Monday, October 1, 2012
Favorite Interstate ????
If it is even POSSIBLE to have a favorite Interstate highway, ours has to be this section of I-26 between Asheville NC and Jonesborough Tn. We can remember wandering this area in our hiking days before this road was built –- Iron Mountain, Cherry Gap, the Beauty Spot , Erwin. The roads were twisty, winding along creeks and narrow bottomland homesteads, and up over gaps to the inevitable trail crossing where any way you walked was UP. Now we SOAR! Long ribbons of concrete swirling around and over, retaining walls, epic rock cuts swathed in sturdy fencing to retain the boulders that continue to follow gravity. Runaway truck lanes, ”Authorized Vehicles Only”. Do we apply in triplicate?
Looking past the concrete, the views are awesome --picture book little homesteads in little openings at the foot of 3000’ drops, a white church its steeple dwarfed by the surroundings. Yesterday we saw this road at its best; the early morning rain left patches of white cloud lifting from the bottoms and drifting through the gaps. The mountains are pristine clean-washed green to the tops and just a tiny of hint of autumn color facing south. It’s hard to find a scenic pull over while towing a trailer, so Patty was frantically shooting pictures through the windshield.
We left the Interstate at Erwin to try TN 81, a narrow two lane with not an inch of shoulder, but there were glimpses of the Nolinchucky River and little traffic.
We found our old campsite at Persimmon Ridge in Jonesborough and set about doing our chores in a light drizzle. We went to town to get laundry done, update the iPad at Amigo’s Mexican (good wireless, sorry sorry food) and noted a new “fresh Italian” place just opening in the same area: what were we thinking? We have never found a Mexican place that compares to our hometown favorite, but the chances of stumbling on good Italian are endless…
We moved from Davidson River early because the day promised 24 hours of showers. It is good to be settled in a few days early for the National Storytelling Festival and extra nice to have the electricity to hold off the damp. It’s clearing as I write this next day, so we will go off exploring… and come back to see what new neighbors have arrived.