Thursday, July 14, 2016

Veterans Memorial Park - Mount Airy, North Carolina

Becky pointed out as we were driving into Mount Airy, North Carolina that "Mount Airy" and "Mayberry" have a similar sound and rhythm when you say the names aloud. I never noticed that, but I am sure TV star Andy Griffith did. His classic TV show, the Andy Griffith Show, was in the fictional town of Mayberry, which was based on his home town of Mount Airy.

Replicas of some of the memorable landmarks from the show are in Mount Airy. These include Floyd's Barbershop, the Mayberry Courthouse and Wally's Fillin' Station. Needless to say, these were fun to visit and you cannot help but notice that these places are exactly as they are in your mind's eye.

We planned to park Rosie, our 25 foot Airstream trailer in Mount Airy's Veterans Memorial Park, located next to their VFW Post. We called for reservations the day before we planned to arrive and the park attendant said there was plenty of room and that we could simply register once we arrived.

Sign at entrance to the park

We arrived a little after 5 p.m., but were relieved to see there was an "honor system" registration box. The envelope used to put your payment in required your campsite number, so we drove in to find our site, complete the required information on the envelope, insert our payment then place our registration and payment in their secured slot. Well, that was the plan.

When we drove back to the camping area, it was easy to see that "something big, really big," to use one of Deputy Barney Fife's phrases, was going on. Vendor tents were going up in the middle of the camping area and people there all seemed to be setting up for an event.

Before selecting our site, we asked someone what was happening there. The response was a terse, "It's a Native American Pow-Wow. We rented the entire park and you have to leave." We turned Rosie around and were about to leave when Becky saw someone who appeared to be a leader of the event and appealed our case to him. Since we were staying only one night and most of the participants were arriving the next day, he said we could stay if we made a donation to the charity the event was supporting that weekend. We quickly agreed and they directed us to a site off to the side and out of their way.

Rosie parked off to the side at the park

Sometimes you simply luck into things while traveling the roads. The Native American Pow-Wow turned out to be interesting and we felt honored to be allowed to observe it.

At the Native American Pow-Wow in Mount Airy

We didn't disconnect Rosie from our truck and rode the mile from the park to "Mayberry" on our bikes. While Mount Airy isn't setup for bike traffic, we enjoyed exploring the town using that mode of transportation.

Some of the places we enjoyed in Mount Airy included Floyd's City Barbershop, the "Going Fishing" statue of Andy and Opie, the Mayberry Courthouse and Wally's Fillin' Station.

Becky starting a new career at Floyd's Barber Shop

The squad car

Going fishing with Andy and Opie

The Mayberry Courthouse

Becky trying to get Sarah on the phone

Steve working as the deputy in Mayberry

And I didn't get the cell Otis uses!

Deputy Fife keeping everyone safe

When we returned to Rosie, we spent some time shopping the Native American crafts at the Pow-Wow. We enjoyed both our trip back to Mayberry and observing the Pow-Wow.

Here are some specifics about this park:
  • The park was an open field with campsites marked close together.
  • Our site had 50, 30 and 20 amp electrical connections.
  • Our site also had water and sewer connections.
  • AT&T placed a strong 4G signal over this park.
  • We could only pick up one TV signal using Rosie's antenna. It was a PBS station.
  • There was a wonderful walking and bicycle path behind this park that went into town. It winded along a cool creek and helped make our ride into town more pleasant.
Bike path in Mount Airy

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