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Former Admin
10-08-2002, 21:50
Comments, experiences, opinions, good or bad related to Mountain Momma's.

ez-does-it
10-09-2002, 10:50
:)
Mountain Momma's:
I stayed there two years in a row and had no problems.John and Carolyn Thigpen are very kind people and treated me rght both times.The rate of $15.00 includes a stay at one of the cabins,laundry,shower and ride back to the trail in the morning.Also they have one of the best cheesburgers around.They also have a pretty good resupply. :)

Jumpstart
10-09-2002, 22:17
This place gets a bad wrap but I guess it is what you make it. We had a decent stay here, with a shower, laundry, and pretty comfy cabin (we stayed in the Honeymoon shack; the pink cabin) and the sound of the river drowns out any night noises and makes the sleeping peaceful. Only problem was that it was COLD cold cold the nigth we were there, and the cabins are uninsulated. They have a super-friendly big old dog, and great food, but this year a new place had opened up a few miles passed along the trail, the Bearclaw hostel, and lots of people skipped over Mtn Momas for that place. The people who ran the place were nice, accomodating, and very down-to earth. I wouldn't reccommend it to any thru-hiekr who expects a "cater-to-me" experience, but for the open minded it was a great place ot rest.

smokymtnsteve
12-30-2002, 13:15
the thigpen are nice folks ..but the place is nasty and needs work
and a good cleaning up!

TakeABreak
08-15-2004, 21:13
The place over sharges for what you get, the pan cake were from a box! It electrical wire laying on the ground in the back, the showers were grody and the lights did not work. 2000 thru hiker,

Lone Wolf
08-15-2004, 21:16
You should at least be thankful it was there to get anything at all.

weary
08-15-2004, 22:02
You should at least be thankful it was there to get anything at all.

L Wolf is right. When I stopped in 1993, the grill was broken down and I had to settle for a cold meal. The bunks then were in a windowless tractor-trailer box.

But after coming out of the Park, short of food, tired and discouraged, I thought it a wonderful place. It remains one of the hostels that sticks in my mind as being special. It wasn't Rusty's but it was good.

Weary

MOWGLI
08-15-2004, 22:14
L Wolf is right. When I stopped in 1993, the grill was broken down and I had to settle for a cold meal. The bunks then were in a windowless tractor-trailer box.

But after coming out of the Park, short of food, tired and discouraged, I thought it a wonderful place. It remains one of the hostels that sticks in my mind as being special. It wasn't Rusty's but it was good.

Weary

I went by there yesterday. The place looked a bit "busy" with all sorts of things in the yard, but I still have fond memories of my 2 days there in 2000. Mr. Thigpen took me to the hospital to have my leg x-rayed. I thought it was broken - thankfully not.

I helped Mr. Thigpen install a windshield in an old pick-up truck, sat by Big Creek for a few hours, and chatted with Mrs. Thigpen. I especially liked the fact that they didn't treat hikers "special". They were just another customer. Mrs. Thigpen was gonna finish her hand of cards before getting up to cook you a burger.

When I left Mr. Thigpen, clearly worried about my leg, he told me to call him from wherever I was if I got into trouble. He said he'd come "fetch" me. I'm certain that he would have too.

Little Bear

Youngblood
08-15-2004, 22:16
You should at least be thankful it was there to get anything at all.

I was and I enjoyed my stay there in 2000... it has character. I stopped by last monday for a soda and even the kittens made me feel welcome.

Youngblood

White Oak
08-16-2004, 02:57
What's it like now? Are the Thigpen's still own it? I heard it changed owners. What kind of name is Thigpen are they from Thailand?

Jaybird
08-16-2004, 05:32
Comments, experiences, opinions, good or bad related to Mountain Momma's.


when i hiked thru (w/ "the Model T Crew") this past May 2004...
i was a bit leary of stopping @ Mountain Momma's...as i'd heard the place was very un-friendly to hikers now....but we chose to hike down anyway.....(we had a re-supply scheduled here )..........


Nothing but GREAT SERVICE, NICE SMILES, & EVEN GREATER CHEESEBURGERS! (& of course, trail angels: Ed & Barbara O'brien from Florida gave us a ride down to MM's & saved us over 3miles of non-trail walking!) :D

i have nothing but GREAT memories of MM's.

