3 Fun-Filled Summer Camps for Murphy, NC Kids and Teens

Now that spring is finally here, Murphy, NC students will soon be counting down the weeks until their summer vacation. Although kids and teens might plan to become experts at their favorite video games, or spend weeks hanging out with their friends, their parents would likely choose more constructive activities. In other words, the parents want their children to get off the couch and exercise their bodies and minds during the summer. So, why not send them to summer camp? If that sounds like a good plan, check out three popular camp choices in and near Cherokee County.

Murphy, NC. 828-494-2859.

Kids who enjoy horseback riding (or would love to learn) gravitate to this weeklong summer horse camp adventure. North Sungate Farms is nestled among beautiful woodlands and meadows near Murphy, North Carolina – a perfect setting for a fun-filled midsummer session.

Catering to campers ages 10-18, the facility incorporates good horsemanship and safety while offering exposure to several riding disciplines. Campers can learn English or Western pleasure riding, and get a taste of dressage, jumping, and hunt seat work. Arts, crafts, and lively games also contribute to this memorable weeklong experience.

Nantahala National Forest, 75 May Johnson Way, Andrews, NC. 828-321-2210.

Campers looking for a Christian-centered environment, along with a sumptuous feast of outdoor recreation choices, will enjoy this rustic camp in the beautiful Snowbird Mountains just outside Andrews, North Carolina.

First and foremost, Snowbird maintains a strong focus on the Gospel. Students participate in twice-daily worship services that include song, drama, video, and expositional messages. Campers also share their views in daily breakout sessions focusing on diverse topics. Participants wrap up each day with small group discussions led by Snowbird staff, who help to guide students’ growth through building of personal relationships.

Turning to the recreational side, campers enjoy a host of on-campus and easily accessible activities. On the Snowbird premises, participants enjoy archery, basketball, climbing tower and rappel wall, a gun range, paintball, zipline, and waterslide. Nearby off-campus sports include river and lake tubing, whitewater rafting, wakeboarding, canoeing, hiking the Appalachian Trail, mountain biking, and horseback riding. Taken together, Snowbird campers will have plenty of chances to exercise their bodies while also experiencing spiritual growth.

13077 W Highway 19, Bryson City, NC. 828-785-4850.

This nationally renowned kayaking and rafting trip outfitter operates highly popular summer kayaking camps. Scheduled for five-day blocks during June and July, each Youth Week session offers day camp and live-in lodging options. Participants don’t need whitewater paddling skills, as paddlers are grouped according to their experience level. NOC’s Paddling School Instructors provide campers with 24-hour supervision, both on and off the water.

Each kayaking camp session combines paddling skills building with a healthy dose of fun. Participants paddle several of the region’s navigable rivers each week, matching the river’s challenges to the group’s skill level. On Youth Week’s final day, families are invited to join their young paddlers for a “Family Paddle” on the scenic Nantahala River. Discounted kayak and gear rentals are available for parents who don’t have their own equipment.

With three enticing summer camps within easy driving distance, Murphy, NC students have unlimited opportunities for fun this summer. When they return to school next fall, they’ll have plenty of colorful pictures and stories to swap with their friends.

The Poltrock Team – REMAX Mountain Properties – Murphy NC – ilovemurphy.com – Call us Toll Free at 1-866-Murphy-NC or 1-866-687-7496 – Murphy’s #1 Real Estate Team

6 Spring Cleaning Tips to Make Your Murphy, NC Home Shine

With spring’s arrival just a few weeks away, you’ve got the urge to give your Murphy, NC home a big cosmetic makeover. In other words, you’re gearing up for some serious spring cleaning. To keep from getting overwhelmed by the project ahead, break the work into manageable chunks. Plan to begin with tasks common to each room, and then put the finishing touches on specific parts of the house.

Next, gather your cleaning tools and supplies, plus plenty of paper towels and/or rags. Include a set of sturdy rubber gloves to protect your hands, along with a mask if you’re sensitive to chemical smells. Then, crank up your favorite playlist and give your home some timely TLC before warmer weather begins. Continue reading “6 Spring Cleaning Tips to Make Your Murphy, NC Home Shine”

Tips for Prepping Your Murphy, NC Vegetable Garden: February and March

With this season’s delightfully mild winter (so far, anyway), Murphy, NC gardeners are increasingly focused on the upcoming growing season. In fact, they might even be tempted to till the soil and get a jump on their vegetable planting work. Although waiting until the last frost date (May 10 in Cherokee County) might be a safer course of action, gardeners can take some important steps with these Tips for Prepping Your Vegetable Garden during February and March. Continue reading “Tips for Prepping Your Murphy, NC Vegetable Garden: February and March”

Fun Activities For Seniors In Murphy, NC and Cherokee County

Local fun activities for seniors are as diverse as the folks who enjoy them. For starters, you’ll often find ladies and gentlemen enjoying biscuits or waffles at their favorite Murphy, NC breakfast eatery. Next, some seniors might hit the grocery store or make the rounds of the local thrift shops. Other residents browse through books and DVDs at the Murphy Public Library, while hobby fans stock up on supplies for their latest projects.

