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Beth Pittman

Fraser's Ridge Outlander North Carolina Season 5 The Fiery Cross Uncategorized

ONC Admin Choice Awards–The Best of Outlander Episode 501, The Fiery Cross

February 21, 2020

Welcome back to the ONC Administrators’ Choice Awards for season five!  Now until the end of Season 5, (we refuse to think about it), some of the ONC administrators and myself will be voting on our “Bests” from the latest Outlander episode.  We enjoyed this fun way to briefly recap each episode last season, and hope you enjoy it as we do! This week’s voting contributors are Tara Heller, Cameron Hogg, Carolyn Baker, Dawn Woo, Mitzie Munroe, Dawn Matthews, and Nancy Roach. So, without further ado, the winners are…

Tara– When Jamie put on his kilt and marched out to round up the Ridge residents.

Cameron- The scene when Roger and Jocasta talk about her plans for who will inherit her estate.

Carolyn – When Jamie prepares and then presents the wedding gifts to Bree.  

Traci – Roger pledging his loyalty to Jamie (and of course Jamie in kilt regalia) 

Dawn W.- Roger claiming Jeremiah as his own….cutting his hand and putting the blood on Wee Jimmie’s forehead and claiming him Blood of my blood and bone of my bone. 

Mitzie – Watching Jamie put his mother’s pearls around Brianna’s neck. Such a touching father, daughter moment.

Nancy– Two moments 1–the flashback to Jamie and Claire’s wedding and the look they gave one another; 2–Jamie’s address to fellow Scott’s to stand by his side.

Dawn M.- Claire and Bree’s time together before the wedding. 

Tara– ‘If Governor Tryon wants a Scot, I will give him a Scot.’ (Traci too, along with background music.) 

Cameron– Jocasta’s response when Ulysses asks if the conversation with Roger went as planned, “even better than I had hoped.”

Carolyn – When Jamie and Bree go outside to begin the wedding ceremony and Jamie exclaims “The Fraser’s of the Ridge are here!”

Dawn W.-Jamie’s speech when he was basically asking his “clan” to pledge fealty. He asked them to stand by his side and he would do the same. Loved it! He molded it to fit their new surroundings…their new way of life.

Mitzie – It’s a toss-up between “The Frasers Are Here”! and “Tryon wants a Scot, I’ll give him a Scot”!

Nancy– I have to agree with Mitzie.

Dawn M.- “If Tryon wants a Scot, I’ll give him a Scot!”

Cameron– I thought Sam and Duncan saying goodbye in the woods was great. Both playing it tough together, but Sam breaking down once Duncan left was poignant without being melodramatic, and seemed very much in character for Jamie. I also thought his pre-wedding rituals and time with Bree were fabulous, so Sam was my pick.

Carolyn – Sam was my pick as well. He did a great job with showing his emotions both with giving his daughter away and in parting with Duncan. Also, with the way he lovingly looked at his wife at the wedding, remembering their own and his love for her.

Traci – Brianna overhearing the Bonnet discussion.

Dawn W. – Sam when Jamie told Murtagh to please be hard to find.

Tara– Sam and his eye acting

Mitzie – I’m going to have to give this one to Sam. Once again we got to see a gauntlet of emotions from him; suspicion, excitement, awe, joyful tears and sorrowful tears, pride, nervous apprehension (did you catch Jamie’s finger tapping), anger, loving admiration, strong confidence and also soul crushing grief.

Nancy– Sam – He became the leader we all have been longing to see!

Dawn M.- Sam. As usual his facial expressions get me every time.

Tara– Seeing Governor Tryon at the wedding.

Carolyn – I loved the look of surprise on both Fergus’ and Marsali’s faces when Jamie called him to pledge his allegiance.

Traci – either Jocasta & Ulysses smugly agreeing that all had gone as planned, or the mention of Duncan Innes’ proposal – wasn’t sure if he would be mentioned or appear at all.

Dawn W. -Jamie calling Fergus…son of my name and of my heart.

Mitzie – When Roger told Jocasta to take her money and “cram it up your hole, aye?”! And she laughs! Those are some Mackenzie’s for you, sizing each up; dishing it and taking it.

