• Anne Hartley

Route 58

Hello everyone, hope your summer is all you hoped it would be. Please be safe, watch out for others and as always keep your knees in the breeze. This week I have picked out a ride that will take you into Virginia. This ride is great on a motorcycle or in a vehicle.

Highlands Parkway in Damascus is about a 5 hour ride on route 58. Route 58 actually begins in Portsmouth near the shore and stretches to the western border of Virginia. Portsmouth, Virginia's historic seaport, is a Coastal Virginia treasure with its collection of antique homes spanning three centuries, its assortment of quirky shops and eclectic, locally owned restaurants, and a spectacular waterfront along the busy Hampton Roads harbor. It’s an ancient seaport with a decidedly hip vibe. The smallest of the coastal cities, Portsmouth is known for providing legendary hospitality since 1752.

The most scenic portion in the fall months begins around Meadows of Dan. Meadows of Dan is an unincorporated community in Patrick County, Virginia, where the Blue Ridge Parkway crosses U.S. Route 58 (Jeb Stuart Highway). There are numerous country shops, classic houses, and restaurants in the community. It is located near the Patrick/Floyd County line about 20 miles east of Hillsville and about 14 miles northwest of Stuart, Virginia. The community's name is credited to one of its earliest English settlers, James Steptoe Langhorne, and comes from the meadows that abound near the Dan River which flows through the area

Take the road west and you’ll find dozens of quaint small towns like Galax and Damascus that welcome visitors with an air of friendliness that is both rare and refreshing. Galax is the gateway to the Blue Ridge Mountains. The City is rich with tradition, shopping, recreation and scenic beauty. A visit to Galax offers everything from quaint downtown shops to hiking and Old Time Bluegrass Music festivals. It is also home to the largest Old Time Bluegrass Fiddler's Convention as well as the New River Trail. Damascus is the home of the annual Trail Days festival and is known as Trail Town USA due to the convergence of four scenic trails in the town, including the Appalachian Trail, U.S. Bicycle Route 76, The Iron Mountain Trail, and the Virginia Creeper Trail. The Trail Days festival is held around the middle of May each year and draws in excess of 20,000 tourists, making it the largest single gathering of Appalachian Trail hikers anywhere. The Appalachian Trail runs right through the town of Damascus, and you’ll often spot a handful of scruffy hikers sharing their stories with the residents, who are more than happy to provide supplies and support for the weary travelers.

As you continue your trek along the western road, you’ll eventually reach Cumberland Gap National Historic Park, which traces the borders of Virginia, Tennessee, and Kentucky. For an unforgettable scenic view, hike to the top of Pinnacle Overlook. Cumberland Gap the first great gateway to the west, is a mountain pass that was used by wildlife, Native Indian tribes, and later by settlers moving west. Daniel Boone was hired to blaze a trail beginning in Southwest Virginia through Cumberland Gap known as the Wilderness Road. It became the route westward for pioneers who travelled west through the mountains into the wilderness of Kentucky. Both the North and the South vied for control of the Cumberland Gap during the Civil war. Today the park consists of approximately 20,000 acres and 70 miles of hiking trails. There are numerous scenic and historic features in the park and ranger led programs are offered throughout the year including tours of Gap Cave and the historic Hensley Settlement. The Pinnacle Overlook Trail at Cumberland Gap National Historical Park near Middlesboro Kentucky, is an easy 0.2 mile out-and-back hike to Pinnacle Overlook - Cumberland Gap's most iconic overlook. The trail is short but well worth the drive to the top of the mountain in the middle of Cumberland Gap National Historical Park.

Useless Facts:

1. Nutmeg is extremely poisonous if injected intravenously.

2. Montpelier, Vermont, is the only U.S. capital without a McDonald’s.

3. Americans, on average, eat 18 acres of pizza every day.

4. Pound cake originally included a pound of all of its ingredients.

5. The chicken and the ostrich are the closest living relatives of the Tyrannosaurus rex.

6. Basenji dogs are the only breed that doesn’t bark.

7. You can’t hunt camels in Arizona.

8. On average, people fear spiders more than they do death.

9. Junk food is as addictive as drugs.

10. “Schoolmaster” is an anagram of “the classroom.”

11. The sun makes up more than 99 percent of our solar system’s mass.

12. Space travel makes mice run in loops.

13. Emus and kangaroos cannot walk backward.

14. The average American produces 4.5 pounds of trash per day.

15. Almonds are members of the peach family.



Local Events:

1. Shady Valley Country Store – Midnight Gypsy’s August 4th

2. Meet the Mountains Festival – Founder’s Park August 19th & 20th

3. 6th Annual BBQ, Blues & Brews – Elizabethton Covered Bridge Aug. 20th


Rallies:

1. Sturgis Bike Rally South Dakota August 5th – 14th


Rides:

1. Ride For A Cause August 13th 9am Cat Island Park


Bike Night:

1. Kingsport Moose Riders Every Wednesday

2. 19E Pit Stop Every Wednesday

3. Quaker Steak & Lube Every Thursday

4. Tulips Grub & Pub Every Friday

5. Peacemakers Bike Night 801 Boozy Creek 3rd Friday of each month

6. East Coast Wings Every Wednesday

7. Dog Tag Brigade Every Wednesday at Jonesborough VFW

8. The Pub Out Back Every Monday

9. Freddy’s in Kingsport every second Monday

10. Creek Side Bar & Grill in Stoney Creek every Wednesday