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BlueRidgeMike

A Loosely Formulated Weekend Jaunt

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Since it appears that we are going to avoid any treacherous weather in the southern Appalachians this weekend, I think Sharon and I are going to do some exploring along the Dixie Highway. I think we'll start in Asheville and head through Marshall and then across US-25 to the state line to get pictures of the two remaining NC Robert E. Lee / Dixie Highway monuments that I don't have yet. Then from Newport, TN we'll follow the eastern alignment along 25W through Knoxville, then up to Corbin, KY. I have taken the 25E Cumberland Loop many times, but never this section of the route.

 

Once we get to Corbin we will make our way over to the western alignment at US-31W in Cave City, KY to spend the night at the Wigwam Village Inn #2. From there I'm not sure, but maybe we'll follow the western alignment down to Chattanooga, TN, then back to Knoxville, and home from there. The Wigwam has been on our to-do list for a while, and new sections of the Dixie Highway are always fun.Looking forward to a great weekend. laugh.gif

 

Mike

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Since it appears that we are going to avoid any treacherous weather in the southern Appalachians this weekend, I think Sharon and I are going to do some exploring along the Dixie Highway. I think we'll start in Asheville and head through Marshall and then across US-25 to the state line to get pictures of the two remaining NC Robert E. Lee / Dixie Highway monuments that I don't have yet. Then from Newport, TN we'll follow the eastern alignment along 25W through Knoxville, then up to Corbin, KY. I have taken the 25E Cumberland Loop many times, but never this section of the route.

 

Once we get to Corbin we will make our way over to the western alignment at US-31W in Cave City, KY to spend the night at the Wigwam Village Inn #2. From there I'm not sure, but maybe we'll follow the western alignment down to Chattanooga, TN, then back to Knoxville, and home from there. The Wigwam has been on our to-do list for a while, and new sections of the Dixie Highway are always fun.Looking forward to a great weekend. laugh.gif

 

Mike

 

Mike,

 

Sounds like a great trip through a part of the country I have never visited. Looking forward to your report!

 

Dave

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

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I drove the Dixie Highway between Russellville, KY, and Shelbyville, TN, the week before Christmas. I know I'd driven much of it in the Nashville area before but it was "undocumented". I usually mention trips like that here but apparently missed that one. (My secretary's really been slacking.) The Dixie day is here although there aren't a lot of details.

 

You're probably more familiar with the area than I am but I'll still mention some things that come to mind:

 

  • Wigwam Village #2 at Cave City is the oldest village still standing but a store/restaurant/gas station still operates on the site of Wigwam Village #1 at the intersection of US-31E and KY-218.
  • The road behind WV #2 is the old DH.
  • As a car guy, you're probably familiar with the Lane Museum in Nashville and the Coker Museum in Chattanooga. If so, excuse me for being unnecessarily redundant -- again.
  • Chattanooga is home to one of my favorite breakfast spots, Aretha Frankenstein's, and "motels", the Delta Queen.
  • Some great 'burgers (and many other things) are at Litton's just north of Knoxville.

 

Sounds like a wonderful time. Wish I was there.

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I drove the Dixie Highway between Russellville, KY, and Shelbyville, TN, the week before Christmas. I know I'd driven much of it in the Nashville area before but it was "undocumented". I usually mention trips like that here but apparently missed that one. (My secretary's really been slacking.) The Dixie day is here although there aren't a lot of details.

 

You're probably more familiar with the area than I am but I'll still mention some things that come to mind:

 

  • Wigwam Village #2 at Cave City is the oldest village still standing but a store/restaurant/gas station still operates on the site of Wigwam Village #1 at the intersection of US-31E and KY-218.
  • The road behind WV #2 is the old DH.
  • As a car guy, you're probably familiar with the Lane Museum in Nashville and the Coker Museum in Chattanooga. If so, excuse me for being unnecessarily redundant -- again.
  • Chattanooga is home to one of my favorite breakfast spots, Aretha Frankenstein's, and "motels", the Delta Queen.
  • Some great 'burgers (and many other things) are at Litton's just north of Knoxville.

