Archives for May 2015

Happy Graduation Will Gobble!!

Happy Graduation to Will Gobble! Will is our neighbor’s son, and I’ve watched him grow up. He’s now graduating from Gate City High School! Where did the years go?

Will Gobble

When we started thinking about Adventure Mendota, we knew we’d need one person to help with the heavy lifting of these kayaks. That person would have to have good customer service skills and be certified in lifesaving. I told Mike that it was a shame that one of Angie Meadows’ sons was not interested as they live nearby!! At about that same time, Will Gobble sent an email saying he’d like to work here during the summer. Will is Angie’s son!!

We told him that we weren’t sure how much we’d need him. He said he was flexible.

We told him we’d need for him to get CPR/First Aid certification. He told us he’d already done that. He is a lifeguard in Kingsport.

We asked him if he had transportation to get here? That was a joke since he can walk.

Did he know anything about kayaking? Yes, he already had his own kayak.

I am not sure what we would do without Will Gobble working with Adventure Mendota.

Picture 14

We are looking forward to good things from Will as he evolves from high school student to college student to young adult. He will enter ETSU in the fall, and his career path is engineering. He plans to stay there for two years and then he will transfer to the University of Tennessee. He said he wants to live and work in this area…maybe live in Mendota because he loves the river.

Between his job at the Kingsport Aquatics Center and Adventure Mendota, he has not had a day off in at least a month.

Neth and Will

He’s kind. He loves his dog. And…he suggested that his mother should bring me a Peach Tea from Pal’s! What is not to love about this kid?


Mendota Rising!! Loving Poor Valley!

To me, this is more true today than in quite some time.

Boots Corrected

Here’s why…

1) I’ve got me a doggy again. He’s a celeb dog.

River Big Picture

Rebecca Pepin wrote about him on her blog which I highly recommend you read AND COMMENT!!! She will love your comments! At any rate, River is famous, and you can read about it here! He thinks we are now “Staff.”

2) Adventure Mendota had a fabulous weekend, and our phone is still ringing. We are so excited. Here they are folks…just waiting on you!!

Six Waiting

Can someone in Mendota, Virginia bring ecotourism into our part of Washington County? Good, clean fun for families? Keep your fingers crossed!

Kristen Quon joined the Adventure Mendota posse pulling for this little paddle sports business “in the sticks” last week and brought us lots of recognition. I was so happy when I saw her blue WCYB car in front of Adventure Mendota!!


3) Are there people who will remove that beautiful dress from the box or hanger and let Adventure Mendota and Regina Shinall make it memorable again? Heather Faust Bruner did! She trusted this to Regina Shinall.

Heather 1

Regina gave me a couple of very glamourous roles….pull donkey and/or gofer.  Heather was having a ball.  The river was a little chilly, but she’s a country girl and so long as she wasn’t gray dead with cold too blue, we kept at it!!

Heather and me

4) And the kind words and people who came from everywhere and did a little of this…

Second Girl in Kayak

and this…

Girl in KayaK

Thank you for reading RiverCliff Cottage!!!


Adventure Mendota Day One!

We opened and everyone in the country has asked “how did ya do?” Everyone was curious. We were, too! In Mendota, we have never had anything like Adventure Mendota and we’re all wondering “will they come?” It’s not unlike the movie “Field of Dreams!!

This was compounded by our uncertainty on whether we’d be open on May 2. We knew the weather would be nice, but we weren’t sure if river conditions would be suitable.

Our friends showed up and we had fun, but we didn’t have “real” customers. However, if we couldn’t have real customers, we had the next best thing. They called. They emailed. We don’t know whether to answer our phone with “hello” or “Adventure Mendota” because the calls come in at odd times. We don’t care! We love it! Thank you to those who called.

The day opened with a surprise front-page article by Marci Gore of the Kingsport Times News. I am so grateful for Marci! Adventure Mendota in the Kingsport Times News. One thing I’m learning about the media is that they want us to succeed as much as we wish to succeed. Certainly, they are looking for things that readers are interested in, but they also are back at their computers cheering for us. You’ll see more media attention in the coming weeks, but Marci’s article was the first, and it is working well. Following Marci’s article, people want to know how to get here, what days we’re open, and to talk about guide fishing. We’ve had reservations! Woohoo!

We had some fun! Who doesn’t love DeeDee and Eric Taylor? Rephrase that…who doesn’t know DeeDee and Eric Taylor? If we were in high school, they’d be getting Cutest Couple and Best All Around and Most Popular. I’d probably be jealous.

