Jonathan's blog

Southside Large Animal Clinic to Altavista

Bill and Pete FulperThe sun was shining when Bill and Blackie head out from the Southside Large Animal Clinic. Brenda drove me to an old barn that was on the farm. After a few pictures we headed for Altavista. On the highway, we start noticing signs which state: “No pedestrians bicycles, animals, self propelled machinery,” etc. The sections of road where these signs are posted have more room for Bill to ride (we later realized that these sections go around towns). At this point we weren't sure what to make of this, as we had planned to take 29 all the way to Washington D.C.

We spot a few dangerous obstacles on business 29 leading into town.  There is a curved tunnel that goes through a hill and a bridge with enough room for two vehicles and no more. We scout Altavista looking for a place to stay and found a couple hotels at the other end of town. We picked the cheaper and Brenda checked us in. On our way to town we didn't see any pull off where we could safely stop the rig, so I jacked up the trailer in the hotel parking lot. Brenda grabbed Blackie's water tub and tossed it in the bed of the truck before we headed back down the road.

White Oak Mountain Family Campground to Southside Large Animal Clinic, Virginia

Blackie didn't wanna leave all the grass at White Oak Mountain Family Campground. Brenda and I went on ahead and got back on Highway 29 but stopped at a gas station. We filled up and then I had to use the restroom. By the time I finished Bill had already passed.
Bill rode to Chatham, where he took the business route. Bill - “Chatham was a quaint little town that had a sense of history. I rode right through it, didn't stop for nothing.” Brenda and I stopped a a gas station briefly for a bathroom break, and then we moved on. We stopped at another gas station on Highway 29. There we waited for a few hours. Much of our time is spent waiting and planing. If the truck hadn't screwed up my laptop the first day we set out on this second part of the trip, I could spend this time edition pictures and videos, writing stores etc.

Eden Danville and White Oak Family Campground North Carolina to Virginia

Bill, Mayor John Grogan, Angel Duncan, Eden, North CarolinaBefore we leave for Danville, Virginia on the 1st of May, the Mayor of Eden, John Grogan came to visit us at the Hampton. Ms. Duncan also came to see Bill off, and got to ride Blackie. Bill saw “lots of old farms, colonial houses and barns, deer, turkey; the heart land of Virginia and North Carolina. The rolling hills where a bit tough going.”

Brenda made a rest stop between Eden and Danville, but when Bill arrived he set us on. We drove to the intersection of 770 and 58. There was quite a bit of traffic and so Brenda made a quick decision to drive across the road to Faith Memorial Baptist Church. Brenda made calls to some leads, but nothing paned out, so she got permission to stay outside the church, rather then try to find a place farther in town.

Madison to Eden North Carolina

Robert and Olivia Knight, Walmart parking lot, