Adventure Mendota – Working Smart

I’ve missed writing to you! While I do not know everyone who reads this personally, I do know most of the folks and I’ve “met” others through personal emails that you’ve sent. I’ve learned you are like me…struggling to do the right things, making mistakes, doing something right once in a while, and just getting by doing your best. I feel we relate, and when I don’t blog, I feel something missing.

I took a few weeks off to find my camera. Ouch. I have not found it. I will be buying a new one but meanwhile, I’ve found my iphone and ipad take pretty good pictures. I also took some time off because I’m working on the website for Adventure Mendota, and I was tired of looking at the computer. It has also been a fun time at About Face (where I work part time) as we plan our biggest sale of the year for “Early Black Friday” on November 7. And…on top of that, I’ve been considering going back to work full-time…so suffice it to say…it has been busy, busy, busy!

The part of busy this week has been the “work” there is to starting a business. I thought…”we have the shop, we have the land, we have Facebook…we’ll just get some tubes and kayaks and take off.” Maybe that would work for some people, but for us, it’s not going to be that way. There’s liability waivers, insurance, county approvals, VDOT approvals, logos and branding, business plans…all kinds of stuff. Mike does most of it, so I am lucky in that respect. Mike is all about the details which is great when you’re a Big Thinker like me. He keeps me reigned in. Mike and I, or Mike or I, go weekly to the Virginia Small Business Incubator for Lunch ‘n’ Learn sessions. They’re fun, and we’re excited to be 1 of 25 entrepreneurs competing for a $5K grant. Here’s where we go.


Independent from this, I have been working on the website. I’m trying to do as much as I can vs. having someone else do it to save money, although I am seeking some help. It does not have a logo and has several things wrong with it, but if you want to take a look at it as a “gentle, not-too-critical reader,” it’s      I asked friends on Facebook for pictures, and they have all been great. To date, however, I’ve used DeeDee Taylor’s pictures and Jessica Leonard’s pictures.    Darby the dog has become our Director of PR.  All of the pictures were beautiful but they were more fall than spring or I could not get them positioned just right, etc. I can’t wait to put some tubing pictures up as well as more kayak pictures, but I want them to be “real” so that means…next spring or summer! Let me know what you think of

One thing that we can check off our list is how to shuttle our tubers and kayakers up and down Swinging Bridge Road. Have you ever wondered who buys the old buses from groups like the Mountain Empire Senior Citizens? Enter..people like us.

Fork Taxi

We’re calling and tagging the MEOC bus the “Fork Taxi” since it will be running up and down the North Fork on Swinging Bridge Road. We bought the bus from Terri Anne and Brock at Clinch River Adventures and I noticed their license read “RVR TAXI.” I shamelessly copied. We’ll have some decals on it and hope everyone around waves at us as we rattle up and down Swinging Bridge Road with our kayaks and tubes!! Mendota rising? Is that a possibility?

Mike and I have been having a great time although there has been a heated moment or two. He took the Fork Taxi and got it detailed. You know what what I thought? Total waste of money, and why wasn’t my car detailed? He’s trying to make up now, so I believe Cracker, my little white Prius, has a spa day planned for tomorrow and will be looking good by tomorrow night.

Also, for those of you who have “liked” and shared Adventure Mendota’s Facebook page. Thank you so much. This journey is going to be fun but only if you’re with us. Float the Fork in 2015! (56)

Honeybee Update 2014

This post has two things — an update on our bees and honey but also a You Tube video that Mike came across that is funny. Please scroll down and watch the video.

Lots of neighbors and folks who read RiverCliff Cottage have messaged me about the availability of our honey.

Unfortunately, we will not have any additional honey in 2014. We have checked the hives to determine if there is enough honey to extract, and we found in most cases that the top “supers” had little to no honey. We must leave three “boxes” which are a combination of deep hive bodies and supers on each hive so our bees will have adequate food for the winter. Their health is our first priority, and during our first year, we took too much honey and starved our bees. On the upside, our bees look healthy and numerous so, hopefully, we will be greeted with healthy bees come spring. In the meanwhile, you can rest assured that if there is another Polar Vortex with -8 temperatures in Mendota, Virginia, I will be out there with bubble wrap, black trash bags, and duct table! Our hives looked strange for a few weeks, but they survived the brutal winter.


The above picture is an old one — I’ve lost my DSLR camera! How did I do this? I’m not sure. I’ll be off RiverCliff Cottage for a couple of weeks–at least the remainder of October– while I (1) finally find my camera or (2) purchase a new one. Ouch!

In the interim, while Mike has been researching kayaks and the potential to have Go Pro cameras for Adventure Mendota (yay) he came across this You Tube video which is hilarious. I hope you enjoy it was much as I did.

Have a great October and I’ll be back in November!! I’ll miss you!! (95)

Rainy Day Kayak Adventure

sit on top

By now everyone knows that in the spring of 2015, Adventure Mendota will open renting very cool inner-tubes and totally awesome kayaks.  I’m messing around here with the early stages of a logo.  That is not a double-sided pitchfork.  It’s a kayak paddle in the middle of an oval.   Pretty rough, but you have […]

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Adventure Mendota – More Baby Steps

Eva looking silly Resized

This weekend Mike and EJ worked outside leaving me inside to work on Adventure Mendota items.     I worked primarily on clerical items but also selected the theme for the website.  I’d reserved the domain name several weeks ago.  It’s  I’m not sure what you get when you put that in, right now, […]

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Prepared for ? and Another Dishtowel Giveway


There’s three things in this post.  The first, and kinda funny, is my dried onions.   Onion math is different than traditional math.  Two trays of these… Equal a 4 oz. jar of these… Not so many, right?   However, this was a learning exercise for me.  Now that I know how easy–although stinky–it is […]

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Adventure Mendota…Tiny Steps!


Last week I mentioned that we had plans for our shop.      If you’re not familiar with our property — there is the shop, the row of trees and black fence, the road, and then the North Fork of the Holston River.   The shop is getting a new use. We are in the […]

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Honeybees and a Black Squirrel Winter


Have you heard that the winter of 2014-2015 is going to be long and “bad”.   Perhaps “snowy?”   I have.   I have specifically heard it called a “Black Squirrel Winter.”  Sounds serious! At any rate, it means one thing for me in the coming weeks.   Sugar water.   Each time I speak […]

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The Mendota Landscape Changes

Granny's 7

When I grew up Worley and Lily Millard were my forever friends Lisa and Katie’s grandparents, but I called them Granny and Papaw because that is what Lisa and Katie called them.    If it bothered them, they were kind enough not to show it. They lived in a little house that sat in front […]

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First Day of Fall

Onions in Basket

Fall is here!!   While today is the first official day of fall, it’s been feeling “fallish” in Mendota, Virginia for quite a while.  I love the cool nights and the warm days with low or no humidity. This morning I went out to the garden and pulled up the remainder of the onions.  There […]

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Bristol Rhythm & Roots 2014

Downtown 1

When driving across State Street from Virginia as you enter into Tennessee, you’ll see the Chamber of Commerce and a giant guitar reflecting Bristol’s musical roots.  Now, there is something else!   There’s a countdown to something that many love as much as we love music — college football.  We don’t have a professional football […]

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