Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Six days in one: June 5th, Charlottesville to Bristol, TN to Hiltons, VA to Big Sandy Mush, NC
Ok, ready, steady, GO! June 5th was a whirlwind, we saw so much and covered so much ground. We left Charlottesville via the Blue Ridge Parkway. We were the only ones driving that day, saw so many birds, wild turkeys, and deer, but not much else other than the 15 feet in front of the car! Another foggy cloudy day hindered us from seeing the sweeping views of the blue ridge mountains... but, I am still glad we took the scenic route. I think we made the day of these three women who were working at the restaurant/gift shop/middle of no-where pit stop.
Here is the "rock point" overlook telling us that we are above 3000 feet, but, we couldn't tell. We continued south to Bristol, TN. Which some of you may know is where the Carter Family and Jimmie Rodgers did some of their first recordings. In honor of that, we stopped at the "Birth Place of Mountain Music Museum". We followed the signs through Bristol until we discovered that the museum is actually in the basement of a mall! It was great though, they had one of Bill Monroe's mandolins and some Carter Family memorabilia. Here is a pic of me at the museum.
After the museum we headed west to Hiltons, VA where the Carter Family Fold is. It was such a beautiful drive, more rolling hills, farms, country roads... plus, the sun decided to come out so we could see where we were going. We finally found ourselves on AP Carter Highway and I was so excited, I made Erika listen to Carter Family songs on repeat in the car. The Fold was not what I was expecting... it was smaller and more out in the middle of no-where that I had understood. The museum and performance space is only open on Saturdays, so I had to be content with just looking around the property. I tried to imagine Johnny Cash walking around there with June as they discussed where to go next or what to sing that night. Here is a few pictures of the Fold.After leaving the Fold we stopped at the closest gas station. There a long haired man in a truck asked me "how'd yew get here from New York?". I guessed he had seen my plates, so I said "well, I drove" and he just looked at me funny so I said "um, we left on Tuesday". He said "well, yew must have kin here". I told him "nope, we came to see the Carter Family Fold". He replied, "well, I guess I just take my location fer granted, I've been living down from there fer years... you came all the way here from New York, I need to go over there more often". I said "yeah, well, I wish we could stay for the Saturday night show, but we have to move on the Asheville". He told me that "Woo- wee now, downtown Asheville is way more fun than the Fold on a Saturday night". So I told him I hoped to be able to compare someday.
We drove on to Big Sandy Mush, NC right outside Asheville where my friend from art camp lives, Leslie. We got delayed due to a collapsed bridge and had to drive all the way around the mountain to enter from the opposite side. There the climb was ok and Loretta was working hard with a line if cars behind us being patient with my old lady. Headed down into the valley that is the Big Sandy Mush was more like a roller coaster than a road. I have never seen anything so corkscrewed and steep! We rode the brakes the whole way down and found Leslie's street which turned out to be a dirt road.... but yet the iphone still found it. We drove on back to their property. Leslie lives with Bort who has about 17 acres up there with a huge garden and an old silo. Their neighbors had a VW rabbit that was running on bio-diesel, so they were way into Loretta. Here is a picture of the silo and Erika and I responding to Leslie when she said "give me a butt shot" for the picture of us in front of our tent.