Friday, September 20, 2013

Blue Ridge Parkway - Day Two

Another 200 mile day. It was way too long for our poor aching behinds. And we got rained on several times (again) - once was a down pour.

I know I've been disappointed that this parkway isn't more like the Natchez Trace in TN/MS that we did a few years ago. There just aren't the historical sites to stop and see like the NT.

We did stop at the Beringer Cabin, built in the late 1870's, just before the deluge hit us. There is a main cabin, one for fruits, vegetables and meat, as well as a spring house. All you could see through the windows of the main house was Mrs. Beringer's weaving loom.

For years I've been reading about linsey-woolsey in different books. Now I know what it is! It is a cloth woven from wool and linen (flax). Mrs. Beringer had to plan several months before someone in the household needed a new shirt, pants or dress in order to plant the flax, harvest it, prepare it for spinning as well as figuring the right time of year to shear the sheep for the wool into the equation. It is quite an involved process, literally taking months, to get from the first sprouts of flax to a final clothing product.

Mr. Beringer was a cobbler, making shoes for the immediate family as well as many friends and other family in the area. They grew all their own fruits and vegetables and slaughtered their own cows and pigs.

When the National Park Service bought their property to include in the Blue Ridge Parkway, a national park, Mrs. Beringer was granted a lifetime residency, in the 1940's, to remain in their cabin. She soon tired of all the "noise" from visitors and moved in with her daughter.

Below the cabin is the spring house where a cool spring still runs. They would make several trips a day to bring the water to the main house for drinking and washing purposes. The buildings are located on the side of a hill, with gorgeous views out over the Smokies.

Shortly after leaving there we encountered the rainstorm we weren't expecting. We had brought our "Frog Togs" (rain gear many motorcyclists use) with us, allowing us to continue riding in the rain. Fortunately it was a warm summer rain so, even though our feet and lower pant legs got wet, we weren't too uncomfortable.

Our biggest concern was finding fuel. Richard starts looking for gas at about 150 to 175 miles on the odometer. We were at 199.1 when we finally found a gas station - the maximum he felt the scooter would go. It has a 4 gal. tank and we put 3.53 gal. in it - definitely cutting it pretty close. From there it was just a few miles from Wytheville, VA where spent the night.


  1. Sounds like a beautiful ride. Quite interesting about the Beringers and all the hard work making clothing. Makes one appreciate Macy's or Kohl's just a bit more.

    Looking forward to more reports of the rest of the ride.

  2. I use Frog Togs on those rare occasions when I have to ride in the rain. They seem to work the best of anything I've found.

    Even rain can't ruin a good ride, unless it's a really hard rain.