>3 STATES AND 125 MILES, TN, VA AND NC NEVER FAIL ME!


>How many of my readers can say this? I live in an area where riding in and out of three states in a matter of a few hours is the norm. These three states also happen to sit inside the Appalachian Mountain Range. Such a wonderful region: mountains, mountain streams, and of course the trees and floral fauna of the Blue Ridge: which around here translates to the Catawba Rhododendron, Mountain Laurel, assorted pine, hemlocks, cedars and not to mention about 50 more varieties of trees.

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=TN-37+S%2FUS-19E+S%2FUS-19E+Scenic+S%2FUS-321+S%2FUS-321+Scenic+S&daddr=N+Carolina+88+E+to:TN-34+S%2FTN-67+W%2FUS-421+N+to:36.339466,-82.234039&hl=en&geocode=FSOcKgIdMpwZ-w%3BFRRZLAIdaB4k-w%3BFUhYKwIdLHwg-w%3B&mra=dme&mrcr=2&mrsp=3&sz=10&sll=36.394757,-81.833038&sspn=0.46096,1.307373&ie=UTF8&ll=36.394757,-81.833038&spn=0.46096,1.307373&output=embed
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I left home with sun dumping down on my shoulders. The weatherman was predicting temperatures nearing the century mark. By 10 AM, the mercury was soaring into the high 80’s. I was wearing a long sleeve shirt, and as I always do these days a pair of black pants. I was cooking. The humidity was quite high and my body was heating up sitting astride the engine of my little Sportster. It was then I made my mind up. I was going to the Mountains. No…Not a Bush commercial, I was really heading for the mountains! My ride would take me up into the area of Watagua Lake and into the town of Butler. Every year Butler celebrates “Old Butler Days”. As I’m closing in on that little town I remember to slow down and pull over in order to read the history sign that I’ve managed to pass by for three years without stopping. Because of this sign, I now have an understanding of what they are celebrating at “OLD BUTLER DAYS”! I think I might ride up there August 8th and help them celebrate. I’ll let you read the sign yourself. Here ya go!

Moving along from there (I was sitting near the town of Butler on TN 67). A few miles past Butler: I spy an off shoot road known as TN 167 North. Leaning into the turn for this northbound asphalt, I’m smiling. I was remembering some old buildings on this road I’ve been meaning to photograph. But until I find them I have some mild twists of the road, spiced with views of rocky pastures on my right and stark rock bluff faces on my left. There were shallow shouldered quarries on the left, interspersed with rock crushing machinery and land moving Cats climbing the steep un-natural “road” zigging up the rock faced mountain side: breaking off shale and granite for the rock crushing machinery below. I didn’t stop to photograph these because of traffic building behind me. But I was able to pull off the road safely for this shot of a great old farm house.

IMAGE CAPTION: A Grand Farm House off TN-167
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Still further along TN-167, I run across an example of bad luck. This family was burned out.

IMAGE CAPTION: ANOTHER VICTIM OF WINTERS HEATING BLUES
ANOTHER VICTIM OF WINTER HEATING BLUES

I crossed into VA. still on SR-167. It’s beautiful as always. So green and lush; and the homes are of the cabin variety making them photogenic in addition to being full of stories that only the weathered grain or the cracked panes of glass are able to tell. If only they could.

IMAGE CAPTION: peeling paint, weathered wood cracked panes
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IMAGE CAPTION: WHAT WILL THE WOOD AND GLASS PANES TELL US?
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Before long the road “T”s into NC 88. What? When did I weave into North Carolina? I honestly don’t know. But I was happy to find myself on NC 88. I knew I hadn’t been on this far West on 88 before, but I have been further east. I turned left and headed east; I got as far as Warrensville before I decided to turn around. I was hungry, so I stopped at The Whistle Stop Cafe: A small 12 table eatery on the side of the highway featuring a gravel parking lot, 1 waitress, 2 sheriffs eating, and me busing a table I wanted to sit at. The poor waitress was taking orders, busing tables, serving and playing cashier. It took a very long time for my “super hamburger” and side salad to arrive and I was forced to ask the poor harried girl for my iced tea. She admitted to forgetting. My burger arrived at my table and she apologized for the delay. She whispered they ran out of hamburger meat and had to run to the store to get more. I’ve run a small town restaurant like this one before; I had no problem understanding her predicament. Besides, why be in a hurry when you’re out going nowhere?

IMAGE CAPTION: WHISTLE STOP CAFE WARRENSVILLE NC
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Oh, I love this place! The front yard was full of used cars for sale. The out buildings were covered in porcelain or metal signage. This was located on NC-88 near Warrensville. There was an auction business across the street. I suspect the owners of the auction business also owned these out buildings.

