Sunday, June 25, 2017

2016 Road Trip....Day 19 & 20, NC Part 2 to VA to Home

We arrived in Cherokee NC early afternoon and made a beeline to the Museum of the Cherokee Indian.

The museum was a bit pricey but this is something Hubs wanted to do.  Last time we went to Cherokee the kids were little.  While the museum was here then it was much smaller and more primitive and too much for our budget then.

Back in the 1990's when we took a family vacation here we hit the touristy spots the kids would like and they had their photo taken with a "real" Indian dressed up in traditional garb standing in front of a teepee.

I highly recommend the present incarnation of the Cherokee Museum, even if you have people in your party not interested in history or children with short attention spans.

Besides all the artifacts and descriptive plaques and displays, they now have an awesome show full of computer generated graphics and special effects.

And there are life-sized wax figures and dioramas too.

You get a full experience of the Cherokee culture and history from prehistoric times to the arrival of the first Europeans and beyond.

There is information on the structure of the Cherokee culture and how it relates to other native peoples cultures.
I've got some Creek blood in my family tree that I have been able to verify though I grew up hearing stories that we were related to the Cherokee tribe.
I have since found Pamunkey blood and relations to Algonquin speaking tribes too.

Once the Europeans arrived on the continent the story narrative turns quite sad.  If you are a fan of American history you know this doesn't end well for the Cherokee.

After I exited the museum exhibit area I sat in the lobby waiting for Hubs to finish his trip through.
They had at various times/days members of the Cherokee Nation giving demonstrations of various crafts.  That day/time there was a gentleman carving at atlatl or "throwing stick".  Before the bow, arrows for hunting were launching using this stick, which basically gave you a tremendous amount of leverage and sent your arrow flying swiftly.

I guess they get folks coming here with no clue about Cherokee culture because the gentleman seemed taken aback that I knew what he was making and what it was called. lolz  I could have feigned ignorance and let him fill me with information but that wouldn't have been very honest.

After Hubs finished we hit the gift shop for a few trinkets and items to tuck away for Xmas gifts.
I chose this simple little ornament to add to our Christmas Ornie collection.

Outside they also have an older gentleman demonstrating how to carve a musical instrument.

The museum is right beside a steam so we drove across the bridge to a parking area and walked along the stream.

It was the hot part of the day(I forget how warm it can get down here even in the middle of May!)and the river bank was shaded by large trees and there was a nice breeze.

Then I spied a mother duck and her babies taking a swim..........

I sat for awhile while the ducklings paddled about and played in the water.

As it was approaching 2 pm we hit the road again for Asheville to find somewhere to eat lunch/dinner.

We considered eating at "Tortilleria Mr. Suave".  After all, they had fresh corn tortilias, right?  ;-)

We ended up at an IHOP inside of a hotel(Ramada I think).  I had a $25 gift card from years ago that I really wanted to use finally.  We don't have IHOPs in NEPA to I try to use it when we got elsewhere on a trip.
Well, so much for my plan because we drew the short straw there with a brand new waitress that the manager was actively training that evening.  The manager got busy with other crises and the waitress floundered so that our food was both very late and not correct.  As a result the manager said she was comping our meals.
So much for trying to use that gift card! lolz  We just paid the tip that meal so I kept that gift card in my purse to attempt to use another day.

Hubs wasn't interested in hitting a brewery tasting room(of which there are TONS in Asheville)so we left the area after eating and headed North into Western VA and back onto I-81.

Back in the Hills of Virginia we stopped for the night at at motel outside of Wytheville.
$115+ for a crappy Comfort Inn motel that had seen much better days.  We probably could have gotten a cheaper room at the Sleep Inn on the northern side of Wytheville we stayed in in 2013(the one where the road was closed to the reserved motel off the interstate for night roadwork and the desk clerk couldn't tell us an alternative route to the motel)but we didn't want to change a repeat of that scenario.

The next morning after an equally crappy breakfast at that motel we went into town in  Wytheville before heading home.

When going by Wytheville this stop is a requirement for me.
It's an awesome fabric store that specializes in batiks....and they even carry rayon ones!
Outside of flying to Bali, THIS PLACE is my idea of fabric heaven on earth.