Nancy– Roger’s rebuff to Jocasta about her money, “Cram it up your hole!”

Dawn M.- That Roger had taken some time to manscape his back and he and Bree weren’t hard to watch in the bed scene🤣!

Tara– I cracked up when Germaine said, “Grand-Pere says all Presbyterians have hair ticks.”

Carolyn – I loved Ulysses’ reaction and laughter when he turned to Jocasta to ask if she was pleased with her conversation with Roger, as Roger stomped off.

Traci – “Hair-ticks” too, but Roger’s face as he is being shaved by Jamie gets honorable mention!

Dawn W.-The tongue twister contest….Marsali’s pheasant plucking twister and then LJG and his Shakespeare

Mitzie – During the tongue twister game, poor LJG just couldn’t relate: “Some Shakespeare, anyone”?

Nancy– John Quincy Myers falling down drunk. I was so glad they represented his comical antics.

Dawn M.- “Cram it up yer hole, aye?”

Tara– I enjoyed the whole wedding/wedding after party. Marsali during the drinking game cracked me up. I want to sit at her table.

Carolyn – The feel of the entire episode was heart-warming. The “Big House” and surroundings felt just like home.

Traci – The gathering: seeing the Scottish community coming together, celebrating, and making their new homes in NC.
Dawn W.-the gathering as a whole…the dancing and “community” after the wedding

Mitzie – When Jamie dons his kilt and sets the cross ablaze, setting the stage for a rallying speech to draw loyalty from the Ridge residents. The musical accompaniment was perfect as it brought memories back from when Jamie was rallying and training his troops during the Jacobite rebellion.

Nancy– This episode. When we start ranking them, this will be my favorite.

Dawn M.– The fact that Jaime and Claire have their groove back.

Tara– Governor Tryon and his wedding crashers

Carolyn – That Murtagh had to part ways with Jocasta and she let go of his hand, and with Jamie, and how it pained him to do both.

Traci – the “bigger-than-big” big house, the Spanish moss, and redcoats that have to ruin everything.

Dawn W. -when Jamie came out dressed in his kilt and he nodded to Claire and she nodded….I thought that was hokey. There should’ve been some dialogue. I just don’t think Claire would not have had something to say.

Mitzie – Watching Murtagh’s fate unfold more and more with each episode. I hated seeing Jamie release him from his vow. With that bond verbally broken, I’m scared to see if their emotional bond will withstand.

Nancy– I have to speak for the Outlanimals. Where were they? I expected to at least hear Clarence welcoming the visitors to the Ridge. Lol! However, I’m sure that would have been too noisy and distracting. I do hope we eventually hear the White Sow making unholy sounds underneath the big house.

Dawn M.– I loved the episode that Starz made, but it strayed so far from the book. Since the opening of book 5 is my favorite of all the scenes, I was really disappointed that it was just a wedding, and not a true gathering. Sigh

So, now that we’ve voted, it’s your turn? Agree? Disagree? Tell us in the comments who or what gets your vote for “Best” Awards for Episode 501, The Fiery Cross. Leave it in the comments!

Fraser's Ridge Outlander North Carolina The Homecoming Uncategorized

A Special Invitation, All the Way From Scotland

February 3, 2020

Gary Lewis invites you to the Ridge, October 8-11, 2020! He, along with Annette Badland and Graham McTavish, will be our extra-special guests this year! Our celebrity guests are just a wee part of what makes Fraser’s Ridge Homecoming such a special event. The military encampments with the Mecklenberg Militia and the 71st Highlanders, the historical activities, Cherokee culture with The Warriors of AniKituwha, the workshops, great food, traditional NC and Celtic music, combined with Outlander–not to mention the Blue-Ridge-Mountains-in-Autumn atmosphere–create a magical and truly unforgettable long weekend!  We want you to join us! Please take advantage of our $99 reservation offer–it runs through February 7, 2020! Click/tap here for terms and more info! 

Learn more about the Homecoming, join the Outlander North Carolina group on Facebook, and like the Girl on the Ridge page for a bit of North Carolina history as well as historical events around the state, as they relate to the Fraser’s time in North Carolina.