IMAGE CAPTION: I remember ESSO
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How many of you remember when ESSO became EXXON?

I liked this view, so I stopped and photographed it. I don’t have the proper lens to capture it correctly, but it still offers an inkling of how stunning the view is. There was very small generating station hooked up to this little dam.

IMAGE CAPTION: A nice little place to stop and admire the view.
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On NC-88 in the middle of nowhere, I found an older firetruck, the out buildings are covered in hubcaps and license plates.

IMAGE CAPTION: HUBCAPS AND FIRE ENGINES
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IMAGE CAPTION: FARM IMPLEMENTS AND HORSE SHOES
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I’ve completed the loop. I’m on my way home, I’ve run “The Snake” and I’m on TN-91 in Carter County. Every time I run past this place, I swear to myself I will stop and take photos. I DID STOP ON THIS RIDE! YAHOO!

IMAGE CAPTION: all lenses are original on this car. GLASS!
all lenses are original on this car. GLASS!

IMAGE CAPTION: WOULDN’T YOU WANT ONE OF THESE?
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IMAGE CAPTION: CHEVY’S EMBLEM
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IMAGE CAPTION: I THINK THIS IS A WILLYS JEEP!
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I take a final look at my surroundings. Here ya go…

IMAGE CAPTION: MY HOME, TENNESSEE
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14 comments on “>3 STATES AND 125 MILES, TN, VA AND NC NEVER FAIL ME!”

  1. >Thanks for the great photos. Your pictures keep improving with every post. The pictures are making me want to head south for a ride through the mountains.

  2. >wow you always have the coolest pics…would love to ride with you. You seem to have the nack of riding and enjoying the scenery. I just took a ride through backbone rock and went through the snake. got a few pics but not many.http://livingdeadnursepsychoward.blogspot.com/2010/07/backbone-rock-ride.html

  3. >Chessie as usual a wonderfully colorful ride.I love riding with you 'virtually' on your page and hope to do so one day on person. Meanwhile keep up the great photography, the door and window is going to grace my desktop right now. Many thanks for finding our jeep that we were looking for…all it needs is a lil tlc………grins!Hugz Valkyrie

  4. >Wow Great ride!!! I have been on TN167 N/S and several others around there. I am suprised there are no Dogwoods in bloom in the backgrounds. I loved thoss roads you were lost in the solitude and surrounded in beauty. Pap

  5. >ChessieI used to live in Chattanooga and know just what you mean. Lot's of twists and turns and gorgeous scenery as you show us post after post. It's the best riding anywhere. Makes me a little homesick…

  6. >Hi,This is a wonderful blog! It was a very good read.I was wondering if you would be interested in guest blogging on my blog. It is a collection of my travels and the travels of my guests. If you scan the site you can see that now almost 100% of the posts are from guests. Lately I’ve been finding many people interested in guest posting.Included in your post will be a link to your website using whatever anchor text or key words you wish and a description of your site (if you choose to include one.)My blog (onetravel.wordpress.com) receives about 2000 visitors a day and that number is steadily growing.So if you are interested in being a guest, please let me know. Send me an Email:gchristodoulou(-at-)OneTravel(-dot-)comWarm Regards,George ChristodoulouTravel Blogger | OneTravel gchristodoulou(-at-)OneTravel(-dot-)com

  7. >Mark, LDN,Valkyrie, my good friend Pap,Kathy and George…thank you all so much for coming! LDN, I want to ride with you, if your ever thinking of being within 100 miles of me here in Johnson City, let me know, we'll ride! Same goes for any of you, my readers…I will ride at a drop of hat, so catch up with me…let's ride!

  8. >Don't you get afraid traveling through such places alone?But I am sure I loved the photos and this is something I am planning to do soon in my country. Just need that bike…

  9. >Love these places and I would love to move this way today! Your pics and thoughts really grab ones imagination -;0) Stuck in the heat m-f work grind!

  10. >You know what? I am never ever disappointed when I visit your blog. Always something good on here.Instead of letting that old Willy's sit like that they should donate it to the aaftankmuseum in Danville. That seems to be the one vehicle missing from the collection. I should go find it and talk to them about it.

  11. >WB…contact me, I'll be happy to tell you where it is. (Willys Jeep) I too feel it's a shame to rust away like that. I have a soft spot for Willys Jeeps.

  12. >I was erally impressed by your photos of these old cars. Really great thing. And thanks a lot for sharing high-quality pictures, where everyhitng is displayed well – I really appreciate that.

  13. >So, you crossed over 3 states within just 125 miles? Fantastic. Do you ever go for longer trips?

  14. >Beco, yes, in fact in 2011 I am planing a route that follows the "Trail of Tears" from TN to WY.I am also planning to ride the Natchez Trail from TN to Mississippi.


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