Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Beautiful day in the Virginia Countryside and I’m Riding It

Be sure to click on the photos for full effect!

February 9TH 2009. It was one of those wow days here in the NE corner of TN.
I woke up knowing it was going to be a nice warm day, so I was up early, finished my blog, checked my mail, got a few things completed around the house, and prepared for my next big ride for later that morning.

I wanted to complete the ride that was interrupted by my blond inheritance last week. So this week, I get all my affairs in order, all my things I wanted to bring with me was either on me, or in my purse…purse…check…every a go!
The bike cranks up easily in the 58 degree temps. No enriching of the carb was needed today, it was so natural, I even forgot about the choke, until I was well on my way down the road.

I stopped for fuel at the closest place from my house, walked into the mini mart, gave em four bucks, and came back for my change…I only dumped 1.2 gallons into the tank, and with gas at just around 2 bucks a gallon, I can get my change back…just like how it used to be at McDonalds…yeah, I’m old enough to remember that commercial.
Leaving out of the gas station, I head for the mountains. My excitement for the unknown adventure ahead was mounting, I am totally happy for the open road, the bike beneath me, and a strong engine that really likes to go.

Turning onto 19E north, I’m on my way…it feels really good. Continuing on 19E North will bring you into Bristol…I stopped and took this picture. I’ve always planned on taking this picture, so I’m quite proud of myself, I actually remembered to plan the stop for it. It’s on a busy four lane road, so you have to actually remember to stop, and try not to just dump the brakes and lean to the left…or you’ll get run over by the tailgater in back of you. This sign is just after the exit for the Bristol Drag strip. Not to be confused with the Bristol Racetrack…the drag strip is a tad earlier than the racetrack.

I stay on 19E all the way through Bristol, jumping on I-81 north for about a ¼ mile then getting off at 58W. Bristol is Bristol, I’ve been there and done that with Bristol, let’s move on.

Once on 58, I’m not on familiar road. It’s ALT. 58…not the real 58, so I’m disappointed with my choice of road. I ride through miles of outskirts of both Bristol and Abington. Finally, the road opens up…or rather closes in, the rock formations beside me are becoming mountains and the housing as well as businesses are growing sparse!

Now I’m starting to see the sights I come to VA. for. Check out these really cool old houses and barns!

I stopped and took pictures of as many interesting places as I felt I could do something with…and I really was enjoying myself. In the past, I never really stopped for things like this. I hated the tourist feeling, now I’m old enough to not really give a shit what I might look like to others. They don’t know me, they can make assumptions about me all they want, and they would be the ones who were wrong, not me! Check out this! Man I love these kinds of roads!

Here’s a barn I really like, I guess I will have to go back and reload the original picture from the camera card, I wasn’t sure if I would lose the original if I did this kind of adjustments to this barn, so now I will need to go back and get it.
This is an old shack, talk about grown over? The front porch and it’s overhang had collapsed from the vines and overgrowth that was on this house. I really like this picture!

By this time, I was on a county road called 700. It went on for about 15 miles, before I came to this road, one way took you back to Bristol, the other took you eventually to Kingsport. I choose to head towards Kingsport and see what I could see. Man, what a fricken fantastic choice! And here’s why! Check out these hillsides with small springs dripping their waters down the rocky limits of the jagged earth.

Next I came across this barn or equipment shed, built around a huge boulder…pretty cool huh?

It was shortly after this, I came across these scenes. God, Virginia is a beautiful state.

Not long after these photos were taken, I came across an old man on his riding lawnmower, pulling a log splitter down the roadside. I pulled up next to him, and asked if there was a way to get to TN from where we were. He looked at me as if I was plumb loco and said the fastest way was to turn around and head to Bristol. I told him I was out to explore, and was doing a kind of loop ride. My ride had started in Bristol, and I wanted to avoid going back there until I had a good loop and exploration going. The old man smiled at me, he understood: the passion of discovering places and things and taking the long road around. He gave me directions that only farmers, rural dwellers, and intrepid explorers would get. I love it, “go down to the little curve, turn right at Jon’s general store on the corner, and go to where the road splits again, turn left and follow that until you come to… In other words, no road signs, just roadside attractions… I am so at home here.

Don’t you just love this shack? It’s on the way to Carter’s Fold. I had no freaking idea I was in the Carter Family region of VA. I mean I knew they came from around this area, but it was a surprise to me to find their little homestead on this road.

Near Carter’s fold, I found this cool old passenger railcar. I want to do some work with this picture, and see what I can draw out of it for color and saturation limits!

Leaving the Fold, I come across the old Bristol Highway…It’s time to head home and get dinner started for Mom and Jeff. Along the way though…I still find time to stop and take more pictures of the beautiful scenery.