A Saturday Night in Wilkesboro

Trip Start Sep 07, 2011
Trip End Sep 13, 2011

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Where I stayed
Holiday Inn Express

Flag of United States  , North Carolina
Sunday, September 11, 2011

We're in Wilkesboro, NC, which is just a little town where we decided to stop driving.  It is a sweet place, but clearly suffering from the economic downturn.  There are lots of vacant stores and empty houses, but, as we've found all over the state, very friendly people.

Yesterday, after a fabulous breakfast at the Big Lynn Lodge, we headed on up the Blue Ridge Parkway about 10:00.  We came across a turn off to Linville Falls and decided to take a look.  The Linville river is a sweet ltitle river and the Visitor Center was very nice.  There were three hikes to choose from if you wanted to walk up to see the falls. 

Here's a huge surprise!  We actually took one of the paths.  It was only 3/10s of a mile long, and since I had on my new $35 Havania flip flops I complained the whole way. But the falls were nice, if somewhat small.  These mountains are very gentle compared to the Sierras.  There  just aren't a lot of crags or sharp peaks and they are not very high.  There is a completely different feel to them that is very peaceful and calming.

Got back on our way and ended up in a town called Blowing Rock.  Blowing Rock is a very cute town, very touristy.  We wanted to stop there to visit the David Timbelake gallery.  David Timberlake is the guy who made our bedroom furniture.  I broke a drawer pull on my dresser so we were hoping they could tell us where to get another one.  David Timberlake has also taken up painting and we wanted to see if we liked his art enough to buy a painting to go over our bed.

Unfortunately, there was a festival going on and there simply was not a single parking place to be found in the entire town.   We finally gave up and headed to the next town we thought would be fun
to visit.  The next town is Boone.  It's about 5 miles from Blowing Rock.

As we got closer to Boone and the traffic got heavier, we started seeing cars with decals and flags for Applachian State University, girls dressed in gold and black, and signs offering parking on lawns and in driveways for $5.  It dawned on us that we were in a living example of the southern college football craziness.  These people love their college football.  The traffic through town was practically a crawl, and the route through town happened to pass right by the football stadium.

After fighting traffic for an hour or better, we'd had about enough driving.  We got on a nice 4 lane road and set our sights on the next good sized town.  The next town happened to be Wilkesboro.  We found a Holiday Inn Express, again because of the wi-fi access, and checked in to a very nice room.  After we got settled, we went out to explore a little.  The Chamber of Commerce map  showed a Sports Bar a few miles away in North Wilkesboro.  The bar is called Shooter'Z, maybe a take on Hooters? 

Shooter'Z is not anything like any sports bar we've ever been to.  They had 2 little TVs, both tuned to  college football.  The two beers on draft were Bud and Bud Light.  The menu (and in NC you have to order food if you're ordering drinks) was limited.  We got Nachos, stale tortilla chips and canned cheese...  After one drink we decided that we'd had enough and came back to the hotel.

The desk clerk recommended a restaurant called Sixth and Main.  It's the only "fine dining" restaurant we've run into so far.  The restaurant is in a beautiful old house, and the first indication that we got that this was a good place was the heavy hand the bartender had when he poured the drinks.

For dinner we started with a really good bruschetta with tomatoes, mushrooms and mozarella, served with pesto and a delicious sun-dried tomato puree.  Dan ordered pan seared halibut and I had chicken picatta.  Both were served with wild rice and a steamed vegetable medly.  We both really enjoyed our dinner.  Dessert was coconut cream pie, which was scrumptious.

The NASCAR Sprint Cup race was starting soon, so we came back to the hotel and watched the race.  All in all, another fun day.

Today we really ARE going to Winston-Salem!
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