Blue Jay
08-16-2004, 08:41
The place over sharges for what you get, the pan cake were from a box! It electrical wire laying on the ground in the back, the showers were grody and the lights did not work. 2000 thru hiker,

Plus the TV in the Honeymoon Shack was not working. :banana

Blue Jay
08-16-2004, 08:42
Plus the TV in the Honeymoon Shack was not working. :banana

Pan cake from a box, Oh the horror.

MOWGLI
08-16-2004, 08:51
What kind of name is Thigpen are they from Thailand?

Thai - uh... NO. I'm not sure what nationalilty they are (most likely American), but they are devout Southern Baptists that appear to have lived in the area for generations.

manzana
08-16-2004, 08:52
I dont mean to badmouth Carol since she has been very nice to me over the years. I agree that her place is a little run down but I think the chow is great and the folks are nice. In the winter, talk of her cheeseburgers haunts the discussions at Cosby Knob Shelter from the folks who are cold and famished from their trek through the park... But, isnt there a new place right on the trail now that you would get to (Northbound) at the same time? I think it is Bear Den or something like that. I know they paint little bear tracks on the rocks as you get close to it. I am not sure if they have groceries or not. They are just north of I40.

thanks!

BTW, the friendly old dog died and Carol did NOT harbor Eric Rudolf in the Honeymoon Suite 8-)

Lone Wolf
08-16-2004, 09:22
Carolyn and John are from Florida. They haven't been there for generations.

MOWGLI
08-16-2004, 09:36
Carolyn and John are from Florida. They haven't been there for generations.

Thanks for clearing that up LW. John told me he likes to go to Florida often to pick up a load of "water punkins" (watermelons) with his big old trailer. He sells the melons in towns near Mountain Momas. Anyway, I was half right. They ain't Thai.

chomp
08-16-2004, 09:45
I didn't like the place and I would not recommend it. I didn't think that the food was that good, and the bunks are not the best thing ever (tho I did appreciate it on the really rainy day that I was there). However, what really got me was that after spending over $30 there (dinner, bunk, breakfast) they wanted $2 to drive me a mile back to the trail. I walked.

MOWGLI
08-16-2004, 09:56
However, what really got me was that after spending over $30 there (dinner, bunk, breakfast) they wanted $2 to drive me a mile back to the trail. I walked.

It is all about choices. That's one of the great things about a long distance hike.

smokymtnsteve
08-16-2004, 10:01
I didn't like the place and I would not recommend it. I didn't think that the food was that good, and the bunks are not the best thing ever (tho I did appreciate it on the really rainy day that I was there). However, what really got me was that after spending over $30 there (dinner, bunk, breakfast) they wanted $2 to drive me a mile back to the trail. I walked.


kinda cheap isn't it, $32 for dinner, bath, bed, b'fast, ride back to trail is really cheap. what did you have for dinner and b'fast?

Blue Jay
08-16-2004, 11:02
kinda cheap isn't it, $32 for dinner, bath, bed, b'fast, ride back to trail is really cheap. what did you have for dinner and b'fast?

Not only cheap, but if you had been freindly they wouldn't have charged you the $2. They've never charged me. Quite often attitude toward people who provide you with a service, saves you money, both on and off the trail. No place more so than Mountain Momma's.

chomp
08-16-2004, 11:17
Not only cheap, but if you had been freindly they wouldn't have charged you the $2. They've never charged me. Quite often attitude toward people who provide you with a service, saves you money, both on and off the trail. No place more so than Mountain Momma's. Oh boy, here we go again. Anyone else want to criticize me for expressing my opinion? Here is a new flash, people - not everyone likes the same things. And thanks for assuming that I wasn't friendly. I was, and I was very happy to be there that night since it was POURING out. I was, however, disapointed that a ride back to the trail (one mile) was not included with lodging. That is my opinion, feel free to express yours.

This "I am better, nicer and more generous than you" attitude on these posts is getting really old. Get over yourselves already.

Lone Wolf
08-16-2004, 11:24
chomp is right. His is just one opinion. I thought the Rendezvous Motel in Pearisburg was a dump. The greeting I got wasn't very friendly. Doesn't mean others don't absolutely love the place. Same for the Andover Guest House. Peg leg was an Ahole. Just my opinion. :)

Blue Jay
08-16-2004, 11:28
Sorry, I just get tired of the constant niggling complaints about valuable, long standing, service providers along the trail. I actually believe Uncle Johnny was once, long ago, a decent, kind, human being but was pecked to death by hikers.

