Part 2 of our great weekend for Return to the Ridge at Leatherwood Mountain Resort–two more attendees share what impressed them the most over the long weekend. Enjoy!
Lane Moore, along with so many others who witnessed Robert K. Rambo’s portrayal of Attakullakulla, Peace Chief of the Cherokee Nation, felt transported back in time:
“I was spellbound. I had gone from enjoying a scotch egg, a cup of coffee and some light conversation with newfound friends to being captivated in a matter of moments. Standing before us in all his glory was the great Peace Chief of the Cherokee, Attakullakulla. Without even needing to close my eyes I was taken back to another time, another culture, another sense of being. The place was the same to be sure, for we all were in the land of his people. We were all instantly aware that we were guests, his guests.
Robert Rambo’s stunning portrayal of Attakullakulla is just one of the unforgettable moments I had while at the Homecoming this year. To have been in such an immersive yet comfortable setting was a blessing and I cannot thank everyone involved enough for the experience.”
Harmony Tersanschi is one of the organizers, but even after “working,” she came away with a sense of family:
Thursday morning: a picturesque sunrise crept over the mountaintop. There was a blanket of fresh dew on the ground, a slight chill in the air, birds chirping, the horses grazing. I could’ve stayed there all day enjoying the sights & sounds. Alas, duty called and our admin team was excited and ready to get the day going! Okay, okay, we might’ve been rubbing our eyes, yawning, and slinging back the coffee, but we were all still super excited! The next few hours we spent finishing up the remaining decorations & readying the Hendrix Cabin for Registration. Stephanie Bryant and I were manning the Fraser’s Ridge photo booth, so we, of course, had to take a test shot with Jamie & Claire while we anxiously awaited the first attendees to arrive.
The rest of the afternoon was a whirlwind of pictures, props, (“I’m only here for the whisky”, and “To bed or to sleep” being some of the favorite word clouds), new-but-familiar faces, moonshine tasting from Copper Barrel Distillery, bagpipes played by Bruce Wright, the Overmountain Men, treasure hunting, fresh roasted North Carolina peanuts from Aunt Ruby’s Peanuts, and tons of smiles. I’m not sure what I was originally expecting, but this surpassed any hope I might’ve had about what that day was going to be like. I’ve never quite experienced being surrounded by a ton of people I’ve never actually met, yet having this sense of being with long-time friends and family. With each new hug and “I’m so happy to finally meet you,” it became apparent that this weekend was going to be like one big ol’ family reunion & I was thrilled to be a part of it!
Rather than talk about each day separately, I’m going to break it down into my different experiences throughout the weekend. Anyone who knows me, knows that the way to my heart is on a plate, preferably filled with yummy fattening food, so I’m starting where it counts……the food! Thursday night was filled with wings, fries, meatballs, chips, veggies and dip, signature Outlander themed cocktails from the bar, and a plethora of desserts and treats. All eaten outside on the picnic tables, with string lights overhead, while the band Celtic Sessions played. It was a hungry gal’s dream & I was definitely hungry but thankfully not dreaming. The rest of the weekend brought North Carolina barbecue from JD’s Smokehouse, jalapeño cheese grits that were to die for, a turkey avocado sub from Saddlebrook Bar & Grill, little tea cakes and cookies, a charcuterie spread that had you wiping the drool from the corner of your mouth with one glance at the table, beef stew with dumplings, chicken stew, roasted venison, mashed potatoes, kale salad lovingly prepared by Dawn Matthews. Last but most certainly not least, we all had a nip of Mary Helen’s Cherry Bounce. This bounce was unlike any cherry bounce I have tried, not that I’ve tried many, but it was delicious! So much so that it might’ve sent a couple of us admin’s scouring the barn for the reserves. (That was supposed to be a secret though, so the story shall be that I thoroughly enjoyed my ONE little glass of Cherry Bounce and called it a night, *wink wink.*)
Next up, let’s talk about classes and workshops. I, along with the rest of the organizer team, spent most of the next couple of days running from class to class, setting up and breaking down, hosting workshops and classes of our own, and taking any spare second we could to stop and chat with the attendees. It was a rush and it was the most fun I’ve had in a very long time! I didn’t sit in on any one full class, but I was able to score a couple of video interviews from two of the presenters. I got to meet the members of the 71st Highland Regiment and get a tour of their encampment as well as sit down with 18th Century Physician, portrayed by Chris Grimes, to hear about common medical practices from that time.
Moving right along to the music and entertainment, which was, without a doubt, one of my favorite aspects of the weekend. The bands and musicians that we heard throughout the Homecoming, were phenomenal. We were so lucky to have The Celtic Sessions, Dogwood, Thistle & Heather, Tom Eure, and Kathy Wallace performed for us throughout the weekend, and I really can’t say enough good things about the entertainment. The musicians, the Warriors of AniKituhwa, the Druid Dance, and Chief Attakullakulla, were all just so wonderful, and a great time was had by all!
Right now you’re thinking, how could it possibly get any better than this right? , well brace yourselves because I haven’t even gotten to the best part. The best and most memorable part of A Fraser’s Ridge Homecoming was by far, the attendees! This weekend, most of us met as strangers but we all left as family. We might be a slightly-crazy-mildly-Outlander-obsessed-cherry-bounce-drinking family, but we are now family nonetheless and I will cherish the new friendships made, along with experiences shared, from now until next year when I get to go back and do it all over again! Fraser’s Ridge 2020 or bust……who’s with me?
Thank you, Lane and Harmony, for sharing with us! We hope you’re enjoying our look back on Return to the Ridge: Fraser’s Ridge Homecoming 2019. There is so much to tell, it’s impossible to keep it in two posts, so, next week, part 3!