Johnson City, Rogersville, Gate City. All Points in between

Up again with the birds yesterday in anticipation of the up coming ride. Finished a few chores, waiting for Mom and my SR. Doggie to wake up. Both will be looking for breakfast…one will be expecting me to pick him up and steady him until he gets his legs and bearings under him, and the other will be needing food and wound care…yes, folks…it’s a good life I guess…even when you do weaken…cuz both Mom and SR. Doggie are quite happy to be alive!

During the process of wound care for Mom, I notice a large amount of swelling in her ankle. Mom has fallen twice in this past week, both quite serious, though no broken bones…scrapes and bruising…and now swelling…damn.

I weighed the need to ride, with my concern for my Mom, and decided to curtail my ride, and be home by about 2PM.

Leaving out of Johnson City by 8:30 AM, I head to see Jeff…I now make it a habit to stop in and see him before I leave…it makes me feel good to see him, and I like the concern he shows for my welfare before I leave…there was a time when that would really piss me off…I guess I’ve become a bit settled now…and no longer take offense when someone cares enough to show concern for my well being. (I no longer have to be tougher than everyone else…)

I leave out of Johnson City taking I-26 West into Kingsport, TN. I’m looking for Route 347 West to Rogersville. I will have to cut out the lower section of Route 70 North, the one that goes from Greeneville to Rogersville…I just don’t have the time for that route right now…I’ll do that another time.

I find RT 347 with no problems, but with my speedo and trip meter on the blink…I do stop to fuel up…except…there are those damn bags over all the pump handles…well screw it…It looks like I should still have about 50 miles left in this tank by my visual inspection…back on RT. 347…it’s a narrow built road by today’s standards…and it’s a crooked trail…yummy…it’s roadside is dotted by abandoned buildings…and nice old barns…

RT. 347 meandered west for about 40 miles I guess…don’t know for sure…like I said, my speedo, therefore my trip meter isn’t working….but me and the little girl meandered past old worn out businesses…and country shacks I would have loved to photograph if the residents of said shacks weren’t sitting on their porches…I don’t think they had electricity…damn sure didn’t have AC…I wish I could have gotten pictures…

I meandered past dams for the local town’s water supplies…beautiful places…lush and full of color…and bugs…

Rogersville Water District Dam

The area below the dam

Full view of Rogersville water supply dam

I got to the “city” of Rogersville, found a Food City Grocery that also had a gas station and filled up. I pulled in to find a van load of hillbillies and a Fat Boy HD at the pumps. The Fat Boy was owned by one of the hillbillies…guess he thought he was pretty cool. cuz he says to me… “I think a gal on a motorcycle is so sexy, it shows me if she can ride that bike, she can ride anything…if ya know what I mean?”


When I left, he was instructing one of the poor hillbilly women on how to climb aboard his motorcycle…both were wearing sandals and shorts….UGH….

It’s just outside of Rogersville, RT 347 intersects with RT.70 North…I turn left…head north. I hadn’t gone long before I came across three bikes…one was being knelled down to…I figured we had a problem and wondered if Houston had the tools to deal with it…turns out…they didn’t…three guys from GA. on their way to Boone KY…and the 1989 Sportster was losing it’s tail light…just like mine did back in March…I handed them the tools they needed…I was blessed by all of them, for the rescue…no need fellas…I’m just paying back and paying forward…

This a small idea of what I carry in my tool kit…there is much more you don’t see

I left the three amigos, and continued on my way north…stopping here…what a neat eclectic little store…and hey look! A modern day “outhouse”! It’s just too much to pass up…I stop and take pictures…I guess the locals shake their heads and think to themselves…”What is so worth stopping in the road about that junkie place?”

Down the road a piece…I pass an interesting little post office…and a very…very…cool old log cabin.

Look through the window, you can just make out the curve of an old iron head board…I would have loved to explore this further

Leaving this wonderful old cabin and post office, still heading north on RT. 70…I travel about 10 miles until I realize I’m hungry…I’m also traveling behind a large horse trailer…going very slow up these hills and around these curves…so am I, but I would like to go just a tad bit faster…then…they turn into this place…did I mention I’m hungry?

Actually this isn’t the place…it’s just the sign… THIS IS THE PLACE

Not very appitizing on the outside…but well worth the trip inside….