MOWGLI
08-16-2004, 11:33
Same for the Andover Guest House. Peg leg was an Ahole. Just my opinion. :)

Geez Wolf, after lecturing Dewey about not being a nice person, you go and call a dead guy an ahole. Ouch!

By the way, I thought Peg Leg was one of the nicest folks I met in 2000.

Blue Jay
08-16-2004, 11:39
chomp is right. His is just one opinion. I thought the Rendezvous Motel in Pearisburg was a dump. The greeting I got wasn't very friendly. Doesn't mean others don't absolutely love the place. Same for the Andover Guest House. Peg leg was an Ahole. Just my opinion. :)

Nooo, not you too Wolf. Peg Leg was great. I saw him go out of his way many times to help people at no charge. Even the 5 star Doyle Hotel in the old days, with a dead guy in the next room, does not warrant attack. We're not talking about a $200 a night resort in Jamaica here. As another poster said, no one forced you to stay at these places. I am truely surprised that many places stay open with the lack of gratitude many hikers exhibit.

chomp
08-16-2004, 11:45
I am truely surprised that many places stay open with the lack of gratitude many hikers exhibit.
Well, maybe there should be less places to stay on the AT. And Mountain Mama's isn't going anywhere - they sell enough cigarettes alone to pay the bills.

Lone Wolf
08-16-2004, 12:01
Never stayed at the Andover joint. Was going southbound in 98 and came in from South Arm road. Was at the store across from the guest house with 3 others. He came across the road and asked if we wanted to stay. I said we were going to The Pine Ellis. He said, " What the ****** you wanna stay there for?" Nice guy. Late the next day we're at Hall Mtn. Lean-to and this young female hiker arrives and said she just left the Guest House after peg had made some inappropriate comments to her. Nice guy. In 99 I was in town with my truck and drove up to the trail crossing to pick up some hikers that had reservations at the Pine Ellis. I get there and Peg Leg is there waiting on hikers in general. He asked me what I was doing, I said waiting on some hikers, then peeled out at a high rate of speed. Anger problems. Musta thought I was stealing business. Maybe by 2000 he changed his ways but when he first arrived in Andover the locals and a lot of hikers weren't so impressed by him. There's hope for Uncle Johnny.

MOWGLI
08-16-2004, 12:15
LW, I have it on good authority that this is not the first time you've had words with a guy with "one leg". he he

Lone Wolf
08-16-2004, 12:18
Oh man! :) Total coincidence. I don't dislike One Leg as a person in any way though.

Lone Wolf
08-16-2004, 12:29
And MOWGLI, when Dewey met me there was no reason for him to dislike me. We spoke for 30 seconds tops. He was nice I was nice. But it's obvious he's jealous and hateful towards chubby guys with Harleys that have hiked way more miles than him. :D Peg Leg was an Ahole right off the bat.

peter2003
04-27-2005, 22:09
Add me to the list who like the place and also the cheesburgers; however, the group I was with walked down for a cheesburger and a little resupply and then hiked on to the hostel a couple of miles away. It was rural NC at it's best.

A-Train
04-27-2005, 22:26
I had a real pleasant experience at Mt Momma's, though I guess I could see how people wouldn't love it. They didn't seem to be the type of folks who were waiting around to bend over backwards for hikers, just folks owning a business that just happens to me a mile from the Smokies :)

Anyway, the cheeseburger was incredible, probably the best on the entire AT, and it was all very cheap. I proudly sported a Mt Mommas camo trucker hat the rest of my thru-hike. I always joked that the people there were so nice to us because we stopped in on a sunday. They were all glued to the tube watching Nascar. Anyway, I would definately lodge at Standing Bear, but I'd stop in for the burger. Great camping spots less than a mile past MM's.

Anyway, a kid in front of me hiked a 30 miler and crashed on one of their picnic tables and was charged the 15 bucks the next day anyway. It's all heresay and I wasn't there, so take it for what it's worth. We all thought it was funny, especially if you knew the hiker.

