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Rocking it at the Cabin......

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Saturdays are Great for Exploring

April 15, 2018
It's Saturday and that means it is the weekend! What do you like to do on the weekend? Here in Murphy, Decker's Flea Market and Foster's Flea Market are just a couple miles down the road, so if this is your kind of Saturday activity, then you will not be disappointed! You can have lunch at that the taco stand or a snow cone at the snowball stand! There s fresh produce and beautiful flowers and lots of neat things to browse through! They are open year round so anytime is a good time to visit!

Or how about a train ride? The Great Smoky Mountain Railroad runs year round out of Bryson CIty, NC.  It is only an hour's drive from the cabin and well worth it.  There are winding mountain roads that take you through the trees and down by the river were you will see shimmering water that looks like liquid diamonds.  If motorcycles are your thing, then the Cherohola Skyway will be a real treat!  Eleven miles of super curvy mountain roads to enjoy.  You will end up at the Nanatahala Outdoor Center,  where you can stretch your legs, have a little lunch and enjoy the river.  It is a gorgeous area and also worth the drive

Foodies Put on Your Bib!

May 15, 2018

Here in Murphy, there are some of the best places to eat that are locally owned and are not the chains you will see everywhere else.  Places Like Bistro 29, The Chop  House, The Chowder House, Red Brick Deli, Valley River Brewery, The Parson's Pub, Daily Grind and WIne, are all amazing places to enjoy! And all downtown where you can stroll along and visit the cute shops and boutiques to really enjoy this small town with a big vibe!

Visit out Things To Do page  for a more comprehensive list of places to try and loosen up the belt because here in the south we don 't want anyone to go home hungry!

Yo ho ho and a bottle of Rum!  I see Pirates

May 15, 2018

Pirate tales have long been a source of entertainment and adventure for many.  But did you know that "Blackbeard" also known as Edward Teach, was a real pirate and has history n North Carolina?? Blackbeards's ship  The Queen Anne"s Revenge was sunk off the shore of modern day Beaufort, NC. in June of 1718. Human trafficking or slavery was aone of the many ways pirates made money, along with stealing ships and valuables from the other ships.

According to, "Blackbeard's piratical career ended six months later at Ocracoke Inlet on the North Carolina coast. There he encountered an armed contingent sent by Virginia Governor Alexander Spotswood and led by Royal Navy Lieutenant Robert Maynard.

In a desperate battle aboard Maynard's sloop, Blackbeard and a number of his fellow pirates were killed. Maynard returned to Virginia with the surviving pirates and the grim trophy of Blackbeard's severed head hanging from the sloop's bowsprit."

To read more about this fascinating part of North Carolina history visit

Wild Ginseng and North Carolina

June 15, 2018

Now here is a little bit of local history and intrigue that I just find fascinating! Wild Ginseng grows in Western North Carolina and is a huge industry. The theft of said Ginseng seems to be a real problem. Digging it requires a permit from the state and you can only get the permit if you put in for it through a lottery.

Harvested Wild Ginseng can bring up to $2000 a pound for the digger. However, by law each person can only harvest 2 lbs. This is what causes the poaching effect. Unscrupulous people who do not care to do things the right way will go onto federal, and protected lands and dig it up to steal it. They will also go onto private land and steal it.

According to some, it can take up to 7 years to grow a root that is worth selling. The first frost kills off the above ground portion of the plant and makes it harder to spot in the wild.

You may ask why the wild is so sought after and why anyone would steal it. I did! That is what started my fascination with this magical plant! People steal it! I had never even thought about a plant like this being a target for theft but here ya go, it is!

The wild Ginseng is much stronger than the cultivated version. It can be grown form wild plants, but again it takes years to get it to any size.

Here is a link to read further into this…/permits-to-harvest-wild-gin…/

There are also reality tv shows that also discuss and cover this industry! Appalachian Outlaws is just one of them.

Permits to Harvest Wild Ginseng in NC -

Ginseng is so rare in North Carolina's forests that officials now require permits to harvest wild ginseng there.

Trout Fishing in Murphy, NC

July 15, 2018

Trout Fishing is a huge thing here in Murphy. The river is restocked at the end of February and the fishing is on!  .There are quite a few fishing guides in the area that can lead you to the best fishing spots, what gear is best, and anything else you might want to know about fishing here.  With our relatively mild weather, outdoor activities, such as fishing are easily enjoyed year round. According the article below, " Each year, the Wildlife Commission closes approximately 1,000 miles of trout streams for restocking. These designated waters open for fishing at 7 am the first Saturday in April and close 30 minutes past sunset the last day of February each year. Anglers can harvest up to seven trout per day with no minimum size or bait restrictions, making fishing these waters a dream for beginners and trout lovers alike."

.Read this article for great advice and information on fishing the rivers and mountain streams here.…/mountain-trout-fishing-in-western…

Sunday Drives

August 15, 2018

If you are like us, one of the most relaxing things to do together is take a Sunday drive on a route that is less traffic and beautiful scenery.  North Carolina has amazing scenery no matter what time of year it is.  This link will bring you lots of information on the different routes you and your honey could take.  So come on with your bestie and enjoy the the sights.  Maybe you will  head to Asheville, NC or Helen GA.  Either way, Murphy is the perfect  mid way point to many of the country's best areas.  You can go to Georgia,or Tennessee
and be back before dinner.  Blue Ridge is 30 minutes away where you will find some really neat artsy type stores. Asheville is a little farther away but if you are just meandering along, you will find a neat waterfall or pull over spot. So bring that camera because I am sure you will see things you want to capture so that you can go back to it over time and remember the memories you made with your loved ones.