Small buffet with country ham, thick tasty bacon, homemade biscuits, scrambled eggs, sausage and sausage gravy…Have you ever had good southern breakfast? This place would feed ya like a king for $7.00!

I wonder if the rolling pins are there so we gals can pick and choose our “persuaders” to keep our men in line”

I do love country….

Did you know, in Tennessee, they name all bridges and culverts after somebody?
Here is the TN. VA. state line. I had to stop…check out this place…notice as I expand out…something distinct about signage?

From Drop Box

Right here at this little state line we have a cemetary

More signage….

Finally, in VA. I come to what I wanted this road for…curves…wonderful mountain curves and views…ahhhhh

This is the end of the scenic pictures…Once you leave Lee County…that’s about it…

Route 70 is history on this ride…we’ve come to US 58….not a particularly intresting part of US 58 either…bland and nothing of great intrest…but once you intersect with US421…things start to get liviely again!

OK, what happened to the rest of the engine?

Heading South on US 421 and US 23…. one of VA.’s state parks…Natural Tunnel….
The light wasn’t right for me to get decent pictures of the tunnel…but I have pictures of the surrounding walls and the stream that runs through the giant tunnel.
Click on the word “Natural Tunnel” above to link to the state run website…

In order to get to the viewing area of the Natural Tunnel you cross over an active rail line…YIPPEE photo op for Chessie!

This is NOT the Natural Tunnel…it’s just something I could get good pics of close by to the huge fricken Natural Tunnel with the bad fricken light…

This is how couch potatoes like me get down to the Tunnel…others can hike if they want…but I’d have to work up to that kind of exercise….

Well kids, this is the end of the ride for you…I was now so close to home and the hour was getting late… I fired up the little girl…and headed home….
Till next time…


19 comments on “Johnson City, Rogersville, Gate City. All Points in between”

  1. Pretty tough trees on the side of that rock face…Another neat ride Thanks Chess.

  2. Oh Chessie…I can just picture the scene with the hillbilly!!! ROTFLMAO!!! That's too good. You tickled my funny bone. 🙂 Did he survive such a stupid comment? I would have loved to have been there. We have GOT to go riding together. Sis aka Ladeedi

  3. I'm envious of how often you get to ride and the opportunities that surround you up there. But having your photos & trip reports are the next best thing that 9-5 office schleps like me can have. Ride on!

  4. chessie another enjoyable ride,oh how i envy you,lovely veiws and the roads look empty,here in the uk i went out for a ride today as it was hot and sunny but the roads are full of cars and trucks,so you have to keep your wits about you all the time theres no time to sit back and enjoy yourself

  5. im with you chessie, pay it forward. 🙂 beautiful post and pics, as usual!!! fabulous ride.

  6. You ARE in a rich seam of life! Wonderful photos and descriptions!

  7. Chessie, another great blog post! I feel as if I was traveling beside you!

  8. Once again, wonderful photos! I love that little log cabin you found…awesome! The state park is beautiful, I would love to roam around there one day. Thanks for sharing, as always!

  9. Nice! Thanks for the tour.

  10. Chessie I got your comment on my blog, would you like to write up a guest column for me? I know many of my BMW friends would like to have a 4 hour ride guide, with some BBQ places along the way. Are you up for that? email me,

  11. I will get on it, you will have a few routes for your friends in a day or two…

  12. Wow, beautiful pics. Looks like a peaceful ride, except for the stupid hillbilly of course. 😉

  13. Beautiful photos… interesting blog. Thanks for sharing.

  14. Looks like a lovely area you have to explore.

  15. Hello. I found you from the blogs of note page and I'm new to the website.. Just looking for some interesting posts. I'm a 23 year old from California and we have a bit in common, being that I go for motorcycle rides as well with my fiance. I just don't have my own license yet, but I plan to. If you don't mind, I subscribed to your blog. Looking forward to reading about your adventures!

  16. wow …. good one

  17. Some beautiful shots Chessie. Life is an adventure and your definetly living it. Terry

  18. Enjoyed the photos. I like shots of old barns, old signs etc. Looks like you're having a great time!Reminds me of Southeast.

  19. Love your pictures, my most favorite things in the world are old barns and homesteads…. really enjoying your blog. Thanks so much.

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