The short drive northwestward from Raleigh was uneventful which is great considering we got towed the last time we tried to leave a campground and lost about 300 buckaroos. Fortunately for us our coolant level remained unchanged throughout the trip and shows no signs of leakage anywhere anymore. Thank goodness! We are now camped in Mayberry Campground near the town of Mt. Airy, NC.
What is the significance of this town? Mt. Airy, NC is the birthplace of former singer/actor Andy Griffith. Mt Airy itself was apparently the model for the fabricated Hollywood town of Mayberry R.F.D. that sheriff Andy Taylor “Griffith” patrolled. Along with characters such as the beloved Aunt Bee, Floyd the barber and his late mechanic sidekick Goober there are a lot of similarities between Mt.Airy and Mayberry. Upon walking down Main Street we made our way to the visitor center to pick up a map outlining points of interest. We passed a replica of Floyd's Barber Shop, several souvenir shops and quaint Mayberry themed eateries. We were amazed at the extremely reasonable prices for the food as that in itself began to impart the feeling of stepping back in time.Adding to that feeling was a sighting of a replica of Sherriff Andy's car coming up Main Street along with hearing the theme music from the show wafting out from one of the shops. We found ourselves smiling and whistling along with the show tune.
Other points of interest included Andy Griffith's childhood home, the Andy Griffith Museum, a replica of Wally's Service Station complete with vintage trucks, gas pumps and Coca Cola refrigerators we remembered from our own childhoods. The whole town was very friendly and we now understand why it is such a popular stop. It is a really happy place but go early because they roll up the sidewalks by six!
We also remembered in Mayberry the characters often referred to a place called Mount Pilot of which nearby Pilot Mountain State Park likely was its inspiration. So after a tour of the town of Mt. Airy our plan for the next day was to go off to Pilot Mountain State Park which is about 25 miles northwest of Winston-Salem, North Carolina and just south of here. Pilot Mountain State Park's signature landmark is that it is the westernmost peak in the Sauratown Range. This looked to be a great little afternoon hike with purported awesome views but it was not to happen.
Some family business took precedence and as a result we spent most of the afternoon chasing around the chores that had to be done that day. Not the way we preferred to spend a day but sometimes even those of us that are retired are called upon to help family members in need. So although we spent most of the afternoon on Tuesday chasing answers, by about 3:30 PM we had solved all the unknowns and our family mini crisis was averted…. yeah for us! And after all there is always our last full day in Mt Airy to take that anticipated scenic hike......