Nean
04-27-2005, 22:39
Was always treated very well there as was my dog Cooler. Good memories! Think sometimes some of us expect too much

Moxie00
04-28-2005, 08:51
Mountain Mommas was exactly as described, great food, a little littered, a brassy but friendly hostess, a non working washing machine, and a long walk from the trail. After a week in the Smokies in absolute winter conditions it was wonderful to walk into spring at Mountain Mommas. Warm weather, sun shining and a beautiful river running past. I didn't stay as I came in early in the morning. She took no credit cards, cash only, so some hikers had to pay a local $20. for a ride to the nearest ATM machine. Also at that time she would not give rides back to the trail to hikers that picked up their dogs there which is a common experience after the smokies where dogs are not allowed. She had no denatured alcohol so I bought wintergreen flavored rubbing alcohol to mix with the small amount of denatured I had to get me to Hot Springs and it worked. I would never give the place 5 stars but for a thru-hiker place it was just fine.
:bse

Rain Man
04-28-2005, 09:53
Mountain Mommas was exactly as described, great food, a little littered, a brassy but friendly hostess, a non working washing machine, and a long walk from the trail. ... She had no denatured alcohol so I bought wintergreen flavored rubbing alcohol to mix with the small amount of denatured I had to get me to Hot Springs and it worked. ...

I think Mtn Momma's menu board says a great deal-- "You can order eggs any way you want, but they'll come scrambled." LOL

Standing Bear Farm is a good place to resupply (has a variety of fuel, etc.), just a couple of miles away on the other (north) side of I-40. Standing Bear also is a great place to stay, has no cook, but does have a hiker kitchen, frozen pizza, burritos, and the like.

I had breakfast at Mtn Momma's and spent the night at Standing Bear just a couple of weeks ago after my GSMNP section hike.

Rain:sunMan

.

jackiebolen
04-28-2005, 10:48
Why wouldn't you go to Standing Bear Farm? I stayed there last year and no one had a bad word to say about it. Just a thought.

Ridge
04-28-2005, 13:49
Why wouldn't you go to Standing Bear Farm? I stayed there last year and no one had a bad word to say about it. Just a thought.
Its funny you mention SBF, me and a friend are hiking to the place in a few weeks, hadn't been backpacking in years. Can anyone give me the miles from Newfound Gap to Standing Bear Farm? I guessing just under 35. I hope less. hikerwife

Lone Wolf
04-28-2005, 13:56
34.3 miles.

papa john
04-28-2005, 17:31
Pan cake from a box, Oh the horror.
OMG, I am still laughing about this one. Way to go Jaybird! :D

Papa John

Ridge
04-29-2005, 01:58
34.3 miles.
Are you putting me on? Is there a site that these mileage's can be found? I looked at several trail journals and, amazingly shocking, estimated pretty close to your figures. I got an email back from Curtis at SBF and he didn't know the miles but says it will take 2.5 days of hiking.

Lone Wolf
04-29-2005, 07:02
2005 AT Data Book

Nean
04-29-2005, 07:21
It took me 5.2 days of hiking;)

Crazy Larry #1
04-29-2005, 14:46
treated me pretty good when I hiked thru there back in 2000 and then I stopped by and said hello when i hiked thru there in 2003 and i was staying at the bears paw and it was okay with them. Iguess it's all how one presents themself as to what type of response or experience they will have there. they are there to make a living and i'm sure they have their favorite hikers but on the most part they probably don't get too close to everybody. nothing wrong with that

neo
04-29-2005, 19:08
i have stopped there several time,i really enjoyed the cheese burgers:cool: neo

Ridge
04-30-2005, 01:05
Don't laugh, but does Mountain Momma's have and email address or a website?

What is the hiking distance there from davenport gap?

thanks, hikerwife

Lone Wolf
04-30-2005, 01:38
Nope. No website or e-mail. 1.3 miles from Davenport gap.

Kerosene
04-30-2005, 13:07
Is there a site that these mileage's can be found?Check out the AT Database at http://www.thebackpacker.com/trails/at.php, although some of the mileage is getting dated. The most up-to-date numbers are available in each year's AT Data Book (http://www.atctrailstore.org/catalog/iteminfo.cfm?atcmem=0&itemid=457&compid=1), published by the ATC ($5.95 for non-members; $4.95 for members).

weary
04-30-2005, 13:26
i have stopped there several time,i really enjoyed the cheese burgers:cool: neo
The grill was closed for repairs when I arrived in 1993. The "hostel" was the body of an old truck trailer, reachable by a wobbly stump placed in front of a crude door. I still liked the place.

Weary

Stix
06-17-2005, 20:02
For what its worth-



If youíre a purest, Mountain Momas is the place for you. Its world famous cheeseburgers are awesome and its quaint little honeymoon shack hostel is full of nostalgia inspiring journal entries. If your looking for something a little more modern, have a cheeseburger at M.M.ís and walk on down to Standing Bear Farm hostel for lodging and re-supply. SBFH stocks a wide variety of the essentials and if they donít have it they will gladly run you into town. The place is pretty damn cool and I highly recommend it.