Season 5 The Homecoming

Season 5, Happy Hour With Harmony & Fraser’s Ridge Homecoming 2020 Ticket Information

January 9, 2020

Hello From The Ridge!

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and have started a Happy 2020. It’s always such a busy time of year and I had to put my blog, and most everything else, on hold until after the first of the year! I’m living pretty much full-time now in Ashe County, North Carolina, which is in the Blue Ridge Mountains, just north of “Fraser’s Ridge”.  I don’t care what season it is in these North Carolina mountains, it is simply beautiful. During the winter, the mountains are dark and you can see the ridges and hollows so much clearer. The profiles are distinct. It makes me think of what Jacosta told Jamie. When I’m out and about, I look at these mountains in winter and think this must be the way it looks in Scotland.

Season 5 And The Battle of Alamance

Well, I love that picture!!! Are you ready for Season 5?!?! After seeing the trailer and the promo picture above, I can hardly wait! It looks epic! 

As the season unfolds, you’ll see that much of Season 5’s story revolves around the Battle of Alamance which took place in Alamance County, North Carolina, on May 16, 1771.  Diana visited the Battleground in April of last year and you can too!  

During the course of the season, look for blog articles from us exploring the real history and characters of the Battle of Alamance. Diana did a great job of depicting the circumstances leading up to the battle, the battle itself and the aftermath in The Fiery Cross so we will be delving further into the real characters and history come February! 

Happy Hour With Harmony Returns

If you’ve been around for awhile, you probably know that during season 4, Harmony Tersanschi, one of my talented admins, did a round of FB Live videos called “Happy Hour with Harmony”. If you’re new to the group, she worked her way through the cocktail recipes in the Outlander Kitchen Cookbook & came up with Mocktail versions as well each Saturday evening, live on the Outlander North Carolina Facebook Page. Well, it’s that time again and Harmony will be doing things a little differently during Season 5 seeing that the next cookbook won’t be out in time for the new season. This time she’s asking you to send her your cocktail requests. She’ll make & taste, come up with a Mocktail alternative, and maybe review an appetizer or two from the Outlander Kitchen Cookbook. Harmony loved hanging out & chatting with every one each Saturday evening, and she can’t wait to do it again! Now it’s your turn. What are some of your favorite or not so favorite (if you want to get a good laugh) cocktail recipes, so Harmony can start making her list. Last year, during Season 4, we gathered around our various devices to watch Happy Hour with Harmony before the new episode came on. We’re looking forward to Harmony’s return to the “small” screen on February 16! Leave her a comment below with your cocktail suggestion!

Fraser's Ridge Homecoming 2020
There's No Place Like Home

We are deep into the final stages of planning for Fraser’s Ridge Homecoming 2020 and this year our theme is “There’s No Place Like Home”. If you’ve ever been to the NC mountains, you’ll know that no truer words could be spoken about Jamie & Claire’s home on The Ridge.

We are excited to announce that tickets for Homecoming 2020 will go on sale at 6:00 PM EST on January 13, 2020.  I am so looking forward to meeting some of you in October!

In case you don’t know, Fraser’s Ridge Homecoming is a celebration of the history of Jamie & Claire’s North Carolina backcountry wilderness. The Homecoming is Outlander inspired but history focused making it a truly unique event for the history-loving Outlander fan. Drawing from the places the Frasers lived and visited, the events that shaped their lives and the people who crossed their paths, the Homecoming takes us back in time via workshops, living history, music, performances, food, drink and so much more. Combine that with a fun dose of Outlander and you have the perfect combination. 

And as if it could get any better, for the first time, we will be welcoming home to The Ridge some very special cast members from the TV series….the MacKenzies of Castle Leoch! Mrs. Fitz, Colum MacKenzie & Dougal MacKenzie will be joining us this coming October!

We are thrilled to be able to share North Carolina’s 18th-century history with our special guests!!

Please click HERE to see ALL the amazing things we have lined up for this wonderful weekend…and we’re not done yet! By clicking on that link, you will also find all the current information on ticket price, deposit, what the ticket price includes plus information on installment payments optionsTickets are limited to 200 attendees!

