The Carter Family Fold On The Crooked Road

The Carter Family Fold on The Crooked Road in Virginia. The birthplace of country music.

Mountain Hospitality At Estillville B&B In Gate City Virginia

Experience mountain hospitality at Estillville Bed and Breakfast in Gate City, Virginia.

My husband and I have stayed at this gem of a B&B on three separate occasions – so far! After much searching for a B&B located west of Bristol Motor Speedway, we finally discovered Estillville B&B in an “Explore The Crooked Road” brochure. Listed as “A welcoming retreat,” we have certainly found it to be that.

The house was restored by the current owners, Mark and Jan Jenkins, and is much larger inside than it appears from the street. I think the color of paint they chose must be called “Appalachian Hospitality” because the moment you walk in the door you feel welcomed and relaxed. (Although Jan meeting you with fresh cookies is a part of that, too!)

Jan’s cooking is definitely comfort food. There is no way you could leave her dining room table hungry! An added bonus? Mark is the mayor of Gate City. Now, how many other B&Bs can claim their guests can have breakfast with the Mayor?!

Estillville B&B is convenient for anyone attending a number of events in the Scott County area: NASCAR racing at Bristol Motor Speedway, Clinch Mountain Music Fest, Carter Family Fold, Natural Tunnel State Park, plus other venues on The Crooked Road.

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Burger Bar On State Street In Bristol Virginia

Yes, that’s an egg on my burger. That’s a “BZ Burger” from the Burger Bar in Bristol, Virginia. Along with the cheese, onion, and “secret spice,” maybe this should be called a protein burger! Regardless, it was delicious. Add parmesan fries and a milkshake and its simply divine! Roy had a cheeseburger, fries and a shake to round out our meal. If we ate like this every day, we would be round!!

The recently restored diner is iconic burger joint. The staff made us feel like regulars, even though we were first-timers from Iowa. Whether you’re a country music buff, a race fan, or just another traveler, when you’re in Bristol, you really do need to check out the Burger Bar. It is worth the trip!

Hiking Natural Tunnel State Park In Virginia

Hiking at Natural Tunnel State Park in Virgina.

Meeting Michael Waltrip, “In The Blink Of An Eye”

We’ve been following Michael Waltrip on Twitter. When we were in Tennessee/Virginia for the Bristol NASCAR race, Michael tweeted that he would be at Books-A-Million to sign his new book, In the Blink of an Eye: Dale, Daytona, and the Day that Changed Everything. Since we’re from Iowa, I got the map out and the Garmin fired up. We got there early enough to purchase the book and get a Chai tea while we waited for our turn to get in line. Everyone at the book store was so friendly. Plus while we were in line, we met a cool almost-three-year-old kid named Mason. It was fun to finally meet Michael. I even got to tell him I tweeted him about expanding his vocabulary to include Y’dstoti! Now I need to get busy and read his book!

Hiking At Breaks Interstate Park In Virginia

Breaks Interstate Park in Virginia. Frontiersmen used to call a passage through the mountains a “break.” Such breaks were a rare thing indeed, offering the early settlers an opportunity to take their frontier lives to a new level. This unique 4600-acre park was established in 1954 by an act of Congress initiated by the efforts of the two states it crosses, Virginia and Kentucky, it is now one of only two such interstate parks in the USA.

Extreme Ydstoti – Virginia Hwy 619 – Bristol Bound After a wonderful visit to Mountain Rose Winery in Wise, Virginia, we were off to the Bristol NASCAR race. Our map showed Highway 619 was paved through to Fort Blackmore. We thought we could take that as a scenic drive through the Jefferson National Forest, see High Knob mountain, and make it to the track in time. We usually try to stay on roads with a center line, but that’s not always possible. This little road trip coined our newest phrase — “Extreme Y’dstoti”….!!!