Lake Norman Magazine

The Fifty Nifty

Kasie Rae Burgamy and Christy Mann.
Kasie Rae Burgamy and Christy Mann. Courtesy of Kasie Rae Burgamy

Kasie Rae Burgamy and Christy Mann (also known as “Rock and Cookie”) made a life-altering road trip last summer. On their way to visit family, the two longtime friends – both graduates of Lake Norman High School – drove from North Carolina to Pennsylvania, then to Michigan and back to North Carolina.What made the trip unique was their decision to take the less-than-orthodox route. Instead of hopping on the interstate and following the fast and easy directions, they took their time exploring the back roads and using a general sense of direction along with their intuition to get to their destination. They drove through small towns, abandoned towns, rundown towns and the expanse of land and forests. They describe what they found as amazing: “We were in awe of the charming antique stores in North Carolina, amazed at the grandeur of the dense forest in northern Pennsylvania, and enchanted by the serenity of a small river in Michigan,” says Burgamy.Their remarkable trip not only revealed to them the beauty and peace that exists in the nooks and crannies of our country – it inspired them to create The Fifty Nifty, a documentary/photography project which is currently in pre-production with initial filming dates to begin February 2012.The goal of the project will be to uncover the hidden beauty of America's smallest towns and businesses by traveling through all 50 states over the course of three months. The two photographers will travel off the beaten path in an old RV, equipped with Nikon equipment, searching for the stories hidden down the back roads of America. After visiting each of the 50 states to create a portrait of modern-day, small-town America and documenting the entire trip through film, writing and videography, Rock and Cookie plan to publish a photographic journal and to create a documentary to invoke the simple American spirit that our nation was founded on. “We hope to create more than just a few things that will collect dust,” they say. “We hope to create a movement. We hope to reflect on the one thing we feel our country needs more than anything: simplicity.”

To learn more about The Fifty Nifty, visit them online at or To donate to the project, go to