Homecoming Venue & Lodging Options

Our venue for The Homecoming is the beautiful Leatherwood Mountains Resort in historic Ferguson, North Carolina. Within the ten mile radius of where The Ridge is likely located, you will feel as though you have truly stepped back in time when you arrive at Leatherwood. Relax in a luxury vacation home hidden in the trees in Leatherwood’s Blue Ridge Mountains and wilderness horse country. If you are the more the rustic type, Leatherwood offers camping options on site. Either way, you will know you have come home to The Ridge. 

Because of the popularity of the Homecoming, most cabins at Leatherwood have already been rented.  So, we have some alternative options if you are unable to reserve a cabin because of unavailabilty or because of financial restrictions.  Check these alternative lodging options below:

  • Other Local Accommodations. In addition, The Hampton Inn and Holiday Inn Express in Wilkesboro (30 minutes from our venue) have also blocked off rooms for us and you can get a special rate by contacting either of the hotels directly. Just be sure to mention that you are coming for the Outlander event at Leatherwood.
  • Cabin or Hotel Room Sharing.  Many life-long friendships have been forged by folks who shared their cabins with complete strangers while at the Homecoming the last two years. Besides, in the Outlander community, are there really any strangers?  If you’re interested in sharing a cabin or a hotel room with others, please complete the form at this link. We will do our best to connect you with other folks who are wanting to share.  
  • You might also consider looking at VRBO’s and AirBNB’s in Ferguson, North Carolina.
  • NOTE: If you rent outside of Leatherwood, please check with the owner for the distance from your rental to Leatherwood and keep in mind that you need to at least double the amount of time you think it would take to drive to and from. The roads are extremely narrow and curvy – it is the Ridge, you know! Which bring me to this point…Ubers and Lyfts are unavailable in the area!

Get Your Tickets Here!

So, Sassenach, are you ready to go home? Click the button below to purchase your tickets. If you click it before 1/13 at 6PM, you won’t see any tickets to purchase yet BUT it will give you the opportunity to read through and review the important preliminary information. That way you’ll be ready to purchase when the time comes. 

I look forward to meeting many of you and welcoming you “home” in October! It’s going to be the BEST Homecoming yet!!

Homecoming Questions?

Click this link and complete the form. We’ll get back to you as soon as possible. 

Best Wishes For A Happy New Year!

In closing, I’d like to wish each one of you a very Happy New Year! Thank you for subscribing to the blog and taking time out of your day to read it. As I said earlier, you can expect more blog articles as Season 5 gets started. Only 38 days to go!!  Which begs the question… what are you most looking forward to in Season 5?   Put it in the comments below!

Your Forever Outlander Friend,

Beth

Outlander North Carolina

The North Carolina Fraser Fir & A Very Fraser Giveaway!
Five Winners!
Ends December 15, 2019!

December 11, 2019

This post was previously published in December, 2017 BUT the giveaway is brand new!

THE STORY OF THE FRASER FIR

On a mountain somewhere in western North Carolina stands a tree. This tree is surrounded by others and like humans, some are a little taller, some a bit shorter, some a litter fatter and others a bit slimmer – but all have the same fragrant, blue-green needles and natural pyramid shape.

This tree began it’s life about 12 years ago as a seedling and at the ripe age of 4 was transplanted along with its kindred on the side of the mountain.

During the eight years (more or less) there, it has enjoyed beautiful vistas of the Blue Ridge Mountains, winter snows, spring rains, cool summer days and nights, and fall colors which would, if it were human, have taken its breath away.

Nearly 100 times each year, its owner has visited, inspected, and lovingly groomed it. And once a year, a swarm of ladybugs was released on it to eat the aphids which love to feast on it’s beauty and thus destroy it. Now, at approximately twelve years old, the tree stands 8 feet tall (it’s kindred at this age are anywhere from 6 to 10 feet tall).

The tree stands proud, sturdy and tall…and ready, at last, to fulfill its purpose for which it was planted 12 years ago. Yes, it is the year, that special year, when it will be chosen from among all the other trees by a family who will cut it and take it to its final home.  Some of it’s kindred will be cut by the farmer who owns them to be sent down the mountain to places near and far where their beauty will be displayed in a Christmas tree lot, there to wait patiently for a home. Once chosen, the tree will be adorned with glorious lights and decorations. Families and friends will gather ‘round it, beautifully wrapped gifts will be placed under it and there, in its final resting place, it will make glad the hearts of children and adults alike. This tree, America’s favorite Christmas tree and the state tree of North Carolina, is the Fraser Fir.

