234(+) Miles, roads and sights you want to see!


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I live a rather nice life. I take care of my Mom and my Mr. and in return, I’m given time every week to ride and go where I please, for as long as it takes for me to accomplish this task.

Yesterday started out rather good. I awoke at 5:30 AM, and unable to go to sleep, I went about packing my day pack. I had made plans to ride to Sevierville TN. and back…I was excited about the prospects of all I had researched, the places to see, the things to do along the way.

As daylight encroached upon the domain of the night, it quickly became apparent the skies were not going to be the expected and much wanted “sunny and warm” days of both Saturday and Sunday. (Both these days had been called to have scattered rain showers with thunder storms late in the day. Both days had so much sunshine, I don’t believe I saw a single drop of rain until the evening hit!) That wasn’t to be the case on this day.

I bit my lip…I worried this and that…I really wanted to go for a ride. I checked the weather reports on two separte weather stations on the web…well, if the weather guy is to be believed, where I’m going is going to have some fairly good weather. I make the decision to ride…so what if I have to ride through some rain to get to the good stuff. Exposure to the weather is one of the great reasons we choose to ride!

I’m packed and on the roads. There is a fine misting all the way to Greeneville on Route 11 with one very heavy downpour just outside of Greeneville…My ass got quite wet…but my feet stayed dry. I love my old work boots…they keep me secure in any weather…and support my feel and ankles, (unlike those damn HD boots.) I wanted to photograph this neat old house in Greeneville…look at it…it’s wonderful!

I jump on Route 11 business heading south toward Route 321. Once on RT. 321…I am in and out of rain for about another 20 miles…until just before Parrotville, TN.
This is one of the first sights that greet me with the sun’s face…

Just before entering the town limits…I see this…I turn around to read what it’s all about…and it turns out it’s quite a find!

This is Swaggerty Fort, one of only two known remaining blockhouses in Tennessee. was built about 1787 by James Swaggerty for protection from the Indians. Located on land of his Uncle Abraham Swaggerty, it consists of three levels. The cantilevered structure was built over a stream which provided a water supply.

I climb on my trusty old girl…and ride about a mile down the road…I see what appears to be a Chevy P/U graveyard…how wrong can one be?

I pull in to take photos, and Woody steps out…

He’s delighted to show me what he’s doing…

He’s restoring them…and turning them into classic cool hotrods, like the kids of the 1950’s did…

You can find Woody at his shop building these amazing works of art…his shop is on RT 321 just outside of Parrotsville, about four miles north of Newport.
Less than a mile from Woody’s shop…this sight came into view…I had to pull over and get this shot…I did not use a blueing lens for this shot…it is as I saw it…

Soon, I was in Newport. It’s a quaint town, with a really cool old downtown district. I love this train depot…still in use by the railroad today…but not as a public building…

I like standing in the train tracks and getting shots like these….

There were many unquie buildings as I passed through this town. I have pictures, but this is the most important find from Newport TN. It was in the “bad” section of town, parked in front of the town’s soup kitchen, owned by a volunteer who was there.

A stock, 1977, 750 Triumph….WOW!

One more view of God’s country…Just outside of town…

Continueing on…just outside of Cosby TN., still traversing Route 321, I stopped here…I liked this nice little place. I went inside and asked if there were any covered bridges nearby…they told me about one!

I followed directions from a very nice and friendly local lady…and this is what I found….how fricken lovely?


This is the view out of one of the windows of the covered bridge…simply stunning!

I have many stunning views from this bridge of the surrounding area, but this one is the most…weird…this is a picture of a wedding party…the preacher just got done with the nuputuals…and is using the brides back to sign the paper work…OK….moving along….

Still on Route 321 inbetween Cosby and Pittman Center where the bridge was, I stopped at this wood worker’s place…I guess the parrot could be for someone who lives in Parrotville?

I got quite a few shots at this place, thinking this guy’s work was really good…

But compared to the next place I stopped at…which was very close to the Foothills Parkway…well see for yourself…

Returning to Newport, I jump on US 25/70 and head East toward Hot Spings NC. As your coming down the mountain into town…this monument sits on the side of the road.

Hot Springs is a cool little town with hiking, tubing, and the hot springs to keep you amused….Hot Springs, NC Is just 40 minutes north of Asheville. They are located at the junction of the Appalachian Trail and the French Broad River in a valley surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Pisgah National Forest. And, still to this day Hot Springs has the distinction of being the only town with hot mineral spring water in the Southeastern United States. And, North Carolina’s only town that sits astride the Appalachian Trail.

Still on US 25/70…but not for long…these inspiring views come to me!

I’m now nearing the end of my journey…but it is no less inspiring…leaving US 25/70 for County RD 213 East…I’m heading for Mars Hill.

Mars Hill is a town that is rich in history, character, and people. It is located in the southern portion of Madison County, North Carolina in an area known for its beautiful mountain views and picturesque setting. The town’s history is inextricably linked with that of Mars Hill College, the oldest educational institution, still in its original location, in Western North Carolina.

Leaving Mars Hill, I approach I-26. I avoid this interstate like the plage, but sometimes you have to ride it for a section at a time. I got off at the next exit…which put me on Route 19 North. They are working here…guess they need to make a four lane highway that goes to nowhere…lord what a mess, but it’s the only way to get to US 19W. What another glorious ride through the mountains…curvy, twisty…green and lush, following the French Broad River as it makes it’s way down the mountains…what a rush this road is…

All along this road you will find these suspension bridges connecting the home owners to their mailboxes on the main road…wow…

It started to rain pretty hard on this leg of the journey…but I still managed some pictures between the rain drops!