Blue Jay
06-17-2005, 20:49
For what its worth-



If you’re a purest, Mountain Momas is the place for you. Its world famous cheeseburgers are awesome and its quaint little honeymoon shack hostel is full of nostalgia inspiring journal entries.

Although I completely agree with you, please don't be giving the poor purists something else to be obsessive-compulsive about. Their world is harsh enough already.

Spiritual Pillgrim
03-13-2006, 14:29
Walked 21 miles to get to Mamma's. Tricky to find in the dark. But at 8 p.m. I went to the front door and Carolyn happened to be in the kitchen. I knocked and announced "thru hiker". After she ascertained I wasn't some maniac asylum escapee, she let me in, hooked me up with a bunk, laundry and a hot shower (and with real indoor plumbing) and made me a few sandwiches. The cat was friendly, the dogs we're friendly, everybody was friendly. Had a good hot breakfast that I didn't have to cook and it filled my belly. Had a nice conversation with the Thigpens. Got a $3 pack of smokes and enough snacks and energy boosters to get me to Hot Springs. As has been said, yeah, the yard is colorful and has LOTS of character, but don't a lot of other places around look the same?

mingo
03-13-2006, 14:51
eat cheeseburgers and buy smokes at mtn mama's, then go to standing bear for the evening

Curt
03-13-2006, 15:25
I was there when the place was a dump (1991?) but the thighpens were supper nice. The second time was even better, the third time Mr. Mountain Mama's treated me and my wife badly, perhaps he was sick that day. A person can be nice one day but not-too-nice the next if he is not feeling well. What I don't understand is why they have the "Jesus love you" posters plaster all over the place but at the same time they don't mind helping you to slowly killing yourself by selling you cigarettes. Now that they finally have competition they have to improve the place and their manners in order to attract business from hikers. After saying all these, I don't mind staying there but I stay away from the greese and cigarette.

Pirate
03-13-2006, 15:56
Why don't you cry babies go home. This is a great place to eat and hang around. Some of you are afraid to do a little work to clean up after yourselves. Don't blame it on the Thigpens. They didn't open up the place for hikers anyway. It was primarily a tobacco store. The hikers were an exta bonus.

icemanat95
03-13-2006, 17:51
In 1995 my maildrop, which included a change of fleece jacket, went missing. I stayed at mountain Momma's for a few days, eventually running out of trail food and money. Mr. Thigpen brought me into town where I hit an ATM. I resupplied and arranged with Mr. Thigpen to forward my package to Hot Springs or Erwin depending upon the timing. When I was in Hot Springs, Mr. Thigpen showed up with the money I had given him to handle the package. He had been able to return it to sender without charge and felt compelled to return the money to me. That's a tremendously honorable thing to do.

Good cheeseburgers also.

Lilred
03-13-2006, 18:14
I stayed at Standing Bear on my thruhike and loved the place. However, I kick myself for not stopping at Mountain Mama's. I have since heard that I missed an amazing cheeseburger. Next time, it's a definate stop.

Gray Blazer
03-14-2006, 12:40
the thigpen are nice folks ..but the place is nasty and needs work
and a good cleaning up!

I love the name and the good things I've heard about it, but, you're right and that's the reason I've been afraid to stop there. Hitch to Davenport and stuff yourself at Ryan's. You'll see some of the biggest people in TN there. Sorry Thigpens, someday I'll stop in.:)

Dances with Mice
03-14-2006, 14:24
http://www.northamericanchallenge.com/GalleryStageIII_Page9_5.htm

Gotta love the wheelchair ramp onto a gravel path for all those handicapped smokers.

Lobo
03-14-2006, 14:47
Had that famous cheeseburger at Mountain Momma's and stayed at their "The Hilton" bunkhouse in 2000. The Hilton has mice so hang your food! Next night I camped on Max Patch summit...quite a difference.

Dust
03-14-2006, 18:29
The cat was friendly, the dogs we're friendly,

The dogs "we're" friendly?

neo
03-14-2006, 19:47
:)
Mountain Momma's:
I stayed there two years in a row and had no problems.John and Carolyn Thigpen are very kind people and treated me rght both times.The rate of $15.00 includes a stay at one of the cabins,laundry,shower and ride back to the trail in the morning.Also they have one of the best cheesburgers around.They also have a pretty good resupply. :)

i have stopped there several times,i always make it a point to eat their cheese burgers,i can almost taste one now:cool: neo

MOWGLI
03-14-2006, 19:55
The dogs "we're" friendly?