Choose & Cut – Ashe County. Poles are used to measure the trees which are sold by the foot.


Folks waiting in line to pick up their Frasers. Ashe County Choose & Cut.


Our grandson has picked out his own Fraser fir. He loves Frasers too!


My husband, grandson and me surrounded by Fraser firs.


Baled and stacked. Ready for the trip down the mountain!


Loading!


Loaded! Next stop is a Christmas tree lot near you! Usually no more than 600 to 800 trees can be loaded on a full-size tractor trailer.


Fraser firs headed down the mountain.

The History of The Fraser Fir

The Fraser fir is named for the Scottish botanist, John Fraser, who explored the North Carolina mountains in the late 18th century.  An excerpt from an article by Marcus B. Simpson in The American National Biography states the following,

“Fraser, John (1750 – 26 April 1811) was born in Tomnacross near Kiltarlity, Inverness-shire, Scotland, the son of Donald Fraser, a farmer and grounds officer of the Jacobite leader Simon Fraser, thirteenth* Lord Lovat. John Fraser’s mother was probably one Mary McLean of Cragganmore, Inverness-shire. Nothing is known of his childhood and education. In the 1770s, Fraser moved to London and established himself as a draper and hosier in Paradise Row, Chelsea, where he married Francis Shaw in 1778. The Frasers had two sons, John (baptized 1780), who accompanied his father on two collecting trips to North America, and James Thomas (baptized 1782), who helped manage the family’s botanical nursery in England in the 1800s….”.

John Fraser (1750 – 1811)


Abies frasieri (Fraser Fir), named for John Fraser, is native to the southeastern Appalachian Mountains.

John Fraser discovered the Fraser fir while on a foraging expedition in North Carolina with the French botanist, André Michaux, in 1787. The story has it that after being together for so long, Michaux tired of Fraser’s incessant talking. When Michaux’s horse wandered off one night, he encouraged Fraser to continue on without him while he looked for the horse – an excuse to get away from Fraser (or to get Fraser away from him). That was Michaux’s biggest mistake because it was while John Fraser was foraging on his own that he discovered the fir, Abies fraseri (or Fraser fir).

It makes sense to me that America’s favorite Christmas tree was discovered in North Carolina, the home of Fraser’s Ridge, by a Fraser. The tree that stands on the mountainside, proud, tall and strong, bringing beauty, love and joy to so many, could only be a Fraser!  So, this Christmas, as you stand around your own Fraser fir singing Christmas carols, sipping eggnog or wassail, opening gifts, telling stories of Christmases past or just simply enjoying the beauty of this most wondrous tree, remember the name it carries is the same name that holds a special place in the heart of all Outlander fans – Fraser!  Je Suis Prest!  It is ready!  Merry Christmas to you all!!!

(Keep reading for more Fraser fir facts plus a “A Very Fraser Giveaway”!)

My Fraser – Before Picture!


My Fraser – After Picture.  Our Elf, Max, is hanging out at the top! He likes Frasers too! Well, who doesn’t?!?!

Fraser Fir Facts:

  • The Fraser fir is native to North Carolina and only grows naturally in the Southern Appalachians.
  • The Fraser fir can be successfully grown on land elevations exceeding 3000 feet above sea level making the mountains of North Carolina a perfect location.
  • On average, it takes 7 to 10 years in the field to produce a 6-7 foot Fraser fir Christmas tree.
  • The Fraser fir can reach a maximum height of 80 feet.
  • Over 50 million Fraser firs are grown in North Carolina on 25,000 acres for use as Christmas trees, and the Fraser fir represents over 90% of all the trees grown in North Carolina as Christmas trees.
  • The North Carolina Fraser fir Christmas tree is the most popular Christmas tree in North America and is shipped into every state in the U.S. as well as the Caribbean Islands, Mexico, Canada, Bermuda, Japan and other points all over the world.
  • Ashe County, North Carolina, is the largest Christmas tree producing county in the United States, with over 12,000 acres in production resulting in over 25 million trees.
  • Christmas trees in Ashe County provide enough daily oxygen for 216,000 people.
  • Cut trees are harvested in 3-6 weeks starting the first week of November. Trees are cut, carried from the field, baled by machine, hauled to a loading yard or storage area, and sorted by size.
  • In 2017, the high demand for Choose and Cut Fraser firs exceeded the supply in Ashe County alone with many farms having to close earlier than anticipated.

