Today is the 3rd leg of our Blue Ridge Parkway motorcycle ride. We are riding from Mount Airy, NC to Roanoke, VA. Just 101 miles along the scenic Parkway…
Since we enjoyed our meal at the Rock City Diner last night we decided to give their breakfast a try. It was a good choice.
James had to cut his ride with us short because of business back home. We said our good-byes. James was new to our riding group but fit in with all of us. James said to let him know of any future rides to the Big Bend National Park or anywhere out west. We are looking forward to that.
Mount Airy was the hometown of the late Andy Griffith. We couldn’t pass up the chance to see the Andy Griffith Museum, the replica of the Mayberry courthouse, Andy Griffith’s boyhood home and Wally’s Service Station.
Our first stop was the Andy Griffith Museum at 218 Rockford St.. The museum has hundreds of pieces from the life and career of Andy Griffith. Former cast members from the TV show have donated many pieces to the museum. Admission is just $3.00 and includes Surry Arts Council exhibits, the Siamese Twins, Old-Time Music Heritage Hall at the Historic Earle Theatre and the “Mayberry to Mount Airy” Photo Exhibit
The Mayberry Courthouse and Wally’s Service Station is within walking distance. It was early and it was still cool so we decided to walk off our breakfast.
The Mayberry Courthouse replica is at 625 S. Main St. It was like stepping into the Any Griffith TV show. I expected Barney or Otis to walk in at any moment and for Otis take his place in his cell. We all took our turn having our picture in the jail cells and sitting at Andy’s desk.
Next door is Wally’s Service Station. Wally’s Service is an original service station was built in 1937. It was operated as a Gulf Station for several years and as a Esso station. I believe it was the service station which the TV filling station was based on… In the show it was Mayberry’s only known gas station and employed cousins Gomer Pyle and Goober…Wally’s has been restored and is registered in the Historic Sites of Mount Airy. It has a shop inside with unique Mayberry gifts, and is home to the popular Mayberry Squad Car Tours. We enjoyed visiting with the people who operated the shop and Squad Car Tours. They filled us in on tidbits of Mount Airy history, as well as little know stories about Andy and the show.
We walked back to the bikes at the museum and headed back to the Blue Ridge Parkway. On our way out-of-town we rode by Andy Griffith’s boyhood home at 711 E. Haymore St. The only way to see the home is stay there as a guest. Andy’s boyhood home is available for nightly rentals and is within walking distance from downtown Mount Airy. Check-in and reservations are made through the Mount Airy Hampton Inn.
Once back on the Parkway, our first stop was Rap’s Orchard Gap. Rap’s Orchard Gap is a 1950’s and 60’s style store, deli and entertainment destination. It is located at mile 193.5 near Fancy Gap, VA. It is a good pit stop for supplies, gas, snacks, food and souvenirs. The food is homemade deli style. The day we were there the menu was limited because supplies hadn’t been delivered.
On Saturdays and Sundays, during the summer season, Rap’s has live music at the outdoor venue. There are also antique car and motorcycle shows.
Our next stop was just 3 miles down the Parkway to the Puckett Cabin. John and Aunt Orelena Puckett lived in the one room cabin. Aunt Orelena was an amazing woman. She is known for helping with over a thousand births as a midwife. People would come from many miles away for Aunt Orelena to deliver their child. Aunt Orelena would stay with the mother and infant after the birth. Today, the cabin is a standing monument for Aunt Orelena Puckett.
Our next fun stop is the Mabry Mill. We walked the paved self-guided trail. Along the trail are demonstrations by historical interpreters. We watched a blacksmith and a demonstration about the making of ladder-back chairs. I really liked the mill. Particularly, the saw mill and the tools powered by the mill. The historical exhibits about life in rural Virginia took me back to a different time. I really loved the history.
Come hungry, the Mabry Mill Restaurant is a great place to eat Virginia BBQ, buckwheat pancakes, sweet potato pancakes, cornmeal pancakes, country ham or a number of other delicious treats true to the history of the mill. The menu sounded good but we had already eaten. If you prefer to, you can also picnic. There are three large picnic areas surrounded by the beauty of the Parkway.
The rest of our ride was riding along the twist and turns of the Parkway and taking in all the scenic vistas while dodging the occasional deer.
After checking in at the motel we ate at the Mexican restaurant next door. The food was good but the service was horrible. It took forever to get our order and several of us didn’t get what we ordered…
Since we have been riding the Parkway, it has rained all around us. Somehow we have been able to avoid the rain except for a few sprinkles. Our luck may have run out. Tonight a storm will be moving through the area. A storm with high winds, heavy rains with a possibility of tornadoes… For the next few days heavy rains are forecasted. We decided to change our plans and cut our trip short by one day. We will continue to the end of the Parkway and then headed back to Larry and Jo’s down I-81.
See y’all tomorrow…
We had a great time on our ride. You may want to check out the other days of our ride by clicking on the links below.
- Blue Ridge Parkway Motorcycle Ride June 2014 Day 1 & 2
- Blue Ridge Parkway Motorcycle Ride June 2014 Ride Day 3
- Ride Day 4 Blue Ridge Parkway Motorcycle Ride June 2014
- Blue Ridge Parkway Motorcycle Ride June 2014 Ride Day 6
- Blue Ridge Parkway Motorcycle Ride June 2014 Ride Day 7
- Heading Home – Blue Ridge Parkway Motorcycle Ride June 2014
Below is my first my first attempt at making a video of our ride. Have a look. It condenses the ride down to 9:13 minutes…