The picture above is just to the left of the suspension bridge…this is what they were crossing over…

Ladies and gents…we have come to the end of your participation of my ride…this is the last picture before I come into Erwin…which is a very close town to where I live…it was raining cats and dogs…and the cats were winning. I was tired, hungry and wet…so I went stright home!

One last thought for ya…this is after all the Bible Belt….

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22 comments on “234(+) Miles, roads and sights you want to see!”

  1. Chessie, your blog is truly an inspiration. It definitely makes me want to get out and ride and come across finds like yours! I especially love the pictures of the covered bridge, absolutely beautiful. :)Hot Springs was an awesome place to stay. I've camped in that campground across the street from the hot springs. Those hot springs are something else, very relaxing! I love the fact that the town only has 1 red light! Makes me miss rafting up there….

  2. This is why you are one of my favorite bloggers! Feel like I was right there with you… love Swaggerty Fort and slways wanted a '50's GM pickup.

  3. Outstanding !!!!Great report, not only do your pictures tell the story but as Swag said almost like riding along side of you.

  4. Love,Love,Love this post! And you talk about the mountain pics here?! What beauty you truly have! Everything from the ground~up! Love the covered bridge and I truly just love the mountains and the sky…..whenever we ride, I am always in awe of that! The beauty speaks for itself!

  5. Absolutely breathtakin'ly beautiful colors in them pics, Chess….and ya also did a bang up job on describin' the whole journey to us in black 'n white as well. Love all them good ol' U.S. nooks 'n crannys ya found along the way. Gotta admit that ya truly gotta gift for ridin' 'n snappin'! Soooooo, where we goin' to next?

  6. Chessie, you blog, stories and pics continue to amaze me! Love the train station & old Chev PU's! Also, like you, I share an appreciation for covered bridges! Thanks so much for sharing your experiences!

  7. To those of you who would like to see more of the pictures from that day, you can click on anyone of these pictures, and it will link you to Picassa, where they are stored. There are 126 from this particular ride!

  8. Cheesie, I love the fact that you get out there and get to know folks while riding. So often do we just ride and forget about the many great people which we can meet along the way. As you know these folks can also be a wealth of local knowledge and point out really cool things to see during our rides. Great stuff, Thanks..

  9. Man, I can't say it enough. You sure do live in a beautiful area!

  10. Some of the best photos I’ve seen yet…the big old house at the beginning look just like a house near where I work. Woody looks like a hoot, its amazing how car guys love to show off their cars, kind of reminds me of bikers and there bikes. I could go on and on…great blog. I think I’ll make a screen saver out of some of your photos. I do have a question? What is that tied to the back of your bike…looks like a bed roll?Big Al

  11. chessie, absolutely fabulous pics and post!!! you had me right there riding with you. i love days like these, seeing the beauty, smelling the rain and grass, and meeting wonderful locals that always seem happy to share their history with us. thank you.

  12. Awesome pictures! I planning on winning the lottery tonight so I'll be packing the bike up and heading over soon…

  13. Another grand ride wish I was there. I bet I could answer GYMONR's question, to the last wrench LOL.Want me to try hehehe.Ride safe gal.Pap

  14. Pappy, your correct of course: Gymonr, it is called a "bedroll" it is a "Bandit's Bedroll" from http://www.bikernetshop.com/shop/bikernet-originals/bandits-bed-roll/That's bikernet.com It is a combined luggage and tool kit. Carries every tool I need to do an on road repair…you wouldn't believe all the wrenches and other tools I carry w/me.The bag also carries my tripods, camera gear, and my jacket… I love this handy-dandy bedroll!

  15. Awesome photos… you have to let me know what kind of camera you use. Looks like you had a great ride. 🙂

  16. Marvellous blogging, Chessie! I thought the wedding photo was sensational: nice to see an event considered important enough for everyone to dress up…..!!

  17. I love your blog. It is most interesting with all that freedom you have. I hope as my retirement falls into place I can take some rides with a camera like you. Been on 40 plus years of riding just was not much of a camera guy. Well then I'll have to set up a blog. Mr Motorcycles has been on me about that:) We have a lot of history here in Michigan from the trappers, logging was big a lot more on Motown's autos. But you like in an area rich in history. In fact we are leaving for Natchez Miss. friday. Don't know a soul there. But it's old south and I love it. I think I lived in Ga. in another life. Yea I know I know. It's just what I feel when I'm there. You get to go see it all the time. That is great. Your blog is so interesting. Please keep up the good work. I miss the pin-ups. In fact I was going to ask if there was a Rosie the Riviter as she is to go on the shovelhead tank.

  18. Great pics and the bike looks good Chess. I post an old pic that you took. I thought you might be amused.

  19. Anonymous… I'm sure I would be, but you forgot to sign your name…MMMM should I guess? Would it be Frog? Or…. oh I dunno…come back baby…and don't be shy!

  20. Good pics girl. I need to ride to Tennessee and you need to ride to Texas.

  21. LOL You alredy know my warped sense of humor.The one of the horse.I thought it was my horsefaced ex mother in law with the saggy ones.Then I realized it couldn't beThe horse in the photo is better looking ;]


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