To the Mountains!
It was good spending that extra evening with my brother. We don’t get to hang too often. There is a fire station near my brother’s house that has artifacts from the World Trade Center and the Pentagon from 9/11. Coming from a rip in this giant Trade Center “I” beam is the decaying head of a bird. It looks like it may have actually lodged itself there, but I did not investigate further to see if the rest of the bird is dangling within.
I like that my brother keeps an American flag hanging from the tree in his front yard.
My bro put the trash and recyclables out to the curb for the morning pick up. I went out to toss an empty bottle out and noticed a spider had already created this masterful cob web. Incredible!
In the morning I was headed to Skyline Drive. 2 hawks flying overhead assured me it was going to be a good day. I had seen this old mill from the road on the way to the mountains once before. This time I figured out how to get there. Beverley Mill is a massive stone structure (believed to be the biggest stone build building in the states) and was built in 1742. The Confederate Army burned it during the Civil War but it was soon restored and remained a functional mill until the 1950’s. It then stood proudly intact until 1998 when it was gutted by fire. I parked Bonnie and walked down some railroad tracks to get to the mill.
I believe all the floors were still standing and the windows intact before the fire. Now just a shell remains being held together by a metal framework.
On the other side of the tracks a bit deeper in the woods I found the remains of some other structure which I assume dates back to the same time period as the mill.
Front Royal, Virginia is the last town before getting onto Skyline drive. Next to the gas station where I was fueling up was an old diner turned car dealer turned abandoned diner. A fresh rain had just dropped. This leads me to mention a new piece of equipment. Gaiters! Not the kind one finds in the Everglades. Gaiters are a clothing item that cover the space from the boot to just below the knee. They are perfect for times like this when it has just rained. Keeps those pant legs bone dry and no water can drip down into the boot.
At some points you are above the cloud line or sometimes actually in a cloud.
I camped out on Loft Mountain. I stayed here last year as well. I nearly stepped on this guy later in the evening.
A full moon set the ambiance for my first night out under the night skies.
The next day I continued down the drive. It eventually changes from Skyline Drive to the Blue Ridge Parkway without interruption.
I came upon this bizarre orgy of butterflies. They seemed attracted to some charcoal someone had dumped by Otter Creek.
I pulled of at Meadows of Dan and stayed the night at Willville. Willville is a great biker only campground. I highly recommend staying here if you are riding the Parkway.
Will (of Willville) recommended I take Route 58 West. It did not disappoint. Not only did it present some of the Americana decay that I like, it had some real twisty bits as well.
On to Tennessee. This giant guitar was just across the highway from the visitor center as you enter the state.
There isn’t really a straight shot across the northern part of Tennessee. It may be because of that water you see down below. That and the mountainous terrain cause roads to zig zag across the state as you head west.
Tonight I headed deep into the mountains for another night of camping.
This was bear country. I saw a fox run across the road, but the only critter to visit me this night was a toad. Ribbit.