DeeDee and Eric

And Joann came up and ate a hotdog with us and wanted to pretend drive the Fork Taxi…don’t be scared! We didn’t let her go anywhere!

Joann Driving

Betty Wood is a good friend. She’s pictured here with Joann. She and Joann are talking about getting a group to picnic on the banks and possibly a Red Hat Float on the Fork. That would be so fun to see!!

Betty and Joan

Mike…snugging with You Know Who on the job accompanied by Darby Taylor. You Know Who is our new rescue dog, River. River did very well yesterday. He’s starting to settle in. Tomorrow, Monday, he meets his vet and has a physical followed by his “surgery” on Tuesday. Since River is now sharing Public Relations with Darby (also pictured), he doesn’t want to be bothered with doggy testosterone.

Darby and River and Mike

River is anxious to be on camera. He’s a natural. Look at that little tongue sticking out! Smarty pants!

River Looking at the Camera

Gerald and Eric went out fishing and caught 18.

Guide Fishing Gerald

Eric brought his drone. If you have not been around a drone, they are so cool!! This one has a camera attached. I can’t wait to see the footage.


The battery got low, and the drone returned to where it was launched…DeeDee was on hand to catch it.

DeeDee Catching

This is really making us want a drone. Here! She’s caught it!!

DeeDee Caught!

This won’t always be filled with “land” pictures. I am confident. It will take us a few weeks, but we’ll gain more notice each week, and when the weather is hotter, the river will feel so good. Those reservations will be visits, and we’ll all be Floating that Fork!! I went out yesterday with DeeDee. It actually was a perfect day to be in the kayak. The water is still too cold for tubing but in just a few weeks…..we’ll be saying…Live it! Love it! Tube it!



On Facebook in November, I see gratitude posts, and I’m always interested in what people are thankful for. I always intend to do the gratitude journey as well, but I don’t. If I’m truthful, I don’t stay with it long enough to do it for 30 days. I’m not sure if it’s because I’m not a deep person or if my attention which is very gnat-like keeps me moving from thing to thing. However, I am very grateful for many things. Salvation? Of course…it is why and how we now breathe so it’s the basis of all gratitude.

But tonight it is almost midnight, and I’ve been thinking of a few of the “daily” things I’m thankful for. This morning, I did a quick trip to Pal’s to pick up tea and biscuits for myself and two others I work with. I went to pay for my purchases, and they were paid for by the person ahead of me. How nice!

The traffic on the Volunteer Parkway was heavy, and I realized it wasn’t something to be annoyed by, it was something to be thankful for, because the good doctors, nurses, dentists and support staff were busy with a RAM at the Speedway. I pray that those people in those cars are in better shape tonight or following this weekend because of RAM.

Adventure Mendota opens tomorrow, and I have friends and family who are more worried about it than me. I have a sense of peace that people will come. If not tomorrow, they’ll come during the summer. Marci Gore wrote me a note tonight that there was a surprise waiting when I open the Kingsport Times News tomorrow. I’m so grateful for Marci and others who are as enthusiastic about Adventure Mendota as Mike and me. Can we be the first tiny step in revitalizing Mendota? Why not? Optimism! Another thing to be thankful for!!

On a lighter note, this little stinker is something I’m grateful for although he took me for a nice chase this evening. I realized this little guy is my weight loss plan for 2015.

River 1

Me: “River…you come here. Don’t you dare take off. I mean it!”

River 2

Me: “Pleeeezee…River.” Does he even know his name?

River 3

Oh and run we did. He looked over his shoulder and shot off down the road with me chasing him. I’d get relatively close and he’d take back off. Finally, our neighbors at the little cabin up the road stopped and I asked them to help me. Nosy, happy, friendly River had to run up to them and say hello, and they grabbed his collar. Snagged!!

In the coming weeks, we have to figure a way to keep River in his “tiny” six acre lawn. It’s fenced but he can crawl under. At one time there was an electric fence that ran underneath the wood fence which was put there to keep doggies in. I’m not sure if that can be made to work again, but there are other similar ways to keep doggies from running a little too freely. We’ll give him lots of river time, lots of love, and lots of places to run as well as plenty of leash walks, but he cannot take off like he’s trying to do now.

But I’m still grateful for him. Oh my goodness, though, he is farting up a storm as I close out this post. Yikes…something has crawled up River and died!!


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