Post #2? Go back to trail forums. And take your pocket protector with you. :banana

DavidNH
03-14-2006, 19:59
I didn't like the place and I would not recommend it. I didn't think that the food was that good, and the bunks are not the best thing ever (tho I did appreciate it on the really rainy day that I was there). However, what really got me was that after spending over $30 there (dinner, bunk, breakfast) they wanted $2 to drive me a mile back to the trail. I walked.

Chomp.. I am sorry but just can't let this go. 30 bucks for dinner, bunk and breakfast is a rare bargain these days.. presuming of course the food is decent and the bunk is something more than an old camp cot withno sheets. I don't know anywhere in the northeast where I live where you could get lodging..dinner and breakfast..all for 30 dolloars!! The place has to make some money...just to stay in business and cover expenses right?

Two bucks to go to trail head? You are aware that gas is up around 2.30 plus per gallon?

Myself..I would gladly pay two bucks for a ride back to trail head.

Now if the place was in bad condition and/or the food is really sub par or very small poritions..then you have a legitimite gripe. otherwise no.

DavidNH

digger51
03-14-2006, 20:02
I recommend skipping it and stopping at Standing Bear. Ive stayed at both and Standing Bear is way much better.

Stix
03-14-2006, 20:34
Yea mountainmommaís is world famous and the burgers are pretty damn good. If youíre passing through you have to drop by for the nostalgia, but as for staying there, I donít recommend it. I would suggest getting a ride back to Davenport gap and walk on down to Standing Bear Farm Hostel. The place is awesome and I highly recommend it. When I was there they took the group into town in the 15 pax van for dinner and re-supply. Hey, they even got beer! You canít beat SBF. Booya!

Lugnut
03-15-2006, 00:23
I stayed in the honeymoon shack with another guy. I sure hope no one finds out. :o Don't know why it is named that, and doubt that it has ever been used for that purpose; but it was sort of embarassing.

rgarling
03-16-2006, 09:43
Just so people can see what the cheeseburger fuss is all about, I uploaded a picture of my hiking buddy, who was a happy customer:

http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/vbg/showimage.php?i=10317&c=531

Gray Blazer
03-16-2006, 14:55
Just so people can see what the cheeseburger fuss is all about, I uploaded a picture of my hiking buddy, who was a happy customer:

http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/vbg/showimage.php?i=10317&c=531

Now, that's what I'm talking about. Next time it's Mountain Moma's!

sliderule
03-18-2006, 11:11
Last October, my son and I were staying at the Big Creek Campground prior to a hike in the Smokies. We decided to have dinner at Mountain Mommas.
When we walked in the front door, there was a lady behind the counter, talking on the phone. She immediately turned so that her back was to us and continued her phone conversation. After waiting patiently for several minutes, we decided to tke a look around the "store" until she finished her phone conversation. She continued to keep her back to us. Five minutes later, we returned to the counter. After several more minutes, it appeared that the phone conversation was nowhere near an end. So we left. Our presence was never even acknowledged.
So I can't tell you whether the cheeseburgers are any good or not. But I can tell you that, on our visit, customer service was nonexistant.

Smile
04-08-2006, 17:29
Can somebody post the phone number for Mountain Mommas?

Smile
04-08-2006, 19:13
I can only find a James Thigpen in Cosby TN, and he said it was the wrong number. Not Mtn. Mommas....anybody have the number?

Lugnut
04-08-2006, 19:17
828-486-5995

Smile
04-08-2006, 19:25
Thanks so much Lugnut ;-)

solace
04-08-2006, 20:38
Hey . . . what's with all the "Hiker Glum" this year!?! Hey Man.. A ROOF IS A ROOF :) Dirty Showers??? Well.. it's STILL RUNNING WATER :) C'mon.. this ain't the Holiday Inn! I agree, most hostel food is not the best... but, again, your not at the Olive Garden.. or the APRIL FOOLS BASH in Franklin!!!
Cheers for shelter... Cheers for food.. and 2 legs to walk to Maine!

Bilko
04-08-2006, 20:50
You wanted some experiences with Mountain Moma's. I hope you do not mind the long reply. This is from my journal.

