Sunday, November 21, 2010

Lost Roads: Sneedville TN.

I left home about 10:00 AM.  The temperature was in the high 40's, the skies were gray and overcast.  The weather guys said it would be sunny. I figure he pretty much didn't have a clue.  No rain but sun was a rarity the entire day.  It's a good day for photographic work. 
I start my journey as I always do these days: I photograph my trip meter.

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PHOTO CAPTION: Speedo start of trip.

Riding west on I-26 to Gate City VA. and US-23 North to US 421/58 West.  Once I'm on US-58 West, I know I will be looking out for SR-600 and the start of my Lost Road Ride.  I almost missed it! I thought I would find it further west than I did.  If not for the car turning ahead of me...I 'm sure I would have missed it!

The problem with this? I wasn't prepared. I thought I would have more time to buy fuel. When I found VA-600, I already had 53 miles on the Lil Girl.  I decided to chance it. I know she should get about 90 miles before I was sucking air...and while I did not really study the map before I left, I figured "Hey, there is gonna be a gas station around here somewhere..." uh huh... right.  60 miles gone, 65....70.  I stopped to drag out a map. Something I don't usually do, but I wanted to be sure I shouldn't be knocking on the door of a farmer out here...rather than sitting on the side of a lonely 2 lane road.  Before I could get the map, a pick-up truck truck stopped and asked if all was well.  I asked the guy if there was a gas station within 10 miles. He smiles and tells me of a store ahead, it had no gas but they could tell me where the closest station was.  It was 3 miles ahead.  This guy was not from around here, he was going home after having bagged his buck.  This day was the opening season and he got his boy.

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IMAGE CAPTION: Bagged deer at the check station

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IMAGE CAPTION: Wildlife check station and convenience store

This is a really nice country store, housing a small restaurant, a wild life game check station, and a convenience store.  The inside was quaint with wood floors and heavy wood old time shelving.  It smelled good in there, but I was on a mission. Gas, photos...LOST ROADS!  

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 IMAGE CAPTION: Old barn and weathered wood

Almost as soon as I round the corner and head toward Sneedville and the closest gas station (ten miles away) I find an old barn with great weathered wood to capture with the lens.  It's not as dramatic in these photos as it should be...I was/am disappointed. I'm in Kyles Ford, TN.

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IMAGE CAPTION: couldn't hit the broadside of a barn?

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IMAGE CAPTION: barn door?

Oh, by the way...I had crossed over into TN about 1/8 mile before I found the wildlife check station. The name of the road changed to TN-33 South.  I find the gas station, I've got 80 miles showing on the trip meter and the pump says I had .06 gas left.  Whew...I love riding my little sporty with her 2.3 gallon tank!  This store also served hot food.  I pumped my gas, moved my bike and ordered a hamburger.  Oh it was sooo good!

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I had found Sneedsville.  As I rode into town on their main street, I stopped to photograph their court house. It's a stately structure for a town this size.  I liked the architecture of the building.

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IMAGE CAPTION: Court House in Sneedville

I found the jail museum easily enough, it is on Jail Street...the next block over.  It was closed. What a bummer the sign says it's open 2 days a week (both of them weekdays. No weekends.)  Oh, and once October is over, it's not open at all. If you want to visit, you must call for an appointment.  OK, I should have read the fine print. 

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IMAGE CAPTION: Jail of Sneedville sign.

As I'm leaving town, I see this bright red structure with the quilt design on it.  I like this design on this red building as a back drop for my bike...

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IMAGE CAPTION: closed business, red background, and my Lil Girl

Leaving Sneedville on TN-33 you will cross over the Clinch River and come to a "T". Here if you turn right you will find yourself on TN-31 south. This road appears to have one very twisty section on it as you wind your way toward TN-11, it appears to be called "The Treadway".  Makes it sound pretty good huh? I didn't go that way. I tipped my bike to the left and followed TN-66 south.  I've been on the lower half of TN-66 and found it to be a lot of fun.  I've been wanting to explore the upper part of 66 for almost 18 months. It's high time to do so.  WHAT A GREAT TWISTY ROAD FOR EXPLORING! 

I came across a few "CENTURY FARMS" At one, yes...I stopped to photograph a few out buildings.

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IMAGE CAPTION: Century Farm Out Buildings

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IMAGE CAPTION: Sign for the Century Farm

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IMAGE CAPTION: More outbuildings

You'll find this farm at an area on TN-66 called Stony Gap. TN.-66 is a nice twisting road leading south to RT-11W and back home.  It rises to the mountain tops a few times and descends into the valleys below. The sharp twists and turns will test the experienced rider as well as the new rider.  It's a road worthy of seeing.  Along the way, just before I turned off TN-66 I found this piece of property. It contained so many great shots, but there wasn't a safe place to pull off the road to capture them.  I took the chance here after turning around and I got this great shot.  Best one of the day I think!

Photo & Video Sharing by SmugMugIMAGE CAPTION: best shot of the day on TN. 66.

It's early, I want to continue to explore new roads, so I turn off on Caney Creek Road.  I didn't know where it would lead, how long it was, or what conditions I would find.  As it turns out, it was rather tame and only lead me to TN-70.  But I did find some cool things here!

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IMAGE CAPTION: Roadside wonder...

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IMAGE CAPTION: I'm a fan of Corvettes...

I soon found my way to TN-347 East. I cruised a few back roads, can't remember the names, and I found this great shot!

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IMAGE CAPTION: Lost roads and forgotten cars

The rest of the the ride home is uneventful...when I rolled into my driveway, I had 173 miles racked up.  It was another great day y'all! 

Now, it's time for YOU to ride some LOST ROADS!
Till next time .... ride well, be well....