Bob & Elsie's Adventures travel blog

Bristol Speedway

Wayne Henderson & Friends

Carter Family Fold Stage and dancers

We are in the eastern corner of Tennessee, near the Virginia border. There aren’t a lot of tourist attractions in this area but we have managed to find things to do. This area is called the Triple Cities, imagine that, Johnson City, Bristol and Kingsport. One day we drove to Johnson City, TN and found a large mall. One day we went into downtown Bristol. In 1998 the US Congress designated Bristol as the “Official Birthplace of Country Music”. The state line between Tennessee and Virginia runs right through downtown Bristol. One side of State St. is in Tennessee and the other side is in Virginia. We walked up and down both sides of the street and visited several antique malls and even a pawn shop, another first for me, no, we didn’t pawn anything but there was a lot of interesting stuff to buy, Bob bought a mandolin. I looked at the jewelry but it actually seemed kind of expensive. There is a large lighted archway at one end of the street that has arrows to show which side of the street is in which state. We also went to the Bristol Speedway Gift Shop. Kingsport’s downtown also had several antique malls. Yesterday we went to a gigantic flea market directly across the highway from the campground. It was really huge, mostly indoors, we spent hours there and it looks like we may have to go back today. It was a beautiful day after it warmed up. After the flea market adventure I took a book outside and sat in the sun for a while. Last night we went to the Carter Family Fold in Hiltons, VA. This is the location of the original home site of the Carter Family and there is a museum and an auditorium there. To get to Hiltons we had to drive on part of “The Crooked Road”. This is an official name for Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail that runs through the southwest corner of Virginia and highlights the music and culture of the area. We were only on the 253 mile trail for about 25 miles between Bristol and Hiltons but you can take my word for it, it was crooked, very crooked. This coupled with driving into the sun made the trip to the Carter Family Fold less than a picnic and the drive back in the dark wasn’t that much better. The auditorium was nice though, 1,000 seats, out in the middle of nowhere and I think most of the seats were filled. There is a show there every Saturday night, basically trying to keep the Carter Family music alive. The band was good and watching the audience members clog dance was fun.

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