10/22/2022 Mt. Vernon, Virginia

     Our week is over, time to go  back to the old age home. We decided to stop on the way to visit George Washington’s Plantation at Mt. Vernon. The estate is on the banks of the Potomac River in Fairfax County, Virginia.

     Washington’s ancestries acquired the land in 1674. Washington leased the estate in 1754 and became it’s sole owner in 1761. The original house was built by George Washington’s father, Augustine, in 1734. George expanded the house twice, once in the late 1750s and again in the 1770s. The house is built of wood, but has a fake finish to make it look like stone. When you touch it, it feels hollow. I’m not sure I care for it, but then no one asked me.

     When George Washington’s ancestors acquired the estate, it was known as Little Hunting Creek Plantation, after the nearby Little Hunting Creek. However, when Washington’s older half-brother, Lawrence Washington, inherited it, he renamed it after Vice Admiral Edward Vernon, who had been his commanding officer during the War of Jenkins’ Ear. (The War of Jenkins’ Ear was a conflict between Britain and Spain from 1739 to 1748). I think the nose won.

     When Washington lived on the Plantation it consisted of 8,000 acres. Today, it is less than 500.

     Washington slept here.

     On December 12, 1799, George caught a cold. All the available medical treatments failed to improve his condition, and he died 2 days later at Mount Vernon on December 14, 1799, at aged 67 (and you think Covid is bad).

     Martha invited us in for a chat.

     Martha Dandridge was born on June 2, 1731, on her parents’ plantation, Chestnut Grove, in the Colony of Virginia. On May 15, 1750, at age 18, Dandridge married Daniel Parke Custis, a rich planter two decades her senior. When he died on July 8, 1757, she was left a rich woman at age 26. One year later, Martha Custis, age 27, and George Washington, age 26, married on January 6, 1759. Two and a half years after the death of her husband, Martha died on May 22, 1802, at the age of 70.

10/20/22 Get Thee To A Winery

     Although our friends are camp hosts at the campground, still living in their RV, we stayed the week in a hotel. As it happens, across the street from the hotel was a winery. Of course, we all went there one evening for the free wine tasting and tour of the facility.

     Barbara started off with tasting all 15 of their wines.

     The winery has a fermentation capacity of over 23,000 gallons, making it one of the largest wineries in the state of Tennessee. Although, they import all of their grapes. Fermentation takes place in stainless steel tanks.

     They no longer use wood barrels, which now are used to store water.

     All the wines produced are bottled on the premises.

     I like chocolate, but not chocolate wine. 

     It is a shame to waste good chocolate by putting it in alcohol.

10/19/2022: Sequatchie Valley, Tennessee

     Sequatchie Valley is a long and narrow valley which is part of the Cumberland Plateau region of the Appalachian Mountains. It is located in Pikeville, Tennessee, which was established in 1816 along an old trace that led from McMinnville across the Cumberland Mountains to a settlement in Rhea County. Pikeville served as an early supply and trade center. We came here to sample Wooden Apples. Why anyone would want wooden apples is beyond me.

     They did have tons of apples,

     Although they seemed to label them watermelons.

     We walked the huge apple farm.

     Barbara asked if she could pick an apple from one of the apple trees, and they said “no”.

          I guess she has been hanging around me too long.

         A pox upon them.

     It is probably good that we have stopped RVing. We decided to go from here to Crossville, Tennessee to see the Cumberland Homestead Project Museum. However, as soon as we drove up to the museum, we realized we were here before in 2016.(https://scheinin.wordpress.com/2016/12/02/crossville-tennessee)

10/17/22 Crossville, Tennessee

     The friends we are visiting are camp hosts in Crossville, Tennessee. They had a stand at the local festival, so we stopped there to see them and the festival. The Festival was the annual Bigfoot festival.

     Of course, Bigfoot was there. 

     The festival was full of Bigfoot memorabilia. We stopped to watch the “Bigfoot calling contest”. It was a hoot. 

     Those that followed my blog as we were traveling, know that I saw Bigfoot. We were in Fort Nelson, British Colombia traveling in the RV when we had to stop for a black bear crossing the road. I was photographing the bear as he went across a field into the woods. I did not see where he actually entered the woods, so I shot some shots of the woodline figuring I would blow the shot up when we camped. When I did that, to my amazement I saw this:

     You can read that blog here: https://scheinin.wordpress.com/2018/07/18/fort-nelson-british-columbia/

   It is unusual I come across strange things.

10/16/2022: Bristol Tennessee – Bristol Virginia

     It has been 626 days 7 hours and 4 minutes since my last blog. I have sold my house, sold my RV, and sold my rental property (for a little while, I was actually homeless). One of the things I miss about RVing is writing this blog.  I have moved into an old age home. This is our first outing since selling The Sphinx.

     We drove to Tennessee to meet with friends we met while Rving. On the way down we stopped at Bristol Tennessee.

     Where is the birthplace of Country Music? Nashville, you say. Not according to Johnny Cash. He says Bristol Virginia/Tennessee is the place.

     In 1927, Ralph Peer, a record producer from Victor Talking Machine Company, traveled to Bristol Tennessee – Virginia and set up a portable recording studio. Over the course of two weeks Peer recorded 76 songs by 19 different acts, including Ernest Stoneman, The Carter Family, and Jimmie Rodgers. Johnny said “these recordings are the single most important event in the history of Country music.”

     The U.S. Congress agreed, declaring Bristol to be the “Birthplace of Country Music” by a resolution passed in 1998.

     We visited the City of Bristol. It is unique in that the State Boarder of Tennessee and Virginia run down the center of the main drag, State Street, right between the double yellow lines.

     On July 10, 1852, Joseph R. Anderson contracted for 100 acres of his father-in law’s  plantation (forty-eight acres in Tennessee and fifty-two acres in Virginia). He chose this area because he learned that 2 railroads would be converging at this point. He chose the name “Bristol” for his planned city.

     Bristol was incorporated in 1856. The Virginia and Tennessee Railroads reached the city in the late summer of that year.

     Bristol’s main street, later State Street, was designated as the state line between Tennessee and Virginia in 1901.

     Unfortunately, the City did not do much to preserve it’s heritage, with most older buildings in rundown condition.

     Their history is mostly preserved by murals on these buildings.

     For example, do you know who Ronald Andrew Necciai is? What, not even you avid baseball fans?     

     On May 13, 1952 at the Bristol Stadium, 19 year old Ronald Necciai, pitching for the Bristol Twins, struck out 27 batters of the opposing team in a nine inning no-hit, no-run performance. In over one million professional baseball games played since organized baseball began in 1869, no one ever has matched his feat. He later played for the Pittsburg Pirates.

     Did you know Bristol is also the birthplace of Tennessee Ernie Ford?

     See you down the road.