Murphy River Walk

September  15, 2018

Konahete Park s the beginning place for the Historic Murphy River Walk.  A  peaceful, easy stroll along the river on paved paths and footbridges will excite your senses. The River Walk Heritage Partners are the stewards for this beautiful, serene place.

There are plenty of places to sit and reflect on your day or just catch a breather.  You will visit the L & N Depot. circa 1887 was the meeting place for the Louisville and Nashville Railroads as well as the Southern.  Train enthusiasts will really enjoy this stop on  the walk.

On Saturdays, Murphy's residents have a Farmer's Market where you can find all kinds of great things, fresh produce, arts and crafts, you just never know what you will find there!

The Valley River is the home of the  Murphy River Walk and is one of two rivers in the area. the Hiawassee River is the other one.  The route is an easy 3 mile walk.

Leaf Peepin"  in #frontporchparadisermr

October  25, 2018

Our front porch is a favorite  for all of our guests.  It is well suited for nice afternoons or evenings of just relaxing and enjoying your favorite adult beverage. We just had our cold snap that is needed for the leaves to change. So they are really getting pretty now!   This link will give you a great idea of where to find the best color and when.  It is a rough estimate of course, but now that it has gotten a  bit colder, they are sure to please your eyes!

There is still time to reserve your spot at Rocking M Retreat, we have some days in November still available. So don't wait!

"Time your trip to a day or two after a cold front" says Dr Don Hagan. Higher elevations get the color change a little earlier than lower elevations and since we have had a warm fall, this has affected the timing of the fall leaves. But we have had a couple of cold snaps this week and that seems to spur on the change, so grab your gear and head to the mountains!

Crazy for weather

, November 3, 2018

OMG! fall has roared in with a bit of winter attached and just like history tells us, if you do not like the weather here wait 10 minutes and it will change! LOL

Yesterday was cold and rainy, very dreary. Today I wake up with birds singing and sunshine! Makes for a crazy wardrobe change mid morning, afternoon and then again in the evening. But the fireplace going on a day like yesterday, a hot toddy on the front porch, or a hot chocolate by the fire pit, makes for a glorious weekend at the cabin!

That is the beauty of living in the mountain, you can wake up to foggy mornings, which is where the Smoky Mountains get their name, and by lunch time have a glorious sunny day to take you places.  Traveling for leisure or business will put you in some crazy weather patterns, so how do you pack for these ever changing patterns?  Glad you asked, layers are your friend!  Pack thinner clothes that can be layered over each other to give more warmth.   Then as the day warms up, you can shed those layers and remain you go about your day.  So pack those bags and  hit the road, life is too short to stay in one place!  See the country, walk the mountain trails, and stop and smell the roses, you will be happier and healthier for it!

Dreams do come true!

January 15, 2018

Rocking M Retreat began as a dream many years ago. A dream that I really never believed would come together. God had a plan for us that in our eyes would have been impossible but he knew there was a way. The day we are able to open the doors and welcome our first guests will be a huge milestone. Having a husband who loves me and believes in me enough to hop on this journey is also a dream come true.

Our name, Rocking M Retreat is a blend of our last names McPherson and Mahoney and our retirement plan. We both have been serving others our entire adult lives. Me as a Stylist and Massage Therapist, him as a veteran and first responder both in fire and law enforcement.

I love the beach and he loves the mountains. This cabin will be a place to retreat for us as well as our guests. Traveling the country gives us so much pleasure and being able to offer a place of rejuvenation for those who live in the hectic city is amazing! We truly hope everyone enjoys this journey as much as we do!​

Small Town Life

February 14, 2018

One of the best things about Murphy, is it is still a small town. I grew up in a small town that is now an extension of Metro Atlanta. Growing up I thought we would never see anything like what it is now. Living in the hustle and bustle of the rat race was making me sick.

We moved to St. Simons Island for a few years. That is a small town too, a small island to be exact, where you get to know your neighbors and people say hello. The first time that happened, we were shocked to say the least.

In Murphy, you get that feel of the small town vibe, because frankly it is a small town. It is an amazing small town with so much to do or try. It is a slower pace of life, but that's the point! It is slower and less hectic and crazy. There are still actual rush hour times instead of 24 hour rush hours. But the rush hour is nothing compared to big cities like Atlanta.

It is a place where you can actually stop and smell the roses, have a chat with a neighbor in town, or go out to dinner in a very nice restaurant.

The funny thing is, when people move to a small town, all the things they loved about it when visiting, seem to be the very things they want to change when they live there. You can't have it both ways. You learn to slow down too, to appreciate a 15 minute drive to the grocery store instead of a 30

Bears, But no Picnic Baskets

March 15, 2018

Being in t​he mountains brings so many new adventures.   Seeing bears is very exhilarating and scary at the same time.  They are beautiful creatures and need to be respected in that we are in their home, not the other way around.  However, feeding the bears brings so many issues for them and humans as well. 

When they are fed by humans, or have access to garbage, birdseed, coolers, or any other source of food, they do what comes natural.  They eat and they will do anything to get to that food including breaking in to get it. 

Here at Rocking M Retreat, we do have a neighborhood bear.  He is not aggressive and is still afraid of humans, which is the best deterrent to unwelcome behavior.  The bear becomes aggressive when he cannot get that picnic basket and looses his fear of humans.  So do them and yourself a favor and do not feed the bears. 

Visit our Facebook page @relaxunwindreconnect to see more videos of local bears!