I had the privilege this past weekend of attending the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games in North Carolina. While my primary interest in the gathering was stemmed from my love for all things Outlander, in an unexpected turn of events I ended up discovering my Scottish roots as a result of the Games. My Grandfather has done extensive genealogical research on our family and he informed me that I am descended from the Kincaid clan of Sterling Shire in central Scotland. I was pretty pumped to find this out and it made my pilgrimage to the Highland Games that much more exciting, since I could add looking for all things Kincaid to my initial goal of looking for Jamie Fraser look-alikes.
The entire experience was extremely entertaining, from the shuttle ride in the rickety old school bus from 1950 that topped out at a max speed of 25 miles per hour up and down the insanely curvy and steep roads of Grandfather Mountain with our driver “Rosy” who didn’t seem to think it pertinent to keep his eyes on the road and off of his cell phone (or the blonde sitting behind him); to getting stuck in a torrential downpour with no umbrella or shelter other than some friendly pines with my brand new (not waterproof) camera and my Mom who was convinced we were going to get struck by lightning. All craziness aside though, I fulfilled my desire to see lots of real (live) people in traditional kilts and arisaids and we heard plenty of bagpipe music too. One of the highlights for me was getting to see Albannach in the Celtic Grove, which was pretty amazing. I also loitered around the tent of a Scottish kiltmaker just to listen to him talk (“the eight yard kilt will give ye mooch more swoosh than the wee five yard”). Unfortunately, I didn’t get to sample any traditional Scottish food since apparently the Scots diet is not very conducive to vegetarianism.
I didn’t spot any Jamie Fraser look-alikes. Not even close. But I saw a few potential Roger MacKenzies. Actually, I did spot a mannequin sporting a red kilt, white flouncy shirt and bright red wig and naturally I was convinced that this was set out by a fellow Jamie fan. I had every intention to get my photo made with it, but alas, my plan was thwarted by the sudden deluge and he was snatched inside before I got my chance.
In the end, a good time was had by all and I hope that I can recruit some fellow fangirls and make it back next year, although I think we must camp next time in order to get the full effect. Any takers?