local barbeque. In the afternoon we visited Starrlight Mead in Pittsboro to sample mead or honey wine. Other highlights included a zip line experience, visiting the Asheboro Zoo and the many wonderful potters in the Seagrove area.
June 8th found us gathered at a very nice park, Tom Johnson’s Campground, near Marion, NC in view of the lovely Blue Ridge Mountains above Asheville. We were fortunate to be parked together in a section we had mostly to ourselves. We gathered for dinner at Fatz. The opportunities for sightseeing over the next three days were many. The Folk Art Center, the North Carolina Arboretum, and Mast General Store were popular spots in Asheville. Nearby Black Mountain was a fun little town to explore and sample the fare at several fine restaurants.
Our final stop on June 12th brought us to Holly Ridge Campground near Elkin, NC where we were joined by two more Piedmont members. We dined at nearby Pirates Landing that night. The next day we toured a winery and a brewery that was celebrating its first anniversary with a stop also at the local farmer’s market. Since the fire pit crew (Beckers) joined us at the last stop we enjoyed the traditional evening fireside chats where we also celebrated a decade birthday for one of our members (Debbie Stroud). (Earlier we celebrated a 50th anniversary, Bob and Amy Olson, too!) Local sights included a sneak preview of Mt. Airy (our next rally), a canoe or kayak ride down the Yadkin River among others. Our final barbeque dinner was held in the pavilion at our campground. Bob and Marge had arranged for this special catered BBQ dinner topped off with peach cobbler. After dinner we ‘toasted’ our fantastic leaders, Bob and Marge. Everyone present was glad to have been part of such a special experience since it was their last caravan as leaders. We departed for home on June 16th as happy campers!!