Sunday, August 9, 2009

Crooked Road Caravan-Abingdon, VA

First I want to say how much I love it when I get a high speed internet connection. Yeah! Second, I am so frustrated with ATT cell service. I think I am the only one of our group who has ATT (most have Verizon) and I am usually the only one who has no service. And no service means no internet with my air card. Very frustrating. Well, now that that is said....



I have been on the Crooked Road Caravan all summer, but only now have I arrived at the real Crooked Road. It is a trail designed to take you to 8 different music hot spots. These music hot spots are all about Appalachian music, history and culture. Although I will not be visiting all 8 spots, I will get the chance to visit about half of them.

You see this sign along the roads and in all the venues.

Downtown Abingdon has wolf statues all over town.


The 'Pickin' Porch" is one of the Crooked Road venues, located in Bristol, VA. Every Thursday night they offer free music. This is a family group.

I don't think either of these kids were over 16.


Another venue along the Crooked Road is the Carter Fold. Started by the Carter Family, one of the original old time music groups. It is still in operation today, still run by the family members. Each Friday night they have music and usually where you find Appalachian music, you find dancers. They call it 'flat footing', but it is really a style of clogging. You will see people all ages, both young and old out dancing. I even tried it.

This is the cabin where A.J. Carter was born. It is now a museum located at the Carter Fold.


While out sight seeing we stopped at a store in Shady Valley. This sign was out front. We didn't understand all that it meant until a few days later we drove this road. The claim is 3 mountains, 1 valley and 489 curves within 12 miles of the store. The bikers come here in droves to ride these roads.

Even our GPS had a hard time keeping up with the curves in the road. I have driven lots of curvy mountain roads before and never have I been on a road like this. For over 30 miles you couldn't go faster than 20mph due to the curves.


At Shady Valley we found this drink. I guess it is a local variety since I've not seen it except in this area. It is a cherry soda, more like a cherry coke.

Between Shady Valley and Damascas we encountered this tunnel. Noted as the shortest tunnel, it is probaby not more than 10 feet through.


You can climb up and walk across the top too.

And looking down! The road below was once a railroad track which was made into a highway once the trains quit.

One of the huge tourist attractions is the Virginia Creeper Trail. From the top of Whitetop Mountain down to Abingdon, it follows the old Virginia Creeper Railway route. Not it is a rail to trail, 34 miles of mostly downhill.


It was a beautiful trail.


I loved the sign with the train.
We intended to do some hiking on the Appalachian Trail, but it rained on the day we planned to hike. So as we were out and about we did run into 4 young (college age) men who had started on a 2 week hike just 4 days earlier. But one had gotten sick and they were out on the highway looking for a ride to the hospital for their friend. We took them and all their gear into the hospital at Bristol. As we said goodbye we asked that they let us know the outcome. We got an email back letting us know the young man who was sick was ok, but flew home and did not finish the hike. The other 3 returned to the trail and finished their 2 weeks on the Appalachian Trail.
You just never know what adventures await when you walk out your door.

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