 

Sounds like a wonderful time. Wish I was there.

 

I recall that you were heading that way when I was heading up the eastern alignment through your home town on my way to Michigan. Your notes are very much appreciated. I am somewhat familiar with Nashville, but I just sat here doing the arithmetic and realized it has been close to 35 years since I was in Russelville, KY. I was stationed at Ft. Campbell, KY back then and visited several of the small towns in the area back then. I am going to be flying blind through the better part of this trip, so I appreciate your suggestions. I took a look at your trip blog to glean what I could as well. From the looks of things the one advantage I'll have over your trip is a little more sunshine for picture taking.

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I recall that you were heading that way when I was heading up the eastern alignment through your home town on my way to Michigan. Your notes are very much appreciated. I am somewhat familiar with Nashville, but I just sat here doing the arithmetic and realized it has been close to 35 years since I was in Russelville, KY. I was stationed at Ft. Campbell, KY back then and visited several of the small towns in the area back then. I am going to be flying blind through the better part of this trip, so I appreciate your suggestions. I took a look at your trip blog to glean what I could as well. From the looks of things the one advantage I'll have over your trip is a little more sunshine for picture taking.

 

Mike,

 

Looking at your latest photos was a real pleasure. The ones taken in the rain prove a road trip under cloudy skies can still be fun, and the photos can be great. Well done!

 

Dave

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

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I recall that you were heading that way when I was heading up the eastern alignment through your home town on my way to Michigan. Your notes are very much appreciated. I am somewhat familiar with Nashville, but I just sat here doing the arithmetic and realized it has been close to 35 years since I was in Russelville, KY. I was stationed at Ft. Campbell, KY back then and visited several of the small towns in the area back then. I am going to be flying blind through the better part of this trip, so I appreciate your suggestions. I took a look at your trip blog to glean what I could as well. From the looks of things the one advantage I'll have over your trip is a little more sunshine for picture taking.

Yeah, that day was pretty much a waste weather wise. With better weather, I'd have probably looked over Stone River Battle Field south of Nashville though I don't really know what's there. If you like old falling down stuff, you might like the ruins of Bell's Tavern in Park City and the ruins-in-process of Horseshoe Camp Motel on towards Bowling Green. The old motel is on the right side of 31W maybe halfway between Park City and Bowling Green. If something in particular interests you and you'd like better direction, I can probably come up with some.

 

I have a "math" story from Wednesday night. On the way to a play, I stopped in a bar from my past. When I entered, I joked with the bartender that I hadn't been there in "a hundred years". I sat down and told him "I was just joking about the hundred years but I bet it has been over twenty." After a little memory and math check, I figured out it was at least 35 to 40 and could even be a year or two beyond that. Time flies.

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Mike,

 

Looking at your latest photos was a real pleasure. The ones taken in the rain prove a road trip under cloudy skies can still be fun, and the photos can be great. Well done!

 

Dave

 

Keep the Show on the Road!

 

Thanks! I just bought my first digital SLR a few months ago, a Canon T2i. I've been practicing with it as much as possible. I bought it mostly so I could shoot neon lights but I haven't even done it yet. I had a pretty good point-and-shoot camera but couldn't adjust it enough to make the pictures come out like I wanted. I'm confident I'll be able to do so with this. I just have to find some good neon. smile.gif

 

Mike

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Yeah, that day was pretty much a waste weather wise. With better weather, I'd have probably looked over Stone River Battle Field south of Nashville though I don't really know what's there. If you like old falling down stuff, you might like the ruins of Bell's Tavern in Park City and the ruins-in-process of Horseshoe Camp Motel on towards Bowling Green. The old motel is on the right side of 31W maybe halfway between Park City and Bowling Green. If something in particular interests you and you'd like better direction, I can probably come up with some.

 

 

I've been copying your notes and printing them out to take with us. Old buildings, motels, gas stations, etc. are high on my list of things to track down and shoot. Thanks for taking the time to mention these points of interest.

