Sunday, May 1, 2011

No Particular Place to Go

image: John Deere

Saturday morning. I've a few ideas of where to go and what to do. There are so many things starting to happen around here. I had in mind to attend the Davy Crockett State Park. The park was playing host to a craft fair going on there.  Not any craft fair, but an Appalachian country craft fair.  The feature of the fair was to be basketry and other known Appalachian mountain folk artistry, including blue grass music.

image: Appalachian mountain cabin

image: A sample of Appalachian music instruments

I decided to ride the Interstate up to the Jonesboro exit on I-26. I thought I would then make my way over to 11E (west) and into the small town of Limestone which is Davy Crockett birthplace. As the saying is told: "The best laid plans of men and mice." The exit was closed. For some reason the state was at the bottom of the exit tearing up the tarmac and concrete. Next exit: the town of Gray. As I'm making my way up to the Gray exit, I spy a small sign from the corner of my eye. All I could make out as it quickly dashed past me was the words "TRACTOR" and "Fairgrounds". I remembered then, I'd seen something in the paper about an antique tractor show coming to the Appalachian Fairgrounds in Gray. Well, I like antique iron as well as the next guy. So why not check out the old tractors? I'm sure I will enjoy myself. This is why I ride. To see what is important in the lives of my neighbors. To educate myself in life. To be a part of life, not shut into "safe mode" and operating within a bubble. I thought to check out the folks who "LOVE DIRT". The farmers who spend so much time and energy (not to mention big bucks) lovingly restoring their John Deere, Ford, Allis Chalmers and every other brand of tractor out there. Amazing.

image: corn husking machine

I spent about 2 hours walking among the rows of machinery, photographing the ones that caught my eye for artistic reasons. I'm not a gal who knows what's cool among the old kids on this block. I do know what I like though. So here we go. Let's see what some folk have spent a great deal of time, thought and money on!

image: Tractor with belt to drive portable board plane machine.

Image: Portable Board Planer machine

There was also a quilt show and exhibit at the fairgrounds. I stopped in and photographed the quilts I loved as well. So they will be interspersed with the tractors!

image caption: Hand quilted wall hanging.

image: Early 1942 FORD Golf Course Special

image: Christmas quilt

image: The business end

The owner of the following machine called it "A Fordillac" He married a few Cadillac parts and colors to his Ford Tractor and calls it the poor man's Caddy.

image: The Fordillac

This next photo is an example of some HARD work done by ladies in the late 19th century. I absolutely admired this work for about 10 minutes. Looking closely at the stitch work. It's handsome.

image: Check out the hand crank on this baby!

I also stopped to admire this vendor's work. A gal who chisels and bangs tree trunks until they become shapes and figures we all can identify and approve of.

                  Image: Artistry in wood

image: I found my basket weavers

I found a table of folk who weave baskets! I still would have enjoyed visiting at Limestone and Davy Crockett State Park, but I made other choices. I took a hundred mile ride through the back roads of VA. Roads I haven't seen before! I really do appreciate where I live. There are so many places to see, people to meet, and things to do.

I'm going to leave you with an image of the "oddest" tractor I saw here. It's for the girly girl farmer. I kinda like it. Could you see this in the fields of YOUR rural home town?

image: A girly-girl's tractor

Oh hell, I forgot to give ya photo of my bike from the ride! Well here she is: