Sunday, April 29, 2012

Enjoying The Tours

We've actually been doing a fair bit of riding lately. They haven't been jaw-dropping or awe-inspiring,but they have been enjoyable. And we have found some interesting things along the road.

A couple weeks ago it was a trip to the east. No destination, so we headed towards some unknown roads to see where they would take us. It was a quiet, leisurely ride just choosing roads at random. As lunchtime neared and I came to an intersection I recognized, I knew Subway's was just down the way. Let's see if we could get some Subway's and see if we could find a park.

Ok, the park was out, but Elder Mill Covered Bridge was just down the road. I think the garden club might have a bench to sit on in their little gardens.

Missed out on that score too and wound up spreading our jackets on the gravel. Oilburner wanted to go sit on a rock in, or by, the water...

But I nixed that idea when I discovered all of the paths down were overgrown with poison ivy. I can't help it, with all of the poison ivy in this state, I am always singing the Coasters song of the same name throughout summer.

Much greener now than when we have ever visited here in the past. It was nice and overgrown. But definitely not a forgotten road by the locals. And I wouldn't have minded owning the house right above the river.

Heading home on yet more previously untraveled roads we spotted some insanely ornate structure surrounded by a fence. The slightly run down appearance had me thinking it was some old school. But I wanted a closer look. We found the main entrance to the "Church"...

This structure wasn't the church itself, but rather was originally built to be the pastors residence. When it was completed he said it was too large and ornate and became the "guest" house. This place was a marvel. I just couldn't get over all of the wrought iron, staircases, walkways...everything!

Some members came upon us as we were getting ready to leave. They offered to show us inside, which I readily accepted.

Wow! I was speechless. Thosed curved railings are a marvel. They had quite a few craftsman in the congregation. And the model house is actually of 'The Little White House', FDR's Georigia home in Warm Springs when he came to partake of the geothermal baths. The model is on loan from the state. Why? I don't know. And yes, there are lights behind all the white and red ceiling panels. ;)

Yesterday was another one of those days that didn't have any hope of coming up with a destination, so it was another thought to just hit the back roads. Oilburner didn't know where to go, and all I knew was that I wanted to leave the state. He was thinking Lake Hartwell on the border of South Carolina. And I thought I would rather enjoy it from the other side. (I was right. The SC side was more likely to follow the river and lake line. GA reserved that for the rich on their dead end streets, or the hill people they were never able to evict and their land would be a superfund site with all of the dead and rotting cars slowly sinking back into the ground.)

We hit the highway (the paved one) to get out of dodge and make tracks towards the border. Close to 40 miles up the road Oilburner's bike and my tummy both need fuel. Two birds, one stone when we stop for bike fuel and there is an attached cafe. Yes, the cafe was on the corner...

After filling everyone up we headed out to find our adventure. I took the GPS out and selected to just head towards a road that sat on the lake, crossed the state line, and wasn't an interstate. This was interesting. I enjoyed turning down a first never traveled road before. Enjoyed going through town, by the newer looking courthouse and along the back of the businesses on Main Street. I don't think we were missing much being on the "wrong" side. I think most of those businesses were empty.

However, I kept seeing a sign for "Traveler's Rest State Historic Site". And it just happened to be in the direction we were headed. So when the sign deviated from our path I had a decision to make. It was actually quite easy...

This place was AMAZING!! The Traveler's Rest was an Inn to service the travelers on the Unicoi Turnpike in the early 1800's. The initial portion of the inn was built in 1815. The size was doubled in 1835. And 85% of that wood is original. Wow!

Now these are rules that I can live by:

The hidden drawers where the owner kept his gold were a little more hidden before someone in the past put drawer pulls on them. Can you identify the hidden drawers?

One of 11 fireplaces in the Inn that are not safe for fires.

How do you make cranberry colored glass? Mix a little gold in during the manufacturing process, of course.

Interesting little bathtub, completely with curves for soaking comfort.

Handrail was carved from a single log.

The cradle was carved from a solid log of Black Cherry

Ghost in the mirror. But I'm more interested in the men's [top] hat box. Never seen one before.

No more than 5 to these beds? No problem!

It's the little things...I've never seen window locks like these. I want!

I uploaded tons of pictures of the Traveler's Rest to Flickr.

We hit the road again and took a wrong turn. Actually...didn't turn, and that was the problem. But the road meandered along the river and I hoped it would be a nice opportunity to cross over into South Carolina. Yeah, that wasn't in the cars, but we stopped to turn around at the old power plant.

So serene!!

The ride through South Carolina was peaceful. We were amazed at how low the water level was. The GPS said we were supposed to be over water. The long grasses convinced me there hadn't been water here for a season or two. We didn't stop for pictures. Wasn't much interesting to photograph, but the views will live in my mind.

The return trip home still held something in store for us. The long way home took us through the granite capital of Georgia...and again past the Guidestones. We were up for a quick stop.

Remember, it's not the's the journey. Hope you find some special places on your adventures.


  1. Little exploring, a little food, a little ride, all adds up to fun and a good day.

    1. A very good day. I was thrilled to come across the Travelers Rest. Such a great place and well kept.

  2. Steel CupCake:

    I saw something on the Knowledge network on the "guidestones", very mysterious as to who commissioned it. I wondered where it was. I also like historic places .

    3 max to a bed would be fine with me, 5 would be a bit cramped

    Riding the Wet Coast
    My Flickr // My YouTube

    1. This was my fourth trip to the Guidestones. And I still haven't learned anything. ;) However, I highly recommend visiting the rest of Elberton for the granite.

      In those beds, I'm thinking there were enough bed bugs to take the buddy count into the millions. Suit you better? ;)

  3. For not having any real destinations in mind you sure came up with a couple of great rides.

    I can't believe the great roadside attractions you found too, between the church's old guest house and the awesome Traveller's Inn I was having a great time looking at all the pictures.

    I like the last pic the best though. It is nice to see you two without helmets.

    1. As you have discovered, you just need to keep your eyes open to find the good stuff. :) It also helps to start moving along the roads that haven't been travelled before. We're having fun finding those lately.

      The last one? Hair by Helmet! Hehe

  4. Lori,

    Every trip on 2 wheels is a great trip, no matter how long or short. Wonderful photos and I particularly like the Traveler's Rest - sooo cool.

    I have to applaud the pastor's piety with respect to not living in that house. Clearly, he wasn't a televangelist :-).

    1. Yes it is...two wheels and great trips. :)

      Glad you liked Travelers Rest. I was just stunned turning the corner and seeing what great condition it was in. Not what we were expecting at all.

  5. That to me is the joy of riding. Just going with no destination and no GPS. Sadly I've not had much of a chance to do that recently but soon...soon.

    1. Robert, you need to!!! There is definitely a liberation riding to work. But the fun is where you get to sit back and sight see. Looking forward to seeing where you end up.

  6. I enjoyed following your journey!

    1. Thanks Deb. There have been some lovely days this spring.

  7. Very nice!

    And how are you enjoying the GS?


    1. GS = Good!!! How is yours treating you? We are having fun. Need to get some better road dirt tires.

  8. Riding is nice, riding and exploring even better, and bonus with a riding partner. Can it get better than that? Thanks for letting me tag along on your trip.

    1. I know you are exploring on the scooters. We've been enjoying the slower pace and absolute lack of a destination or direction. It leads to more exploration doesn't it?