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A long time ago, I was a child. (I started out as Cathy First from Colon, Mi.) For the past several years I’ve been an adult. A lot of things went on between those two stages of life; probably no more or no less than anyone elses. My husband and I moved to “da U .P” from southern Lower Michigan several years ago (yes we were trolls at one time). We owned and operated and operate Clementz’s Northcountry Campground and Cabins just north of Newberry, Michigan until May 2015. We have grown kids and grandkids (who all live downstate). My passion is life and all that Nature has to offer us and trying to photograph it in unique ways. Our intention in life is to see all that Nature has to offer us. We hope that you will be a part of our adventures as we cruise through our lives together. Come back often!

Sunday, October 21, 2012


The reason we stayed at this (nasty) KOA in Calhoun, TN was so we could make the trip to Merciers Orchard in Blue Ridge, Ga.  It is only about an hour from here and we figured the drive would be colorful.

We've heard so many wonderful things about this orchard and didn't really know what to expect.  I mean, we saw the photos on their website and have talked with another couple who lives near there and camped with us this summer...it sounded like a great place to explore!

We were on the road by 9 a.m. and figured being a Sunday most everyone in the south would be in church. 

The two lane road wasn't busy and it was a nice leisurely drive....it had to be due to all the fog.

In the top photo, there really was a mountain in that fog.

We finally found our turn off; turn left by McDonalds...you couldn't even see the golden arches, but we managed to somehow see a sign for the orchard.

Once we arrived at the orchard, we were amazed to see how full the parking lot was and we were glad to see they had a 2nd one that would require a bit of a walk, but we needed the exercise. 

THEN we managed to get in the door, only to look at each other and wonder "what the hell?".  EVERYONE WAS THERE!  Holy Wah, there was a throng!  We couldn't even get near the bakery to order a couple of fried pies, so we walked around a bit.    The orchard is more than just an orchard selling apples and baked goods;

Dan zoomed in on a new "girl".  Why do men always name their tractors a gal type name?

Besides about a hundred different kind of apples, there was about 4 different kinds of cider, peanut butters, jams, syrups, etc.

We gave up though and didn't try to buy anything.  Instead, we headed for "apple valley", I believe it is rt 52  out of Ellijay.

About 12 miles down the road and after we'd passed several other apple orchards, we found the one we had been to a couple of  years ago (no photos of it).  We got our 2 fried pies, a gallon of peach cider and a half bushel of golden Delicious apples.

We've never had the peach cider, and couldn't buy just a half gallon (they were all sold out) but figured it HAS to be good!  If not, I will make peach cider syrup out of it to put on pancakes!

Tomorrow we will FINALLY be back at Piedmont!  We don't plan on leaving this place till about 9 a.m....in hopes we will miss the rush hour traffic around Atlanta.

Keep in touch!!


  1. Anonymous7:15 PM

    Hope the apples were good after all that! I used to go to Apple Hill in the Sierra Foothill east of Sacramento. And really loved it. Then I think all of the Sacramento valley found out about it and it was just one big traffic jam. But the early years of it were fun. Safe travels ! Sandy

  2. Hi Cathy, Glad you and Dan are on the road but it sure sounds like you're covering a lot of territory! Sorry the apple stop was a disappointment.

    This place sounds like one back home in Ohio. There's an apple called McGowen (sp?) and they're available for about 2 weeks. During that time, the two lane road leading up to the orchid is jammed packed solid with folks trying to get a bag (there's a 1 bag limit because they're so popular). I've waited in that line many, many times as a kid and my family still does.

    Enjoy Tennessee and safe travels. xoxo jj


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