Sunday, April 24, 2011


 I awakened this morning to an achy back.  It sure let me know I still have a problem.  The sciatic pain is gone but it left me with a back ache that won't allow me to bend over far enough to put my socks and shoes on.  I laid on the bed and completed some stretches and exercises I learned at therapy and that fixed it.  I was in the mood to take a ride on the KLR Kawasaki.  Yes;  I would turn my back on the wilderness and the lakes for the day and enjoy a leisurely ride through the mountains on the bike.  I wanted to check out the Hiwassi River that is known for it's trout fishing by drift boat.  I've seen those boats before but never understood why they are designed the way they are.  There is a picture of one later in this entry on the Hiwassi. 
I also wanted to take the opportunity to photograph some old barns.  I always see them while riding the motorcycle.  The roads I will be traveling today will take me through the real Tennessee countryside.

The photo to the right goes with the one above.  Look at what was used for a foundation.  Well;  ya gotta use what ya got I guess.

Someday I'll photograph signs.  Some of the names of roads and creeks will amaze you.  I think I'll do that next ride on the KLR.
The roads finally lead me to the rivers edge.  I have not studied the Hiwassi River much as it's not a river I'm inclined to float a canoe on or wade in to fly fish.  It's a fast piece of water for sure though.
I believe if a canoe were to upset on this water;  the contents would never be retrieved again, unless everything was tied tightly to the canoe gunnel's and thwarts.
A very scenic road winds along the river and dead ends in a cul de sac at the end.  A campground is available for overnight stays.  The amazing thing is that there is no sign at the entrance to this road that indicates it's a dead end.  I found out about the dead end part nine miles down the road.  I wasn't upset as the ride along the water was beautiful.
It was along this road that I saw the drift boat only, it wasn't drifting.  It was stationary out in the middle of the fast moving river.  Some sort of anchor was holding it to the spot.  The fishermen just stood there and cast flies with their rods. 
I mean that boat isn't moving down stream an inch.  I noticed a pair of oars fastened to the gunnel's.  They were hanging outside the boat.  Notice in future pictures how steep the curve of the bow is.  The gunnel's actually flow gracefully up to the tip of the elegant looking bow.
The guy sitting in the front must be the river guide.  He isn't doing anything.  The two fellows behind him are casting fly line continuously.  I saw the man in the middle catch a rather small trout while I was photographing them.
I believe the bow is high to block water from entering the boat.  Also the boat should ride well on top the waves and rougher water.  That's just my presumption.  I'm not sure.  But, it's a nifty looking boat.  By the way;  these are solid cherry wood boats and they are made by a company that makes no other style boat.  As I understand it these boats are shipped to Colorado, Montana and Wyoming to float fishermen down fast moving rivers like the Bighorn, Gunnisson and Elk Creeks.  I believe I'll stick to wading small mountain trout streams.
I found this old building right along the river.

This is the top part of the building above.  I can't imagine what it was used for.  I was too lazy to get off the bike and walk over and read the plaque in front of the porch.

Time for a rest and a couple therapy exercises before moving away from the river and into the countryside and forests.  There are some small, unique towns I want to roll through on my way back home.
Just look at this wonderful old place.  Another shot from a different angle is below.

Here's a shot of the place above from a better angle.  Wait till you see the front of this beautiful building.  It is below:

Isn't that building beautiful?  It is sitting empty and no care is provided it.  I find that amazing!
There is no lack of old barns on these back roads.
The house that sits on the same property as the above barn is next.  It also has it's own old time flair.
Can you figure out which direction the strongest winds hit the barn below?
I can remember buildings such as these when I was a kid growing up in Pennsylvania.  Over the years those old buildings were torn down or bulldozed out of the way for the building of metal barns.  Tennessee is different in that regard.  The farmers often build new pole or metal barns but, they seem to keep the old buildings around too.  It's as if they don't want to let go of the past.  Or;  they have a sincere appreciation of where they came from and want the memories forever.  I think the South and the North have different philosophies when it comes to cherishing the past.  Check out the next old home.  I mean it's gorgeous.  And, yes, it's sitting waiting to fall into ruin.
Isn't this place fabulous!
I would think this old structure would be well worth refurbishing.  I absolutely can not believe that someone hasn't purchased this building and put it back to original.  It really isn't in bad shape.
This old country road finally ended up at a spot where I knew exactly where I was.  Parksvale Lake is primarily a fishing lake that has rapidly transitioned into a pleasure boat lake.  The extreme Western end of it is very shallow and the pleasure boats and jet ski's do not attempt to navigate there.  I hear the fishing is pretty fair on this lake.  It has it's pretty spots.
I bet Douglas would have a blast on this little island.

I was in familiar territory now and I wanted to get home to my dogs.  They would need fresh, cool water by now.  Hope you enjoyed my afternoon ride.  It was nothing big;  just a little ride through Tennessee's back roads.  I feel a canoe camp trip coming up.