Oh Look!
Caverns which I will never EVER go inside.  Long story, childhood trauma.

Two hours after leaving "Fabric Valhalla" we decided to stop for gas and food/drink.

The sign for Smiley's Fuel City caught our eye.  It advertised that they had the "Best Dang BBQ in VA".
Well I went in while Hubs pumped the gas to scope it out.  Maybe they DO have the Best Dang BBQ in VA but......the place was filthy with flies buzzing inside everywhere.
And it smelled bad in there so I made an executive decision and quickly left.

We went across the Interstate exit to the Petro truck stop instead to find something to eat.

Oh Look! Pigs Feet AND Knuckles!!!
I'll pass....

We ended up in the dining room and ordered something I can't even remember.....a sandwich?, a chef salad?  I do know we did NOT do the lunch buffet. blech.

I hit the ladies room before we left.
This is the sight that greeted me as I walked into the bathroom.....

Big sign in the restroom about contacting the manager if the bathroom was less than "satisifactory".
Yah, overflowing garbage cans are a bit unsatisfactory, aren't they?  I took a card and emailed the manager the day and time and this photo.
Never heard a word back from them.  Ask me if I am surprised? lolz

Back on the highway up I-81.
We passed this cute trailer Retro travel trailer from Riverside RV.  Might have to get me one of those. ;-)

Passing the landmark apple basket water tower in Mount Jackson VA......

We hit Pennsyltucky after 4 hours of driving.

We stopped in Carlisle PA to our favorite diner there for a cheap and leisurely dinner.
Then it was back on the interstate for another 2 hours and we were finally home.

No furniture in the wrong rooms when we arrived homes this trip but......

My prized ceramic hand thrown chicken did have an accident at the hands of two of College Boy's friends while we were gone.
I noticed the next morning that something wasn't right in the kitchen and finally figured out the lid to my chicken was gone!

 I found it on the dining room table, on a paper plate, in about 32 pieces......
Seems College Boy's friends decided to accost her one evening and the lid crashed to the floor, the porcelain tile floor.

 I pieced the lid together as best I could with the pieces left.  This was a one of a kind piece I purchased at the Virginia Beach Boardwalk Art Show back in the early 1990's.  I am still upset over this......

And this is now why none of College Boy's friends are allowed inside our house if we are away.

Thus ended our third Road Trip to Louisiana to visit the Daughter.
The following month, June 2016, she and the BF packed their stuff and their dog up and moved in with us here in PA.
The Dog and the Daughter are still here(BF went back to LA in January)and plan to be for another 2 years.
And our Louisiana Road Tripping Days are now behind us.
That doesn't mean our Road Tripping Days are past as there are so many other places to go and see in this vast country!
Stay tuned for more travels.  8-)))



  1. Bummer about the chicken lid. I would not be terribly happy about that one either.
    I have not been to Cherokee in a while. I think the area is gorgeous but I am not crazy about the "trap". I do think I would like the museum though.

  2. My kids have some friends who, when in my house, behave in a way they never would in their own homes. One girl, the minute she stepped in DD's room, jumped up, and grabbed ahold of her canopy, bending it until it cracked. The "friend" thinking DD was crying because she was afraid she would get in trouble, tied a bandana around it. Dd was crying because her canopy was ruined. I would hope by college they would outgrow such nonsense. I also hope my kids behave poorly in other people's homes.

  3. The damage to the chicken is awful. Can you imagine when they did that resulted in no damage or what damage they managed to hide? Grrr!

    The Indian museum would interest me. It seems that a trip must be filled with disappointing dining/sleeping arrangements some trips. Flies all over is the worst experience.

  4. I love the mountain scenery and the time you spent at the stream looks nice and relaxing as well.

    How funny that you can't seem to spend that IHOP gift card! Maybe you can find one on your road trip this summer?

    Thanks for taking on another one your journeys!

  5. Our Nez Perce museum is free. Sorry about your chicken. Damn kids! But I have dropped things before and been so mad at myself.

  6. Sorry about your chicken. DH HAS an airstream vintage trailer on his wish list.


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