I was heading out on a section hike from Atlanta, GA to Mountain Momaís located in Waterville, TN. Most people would spell it Mamaís, or Mommaís. However, the guy that made the sign has a 9th grade education from a rural school in Florida. John spells things the way they sound to him. Itís his store. His wife, Caroline doesnít seem to mind that it is spelled wrong. He named it after her. He cut the sign out of wood and now itís too hard to change. Like he told me, deal with it.

I had arranged by telephone for a shuttle from them for Monday 14th. Caroline said her husband would be getting in around 9:00 pm and he would drive me around the park to Fontana Dam. I made good time and arrived at Mountain Momaís at exactly 8:00 pm, TN time.
Mountain Momaís is located along side of Big Creek creek, about a mile from the Appalachian Trail. Davenport Gap Shelter is located a short distance from Momaís along with Big Creek Ranger Station. Mountain Momaís is an old school building built in the late 30ís. The school closed down in the late 80ís because of the low population in the area. It sat empty for several years before a guy from the local water plant bought it. He didnít do anything with it until he sold it to the present ownerís in 1991, which they planned on making it a retirement home. The couple had been living in Jacksonville, FL and would come up to the mountains during the hot summers. They saw that the school building was for sell and bought it. While fixing it up to live in, a local rural grocery store/general store closed down a short distance from their retirement home. There was no store in the area for the local people to purchase supplies. Caroline and her husband decided to turn the front part of the school into a General Store/ Restaurant. The back side would be there residence. They also added some bunk houses and rooms for people spending the night, those people being hikers from the Appalachian Trail. It is what I would call a genuine General Store. They have all the basic staples any respectable person living in Tennessee would need. One entire wall is filled with nothing but cigarettes, every type of cigarette that has ever been made. The cigarette boxes are stacked from the floor to the ceiling. If you canít find a cigarette here that you donít like, well then, you just donít like cigarettes. You can buy flour, sugar, milk, coffee, bread, soup, chewing tobacco, hunting hats, work gloves, candy, gum, slim jims, and soft drinks. Itís hard to tell if you are in the store or in the restaurant. It reminds me of what the first Cracker Barrel must have looked like. I donít imagine a health inspector has ever visited this place. The restaurant has 5 tables and an additional 5 booths which face out the large windows of the front of the building. The cigarette wall is located at the far end of the restaurant. The other walls are covered with Dolly Partonís Glamore/Publicity pictures. She has signed each one. Without much effort they could turn this place into a Dolly museum. Pictures, bobble head dolls, figurines, calendars all with the likeness of Dolly. Between the store and the restaurant is the kitchen. The kitchen opens at 8:00 am and closes at 6:00 pm. I was told by Caroline ďand not one minute later than 6:00 pmĒ. The store closes at 8:00 pm. What was to be their retirement home has turned into a daily 12 hour job. I knocked on the door to Mountain Momaís at 8:02 pm. The place was closed of course, but I could see that there was someone inside. Caroline the owner of Mountain Momaís opened the door and asked me in. I introduced myself and then asked for the location of the bathroom. It had been a long ride. She told me to just follow the foot prints. On the floor were painted what looked like foot prints from Big Foot. The foot prints went through the restaurant into a small walkway/storage area back to a bathroom. The bathroom had hand written signs stating, that you should take care of the bathroom facilities or they would be closed down. There were instructions on when to flush and how to hold the handle down. There was hand written cards on each table that read that it is perfectly okay to tip the waitress. I donít remember seeing a non-smoking area. I got the feeling that visitors were not really welcomed here. Caroline offered me a cup of coffee and after a few minutes of small talk she seemed to relax and put her guard down. Her husband arrived at 8:45 after a long day of selling produce along the side of the road in Sterling or Greenville. Watermelons were his top sellers. He buys the watermelons from someone else and hauls it around in some type of giant pick-up truck. He does this a couple of days a week and works on the remodeling of the school building the rest of the time. I lot of hikers find out about Mountain Momaís from word of mouth and hiking websites. Momaís does not have a website. They really donít do any advertising. She thought when they opened the store she would get 3-4 people a day. She says now when it is a very busy day she will have 3 to 4 hundred people coming into the store. That sounded like a lot to me. Caroline and her husband decided to travel together to take me to Fontana Dam. They are down to earth people and very religious, however they seem to be a little against organized religion. I parked my car about a Ĺ mile from Momaís at Big Cedar Ranger Station. I took out my backpack from my car the and loaded it into their 1988 Ford Aerostar, with over 200,000 miles on it. He bought the car used last year. We started the drive to the other side of the park. Caroline told me the story which happened to her early that week. She was low on oil and called her husband to see what she should do. He explained that she needed to get a can of oil out of the garage and pour it into the crankshaft. She pulled down a can of break fluid and poured it into the engine. He had to drain the oil pan and add new oil. They both had a big laugh about that. They drove me for two hours, we laughed and talked the entire time. They dropped me off at the Hilton around 11:00 PM. Mountain Moma's is a part of the AT experience, like all experiences it is up to us to make them positive or negative.

