The long weekend before and including July 4, 2017, the Laney clan held their annual family reunion at the three cabins that the family owns in Watauga County. One cabin on Shulls Mill Road was purchased by my parents from a local farmer in 1952 and is the main gathering place which we call “Hope.” It was truly a mountain shack, with no running water, limited electricity and only a wood stove in the living room for heat. Growing up there in the summers, us kids loved hauling fresh, cold water from the spring down the hill; and going to the bathroom in the outhouse up the hill. That shack burned down in about 1977 and was rebuilt as a more modern house in the 1990’s.
The second cabin is located a couple miles away in a small development off Shulls Mill Road and was built by my uncle and aunt Frank and Fran Wagner. The third house is located northeast of Meat Camp and is the permanent residence after retirement of my sister Ann and her husband Larry Parker.
We followed our standard procedure of engaging in lots of cookouts and group meals. This year we did not picnic at Price Park because that venue is always so horrendously crowded. But we did follow our standard procedure of engaging is several good hikes. One hike was on the Glen Burney Trail that follows the creek exiting from below the swimming pool in Blowing Rock and leads down the hill into the Johns River Gorge. We did not go to the end of the trail, but were told it ends at the Globe Road. Another hike was the Beacon Heights Trail, located at the southern end of the Tanawha Trail at the southeast corner of Grandfather Mountain.
A good time was had by all!