Seniors who prefer group activities also have some attractive options. Whether they engage in gentle exercise with like-minded workout buddies, or socialize with friends and neighbors at a favorite gathering spot, they can enjoy those pastimes right in their local community. Looking at the big picture, Cherokee County offers some enticing choices for every taste. Continue reading “Fun Activities For Seniors In Murphy, NC and Cherokee County”

Wayne Cofer Helped us Find the Perfect Home

We found out about The Poltrock Team while searching properties on the Internet. After Wayne Cofer called about one of our inquiries, we decided to work with the team. During our real estate transaction, Wayne Cofer’s services were most helpful. We spent several days with him, and his guidance and questions made us really “think.” We feel that Wayne is a true asset! We are very pleased to have found the perfect home, in the perfect location!

Also, The Poltrock Team’s business relationships with attorneys and insurance companies definitely made the legal end of our purchase seem flawless. Overall, we rate the level of service received as a “10.” We would absolutely work with The Poltrock Team again.

–Nevada Myers

The Poltrock Team – REMAX Mountain Properties – Murphy NC – www.iLoveMurphy.com– Call us Toll Free at 1-866-Murphy-NC or 1-866-687-7496 – Murphy’s #1 Real Estate Team

The Poltrock Team is the Real Estate Team to Call in Murphy, NC

We found out about The Poltrock Team through a Craigslist ad. After Wayne’s return call, we learned that the home was sold. Then, Wayne asked me, “What would you like in a home?” I gave him a list of interests I want in a home, and three days later he forwarded four specs with pictures to follow. We then decided to work with The Poltrock Team. The team put forth an excellent effort to help us find and purchase our house.

During our real estate transaction, The Poltrock Team was most helpful in providing knowledge on the home inspection, termites, etc. Wayne talked to me like I was a family member, being honest and downright informative. He helped us with our mortgage questions, as well as information he had from being in Murphy.

Overall, we are 100% satisfied with our real estate experience with The Poltrock Team. We are very happy with Wayne, and we would definitely recommend him to friends. We are also very pleased with the team’s professionalism, and we rate the level of service received as a “10.” We would absolutely work with The Poltrock Team again.

–James A. Brown, Jr.  and DeAnn Wilke

The Poltrock Team – REMAX Mountain Properties – Murphy NC – www.iLoveMurphy.com– Call us Toll Free at 1-866-Murphy-NC or 1-866-687-7496 – Murphy’s #1 Real Estate Team

7 Energy Efficient Tips For Murphy, NC Homes

Energy efficient log homesAs winter’s cold temperatures make your home a bit chilly inside, you’ve been cranking up the heat to keep your family warm. And because winter isn’t the best time for outdoor activities, everyone has been spending extra time watching shows and surfing on the computer.  Thus testing how energy efficient your home really is.

Your family’s increased power consumption often means a higher electric bill, and you’d like to begin reversing that trend right now. By making your Murphy, NC home more energy efficient, you’ll save money over the long term. As an added bonus, you’ll reduce the demand on your power generation company’s resources. To get the ball rolling, follow these simple strategies that contribute to positive results.


During our region’s colder months, you’re focused on keeping your home comfortably warm, without spending a fortune in the process. You’ve tried to be conservative with the heat pump, and maybe you’ve been running the gas fireplace as well. So, don’t allow subpar windows and/or doors to sabotage your efforts.

Button Up Your Drafty Windows. If your home’s windows have gaps larger than ⅛ inch, seal those leaks by placing adhesive-fitted closed-cell foam onto the window sash’s bottom. Or, tape bubblewrap over the entire window, creating a plastic barrier that’s surprisingly effective.

Seal Your Home’s Leaky Doors. To decrease cold air intrusion through your doors, apply foam strips on each door’s top and sides. To finish the job, place a door sweep on the bottom.


Keeping your home toasty warm in the winter, and pleasantly cool in the spring and summer, just makes life more enjoyable. And when you’re relaxing inside with your family, you create a cozy, welcoming atmosphere with your interior lighting and accent lamps. However, your comfortable, well-lit home could be contributing to a higher electric bill. Fortunately, you can make several small changes that will help to get your electric expenses under control.

