Fifty days. And still on the road.
It was cold when I woke up that morning, at the crack of dawn:
This is what happens when you go to bed with the sun — you wake up with the sun, too.
My first stop headed south on the Parkway was Mabry Mill:
The top picture is of the mill itself, obviously. The lefthand bottom picture is of the millrace, and the righthand picture, well, it’s blurry, and I’m sorry, but it’s a still, and I thought that was cool.
The place was rather overrun with schoolchildren, even if you can’t tell from the photos, and it was the first place where I truly knew I was in the South. Mainly from the little boy chasing after his friends, shouting, “Y’all! Y’all!”
I stopped at the Blue Ridge Music Center
at Cumberland Knob and bought a cassette of fiddle music, which I enjoyed very much, and I also ended up listening to the radio for a while. I mention this because, like that little boy at Mabry Mill, it sounded so Southern. The only station I could get was obviously a very small-town station, and they were doing the radio equivalent of Craigslist. So and so selling such and such, and the lady that read out the phone numbers — well, I’m not sure I could type her accent phonetically, but she sounded like Barney Fife. Fun stuff.
And more beautiful scenery:
‘Just’ another pullout view
I pulled in to Boone, North Carolina, about three in the afternoon. Boone is the home of Appalachian State University, and reminds me very much of Athens, Ohio, where I finished my bachelor’s degree in 1990. Both small towns nestled down in deceptively New Englandish settings with universities dominating their lives (in Athens’ case, Ohio University). I liked it very much, especially after I found a nice used bookstore with a couple of Jennifer Crusie romances that I hadn’t read before.
Let’s Go USA pulled through for me with a nice, clean, inexpensive motel, too. It was good to be indoors, with a room to myself and plenty of light and heat again.