***A Very Fraser Giveaway***

In honor of the Fraser Fir, I am giving away not one but FIVE “Fraser’s Ridge NC” hand-etched glass ornaments. These ornaments are made of American, fine quality ⅛” thick glass. Ornaments are 3.5” in diameter with smooth edges. Each ornament is hand prepped, sandblasted, cleaned, quality checked and lovingly done for ONC by North Carolina etch glass artist, David Krafcik.

Ready to enter the Giveaway? Well, then, just see below!  May the Merriest Sassenachs win!!!! And thank you for reading the blog!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Official Rules: No purchase necessary to win. Open to individual legal residents of the 50 United States or the District of Columbia who are the older of 18 years of age or the legal age of majority in their state of residence. One entry per person. Giveaway ends Sunday, December 15, at 6:00 PM EST. Five (5) winners from all entrants will be randomly selected through Rafflecopter and those persons will be notified via email. Watch your inbox since the winner will have 48 hours to respond. For more information, please see the Terms and Conditions on the Giveaway site.

*The reference to the 13th Lord of Lovat in the excerpt of the article by Marcus B. Simpson above appears to be a typographical error as it was the 11th Lord of Lovat (The Fox) who was the Jacobite leader. The 13th Lord of Lovat was not born until 1828 which would have been after the death of botanist, John Fraser. 

Diana Gabaldon Drums Of Autumn Fraser's Ridge Native Americans NC History Outlander North Carolina Pre-Revolutionary War Period Season 4 Uncategorized

Memories of Fraser’s Ridge Homecoming 2019

October 26, 2019

It’s only been three weeks since we left the Ridge after an amazing second Fraser’s Ridge Homecoming, but it seems like months! We have to apologize for a somewhat lengthy absence, but the second Homecoming event was worth all of our time and energy. We’d like to share some attendees experiences and photos with everyone, as well as our exciting news for Homecoming 2020!  Today’s experience is from Debbie Morelock!

“So, what was it like to go back in time for a few days and get in touch with my inner Sassenach and for my husband, his inner Highlander? Aye lass and lassie, it was awesome!  Getting to Leatherwood Resort wasn’t a bad drive from TN and GPS kept us on track. After a lot of curvy roads, some paved and others not so much, which helped make us feel like we were being transported back in time, pulling in to Leatherwood was a welcome sight. Let me tell you, it is an absolutely gorgeous place. Tucked neatly on the side of the mountain with a little creek and horse barns, it’s peaceful and beautiful!

Checking in was simple and quick. In no time, we had the keys and directions to our cabin. My husband and I resisted the urge to go on to the Fraser’s Homecoming check in and drove on to our cabin to unload and freshen up.  Then it was off to registration and begin our Fraser’s Ridge Homecoming 2019 weekend!

First impression of checking in for the weekend’s activities? I was in awe at how well it was streamlined! And the tote bag full of goodies that we each got was a nice surprise! From an Outlander 2020 calendar, to a zippered notepad with pen, to a book of short stories from a local author, to cute themed pins and a sticker, there was just so many things! The best part of all during check in was hearing the bagpipes being played! And seeing Highlanders dressed in their kilts marching up and down the field calling commands only added to the sights and sounds. Talk about having the hair on your arms and back of your neck stand up! Were we still in NC or did we really go back home to Scotland? You know the old saying “The devil is in the details.”? Well, I could tell after checking in, Beth and her crew were certainly going to beat that devil to death over this weekend or die trying. I knew we were in store for an amazing time! There is no way I can begin to name every little detail I noticed that went into everything, there were so many!