Fine-Tune the Climate Control System. To stay warmer during the winter, set your ceiling fans to rotate in a clockwise direction. Reversing the air flow helps to push warm air downward toward your living space. And while blades are stopped, wipe them down to eliminate any dust. Also, turning the thermostat down to 55 degrees at night will give your heat pump (and your budget) a break.

During the warmer months, minimize your air conditioning expenses by setting the thermostat at 78 degrees, especially when you’re away from home. Or, if it’s not excessively warm, run your ceiling fans instead to maximize air flow without placing demands on the heat pump.

Turn Down Your Light Consumption. To quickly and painlessly decrease your lighting costs, simply turn off the lights when you leave a room. If you’ve been leaving lights on when you’re away from home, consider putting them on easily managed timers.

In addition, consider trading your incandescent light bulbs for compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs), the curly-shaped bulbs derived from tube-shaped fluorescent lights. An Energy Star-compliant CFL uses one-fourth the energy, and lasts ten times longer, than a similar incandescent bulb that emits the same amount of light. Although each CFL costs more than an incandescent bulb, you’ll typically recoup that cost in less than nine months,


Powering up your computer, TV, and household appliances is as easy as flipping a switch. When you’re finished, you hit the “Off” button and walk away, assuming that the device’s power consumption has stopped.

However, if each piece of equipment is still plugged in, it’s racking up charges on your electric meter. This “standby power” usage costs you more than you realize. In fact, standby power makes up 5 percent to 10 percent of residential energy usage, with the average American household shelling out $100 per year. However, here’s some good news: you can easily reduce your standby power consumption, which will translate into savings over time.

Use a Switch-Equipped Power Strip. Install a power strip with On/Off switches for your electronic devices and other equipment. In your living room, for example, use a power strip for the TV and DVD player. Place another power strip near your computer, printer, paper shredder, and desk lamp. By plugging all equipment into an adjacent power strip, and turning off the power strip switch when those devices are idle, you’ll stop their electrical power consumption.

Unplug Your Power-Consuming Products. By simply unplugging your household devices when they’re not needed, you guarantee that they won’t add to the electric bill. While you wouldn’t want to unplug the refrigerator or home alarm system, for example, consider using this tactic on the microwave or bread machine.

Run Full Loads in the Washer and Dishwasher. Washers and dishwashers are the epitome of convenience. Several times a week, you hit the “On” switch, and clean clothes, dishes, and flatware appear in a couple of hours. However, if you run your appliances without full loads, it reduces their efficiency and costs you considerable money.

First, let’s say you throw a few things into the washer, and choose the appliance’s “Small Load” setting. Surprisingly, the machine will use almost as much water and energy as a full load of clothes. By running full laundry loads rather than half loads, your household could save up to 3,400 gallons of water annually, according to the United States Department of Energy. Speaking of energy savings, running one large load of laundry saves you roughly 25 percent to 50 percent of the energy used by two small loads. Even better, these water and energy savings translate into extra cash for your family.

Use a similar strategy to operate the dishwasher more efficiently. Although one full load consumes more water and energy than a half load, that single large load uses considerably less water and energy compared to two half loads. So, consistently pack the dishwasher full, and you’ll gradually reduce your water and energy expenses over time.

With this easy-to-follow blueprint, you can make your Murphy, NC home more energy efficient. Over time, you’ll likely see a smaller electric bill, giving you extra cash for home projects and enjoyable family activities.

The Poltrock Team – REMAX Mountain Properties – Murphy NC – ilovemurphy.com – Call us Toll Free at 1-866-Murphy-NC or 1-866-687-7496 – Murphy’s #1 Real Estate Team

County Courthouse Lantern Repairs Grab Residents’ and Visitors’ Attention

Historic buildings are always good candidates for repairs and restorations. In cities and towns across the country, you’ll find workers shoring up sagging floors, replacing peeling paint, and even beefing up the building’s structure. However, here in Murphy, NC, the Cherokee County Courthouse recently received a rather unusual type of facelift.

Courthouse Lantern Removal & Repair

On the morning of Thursday, January 12, two huge hydraulic cranes lumbered into action on Murphy’s Peachtree Street, just outside the courthouse. Managed by Cannon Roofing Company, the cranes had a highly challenging task: remove the super-heavy copper lantern from atop the courthouse’s large dome. The word “lantern” is an architectural term, in this case referring to the ornamental structure that has topped the Cherokee County Courthouse since its 1926 construction.

