Tuesday, January 28, 2014

The Great Summer Road Trip of 2013......Day Eight

Day Eight of the Great Summer Road Trip of 2013 dawned early.

I guess we rose so early because we were so hungry, not having eaten a "proper" dinner the night before.
We performed our morning ablutions and decided to by-pass the meager dining options available in the lobby at this motel, and just check-out and head into the day.  We had a lot we wanted to get done today, which started with this.....

We could see that sign way up yonder from the motel so we got our keesters down the road for breakfast, were I ordered up this.....

A lovely salty country ham slice....almost as good as having Bacon but more filling!

It came with 2 eggs, a biscuit and a big pile of grits.  We don't see grits much around where I live in Yankeeland so I got them and fixed them so any Southerner worth their "salt" could eat them.......

"Proper Grits"....mashed up with fried eggs and pieces of salty ham.
Mmmmmmmm! 8-)

After that plate of YUM, we headed north to the first stop of the day.......

The Wolf Creek Indian Village and Museum in Bastian, VA.
This place hasn't been around long and is well off the beaten path to ANYWHERE!
In 1970, the archaeological remains of a long gone Native American village were uncovered and by 1996 the recreated village was opened to the public, with the Museum following in 1998.  Revitalization began in 2009 on the village structures to what you see today.

Experts have yet to identify which tribe this band of 1st Peoples were part of, other than to say that they were Eastern Woodlands Indians and the village is approx. 500 years old, so early 1500's/late 1400's, and predating any European contact.

You can visit their website HERE.

I didn't get any shots inside the museum, as they don't allow cameras but I did shoot our guided Village Tour.
All 9 episodes of it.
You might want to bookmark these videos and come back to them later at your leisure to watch them all at one time if you are interested in history and the ways of ancient peoples.

The first video was on the ride down to the Village.  It's right by the Wolf Creek so quite the hike down a ridge where the museum and parking lot were, to the village.  Since I could have walked down there but probably not have been able to walk back UP, we took the golf cart ride down and back.  Mr. John was our driver and he handed us off to Mr. Glen who conducted the tour for us.
John was a real character and I would have LOVED to have spent more time with him.  I didn't get one story on film he told us, about his days in the army during Vietnam and how he got the best of all those city slicker recruits which was hysterical.  I just got this little bit of him on that first video.  I am sure he would be Awesome to hang out with!

Mr. Glen did a good job with his tour and we enjoyed it.
I hope you do too.

Mr. John makes a cameo appearance in this video.....

And this last part is a view down by the creek before we headed back up to the parking lot.

After spending quite some time on the village tour and in the museum, we hit the road south.

Next stop, the Big Walker Mountain Lookout.
You will notice in this short clip how my accent has rather thickened after spending a few hours with Mr. John and Mr. Glen. lol

 Big Walker Lookout Pass is the starting point for the Civil War Heritage Trail concerning the Battle of "Wytheville".  The federal troops under John Toland came to this area to destroy the railroad tracks around Wytheville, plus tear down telegraph lines and capture nearby lead and salt mines.  A local named Molly Tynes used the views from this mountain pass to warn the town of the advance of the Yankee troops.

You will notice on the close-up of the map that Wytheville is not too far from Saltville, VA....about 44 miles.  If you've been reading my blog for a few years, you may recall that my 3 x Great Uncle was captured at the Battle of Saltville in Oct. of 1864 and later died of gangrene as a POW at Camp Chase in Columbus, OH.
I talk about him HERE in 2012.

 Here are a couple of shots I took from the ground into the valley below......

And then I gave the camera to Hubs and he climbed the tower and took these beautiful shots of God's Country.......

And then Hubs took a shot of yours truly from high above......

We went into the store and I bought of few of the "what nots" Mr. John talked about and yes, the place was full of touristy "what nots". lol

I got to talking with the elderly lady manning the store(this place has been run continuously since 1947, at least the tower has, by the Kime family)and I mentioned an ancestor had been captured at the Battle of Saltville, which led us into chatting about our respective Southern ancestors. 
Seem she had done some digging into her genealogy/family roots at one point and had found out that her ancestor had been labeled a Confederate deserter during the Civil War.  She was quite upset by that blackmark on the family honor, even now.  But then she got some additional information from a WBTS's buff that often when Southern soldiers were wounded, there was no field medic to treat them and/or no hospital to send them to for recovery and rehabilitation, so usually the wounded, who could get home, would go home to recover and return when they were fit for service again.  And many records show soldiers as deserting when in fact, they were just going home to recover from their injuries and be nursed to health by their families.  I can guess there were some who didn't return but she believed her ancestor had done the gentlemanly thing.

We bid adieu to the Big Walker Lookout and headed South down into Wytheville.

Our next stop was right in downtown Wytheville, Virginia......

...for a visit to the Edith Bolling Wilson Museum.
After all, she is family.
Yes, here I go again with the genealogy stuff.  8-))

My 7 x Great Grandmother, Mary Hunt married Field Jefferson(2nd marriage for both), which made her the Aunt of Thomas Jefferson(yes, THAT one!)and his sister, Mary Martha Jefferson.

