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Standing Bear Farm

2011 April 19

Standing Bear Farm is a historic farmstead that has been converted into a hiker hostel. The old outbuildings have been converted to a bunkhouse (complete with wood burning stove), kitchen and laundry area and a few cabins. John and I originally were just going to walk in, get a couple of days’ resupply, eat one of the DiGornio pizzas they are so famous for and then boogie out of there. That idea went out the window as soon as we got there. Lured by the siren song of a hot shower and a warm, dry place to sleep, we decided to stay in the bunkhouse for the night. We had great company as some of our traveling companions were already there, Iron Mike and Tabasco and we knew The Conversation and Chopper Bear weren’t far behind.

The farm itself is in a really great location and a good majority of thru-hikers at least stop in for a pizza. One of the things we liked best was that the whole place worked on the honor system. You just grabbed an envelope and wrote your name and items you took from the resupply (i.e. 10 envelopes of oatmeal, 8 snickers, etc…), added it all up, put the cash in the envelope and then dropped the payment into a wooden box. Definitely a system you don’t see very often if ever.

Both of us thought the bunkhouse was super cozy warm, but the place definitely could have used a "woman’s touch." The resupply shop was pretty extensive, especially for such a small set-up, and the prices weren’t too expensive–basically what you would pay at a gas station. You had to pay for absolutely EVERYTHING, including soap and shampoo. And on top of that, some of the seasonal help seemed a bit shady. If we had to do it all over again, we’re not sure we’d stay the night.

At the end of the night as we were about to hit the sack, two random guys rolled up (in a Trans-Am no less) and booked a night in the bunk house. One of the guys was a thru-hiker from ‘06 and remembered the place fondly. Anyway, they grabbed two bunks and then proceeded to keep us all up most of the night with some SERIOUS gas issues. These guys were not kidding around. There were grunts, butts sliding out of the sheets (for a better angle I guess?), and noises I’ve not heard since my last visit to the zoo. We left them still “actively engaged” around ten the next morning. Off to bright skies and clear air!

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The Conversation welcomes us to Standing Bear

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11 Responses leave one →
  1. Erika Sanchez permalink
    April 19, 2011

    Liz & John – I love reading your blog! What an adventure!!!! Take care and be safe!!! :)

  2. Dear Ole Dad permalink
    April 19, 2011

    Hi Libby & ?????????????????? cant remember, I can be there in 20 0r 30 minutes to bring you home…. How about it?

    • Elizabeth permalink*
      April 19, 2011

      Dad! We’re having a lot of fun! So no need to come pick us up. Thanks for the offer though. Yesterday and today have been beautiful. We should be in Damascus by Thursday morning. Love you lots.

  3. April 19, 2011

    Looks like you guys are having fun! Stay safe out there!

  4. April 19, 2011

    I’ve heard good and bad things about that place. Thanks for the update! Keep it up!!!

    • April 23, 2011

      Yeah… I think I’d stay again, assuming the help had a turnover by next year. I liked the honor system best. Good resupply!

  5. Dear Ole Dad permalink
    April 20, 2011

    Libby & John, Your Mom[Margaret] says Hi and she misses you guys very much..gotta go, Love, Dear Ole Dad

  6. Shannon permalink
    April 21, 2011

    Those guys must have eaten a Fiber One bar. :)

  7. Long Walker permalink
    May 5, 2011

    I stayed the night at Sanding Bear in April 2011 because I had herd good things about the place. I did not enjoy myself at all there. The there where really drunk or high on some non-green drugs and where very rude to me and my wife and kid. The shuttle service was lousy and the driver was so drunk he could hardly drive. As a matter of fact this guy was looking at my 12 year old daughter more than he was looking at the road. Scary. The owner Maria was just a nut case accusing every body of getting her husband Curtis drunk. We did not get him beer but he aggressively hassling beer from the people that where staying there. I would never go back there again. The people that host there are to out there for me, and to rude. It is worth just going on into Gatlinburg and really relaxing there.

  8. Pea Pod permalink
    April 18, 2012

    I will never go there agin. They where rude drunk and loud. They where talking about there 420 party on april 20th and about all the blugrass music and drugs that will be there. My familey are not sticking around for that. I guess it is good place if you are a drug addict or a drunk. You can keep the place. We will fourge on to Elmer’s at The Sunny Bank Inn in Hot Springs N.C. I will have nothing to do with that place. I don’t care how lovely the land is. It is a filthy nasty place and the people are the same.I am pissed off that I was even fooled into going there. I guess all hikers are intitled to thier own advise. We are off to more positive things, Like The Trail

  9. Man Walk permalink
    August 16, 2012

    What a rude confused place. A waste of time. I herd that the owner Maria Guzman has something to do with an arson and murder and is being investagated. The hole place is being looked at by the fbi, and irs. Not for me. Ehhhhh

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