Aarrffin' around Appalachia
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10-18-2012, 06:03 PM
Joined: Dec 2009
Location: Ol' Smokie
Saturday 9/22/12 was a big day with lots of miles to cover. We also had several attractions in mind to see along the way. I had previously been to a "Shot Tower" about 20 minutes north of Hillville and wanted to show this to mtngal. You can google this and find it easy and it is located very near a VA state park on the New River and the New River Trail runs right by it. It is a 75 foot high tower used in the Civil War to make lead bullets. An exact measure of molten lead can be dropped from a height of 150 feet into a vat of water and you have a perfect cooled sphere. Why a 75 foot tower? It's too much to build a stone enclosed tower that high so they built it on a rock cliff top and drilled another 75 feet under it and the bottom of the whole thing is on the trail which at that time was the railroad where they loaded the shot onto a car headed south to the Confederate Army....
View I-77 from the back of the tower:
We took back roads up there on something like Poplar Camp Road which is off Main street in Hillville. Then I took some dirt roads east which were a hoot and very scenic. I do not remember the numbers but you can find your way if you study google maps and we then worked out way back down to 58. This series of dirt roads began very near and just prior to the entrance to the New River State Park there:
On the way we found a neat store and the old timer running it told us that it was started by his grandfather who ran a lead mine there and the employees got there wares and food from the Company Store. Remember Ernie Ford's song " I Owe My Soul To the Company Store"? Well...here it is. The old timer running it now was so nice and just welcomed us like we were his long lost kids. What an awesome nice man to meet and he told us the store history, and memorabilia from the mine era...even one of the old ledgers showing purchases and total owed by the employees.
This is exactly what my adventures are about, meeting great people and hearing their history!
Look at the neat old store! Even got fresh pickled aggs!
Had to put his dog to sleep due to old age and the old dog knew all his customers by name...he misses his dog!
See the date on this old ledger....1913!!!
He came outside with us to see my "fancy" bike. He was really interested in us. Told us about a Civil War lead furnace about 3 miles away across some dirt roads and farms so.....we are off to see the furnace!
Want some Klews?
this is what we love, just ride and find out where the road leads and no real plans other than generally east so we head back down toward 58 to continue eastward and its getting near lunchtime now....so lets get on 58 east and go find a good winery for lunch! Here are a few sights back down to 58....and a detour on a short but fun Greenbrier...
I bet some hard times happened on this road....
Ever wonder what's at a dead end? I am always finding them.......
Oh yeah,I bet many of you recognize this...nice camp!
Next up is Lunch at Chateau Morrisette...
Born with nothin'.... still got most of it.
R1200GSA, R 80 RT ( adv project )
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