Mary J. married a fellow named John Blair Bolling and their great grandson was named William Holcombe Bolling.  William Bolling was a lawyer and eventually a Judge.  He married Sarah "Sallie" Spiers White in 1860.  They had eleven children, nine of whom lived to adulthood.  Their 7th child born was Edith White Bolling, making her my 7th Great Grandmother's 3rd Niece.
Edith went on to marry a successful Washington D.C. jewelry store owner named Norman Galt, and after being widowed in 1908, she continued to run the store and made it an even more successful enterprise.  In 1915, she caught the eye of the recently widowed Woodrow Wilson, the then current President of the USA and wed him.
And the rest, as they say, is history.

This 7th Great Grandmother of mine also links me by marriage to another pair of famous Bolling Family members.  Edith's 8 x Great Grandparents are John and Rebecca Rolfe....or as she is better known, Pocahontas. (Though much oral history among the 1st Peoples of Virginia says that their son, Thomas, was NOT in fact John Rolfe's issue.....Thomas' actual father may have been  in reality another European in the VA colony or Pocahontas' native husband.  Native histories and stores have long been ignored by those in positions of power. But that's fodder for another time.)

Which makes the Rolfes the 3 x Great Grandparents of the husband of the niece of my 7th Great Grandmother(through marriage).
Got that? lolz

Anyway since we share a tenuous familial bond, it would have been rude not to stop in Wytheville and say "hey y'all" to Edith's home.
I even paid the extra to tour the upstairs of the building which was the family's living quarters from 1866-1899, when the family moved away after the death of Judge Bolling. Judge Bolling has lost the family plantation after the war and his father, Dr. Archibald Bolling had bought this building for the family to move to.  Edith was born in this home and lived there with her parents, her 8 siblings, her grandmother(who considered Edith her favorite), along with 26 canaries(her grandmother's passion)and other assorted pets.

Here's a photo of some of the Bolling children, probably taken about 1874 or so....
My guess from birth order l to r....Annie, Edith, Gertrude. In back....Rolfe.  In front....William.

The upstairs has NOT been renovated and it was interesting to tour the home in it's "raw" state.  Some details remain from the Bolling family's time there but much work needs to be done to keep this treasure from the ravages of time and decay.
Of course, we made a donation to the cause and became a sponsor of the Foundation.
I also bought my daughter a t-shirt.....

The museum did not allow any pictures to be taken or film to be shot but I did get a photo of myself
with Edith's sign.....

I found this video last week.  Some filmmaker from South Africa had his own Summer Road Trip last Summer and we went to some of the same places.
He put some videos on YouTube and while he was in Wytheville he got the person who founded the Foundation/Museum, Farin Smith to let him film inside.
The segment concerned starts at 2:48......

After bidding goodbye to Edith and Mrs. Smith, we went down the street to the end of the building for lunch......

To  the E. N. Umberger Store......otherwise known to the world as Skeeter's!

I don't think the décor has changed much in here since the 1960's.  It's been in operation since 1925, selling hot dogs and such.  I think items have been added to the décor since that time but nobody has ever thrown anything away. lolz

Here is Hubs digging into his dog.....

 And here's another short film.....

Sometimes a cold drink and a lowly tube steak just hits the spot, does it not?

Here's the lovely lady who waited on us.  She even let me take her picture but I can't for the life of me remember her name now..........Catherine I think?.....

 So after slaking off our hunger and thirst, we went next door.....

Actually Hubs had been cooling his heels in there while I was doing the tour upstairs at Edith's place.
So Hubs took me into Carter's Beverage Company to check out some interesting brews he had found.

I found that South African guy has also done a short film with Carter, the owner......

Hubs and I talked for a bit with Mr. Pennington.  He had just opened this business earlier last year.  I told him about that hard Root Beer stuff I had become addicted to from Sonya Ann's liquor store and brought him in a bottle so he could check it out and see about trying to get it to carry there since he is all about the unusual but good brews.
Carter is good people and I wish him the best of luck with his shop!

It was getting on to about 4 o clock by now and we needed to head out to our next motel stop.
But before we left Wytheville, I had Hubs stop HERE.
Tucked into this tiny town in the backroads of western Virginia is quite the fabric store.....especially if you quilt or like batiks.
They have a large internet business selling all over the world.
Fabric stores, really GOOD fabric stores intoxicate me.
A hit of fabric is better than booze in my book.

I'll just say, Hubs was tapping his foot impatiently so I showed remarkable restraint by only staying an hour and only buying 3 lengths of rayon batik fabric......rayon batiks are Very expensive in this country......

You do NOT want to know how much this stuff cost.....trust me! lolz
Let's just say I blew my souvenir budget in that store. ;-)

By 5pm, when they roll the sidewalks up in Wytheville by the way, we hit the interstate heading to Alta Vista, VA, our next stop.
Rolled into that town around dusk(8ish), trudged out things into the room and then back out to find something for dinner.  We found a Chinese buffet nearby in a shopping mall so we gorged on Quasi-Asian foods and went back to the motel to pop open some wine and relax for the evening.

Day 8 was quite the adventure but we were worn down to a nub and ready for some down time.



  1. You had me at waffle house. Lord, I love those places. We usually order one of everything and then share it. Really, one of everything!
    I have never felt drunk when getting material just liquor.

    1. I just found they built one over by Hubs work so come on over for a visit! WF can supply the bkfst foods and I can supply the bloody marys....

  2. mmm Waffle house!!... I'm loving your slosh across the country tour!

  3. I could live in a fabric shop. I would not want to work in one, just feel all of it. Actually, a friend and I would stay in one in Birmingham so long that we would get giddy, giggle a lot, and gorge our eyes on the stuff. Sometimes, we only left because were afraid of the neighborhood after dark.


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