(Ken) April 6, 2013 – April 9, 2013. We left Smithville, OH before nine in the morning; and after a propane fill-up, a waste dump and a weigh-in (almost 900 lbs. below maximum weight) – we were on our way south! When you are Meandering to Mayberry, what better place to start your adventures than in the inspirational town to the real Mayberry – Mt. Airy, NC.
Taking Interstate 77 south seemed simple enough; well, that is, until the mountains of West Virginia and Virginia came into play. Now I have a full understanding of the slow lane to the right! Nearly 13 tons isn’t easy to pull up a long hill, and by the time we pulled into Stone Mountain State Park, NC. the RV was ready for a much-needed rest. So we checked in, set up, ate a quick dinner and crashed for the night; cuz we were visiting Mayberry in the morning.
The morning found us surrounded by beautiful mountains and crisp cool air. We were in a valley of wonderful smelling pines and perfectly harmonizing song birds; and after a few cups of coffee we were setting off to see Mayberry.
After a short 30 minute drive to Mt. Airy from the camp site, we were in the heart of the original Mayberry. Hometown of Andy Griffith himself. We parked the car and walked Main St. From Wally’s Service Station to Floyd’s City Barbershop and around the corner to the City Jail. Though Mt. Airy was not exactly how we saw Mayberry on television, one can definitely see where the inspiration came from. The old buildings, and the houses on the lanes. And the house Andy Griffith grew up in is a big draw attraction since it was purchased by a local hotel and is rented out on the weekends.
The bronze statue stands outside the Andy Griffith Theater and the Andy Griffith Museum. The museum was donated in part through a collection of memorabilia of a close childhood friend of Andy’s. Enough Andy Griffith memorabilia that Andy’s wife Cindi thought it odd. When the network heard about the museum, they were glad to donate as well.
People are friendly, and they still wash their cars on the street. The diners were full and the food is the reason; Mt. Airy or Mayberry, almost the same today as it was yesterday.