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Sounds like an awesome way to spend the weekend, Mike. ENJOY!

 

And ... Nashville is my favorite city, with the Nashville/Big Sandy/Jackson TN triangle along I-40 being my favorite area of the US.

 

 

 

Cort | 38.m.IL | pigValve + paceMaker + cowValve | 5 MCs + 1 Caprice Classic

CHD.MCs.CC + RoadTrips.hobbies.RadioShows.us66 = http://www.chevyasylum.com/cort

"Let's make our escape" __ Creed __ 'Higher'

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Sounds like an awesome way to spend the weekend, Mike. ENJOY!

 

And ... Nashville is my favorite city, with the Nashville/Big Sandy/Jackson TN triangle along I-40 being my favorite area of the US.

 

 

 

Cort | 38.m.IL | pigValve + paceMaker + cowValve | 5 MCs + 1 Caprice Classic

CHD.MCs.CC + RoadTrips.hobbies.RadioShows.us66 = http://www.chevyasylum.com/cort

"Let's make our escape" __ Creed __ 'Higher'

 

Thanks Cort. The trip was pushed back a day so we went on Sunday and Monday instead of Saturday and Sunday. Sunday was sunny but we ran into quite a bit of rain on Monday. It was still a very pleasant trip though.

 

Mike

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So our weekend jaunt is finished, and even with the rain we had a great time. In addition to covering old ground, we drove the rest of the Tennessee portion of the eastern alignment of the Dixie Highway from Newport to London, KY. I saw a great old overgrown drive-in in Newport that I'll go back to visit sometime soon. Lots of other interesting architecture too.

 

From London we headed west along Hwy 80 and 90, ultimately ending up at the Wigwam Village #2 in Cave City. Our last time through here was in the summer and we were disappointed to find out that the Wigwam was full that night because a tourist bus was taking up all of the rooms. Determined not to let that happen again I made a reservation. Turns out I needn't have worried. We were the only ones there. Literally. The office was even closed and they left the key in the mailbox for us. Tepee #13. ohmy.gif We got in the room and there were two small electric heaters going full blast, and it was about 50 degrees. We hoped that the owners had just put the heaters in our room before we got there; then we laughed hysterically and decided to go have dinner. To hedge our bet a little bit we closed off the bathroom door in order to make the space needing heat a little bit smaller. When we got back from a nice meal the room was a balmy 65 degrees or so, which was fine. The bathroom, on the other hand, was probably 40 degrees and the floor was foot-numbingly cold. I brushed my teeth quickly and made a mental note to skip my morning shower. The night was peaceful, uneventful, and we slept well. Would we go back? Ummm, yes...in the summer, and probably not before staying at the third Wigwam motel in Holbrook, AZ (San Berdoo, CA is already checked off). The room was old and HVAC challenged, but it was clean. I can put up with a lot but I can't abide by dirty. So in the end it was an enjoyable adventure.

 

We got up early and packed the car and hit the highway. We didn't get very far before I saw this incredible falling down motor court, so I had to stop and take lots of pictures. It has gone by a few different name variations, but on its application for National Historic Register status it is called by its original name, Horse Shoe Camp. The camp is located 9 miles north of Bowling Green, KY on US-31. It started as a tavern in the early 1930s, added gas pumps and lots of cottages, and was a very popular and very busy place until 1965 when I-65 started diverting customers away. The owners stayed in business until the 1980s when they closed. Anyway, even in its decrepit, run-down state it is absolutely beautiful. And long after the roofs completely collapse the stone walls will still be standing as a silent reminder to what once was.

 

We moved on and drove through Bowling Green and toward Russellville. US-68 is mostly a 4-lane pseudo-expressway along there, but if you look carefully it isn't hard to find much of the original route that crosses back and forth under the super slab. One cut off and quiet section of the former US-68 / Dixie Highway is where the Shaker Village is located in South Union. It has been maybe 35 years since I was last there, when US-68 ran right by the fence separating the village from the road and cars whizzed by at 60mph. I drove several miles without seeing a single vehicle, and I stopped in the middle of the road to take several pictures of the idyllic village. I can tell you I wouldn't have done that in 1977!

