Tag: north carolina

Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park – Wilson, NC

Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park – Wilson, NC

After visiting the White’s Tire Muffler Man on Hines Street in Wilson, North Carolina, I navigated my over to visit Vollis Simpson’s Whirligig Park.

As I turned the corner the park came into view. It was a riotous explosion of color and motion set against the backdrop of old buildings and a gorgeous blue sky. I kid you not, I said “oh my god,” out loud as everything came in to view. It was like being a kid and catching a glimpse of a carnival that came to town.

I must preface these photos by saying that they in no way deliver anything close to the experience of seeing these whirligigs in person. Really, I found them hard to photograph at all. There was too much going on that I had no idea how to do them justice.

Being there was a full sensory experience of sight, sound, and motion. The scale of these works creates a presence that is captivating. As you move around them your eyes pass over each piece picking out the details of castaway items turned in to something greater than themselves. All the while your ears pick up a symphony of whirring, clangs, clicks, and squeaks.

If you are anywhere near Wilson, North Carolina, do yourself a favor and visit. You’ll be glad you did.

Vollis Simpson Whirligig Park
301 Goldsboro St S,
Wilson, NC 27893
GMaps

The Rapture of a North Carolina Muffler Man

The Rapture of a North Carolina Muffler Man

Much like the Spanish Inquisition, no one expects a religious experience.  It’s just one of those things that sneak up you when you aren’t lookin’. If not the sight of Saint Pete at the gates or Archangel Michael eating tacos, what could you attribute the expression on this guy’s face to?

Point of note: One of Saint Peter’s patronages is Horology. Horology and Whoreology? These homonyms are two entirely different things and will guide you down two very different internet rabbit holes.

Maybe this muff looks so in awe to me because I keep thinking that his lips are an open mouth – My God, It’s full of stars.

But upon closer inspection, he does seems to have bags under his eyes. Perhaps his look is less rapture, more why did I wake up behind a dumpster in a winter coat, with no pants and one shoe on. I mean, who doesn’t know THAT feeling?

Wait, what? No… one… else..?

Well, would you look at the time. Lunch hour is over, best be running along.


If you’d like to visit this muffler man, you’ll find him in Raleigh, North Carolina.

See Rock City Barns

See Rock City Barns

While riding in North Carolina and Tennessee last fall, I saw three See Rock City barns – one of which was entirely serendipitous.

Isn’t it funny how that happens? Something becomes of interest to you and it begins to show itself in unexpected places – sometimes on a path which you’ve already trod. Maybe my dad was right, water rises to its own level. Do we become magnets for things? Do we disperse our energy into the world and watch it fall like glitter on the air, dusting those things that are supposed to sparkle for our attention?

This Rock City barn in Grainger County, Tennessee was gorgeous. I was graced with a big blue sky, vibrant red barn, and green grass just waving in the wind. Seeing this baby was like being inside of a postcard.

On my way north along Calderwood Highway heading to Marysville, Tennessee, I passed this Rock City Barn. I’d had a vague recollection of seeing it several years before on a trip with friends to the Dragon.

Marysville, Tennessee
Google Maps

This super-fade was a stone throw from where I saw one of those menacing Giant Chicken Army soldiers in Robbinsville, North Carolina. One minute you’re contemplating your next move in a global war game against fowl beasts and the next thing you know, BAM! Rock City Barn. Life is nothing if not mysteriuos.

See 7 States from Rock City
Robbinsville, North Carolina
Google Maps

Interested in seeing some barns yourself? Well, you’re in luck. The Rock City website happens to have a location map for ya.

Giant Chicken Army: North Carolina’s Master of Disguise

Giant Chicken Army: North Carolina’s Master of Disguise

Don’t sleep on the Giant Chicken Army. I’ve warned you all before but it’s the same old story. No one does anything until it’s too late.

While heading towards the Dragon in October, I encountered another mobilized soldier, but this time the scaly legged critter was in uniform. Or… disguise.

Perhaps, as previously postulated, it is the same chicken following me but the long way ’round and he’s wearing a new t-shirt to try to blend in. This theory is terrifying on several levels. The most troubling being that this chicken has ESP to know where I’m going before I do. I mean we’re talking about Men Who Stare at Goats-level PsyOps.

I’m telling you, people. They/He is everywhere. Next time you see a pair of beady eyes staring in your window one night, don’t say I didn’t warn ya.

Location:
https://goo.gl/maps/fgsfFggbiCF2

More Posts About the Giant Chicken Army

Day 4: NC 209 With a Little Luck

Day 4: NC 209 With a Little Luck

North Carolina 209 has been dubbed “The Rattler” by locals. Now, if the image of a wiggly snake doesn’t get your motorcycle heart pumpin’ well, I just don’t know what would.

I’d first read about NC 209 on Wayne’s websites- Smoky Mountain Rider and America Rides Maps. Before we left home on our trip, I printed a copy of his map and stuck into my “navigation baggie.”

Then when we visited Wheels Through Time, Dale also happened to recommended the route to us. How could we say no?

