10 September 2016 Asheville North Carolina
It was a drivin’ day, no two ways about it.
The schedule for the day was a 5 to 6 hour drive from Louisville KY to Asheville NC, drop off my luggage, have a short rest (hopefully) and make my way for twenty minutes to the Pisgah Brewery, Black Mountain and the Todd Snider East Nashville Revue. The first act was at 5.00 pm, so time was on the wing.
I got away from my (way-too) modest accommodation by about 7.30 am. As I was pulling out, a man seemed to be loading cow carcasses into a large, unrefrigerated van in the hotel car park, but I may have been mistaken.
The I-64 east was pretty quiet this Saturday morning, which suited me just fine. I passed many tourism signs for the Kentucky Bourbon Trail – Jim Beam, Wild Turkey, Four Roses. My mate Simon would love it here. Someone told me it is the limestone in the water that makes Kentucky bourbon so special.
Over the Kentucky River, I veered around Lexington, then over the Kentucky River again. As I proceeded, I noticed the first signs of Autumn/Fall. The first leaves fallen were playfully scampering on the road.
Even though I was on a timetable today, I could not resist stopping at Renfro Valley, KY where The Kentucky Music Hall of Fame is located. The Museum honors the State’s musical achievers and you will find inside a Hall of Fame exhibit which notes the inductees and there are some big names here:
Loretta Lynn, Bill Monroe, Everly Brothers, Tom T. Hall, Ricky Scaggs, jazz man Lionel Hampton, Sam Bush, Mary Travis (Peter, Paul and Mary), Patty Loveless, Dwight Yoakam and Crystal Gayle.
The facility also features memorabilia of the most famous artists, the history of music and I especially liked a number of music fundamental interactive displays where visitors can learn about structures, keys and melodies. There’s a Music Time Line showing the progression of Kentucky music from the 1700’s to today. There are also outdoor concerts located on the picturesque grounds. A worthwhile stop-over.
On the road again, I saw a sign for Stinking Creek, but decided not to stop…
Through the Daniel Boone National Forest, over the Cumberland River, into Tennessee which welcomed me.
Thirty miles out of Knoxville, traffic slowed then stopped. Two lanes of stationary vehicles as far as the eye could see either way. For forty-five minutes. Eventually we moved and started to gain pace, the only sign of an incident was sand over a patch of oil on one lane. For some reason, the traffic on the other side was now in the same status as of that south-bound – a stand-still, all due apparently to a three-wheeled Harley being hoist up on a truck. The delay wasn’t be too bad. It was a glorious day,
Through the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, rolling hills all day in fact, passed Oak Ridge, I espied the sign for Dollywood and decided no to a stop.
I eventually pulled in to West Asheville, checked in, had a forty-five minute turnaround and then saddled up the iPhone for directions, as the GPS was being a little recalcitrant, as if it, too, needed a longer rest.
I found the Pisgah Brewery at Black Mountain, then a car park easily (Louisville take note!) and was greeted by very friendly volunteer staff. The setting was gorgeous – a large, impressive wood-framed stage in front of a delightfully grassed area, surrounded by a creek and lined with trees. I found a spot for the evening, unpacked my chair for the first time this trip and explored. The first act would be starting soon.
I had a local pale ale – ah, it was good.
For my review of the Todd Snider East Nashville Revue, stay tuned.