 

Onward to Russellville, then Nashville, then southeast. We made it to Chattanooga by late afternoon and enjoyed the sites of Market Street (Dixie Highway) and other aspects of this reborn city. What a great place! Sharon's daughter attends college there so we had a late lunch with her before heading up the connector to Knoxville. By the time we got there it was starting to get late and we were still a long way from home. Since we had just driven this section of the Dixie the day before we decided to cheat and take I-40 home so we could get to bed before midnight.

 

On the way home we talked about our plans to take another end-to-end trip on Route 66 this summer. How to get to Chicago has always been the question before. This time it's a no-brainer. Go to US-31W in Cave City and hang a right this time. biggrin.gif

 

Ciao,

Mike

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Mike,

 

The only way to improve on the experience would be for the room to be 45 degrees when you returned, and you had to jump in a freezing bed, then enjoy the chatter of your teeth until you got cozy. Then the memory would endure far beyond the discomfort. Clean is necessary, heat is optional.....we are just spoiled.

 

Loved the story! And the Photos!

 

Dave

 

keep the Show on the Road!

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Wonderful. I've stopped at Horse Shoe Camp several times but you told me more about it after one stop than I've learned in seven years. My first sighting was in 2004 when the roof was still intact and the sign still horizontal. It was still fairly straight in 2009 but was listing considerably in 2010. That plywood in your photo is every bit as new as it looks. It has been added since September of 2010. Rain kept me from stopping when I passed in December but I regret not even getting a drive-by shot. I didn't know it was on the National Historic Register. Never thought of it. I see there is quite a bit of information on the application. Did you also find other sources?

 

Your Wigwam Village "weather report" definitely put a smile on my face. It wasn't too many years ago that it simply shut down in the winter. Then I think they decided that, if people were crazy enough to stay there in the winter (you & I both qualify:-), they'd let them. Of course, we're also crazy enough to appreciate a true classic that turns 75 this year. I've stayed at the three surviving Wigwam Villages. You started with the newest and moved to the oldest. I believe the one in the middle, Holbrook, is closer in age to the one in San Bernardino but closer to the one in Cave City in "amenities". I doubt, though, that you'll be staying in Holbrook in January.

 

Nice to see that both Hoskins Drug Store & Restaurant and the theater next door are still operating. Did you happen to stop at either of two attractions, Ciderville Music and the airplane gas station, just a little to the south?

 

Good stuff. Thanks for both the report and the pictures.

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Mike,

 

The only way to improve on the experience would be for the room to be 45 degrees when you returned, and you had to jump in a freezing bed, then enjoy the chatter of your teeth until you got cozy. Then the memory would endure far beyond the discomfort. Clean is necessary, heat is optional.....we are just spoiled.

 

Loved the story! And the Photos!

 

Dave

 

keep the Show on the Road!

I agree on all counts! The one other thing I really like to find is a great neon sign. I'll take that over heat any day. biggrin.gif

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Wonderful. I've stopped at Horse Shoe Camp several times but you told me more about it after one stop than I've learned in seven years. My first sighting was in 2004 when the roof was still intact and the sign still horizontal. It was still fairly straight in 2009 but was listing considerably in 2010. That plywood in your photo is every bit as new as it looks. It has been added since September of 2010. Rain kept me from stopping when I passed in December but I regret not even getting a drive-by shot. I didn't know it was on the National Historic Register. Never thought of it. I see there is quite a bit of information on the application. Did you also find other sources?

 

Nothing that wasn't redundant with the application, so it probably came from the same place. I did notice that the application says that Western Kentucky University is a repository with a lot of info on the Horse Shoe. There was also an oral history interview done with the owner and the caretaker of the place in 1992 I believe. Not sure whether that interview is also housed at the university or not, but I'll bet there is a lot of good information in it.