NC 209 America Rides Maps
image from AmericaRidesMaps.com

The road was indeed lovely, snaking its way through valleys and climbing up and down through the mountains – but my favorite moment came in the form of Luck. The town of Luck.

a little bit o luck  NC 209

While we were talking about NC 209, Dale also mentioned that there was a delightful old building with antique gas pumps out front. As someone who loves Americana, he was speaking my language. When I saw the little white ramshackle building make its appearance on a curve up ahead, I threw out the anchor and stopped for a closer look.

A little bit o luck NC 209

The sign above the door reads ‘A little bit o’ Luck.’

A little bit o luck

I can’t think of anything more fitting for the way I trip my way through this life…

More Posts from the Trip:

Sights From the Road: Greatest Car in the Universe v4.0 – Mufflermobile

Sights From the Road: Greatest Car in the Universe v4.0 – Mufflermobile

Okay, I know. I know, I know, I know. Every time that I see an amazing art car I go bananas and get all, “this is the greatest car in the universe!” But,…

Muffler… CAR!  ::faints::

Muffler Car!

We actually saw the muffler car when we pulled into the town of Franklin, NC on Day 3 of our road trip south. I caught it out of the corner of my eye as I rode past it. It was after dinner time and Kenny and I were both tired and hungry. So, I broke one of my own rules and kept going.

When we found a hotel and pulled into the unloading area, I took my helmet off and excitedly said to Kenny, “DID YOU SEE THAT MUFFLER CAR?!1?!?!” To which he responded, “No.”

Clearly he wasn’t excited because the magnitude of its greatness did not have a chance to seer into his retinas yet. But luckily for blondie, I’m not a quitter. I did what any smart person would do and set a reminder on my iPhone to visit the muffler car when we were heading out the following day.

I think the chiming of my reminder might have woken Kenny up the next morning.  Oopsie 🙂 That is the only logical explanation for his body language in the distance:

Kenny gazes on the greatness that is the Muffler Car

“Stupid muffler car. I can’t believe I’m sitting out here in the pouring rain looking at this ridiculous thing.”
😆

Can you imagine how fabulous a burnout in the Muffler Car would look? Peelin’ out with 4 on the muffler floor. Badass.

–gallery rem’d

Other ‘Greatest Cars in the Universe’

Sights from the Road: The Cherokee Muffler Man

Sights from the Road: The Cherokee Muffler Man

Kenny and I made a quick stop in Cherokee, NC to snap a photo of a gent we’d passed many moons ago but never stopped for. The Cherokee Muffler Man:

Cherokee Muffler Man Indian

Handsome, right?

And look – he has nipples! This was the first time I was ever consciously aware of an Indian-model Muffler Man’s anatomical correctness 🙂 I did go back and look at the other Indian Muffs I’ve seen and they do all indeed have them.

Other Indian Muffler Men

Unfortunately the Cherokee Muff’s headdress is now broken. But even so, he appears to be well-loved and in really good shape. According to Roadside America, he’s been there for 30 years. That’s a lot of waving for one guy.

Cherokee North Carolina Muffler Man Indian

Did you notice those crazy white eyes? Perhaps they were light blue at one time. Either way – they look like they can peer deep into your soul. ::shudder::

Day 3: Wheels Through Time Museum – Photo Gallery

Day 3: Wheels Through Time Museum – Photo Gallery

Wheels Through TimeWheels Through Time
The Museum that Runs

Just a hop, skip and a jump off of the Blue Ridge Parkway in Maggie Valley, NC is an American treasure – the Wheels Through Time museum. It is home to hundreds of American-made motorcycles, tons of ephemera and historical photographs.

Built by the passion of Dale Walksler, a man with encyclopedic knowledge of motorcycles – the museum also bills itself as “the museum that runs.” Though the machines are true museum pieces, they are started and ridden. It is not at all unusual to find Dale riding some beautiful vintage iron through the museum, starting up an antique or laying down a smokey burnout on the museum floor.

While we were there, he started up 2 early 1900’s Indians on the floor. When the second one was shut down and the crowd that had gathered started to dispersed he looked directly at me and said, “you look very familiar. You’ve been here before…” and we struck up a conversation about our last visit there back some time in 2006.

Now, I don’t know if he says that to all the girls, but… I was tickled pink by the notion that he might remember me.

Dale, who struck me as a very kind soul spent some time sitting and talking with us. We talked about motorcycles of course, but also about people and life. He even suggested some great local riding since we were visitors to the area. Truly a nice man.

Please support this passion, this time capsule of motorcycle history. Visit Wheels Through Time. You’ll be glad you did.

Day 3: The Highest Elevation on the Blue Ridge Parkway Motor Road

Day 3: The Highest Elevation on the Blue Ridge Parkway Motor Road

Highest Point Blue Ridge Parkway Motor Road

The Blue Ridge Parkway’s highest elevation sign is found at the Richard Balsam Overlook, Milepost 431.

When we stopped to snap a quick photo, it occurred to me that we didn’t have many miles left before our trip down the BRP would be complete. We were just a short hop from where the parkway ended and we’d have travelled the 469 miles of its length. Of course I was excited to see new things, but there is that element of traveling that tugs at your heart strings. Part of you never wants any of it to end.

But, we still had one more place to visit in Maggie Valley before our time on the Blue Ridge was over…

More Posts from the Trip:

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