We spent the rest of Thursday afternoon on the scavenger hunt looking for charms that depicted different parts of the Outlander series. The finale was getting up to Craigh na Dun cabin and the standing stones!  From where we were, we could also see Grandfather Mountain off in the distance. All I can say is WOW! Soon it was time for the Hello the House Welcome Party. There was lots of yummy hors d’ oeuvres, live music and what we had all been waiting for: The Calling of the Clans! It was so fun to hear all the different clans being represented as each flaming torch was placed in the fire. Sadly, we were too tired to stay for the ghost stories and headed back to the cabin.

Friday brought several different workshops that we had signed up for oh, and did I mention it was hot yesterday? It was in the mid 90’s and Friday turned out the same. We were sweating buckets, but we had so much fun! Probably my favorite workshop was listening to The Tale of the Regulators. Lunch was a wonderful beef stew and at dinner the barbecue and fixings was so good. During dinner we officially welcomed Shaun Alexander, world traveler and YouTube vlogger and his wife, Teka to the gathering. It’s so cool that they came across the pond to be here and share this weekend with us and with his fans around the world! When the costume contest took place, I was so impressed with everyone’s costumes. The contestants came dressed and ready to win. Then we watched the Druid Lantern Dance performed just like in the opening scenes of Outlander! AMAZINGLY BEAUTIFUL is all I can say.

Saturday brought a complete change in weather. It started to mist and temperatures dropped! I think somehow Beth planned it that way to give us a real feeling of being in the Scottish Highlands! The workshops Saturday were even better! I enjoyed having a one on one with the genealogist and gathered some tips on researching more of our family history. My husband had a great time with the hawk and knife throwing. Lunch was so good! I had shepherd’s pie and my husband had the smoked pork tacos. After lunch I went to hear the 18th century doctor. I could have stood there in the drizzling rain all day. It was so interesting! My husband participated in the flint fire building class and really liked it. I have a feeling he will be building his own hawk throwing target before too long and a place to practice his flint fire making skills.

Soon it was time to go warm up and change for dinner. This was the evening we’ve been waiting all year for! I dressed in my Scottish skirt and blouse and my husband looked so dashing in his kilt.  The tables were set and decorated in a rustic fall foliage and a mixture of different plaids. We enjoyed tender venison, chicken and mashed potatoes with roasted kale. Dinna fash, I’m getting to the dessert. Warm toffee sticky pudding and apple dumplings. Do I need to say more? The music by Celtic Connections was hauntingly beautiful. But the icing on the cake was the surprise Beth had for us all. A video giving us the dates for next year’s gathering as well as the guests who will be attending with us next year!!! Yes, I screamed along with everyone else when we saw who it was. Welcome to Fraser’s Ridge 2020!!!!  Annette Badland (Mrs. Fitz), Gary Lewis (Colum Mackenzie), and Graham McTavish (Dougal Mackenzie)!!!! How are we supposed to sleep after this? Much less wait for next October to hurry and get here?

Sunday, time to pack up and check out of our cabin. No, I did not want to. We closed out our time at the Homecoming listening to Capt. Robert K. Rambo (U.S. Military, Ret.) portraying Attakullakulla, Peace Chief and First Beloved Man of the Cherokee from 1761 to 1775. WOW, just WOW! I don’t know what else I could even say.

After all the goodbyes and see ya laters to our new found friends, it was time to head back to our time and to life off the Ridge. I can’t begin to thank Beth and her crew enough for all of the time they spent planning and getting everything together and ready for us. I was right though, the devil in all the details sure was beat up one side and down the other.  How will they possibly outdo this year? I have no clue, but I have no doubt they will!”

Debbie, thank you so much for recapping your weekend with us at Leatherwood Mountain Resort! We can’t wait to be with you and your husband again next year!

For more photos of our wonderful weekend, go to the Fraser’s Ridge Homecoming 2020 Facebook page (whether you have a Facebook account or not!) and scroll through!

Dates for next year’s Homecoming are October 8-11, 2020.  The projected date for ticket sales to begin is February 1, 2020.  This date gives us plenty of time to be sure that plans are finalized, and the big stuff is in place!  We do know that the 71st NC Highlanders will be returning, as well as the Warriors of AniKituhwa. Our special guests next year include television series cast members Annette Badland, Graham McTavish, and Gary Lewis!  Saying we’re already looking forward to next year is an understatement!