 

Your Wigwam Village "weather report" definitely put a smile on my face. It wasn't too many years ago that it simply shut down in the winter. Then I think they decided that, if people were crazy enough to stay there in the winter (you & I both qualify:-), they'd let them. Of course, we're also crazy enough to appreciate a true classic that turns 75 this year. I've stayed at the three surviving Wigwam Villages. You started with the newest and moved to the oldest. I believe the one in the middle, Holbrook, is closer in age to the one in San Bernardino but closer to the one in Cave City in "amenities". I doubt, though, that you'll be staying in Holbrook in January.

 

Definitely not January! I'm guessing we'll make our trip sometime in June or July. It's difficult for me to plan trips too far in advance. I usually just try to go when there are lulls in the business, and I don't often know when that is more than about a month ahead of time.

 

Nice to see that both Hoskins Drug Store & Restaurant and the theater next door are still operating. Did you happen to stop at either of two attractions, Ciderville Music and the airplane gas station, just a little to the south?

 

We didn't stop nearly as often as I would have liked. I have been dealing with a toothache that is apparently going to require a root canal. So the long-winded answer is, not this time.

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On the way home we talked about our plans to take another end-to-end trip on Route 66 this summer. How to get to Chicago has always been the question before. This time it's a no-brainer. Go to US-31W in Cave City and hang a right this time.

 

Sounds like a plan, Mike. Let me know when you get your schedule/plans set.

 

 

As far as your "weekender" ... wow ... sounds great! Had to laugh at your description of your Wigwam experience. 65 still seems a bit cold to me ... ;). I'm guessing you didn't stay long in Nashville TN?

 

 

 

Cort | 38.m.IL | pigValve + paceMaker + cowValve | 5 MCs + 1 Caprice Classic

CHD.MCs.CC + RoadTrips.hobbies.RadioShows.us66 = http://www.chevyasylum.com/cort

"If by chance you are ever this way look me up" __ John Anderson __ 'Down in Tennessee'

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As far as your "weekender" ... wow ... sounds great! Had to laugh at your description of your Wigwam experience. 65 still seems a bit cold to me ... ;). I'm guessing you didn't stay long in Nashville TN?

 

 

 

Cort | 38.m.IL | pigValve + paceMaker + cowValve | 5 MCs + 1 Caprice Classic

CHD.MCs.CC + RoadTrips.hobbies.RadioShows.us66 = http://www.chevyasylum.com/cort

"If by chance you are ever this way look me up" __ John Anderson __ 'Down in Tennessee'

 

No, we had quite a bit of ground to cover, and as it was we didn't get home until about 10:00pm Monday night. Next time we'll take it a bit more leisurely.

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I believe the one in the middle, Holbrook, is closer in age to the one in San Bernardino but closer to the one in Cave City in "amenities". I doubt, though, that you'll be staying in Holbrook in January.

 

 

Been there, done that! :lol: My Holbrook Wigwam visit was on January 1/2, back in the mid-90s. My experience was amazingly similar to BRM's: Space heaters, freezing bathroom, no one else there but us, room basic but clean.

Followed up the next day by a rather bracing visit to Petrified Forest NP with an arctic wind howling (and no trees other than the fossilized stone kind to block it)! A fun trip nonetheless.

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Sounds like everybody is going thru Russellville!!!!!!!! I went thru there back in October on my way to West Virginia to visit with my sister.

 

I took 70/79 out of Memphis and stayed on 79 to Russellville. I've now covered 79 between both terminals - Russellville to Austin, TX. Unfortunately I don't have pictures of roadside attractions - between West Memphis and Austin there really isn't much of anything to photograph. I've got to run 79 between Memphis and Russellville as there are several photo ops - but I didn't take my camera on my visit to my sisters.

 

Since everybody has found it looks like that might be a place for a spring get-together!!! LOL

 

Hudsonly,

Alex Burr

Memphis, TN

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