We walked next door to Troy's 105 Diner for breakfast. This was a classic diner right out of the 50's with the stainless steel walls and counter stools. We found a booth and finally had some good biscuits and gravy! There were several motorcyclists there and I wondered if we would meet them again on the Parkway.
We headed east on US 421 which is a nice 4 lane road that rises and falls thru the N.C. landscape. We passed field after field full of fir trees being raised. I had heard that most of the Christmas Trees sold in parking lot stands near home come from North Carolina. I guess this must be where they all come from because there were acres and acres of them on both sides of the road.
We headed north on US601 about 30 miles to our mornings destination.
Mt Airy is the hometown of Andy Griffith, Donna Fargo and Eng and Chang Bunker the famous Siamese twins. We were here to visit some of the tourist traps that sprung up from the Andy Griffith Show.
We parked in the downtown area and walked the main streets which were mostly just tacky souvenir places selling t-shirts and junk. We did go into the Snappy Lunch for a bite to eat. They are the only Mt. Airy business to be named on the TV show. We split one of their "famous" pork chop sandwiches minus the usual cole slaw and chili they top it with. The walls are filled with pictures of celebrities eating there and we sat near the Oprah collage of photos.
We were both pretty disappointed in Mt Airy and decided to head out soon after lunch. We rode north on US 52 a few miles and got back on the Parkway once again. We were now starting into the Virginia portion and it was quite a bit different than the North Carolina part of the Parkway. The elevations were not quite as high and the roadway had fewer sharp switch backs and tunnels. There was more of a feeling of being in the wilderness verses being in the mountains. We visited Puckett Cabin named for it's owner "Aunt" Orlena Hawks Puckett who lived here most of her 102 years. She was a midwife who reportedly helped deliver more than 1000 babies. She charged $1.00 if times were bad and $6.00 if they were good. She died in 1934 and sadly none of her own 24 children lived past infancy.
We also visited Mabry Mill which is the most photographed location on the Parkway. The mill was built around the turn of the 20th century and was operated by the Mabry family. The National Parks Service operates it today and they have a gift shop and restaurant at this stop. While visiting the mill we met with some of the bikers we saw at the diner back in Boone :-).
We continued North and were amazed at all the Rhodendrums that lined the Parkway, it was almost like a tunnel of flowers, BEAUTIFUL!
We also began to see a lot of deer which is never good on a bike. We spotted 6 deer beside the roadway in the last 50 miles or so. Rudee was able to snap a photo of this small one running back into the trees as we passed by.
We made it to Roanoke Virginia and pulled off for the night. We only have another 106 miles of the Blue Ridge left to explore. I'll keep you posted!