“People disappear all the time…” We all know and love that line from Diana Gabaldon’s first book, Outlander - the book that started it all in the beloved Outlander series. Claire Beauchamp Randall uttered those words as she reflected upon her life’s turn of events. We find ourselves uttering them as well concerning the sOutlander Series and “getting lost” in all things Outlander. NC Sassenach Tours all started with Carolyn’s attendance at an office retirement party several years ago. One of the gifts for the retiree was book one and the giver raved about it so much that Carolyn decided to add this to her list of must-reads. As soon as she started, she was immediately hooked! The story of Jamie and Claire and the unbreakable love they shared was addictive, but also gratifying. A love story for real-life and everlasting. It became so popular that STARZ decided to make it into a TV series. Carolyn had already been prodding her best girlfriend, Beth, to read the books but life is busy. Beth had started the first book but hadn’t been able to get very far. Carolyn continued to sing the book's praises and informed Beth of the upcoming show. Enter Sam Heughan. As soon as the actor who was to portray Jamie Fraser was introduced, Beth’s interest peaked. (Well, whose wouldn't?) She delved deeper into the books as the show began and when Beth discovered the ties to North Carolina, she immersed herself into learning more of our rich history. She began visiting the sites mentioned, and thus an idea was born. "This history needs to be shared," she thought. Then life changed forever. A Facebook group was formed, a Facebook page and then a blog. As each of these began to grow, the idea of a “Fraser’s Ridge Homecoming” was born. Beth’s vision was to have an event that would provide people with an opportunity to experience some of what Jamie and Claire would have experienced in North Carolina in the 18th Century. She built a team of other Outlander-crazed people who assisted her with planning: storytellers, musicians, regiments, and vendors. Workshops were offered for things such as goat soap making, basket weaving, 18th Century dressmaking, hawk and knife throwing, and plenty for people to choose from at the homecoming. Plant walks were scheduled, ghost stories told, costume contests held, the clans were called, and 18th Century food and dancing were enjoyed by all. It was a huge success and everyone who attended from far and wide enjoyed their love of Outlander together while learning more about the history of our great state. People who did not previously know each other left as friends and it truly felt like a homecoming by everyone. Fast forward to two Homecomings later, with a third scheduled that will feature three cast members from the Starz series (yippee!), Beth and Carolyn have teamed up to create a tour group aptly named NC Sassenach Tours. This group will visit sites also relevant to where Jamie and Claire would have gone while in North Carolina, in addition to important historical landmarks, wineries, breweries, and restaurants. As long-time best friends, we are very excited to enter this journey together and would love to have as many Outlander and history enthusiasts join us as possible! So come on...let’s “disappear” in time and hit the road together! Your tour guides, Beth Pittman and Carolyn Baker.