Monday, July 17, 2017

Ciderville - and a Surprise Meeting!

On Friday, We Hop on the Bike and Head to Ciderville

Today, we are going to a unique place in the East Tennessee music scene - Ciderville!  It's a beautiful July day, so we allow our trusty Zumo to choose the route. 
One of things we love about having a motorcycle GPS is it gives us the freedom to explore local roads, even when we don't know the area.
What a great day to be riding!
The weather is perfect and the road has plenty of curves.
We zoom past horses that seem to be enjoying the weather as much as us.
 We even find some cool and shady "tunnels,
and then we coast past more farms.
Finally, we turn onto 25.
We spot a few musicians (and a dog) which means we are nearly there.
Not that we can miss the place! Ciderville is a music store that was established way back in 1948. David West owns the place, and its known for being part music store and part museum. Oh, and they serve soup on Thursdays!
We take a few minutes to enjoy the building's eclectic paint job.
and extra touches!
As we said, you really can't miss the place!
Besides being a music store, Ciderville also has a music barn which hosts jams on Friday and Saturday night.
Inside, the walls are covered with instruments and photos.
 There's a lot of local history on these walls,
and even a license plate or two!
This is a handmade fiddle that was given to the owner as a gift.
There was also a nice selection of CDs by local artists. We decided on a CD of coal mining songs written and sung by Tony Thomas - and a few minutes later, Tony walked in! 

Tony grew up in a coal mining camp and his wife's family were also coal miners, and the songs on the CD are written from personal experience. Tony was kind enough to sit down, talk about his family's history, and play a few songs for us. 

While we loved Ciderville and its history, meeting Tony and hearing him play was the real highlight of our visit! You can hear Tony play on his youtube channel.
We hugged Tony goodbye and headed toward Knoxville to grab some lunch.
Outside of Oakridge, we passed the Tennesee Valley Authoritiy Bull Run Fossil Plant
Did you know that the process used to clean coal emissions creates synthetic gypsum? This gypsum is mixed up and added to recycled paper to make drywall. There's a good chance that part of your walls came from a coal plant like this one!
We then pass Haw Ridge Park,
which is on the Clinch River. This is one the places that Tennessee pearls used to come from. You can read the history of the Clinch River pearl rush here.
After crossing the river, we zoomed down 162 to a local diner.
Nick and J's serves a really good breakfast, so we decided to try them for lunch.
Unfortunately, our lunch was only OK. The hamburger was good, but the rest of the food needed more seasoning, and the Friday fish special was over-cooked.
When we got home, we got another surprise. Our UPS packages had been delivered to our door - or more accurately, or picnic table! Just one more reason to love being in an Escapees park!


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