Our hotel in Tupelo is handy for the Auto Museum with 150 cars from 1869 onwards. After visiting, we pass Elvis Presley’s modest birthplace before continuing
on the Trace Parkway to arrive mid-afternoon in the music city of Nashville to check out the downtown music clubs, honky tonk bars and restaurants for the evening.
We head out towards the Appalachians to ride the iconic ‘Tail of the Dragon’ road with 318 curves in 11 miles much loved by bikers. The rest of the day is on more gentle roads through the Great Smoky Mountains to arrive in good time at our hotel in Asheville, North Carolina. The town suffered so badly during the depression that new buildings were rarely considered. As a result, it has been left with a wealth of Art Deco buildings which you can enjoy on a walking tour that also includes street sculptures by local artists. It is also famous for restaurants stocked by local farmers’ markets and for its microbreweries.
A full day of leisurely cruising in Virginia and North Carolina on the beautiful “Blue Ridge Parkway” decked in its autumn colours.
A short stretch on the Blue Ridge before we head for Richmond, the capital of the Confederacy during the Civil War and on to our rest stop at Williamsburg.
Williamsburg was the capital of the colony of Virginia from 1699. The restored eighteenth century town has become the world’s largest living history museum covering 301 acres with hundreds of authentic buildings, many staffed by costumed interpreters. A short drive away is a reconstruction of the fort of the first permanent colony, Jamestown, established in 1607, with replicas of the settlers’ three ships. Also nearby is Yorktown, the site of the battle where Cornwallis finally surrendered to Washington.
The route crosses from the mainland via the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel to the Delmarva Peninsular, a flat rural landscape of small traditional settlements and agricultural land. A visit to the barrier island on the East Coast may afford glimpses of the feral ponies that roam the grassland and wide beaches. Our overnight stay is on the West Coast in the small port town of Oxford on Chesapeake Bay in the company of residents Ian and Glynis Scott, our good rally friends.
We cross the bay to Annapolis and head for the Military Park at Gettysburg where the Union army halted General Lee’s Northern push. On the battlefield the highest casualties of the war were inflicted and it was here that Lincoln later gave his famous address. We move on to the Amish area of the state taking some minor roads for an insight into their way of life. Our hotel is at Ephrata where a strict religious community was formed in 1732 . The wooden buildings of the cloister constructed by the German settlers can be visited.