Nov 052009

Interstate highways are great for RV travel if you are just going from Point A to Point B. They are usually the quickest way to get where you’re going, but they lack any charm or character, so whenever possible, we love to travel the back roads, those two lane highways that take you through the small towns where you can see the real America.

Of course, some of the best adventures are found on back roads where an RV isn’t the most practical form of transportation. When we find a nice place to park for a few days, we leave the motorhome and go exploring in our van.

Mayberry Campground here in Mount Airy makes an excellent base for doing just that. The campground is very clean, has roomy full hookup pull-through and back-in sites with cable TV and WiFi, and the folks who run it are very friendly.

Cheang Eng graveThe campground’s owner, Benny East, is a great great grandson of Eng Bunker, one of the famous Siamese Twins, who settled in this area after a career touring in vaudeville. The twins died in 1874 and are buried a mile away, and yesterday we paid a visit to their gravesite.

Since we had played tourist in town on Tuesday, we wanted a change of pace yesterday. We set off down some narrow back roads where I’d never take an RV larger than a Class B van.

At the tiny village of Rockford, we stopped to check out the Rockford GeneralRockford General Store Indian 3 Store, which has been serving the community since 1890. What a neat place! This cigar store Indian greeted us at the front door, and inside the owner welcomed us like long lost family members.

We loved looking at all of the things on display, from bulk candy to gourds, and after poking around in every corner of the store we had worked up an appetite. The store serves up delicious sandwiches that you’ll never find at McDonald’s or Burger Rockford General Store porch webKing. I had the fried country ham and egg, and Miss Terry tried the thick cut pan fried bologna and cheese. Both were wonderful! We sat on rocking chairs on the front porch and passed the time of day with a local gentleman as we ate our lunches.

When we left Rockford, we meandered down a series of roads that crossed the Yadkin River several times, and eventually brought us to the Horne Creek Living Historical Farm, which was farmed by the Hauser family for nearly 200 years.

Since we visited in the off season, there were no costumed interpreters working on the farm, as there are other times ofDouble corn crib 2 web year, depicting farm life in rural North Carolina circa 1900.

We still had a good time wandering around the farm and the handsome two story house where several generations of Hausers lived and died. Terry and I always say that if we did not have to work, we’d love to spend some time volunteering as costumed interpreters at historic sites. Even adults like to play dress up!
Pilot Mountain, rising 1,400 feet above the surrounding countryside, is a major landmark in this region, and long Pilot Mountain webbefore we had highways and GPS systems, explorers and settlers used it to navigate their way through the wilderness.

We have had a fantastic time exploring the upper Piedmont plateau of North Carolina, and we could easily spend a couple more weeks here. But we have lots more to see and do, and today we’ll be on the road again, heading for new territory in search of new adventures.

Thought For The Day – If the police arrest a mime, do they tell him he has the right to remain silent?

Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  4 Responses to “North Carolina Back Roads”

  1. Gee, I hope you guys don’t miss the Mobray Mill while you are in that area. It is on the Blue Ridge Parkway just a short drive from you and about the most beautiful place ever.

    If you haven’t been there, it is worth another day just to go there.. The sights along the way are awesome also.


  2. Sounds like a great place to visit, Nick. We sure agree about Interstates, with the possible exception of a few: I-5 coming down through southern Oregon has charm, and I-10 crossing southeast Arizona at the Texas Canyon is pretty near. Otherwise our experience is the same as what you reported.

  3. Keep it up yall. Looks like a great area for Teri and me to visit in the coach. Thanks for sharing the places with us.

  4. Beautiful pictures and commentary on the area… You make it sound so inviting… Have fun & Travel Safely!


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