>The Back Roads of Carter and Washington Counties in Tennessee

By: chesshirecat

Dec 01 2010

Category: Uncategorized



I’d have to qualify the year 2010 as an amazing year for riding.  I was able to ride most of the year in 2010 without much down time due to nasty weather or bike repairs. Yes, my bike goes through her share of repairs now she is over the age of 15 (she’s 18 years old these days).  Yes, in 2010 I did have a few major and expensive repairs done on her, but I was able to pay the ransom and be riding once more without feeling as if I were a junkie looking for a fix in all the wrong places!
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Today’s lost ride will take us through the local back roads I had explored to some degree but not been able to stop and take photos of.  This is what I worship when I ride.  The ability to stop and investigate a locale:  learning to appreciate the beauty and the wonders of the roads I ride through.  That’s right! I ride THROUGH these roads, not on them.
On Sinking Springs Road in Carter County Tennessee, I’ve encountered what I believe to be the last standing iron bridge in this county! It spans one of the beautiful rivers that flow in this county and is surrounded by farmland and wooded terrain. There is no stopping allowed here, but the traffic is very light and on a motorcycle, even if you stop you’re not hampering the flow of traffic. 
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 A bit further on Sinking Springs Road, I’ve noticed an interesting photo subject. It’s an old bleached dead tree.  Its roots wrap around a boulder clinging to a hillside, while the branches point uselessly into the sky.  I stopped for a photo here and while I was capturing the tree, the horses in the field came to investigate me and my bike.  It was such a cool photo moment: My iron steed and her flesh counterpart eyeing her.
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Less than a mile down the road I find a little paved avenue named Sycamore Shoals Road.  I’ve never been on this piece of pavement so I turned my wheels into the small lane and followed it.  I soon discovered a nice little shed with a quilt pattern attached to it.  Its part of the “QUILT TRAIL” that is so popular here in N.E. Tennessee.  I pulled to the side of the road and captured the structure.  I find it lovely.  Its fun to discover the many out buildings and barns that sport the quilted patterns for the discovery of others like me!
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Not more than 1000 feet up from the quilt barn, I discover a very handsome black bull grazing near the road at the fence line.  I stopped at this point and set him in the camera frame with my bike.  Handsome animals…both the bull and my Iron Horse!
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Riding along these lost roads; I always enjoy finding old cars, trucks and farm vehicles.  By the time I found this burned out Caddie, I was quite confused about where I was.  I couldn’t tell you anymore.  I was in the hollers of Carter County on small 2 lane roads that will squash you like a bug if you’re not diligent regarding the speeding Ford pickup trucks rounding the turns here.  The guys driving the trucks will always smile and wave at you as they come inches from side swiping you off the roads!  Nice friendly people here, they didn’t kill ya…so you know they liked ya! 
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If you’re paying attention to the wooded acres surrounding you, the vestiges of human habitation will catch your eye.  You’ll stop to see these left over bastions of a previous life and you’ll wonder about the lives that were affected here.  I saw a lone fireplace chimney of a long burned down home.  I think about the lives that had no home after this disaster and wonder who took them in?
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Riding the lost roads near your own home will bring results like these for you too!  Riding roads  you haven’t been on in years because of the boulevard that was built, resulting in faster drive times to your destination-will bring you closer to becoming an explorer of your own home town and county!  Come on y’all…the roads are calling! The burned out buildings harbor ghosts from the past that will crank and rev your imagination!  The animals are waiting for you to capture them with your own mount in the foreground!  There are memories and learning situations along the lost roads and only the fool discounts the ride! 
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11 comments on “>The Back Roads of Carter and Washington Counties in Tennessee”

  1. >Enjoyed the photos!

  2. >Nice pictures, I love these lonely roads too, so many things to observe, love your comment on the old burned out home. I can't believe your Sportster is 18 years, she still looks good…

  3. >I agree witnh you whole heartdly, it is not the destintion that is important but the journey!

  4. >Wonderful ride report and photos. These are the kinds of things I like to find on my rides. (but I'm bad about stopping for the photo.) I've never heard of the quilt trail. Sounds interesting, something to go out and hunt for.

  5. >Thanks for the ride fix. I hope it tides me over until Saturday.

  6. >Love the photographs ma'am! Greatness.

  7. >Love this blog, since my bike is parked for the winter this was a great fix. Thank you!

  8. >Love the way you started adding your bike in the photos…you should do a book on your rides.Big Al

  9. >I like your pictures. I took a lot of pics when we went to Yellowknife last year.The great thing is that I can snap the photos from the back of the bike as we cruise down the road.

  10. >Jane, Big Al, Dawnita Rose, Ronman, Bugger, BlueKat, Raftnn, and George…Thank you all for coming and leaving your messages! It's so encouraging to know people are enjoying what I also enjoy doing. It's a validation of presence…it means a lot.Since I started hauling the camera with me on my rides, I've slowed down and found things on the side of the road that barely caught my glance when I was roaring here and there. Now, I am enjoying my rides like I never have before! I get to go home and spend hours reviewing the photos of my day and I get to write about them for great riders and readers like you!In 40 years of riding, I've found nothing rates with taking the time to smell the road, touch the sights, and communicate with the world through my photos…thank you guys for coming, thanks for commenting and leaving your good will here for me…I love it, and I'm thankful for you as my readers.

  11. >Looking good. I can luckily agree with you, I was able to do way more this year than I ever thought possible, as well. You're posting better pictures than I can (when it comes to motorcycles) this late in the year, right now we've got snow. Hell you've probably got snow, it sounds like that's all anyone's got for the moment. Well, it's a good time to hunker down and get to the work your bike needs. (Except not for me – no garage. I hope you've got one.)BradyBehind Bars – Motorcycles and Life

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