Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Autumn on The Crooked Road

Make Musical Memories Traveling East West on The Crooked Road
Rocky Mount musician Johnathon Dillon
Brought to you by Virginia.org
The Crooked Road: Virginia’s Heritage Music Trail, winding through the ruggedly beautiful Appalachian Mountains, leads you to the major hotspots of bluegrass, old time, and traditional American mountain music. This amazing fall getaway will create memories you'll treasure for a lifetime, beginning in Ferrum and ending in Damascus.

DQ Band Rocky Mount

Day 1: Wednesday: Your innkeeper has inserted some travel ideas to make this itinerary even better!  Check into The Claiborne House B&B which is located at the Start of The Crooked Road: Virginia's Heritage Music Trail in Rocky Mount, VA. 

Wednesday evening go to: *Green Acres Bluegrass, local jam in Rocky Mount often times featuring Johnathan Dillon – 504 Wrays Chapel Rd. Rocky Mount 6-9pm. (Just 4 miles from the inn)

Day 2: Rise Thursday morning to a home-cooked breakfast and head out to (Sept thru May) a morning jam on this music trail, to hear the DQ Band at our local Dairy Queen. 9am start time! Biscuits and Bluegrass y'all! We can feed you at the B&B or you can eat at DQ! (Just 2 miles from the inn)
Continue on The Crooked Road and take a tour of the Blue Ridge Institute and Museum at Ferrum College (Just 8 miles from The Claiborne House B&B). They promote a special understanding of regional folklife through the music and arts of the Blue Ridge - it's a great start to gear you up for the rest of the getaway. Also visit the Franklin County Historical Society Museum which is a short walk from The Claiborne House to learn more about our musical and moonshine heritage.
Check your calendar! You might just be traveling through Patrick County during one of their festivals this fall. It's about a 40 minute drive from Floyd to Stuart and you're guaranteed one of the most beautiful drives of your lifetime! Once in Stuart, check out some of the region's NASCAR racing history at Wood Brothers Racing Museum and Virginia Motorsports Hall of Fame and Museum. (This is Stewart Virginia as well as Martinsville VA). If you wish to have some hiking we recommend Philpott Lake, Fairy Stone Lake or along The Blue Ridge Parkway.
Day 3: Floyd is 45 minutes west of Ferrum. It's the home of traditional bluegrass, old time music and dancing. One of the "must-see's" along The Crooked Road is the famed Floyd Country Store, home of the Friday Night Jamboree. Don't get caught up in the show inside and flat foot dancing as there is much activity outside on the street where musicians congregate and have mini jam sessions. A recommended dinner spot when visiting Floyd is the Historic Pine Tavern, for family style meals with all your favorite southern ingredients!
County Sales is also in Floyd and boasts the largest selection of bluegrass and old time music!
Enjoy the hour drive to Galax, where a downtown visit showcases the many famous musicians of the region at the Rex Theater every Friday night. Visit the Blue Ridge Music Center where the National Park Service has created a facility to preserve the traditional music of the Blue Ridge Mountains. There's a tasty pulled pork barbeque sandwich waiting for you at The Galax Smokehouse! Whatever you do, DO dessert. The Smokehouse banana pudding was rated "Best Dessert in the South" by Virginia Living Magazine. Rest up for tomorrow at A Place By The Parkway - your cabin with a view! They're hoping you'll stretch your stay by a couple of days by giving you a fourth night free! It might be a great place to explore from.


Day 4:

Enjoy a good breakfast at Cones n Coffee before heading west to Independence, a quick 20 minutes away. There are a couple of fun fall festivals there. Will today be the day you race a privy or will you sit back and enjoy native music? If you desire a little outdoor adventure instead of a festival, continue on to Damascus. It's about an hour west and is home to the Virginia Creeper Trail, 34.3 miles of rails-to-trails beauty. This is one of Virginia's best fall hike/bike destinations. It's not bad for photographers or birders either! The trail to the west goes to Abingdon and back to the east is Whitetop Mountain. Choose your adventure! The Creeper Trail Cafe will be awaiting your arrival back in Damascus.

Stevie Barr by Cameron Davidson

Day 5:

If you're not having an extended stay, then this is the day to back-track from Galax. Before heading out, stop by Barr's Fiddle Shop where you can find handmade, authentic, straight-from-The Crooked Road instruments. If you're not a musician, you can at least take home a souvenir t-shirt. And who knows, an impromptu jam session might just break out while someone's on the pick'n bench.
Meadows of Dan is about 45 minutes east and home to Mabry Mill. This is one of the most photographed places in America and you won't want to miss it in the fall! Continuing back from whence you came is Floyd. Stop at Chateau Morrisette to sample their award-winning vintages. Their restaurant is open for lunch every day during the month of October, so plan to sip and dine. This is just 50 minutes from The Claiborne House B&B in Rocky Mount.
On the porch at The Claiborne House B&B
If you have the opportunity to follow The Crooked Road: Virginia's Heritage Music Trail, please be sure to stop at the kiosks along the way. The book "Guide to The Crooked Road" by Joe Wilson is also recommended! Joe Wilson, chairman of the National Council for the Traditional Arts, is a music historian and folklorist. He has produced over 40 large-scale music festivals in 11 states. In 2001 he was awarded a National Heritage Fellowship by the National Endowment for the Arts. He stayed with us at The Claiborne House, we are the only lodging in the guide book with a photo! (Page 43). 

If you are in Rocky Mount, we recommend a visit to the Redwood Ruritan Club Saturday Night Dance. Live Band, and Live Fun! (Just 5 miles from the Inn) *As always this information is provided to assist with travel planning, we are not responsible for hours or operation or cancellation to events. Please call ahead!