First, a crane operator gently lowered the lantern’s dome to the street. Once workers examined the dome, they found that it was only secured by one solder joint, where up to eight joints had originally held it in place. In other words, the dome could have given way at any time, crashing onto the pedestrians and court patrons below. What had caused the joints to work themselves loose? Most likely, the dome’s waving American flag, followed by a copper American eagle, had created sufficient windage to negatively affect the dome’s structural integrity.

Next, an even larger crane plucked the much taller lantern from atop the building’s dome, and brought it safely to the ground. Constructed of eight 10-foot-high hollow copper Greek columns, the metal lantern is certainly a grand-looking structure. However, it’s also the subject of a mystery: the lantern is chock full of rifle bullet holes.

Cherokee County Courthouse’s Colorful History
The lantern repair’s unusual nature is the latest chapter in the courthouse’s unconventional history. In fact, the current building is the latest in a series of structures, the first of which was supposedly burned by Federal troops during the Civil War. Two more courthouses suffered the same fate, with the last one falling victim to fire in 1924.

In 1926, Cherokee County commissioners approved construction of the current courthouse. Designed by James J. Baldwin, and built with a veneer of imposing Blue Marble from nearby Marble (of course), the two-story Neo-Classical Revival-style courthouse easily commands your attention. Inside, the ground floor is home to numerous offices, while the expansive second-floor courtroom features finely crafted woodwork and plaster furnishings.

However, the Cherokee County Courthouse’s most dramatic feature is the two-story cupola that soars high above the entrance pavilion. Above the cupola’s lower stage, you’d normally see a striking large domed roof, topped by the lantern and smaller dome. With the lantern and small dome missing, though, the building looks strangely out of proportion.

What’s Next for the Lantern Repair Project
Of course, getting the lantern on the ground was only half the battle. To safely contain the cumbersome structure, Cannon Roofing workers had constructed a massive wooden box, which arrived atop a flatbed truck. After workers buttoned up the lantern for transport, the truck headed for Andrews-Murphy Airport, where skilled craftsmen would perform repairs inside an aircraft hangar.

Not surprisingly, fixing the 91-year-old copper lantern will be quite expensive. The Cherokee County government will soon issue a request for repair estimates, which should be the subject of much discussion around town. After the lantern repairs have been completed, workers will carefully reattach the copper eagle to the dome. Fittingly, this symbol of American liberty and freedom will soon resume its watch over downtown Murphy, NC.

The Poltrock Team – REMAX Mountain Properties – Murphy NC – ilovemurphy.com – Call us Toll Free at 1-866-Murphy-NC or 1-866-687-7496 – Murphy’s #1 Real Estate Team


The Poltrock Team was Motivated, Friendly and Willing to Help at Anytime

We found out about The Poltrock Team through word of mouth. We decided to work with them because John is awesome! During our real estate transaction, John was able to negotiate a reasonable price with the seller. He was patient with the process so that we could get what we wanted.

Throughout the transaction, John’s staff was motivated, friendly, and willing to help at any time. I was able to drop by the office to talk about my concerns, and I never felt that I was wasting anyone’s time. John was always there to answer questions, or he called back immediately.

Also, I just wanted to let you know how encouraging it is to see the group out for breakfast at The Daily Grind. It’s nice to see how well everyone gets along and are truly team players. Having your morning meetings in a public venue shows that you support the community and each other. Well done!

Based on our recent experience, we would rate the level of service received as a “10.” We would absolutely work with The Poltrock Team again.

–Renee Lamance & Zach Kilmer

The Poltrock Team – REMAX Mountain Properties – Murphy NC – www.iLoveMurphy.com– Call us Toll Free at 1-866-Murphy-NC or 1-866-687-7496 – Murphy’s #1 Real Estate Team

We Give The Poltrock Team a 10

We found out about The Poltrock Team through online research, and we decided to work with them because they are #1. We had a very successful real estate experience with The Poltrock Team, during which they were most helpful in providing us with updates and videos.

During a time in which home sales were far outpacing unimproved land sales, John and his team found us a buyer who qualified to purchase. However, the buyer later backed out of the deal just before closing. Fortunately, John found a new prospective buyer who did complete the sell/buy agreement within about two weeks of the first failure.

We are very grateful for John’s diligence, and for the successful sale of the property, that resulted from our having employed the right team for the job. We would rate the level of service as a “10.” Based on our experience, we would absolutely work with The Poltrock Team again.

James & Judy Obert

The Poltrock Team – REMAX Mountain Properties – Murphy NC – www.iLoveMurphy.com– Call us Toll Free at 1-866-Murphy-NC or 1-866-687-7496 – Murphy’s #1 Real Estate Team