Soaking in the deep woods Ofuru (Japanese Soaking Bath),  fed from a sacred healing spring (the Indian’s Trough) is healthy and is a joy!

Merri and I are enjoying the soak, enjoying the summer days, the isolation of the creek and beauty of nature.

White ridges of wetness sing a rushing song in harmony with the groaning bridge.  Smells of damp leap through the willows. I feel this soggy touch and taste a pure, sweet cleansing that stings my lips.

little horse creek

Summer rains have taken our gentle creek into a cascade.  I stood on one of the small bridges that cross the creek and thought how blessed we are here with water.  It falls on us, rushes down our creeks, bubbles up through the grass, springs from the hills and cascades from cracks in the rocks.  This is no mistake. Merri and I began looking for our farm with two goals, altitude (to avoid air conditioning in summer and mosquitoes anytime) and an abundance of water.

We certainly attained both at Merrily Farms.

When growing up in Portland, we didn’t think it special to be able to drink clear, clean Bull Run water fresh from the tap.  Then I began traveling and was amused. The poor French, the Mexicans and people all over the world could not drink water unless it was bottled!  How strange I thought.

How little did I know?

I really became aware of the growing water supply problem when I returned to Florida.  The diluted chlorine mixture coming from our tap in Naples was not only expensive but barely drinkable.   Merri’s Mom lived in Macon, Georgia and her house was the first from the chlorination plant. The tap water would make your eyes burn!

I became concerned. Then in Portland I discovered that the previously sweet, pure water was chemically foul as well.

This was when I first became concerned.

We are too many.  Too dirty. Our water too little.

On our farm in the Blue Ridge there is a path leading to a  cabana that contains our Japanese soaking tub.

gary scott hot tub

This led to investing in water. But where? How?

One way is to own land with water. That’s why Merri and I decided to go to the source and buy land with springs . Each of our houses at Merrily Farms has its own gravity fed water supply from one of four separate artesian wells.  There are dozens of other springs on the land plus three rushing creeks.

However, the granddaddy of all the springs is the “Indian Trough”. This is a huge spring where about three gallons a minute pours out of a large rock formation. It is a historic site because the natives here viewed it as sacred (when this land was their hunting ground). They gouged a trough in the rocks so they could drink from the spring face and their horses could water from the trough.


This redwood Japanese soaking tub has spring water filled for each use.  The water is heated by an immersed wood stove that sits in the tub.  The Japanese soaking tub is heated with a wood burning stove and refilled after each soak… so the water never requires chemicals but is always clean.

The water is said to be medicinal and the locals have come here to collect it for generations. Mainly for their health, but one neighbor said his father was a famous moonshiner and only used this water to make his moonshine! The locals still come up to collect it and a dear friend whose brother was passing asked for some to take to the hospice. To drink this water was his brother’s dying wish.

We are blessed with this water and have built a wonderful Japanese Cedar Soaking Tub (the Japanese word is Ofuru) deep in the woods. The spring (which comes out at exactly 49 degree temperature year round) fills the 450 gallon tub (it can accommodate six people). A wood burning snorkel stove with heat exchangers is immersed in the water and heats it to the temperature desired (usually around 100 degrees). After the soak (and drinking lots of water while there), the tub is drained and filled again so no chemicals are needed. We mix cool water with the warm so that the creek water is never comprised. We also have ten gallon oak barrels so we can drink it all over the farm as well.

Summer up here is wonderful….and until next message, all the health in this world to you!


Escape the Madding Crowd

Join us on Little Horse Creek where Merri and I spend our summers in the Lost Provence.  

little horse creek

Enjoy the cool, green, fresh Blue Ridge simplicity of our farm.

map farm

Escape the hectic pressures of  the city.  Enjoy the freshness of our forest at the end of the world but, still be in the middle of things.

The motto at one of our nearest restaurants in Lansing, North Carolina (192 friendly  people) was: “This is not the end of the world but you can see it from here”.

Merrily Farms is at the end of the world… isolated… nurtured in nature… serene… a perfect place for creativity and peace.

When Merri and I sold our print publishing business in the 1990s, we built cabins and a seminar hall and renovated cottages here.

Little Horse Creek Autumn entrance

The farm is always quiet, peaceful and relaxing.  We built this covered bridge as it allowed us to cross Little Horse Creek…before that one had to wade through!


In times that so many perceive as tumultuous, inspiration becomes even more valuable and important in business.  The news on the internet, in the papers and on TV are so filled with negativity that it can be catching.  In such eras, those who see positive realities gain an extra edge.  This is the place where you leave all this behind.

Our idea was to have small seminars at the farm.

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A group with us at the farm.

There was a problem.  The seminars and courses kept growing too large.  This is a pleasant problem but a difficulty still.

We have given up and have the seminars in West Jefferson at the Jefferson Landing Country Club where there is plenty of space.

We now offer these cabins as quiet escapes at the end of the world, even if you do not want a private consultation.

The cabins and cottage are available for a few days, a week or even a month so you can enjoy the peace and beauty of the Blue Ridge… as Merri and I do.

Make Merrily Farms your escape to our remote North Carolina farm on Little Horse Creek.

Here is the creek…


Here is the cabin in spring.


It overlooks the creek.


There is a huge deck for outdoor living.

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Enjoy eating creekside overlooking the waters of Little Horse Creek.

The cabin is 800 square feet over all.

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The floors and walls are poplar.

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There is plenty of natural surroundings and light.


Enjoy the deck…


overlooking the creek.

There is one bedroom, one bathroom.

There is a full kitchen.  This cabin has one king size bed and a queen size sleeper sofa to accommodate up to four guests.

You can see full details and reserve the cabin at AIRBNB Virgina Creeper Cabin

The second peaceful haven is our Creekside Farmhouse on Little Horse Creek.


Sounds of the creek are very soothing.


great for sitting on rocking chairs on


the front porch.


Living room.


Three bedrooms, a den and dressing room.  Up to ten can stay.


Two bathrooms with showers.






Dining room.

You can see full details or reserve at AIRBNB Bluegrass Music Cottage

Many come just to escape and relax.  Other readers come for private self publishing or internet micro business or Ecuador consultations

There is eight miles of hiking trail where you might see deer…

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wild turkey and…

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plenty of brook and rainbow trout in the creek.

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A trout our daughter caught in the creek.

Travel is easy as well. There are really low cost flights on Allegiant Airlines from our nearest airport Tri City Regional Airport (1.5 hours away) to Tampa and Orlando.  Delta connects to Atlanta and US Airways connects to Charlotte.

Join us at the farm through AirBNB.

See details for reserving our cabin for up to four guests at AIRBNB Virgina Creeper Cabin

See details for reserving our cottage for up to eight guests at AIRBNB Bluegrass Music Cottage