Lone Wolf
04-09-2006, 07:55
Today's "thru-hikers" are whiners. I remember the days of no hostels and so-called magic at every road crossing. I would never run a hostel. Too many hikers are hostile and unappreciative. Mountain Momas is what it is. Be thankful it is there. ******* I hate hikers sometimes!:mad:

Blue Jay
04-09-2006, 09:48
Too many hikers are hostile and unappreciative. Mountain Momas is what it is. Be thankful it is there.

This is sooooo true.

Stix
04-09-2006, 10:30
Today's "thru-hikers" are whiners. I remember the days of no hostels and so-called magic at every road crossing. I would never run a hostel. Too many hikers are hostile and unappreciative. Mountain Momas is what it is. Be thankful it is there. ******* I hate hikers sometimes!:mad:
I donít think we should blame the hikers. I say we blame the current majority of hostel owners for setting the current standards.
It is their outstanding service and accommodations that the hiker community has come to expect and anything less is seen as inferior.:)

Bilko
04-09-2006, 11:50
We all compare and measure places with our own experiences. We compare our AT experiences, Miss Janets, Uncle Johnnie's, Damascus Bed & Breakfast, hostels, Elmer's Place, etc. We compare the service at these places, we compare how we are treated, we compare facilities, like it or not Mountain Moma is competing against all these other establishments along the AT. If people expect a high quality of service out on the trail, perhaps Mountain Moma is not for them. If people want a high quality cheeseburger, which is also being compared with other food places, stop in.

solace
04-09-2006, 19:23
Right on L. Wolf ~ It's so true... "TRAIL MAGIC".. yeah Right! If thats what it's still called... THERE IS WAY TO MUCH Trail Magic!!! These folks who go out of their way to do this are awsome & I think they have very good hearts, but the fact is.. HIKERS HAVE COME TO EXPECT IT! This is bs... Crutch & I even heard comment s this year.. "WHERE WERE YOU GUYS, I THOUGHT YOU WERE SUPPOSE TO BE DOING TRIAL MAGIC HANDING OUT FOOD" !!! (this is after we had driven 80% up to Wayah Bald to try to get a couple of yo-yo's that were "cold" !!! we had to turn back the snow was so bad!) MT MAMA's does WHAT IT CAN!!! And hell of a burger! I see the AT changing.. the lifestyle of it.... to "easy" now..... How many of us could have hiked it back with canvas pants, an old canvas pack, 2 clanking pots.... ect??? (not many) indeed, too many of the "winers" would have been upset someone isn't on their hands and knees cleaning up the stall @ MT MAMA's!!! cheers ~ solace

weary
04-09-2006, 20:20
....These folks who go out of their way to do this are awsome & I think they have very good hearts, ....
Not really in my opinion. Most I suspect, consciously, or unconsciously, are living vicariously an experience they dream of doing, but lack the courage.

Frankly, I thought most of the trail "angels" I met in 1993 were pretty pathetic. Nothing I have seen or heard since changes my mind. This sad world has many problems. Organizing charity drives for mostly yuppies with the the luxury of a six month vacation strikes me as way down on any rational priority list.

Weary, Ga-Me '93

Lone Wolf
04-10-2006, 00:29
Weary rocks!:D

Sly
04-10-2006, 01:29
Today's "thru-hikers" are whiners.

LOL... Can you hear me now? ;)

Nean
04-10-2006, 08:52
Dealing first hand with hikers daily (live and work ON the trail) has given me a different view than those who hike through thier screen, live in the past and talk down about angels.:eek: The "expect hikers" have always been out there but most of the folks I see doing trail magic are former thru hikers.:-? Are there some inconsiderate/ selfish hikers out EVERY year? YES!! And there are folks who will bitch about anything and everything both on the trail and on the web. IMO, you should enjoy the trail (and MMs) for what it is, and enlighten those who expect and don't respect along the way. This is the AT, stardate: 2006- get with it!:)

Blue Jay
04-10-2006, 12:31
Mountain Moma is competing against all these other establishments along the trail

Now that is one funny post.