Thursday, May 05, 2011

Johnson City, TN

Here I sit in my $64.95 a night room at the Red Roof Inn in Johnson City, Tennessee. Bill and I arrived at noontime after a long (4 hour) ride from Townsend, Tennessee. We are exhausted.

I think I took too much on this trip. Yesrterday I decided to skip our visit to Knoxville and to visit my cousin Tim Tipton because we just don't have enough time and I want to minimize the amount of driving that Bill has to do in city traffic. Johnson City was bad enough today.

Driving up to Johnson City, Bill was enthralled by the mountains. He so misses geographical topography. He hates living in the flat coastal land of southern Delaware. I thought this would be a treat for him. He does like the scenery but the driving is just too much.

Today we took a drive over to the Pisgah Mountains of North Carolina where my father was born and raised until his family moved to Pennsylvania when he was 10 years old. I tried to climb the mountain to the graveyard where my great-grandfather and great-grandmother are buried but I couldn't find it. Their graveyard is located at the top of the mountain on Upper Pigeon Roost Road. My heart was pounding out of my chest as I climbed that mountain for over an hour. I finally gave up after I kept coming around another curve only to find more to climb. I took pictures and videos of this whole adventure and will post them when I get home. I don't know how to put those pictures on my iPad. I suspect I can't. Another one of those mysteries that I have to learn about my Apple products.

Today we also visited with my cousin Daisy Buckles. She has an interesting history. Her father was born in 1856 and is my great grandfather. It was his grave that I was looking for. My great grandfather Isaac Lewis married Mary Alice Hughes. After his first wife died he married Daisy's mother, Rissie, who was 40 years younger than he was! Thus, that is how Daisy is the half sister of my grandmother Hester Lewis. Daisy is 85 years old now.

We had a very nice visit. Daisy is recovering from a gall bladder operation. I was glad that I had the opportunity to visit her one more time in her lovely, modest home on the edge of Johnson City. She is a lovely lady. Southern gentility. Pictures will be included when I start blogging from home again.

I'm getting used to not having music on my blog. How about all of you? I do miss my picures though. So far I've taken 403 pictures on my iPhone! I've taken some with my Cannon 360 digital but I am gradually moving away from that camera for my picture taking. I've also taken about an hour an a half of video. I may post some of my videos. No slides though!

Well, I'm rambling now so I better quit. I am so looking forward to getting back to my regular routine after my 'field trip.'


  1. Ron,

    I envy you walking, even if you didn't make it up the mountain. I have been laid low by arthritis in my feet and right ankle for a week. I haven't been able to walk my daily trail since last Saturday and can barely hobble about on my job. Deep, deep, pain, my friend. Haven't even been up to writing lately.

    Happy you are talking about going back in the fall. Waiting on the pictures.


  2. ron--so good to see an update! sounds like you and bill are having a difficult trip, with some rewards along the way. glad you cut the visits, you really get to do what you want to do on this trip--so why force it?

    if i took a trip like this, i am not sure where i would go. i have family in chula vista, ca., and my sister in montana, but that is about it. earlier this year my brother and i drove to calexico, ca. where my father grew up and became a sports star. that was a dream trip for me--always wanted to see his hometown. you can "spit" into mexico from calexico--it is that close to the border. always weird seeing the lights of another country just a few hundred feet away. anyway, i can't wait to see all your pictures. sure would be fun to "have lunch" and talk, as you suggested, but i would have say that i would want your home cooking rather than the restaurants around where you live! i am a "foodie", so i am sure i would enjoy your food more! maybe someday i will be on the east coast again--would love if it were for a book tour (another dream!).

    well, i have just been insanely busy this month, but it is nice to write in your comments at the end of the day. it comforts me somehow. be safe, and enjoy the rest of the trip. -tony

  3. 403 pictures! WOW! Look forward to seeing some.
    I, for one, miss your music! Will be glad to have you back in town.

  4. We're really looking forward to returning home Don! I'll probably add my music back. It was only a temporary thing taking it off.

  5. Tony,
    So nice to hear from you this morning.
    We have one more day here in Johnson City then it is an 8 hour drive back home. We're planning on going through Washington D C which We are dreading but that seems the quickest way home. So looking forward to being home again but as a friend pointed out to me this morning, our memories are piling up. Have a wonderful day Tony.

  6. Ron,

    I'll be praying you quickly through that Washington loop madhouse. take care.


  7. I actually like not having the music on the blog. As I'm an early riser I would have to remember to turn my volume off so as not to wake the house.

    Sometimes coming home is nice after a long trip.

  8. Rick,
    I appreciate your feedback on the music on my blog. I'm really leaning towards keeping the music off of my blog. Your comment was probably the final nail in the coffin.

  9. Lar,
    We're still talking about going back that way. We don't have much choice if we want to return our rental car on Saturday.

  10. As I wrote in my email to you yesterday, I do miss you blogging. So I was glad to see this post this morning. I am not one who actually likes to travel. There is no place like home. Just the thought of snuggling in my own bed makes me happy.
    I'm with Rick, not a fan of the music. Although I like your selections, I'm not very good at concentrating on the content of your post with the music playing. "It's me, not you!" m.

  11. Mark,
    Thank you for your comment about the music on my blog. I'm going to keep it off. It was beginning to distract me too. Plus, when I visit a blog wit music I find it distracting too. There is always room for improvement on the blog! I think I just made one.
    About the travel, I like the opportunity to take pictures of new sits, visit friends and relatives I haven't seen and gaining new memories, but I still prefer home. It will be awhile before we 'trip out' again.

  12. Lar,
    I am so sorry you have been laid up and can't walk. Like you, walking has always been one of the pleasures of my life. I hope your foot is better soon. I can't wait to get out of here and back home.

  13. Take care on your trip home! :)

  14. Thanks Tiger. We're looking forward to going home. We're trying to figure put how to avoid Washington DC traffic.

  15. Anonymous3:06 PM

    Hi Ron,

    I'm not sure how this will affect your drive home but the Springfest is in OC, Fri, Sat. & Sun. of this weekend. Just wanted to let you know in case you get in those dreaded back ups around the beltway & the Bay Bridge.

    Glad you had a nice time & drive safe!


  16. Fran,
    Thanks for the warning. The college kids were hitting Johnson City this weekend too. We're planning on leaving early tomorrow for home sweet home so hopefully we'll miss the dears.

  17. I once stayed in a Red Roof inn
    it is rather a disgraceful story.

  18. Dr. Spo
    I felt like I was in a cave tunnel, and a grungy one at that. I shortened my stay and I am now spending a delightful night at the Front Royal Virginia Hampton Inn. What a difference. My room at the Red Roof Inn smelled like a dirty ashtray. This room smells the way a clean hotel room should smell. I'm known for my sensitive sniffer.


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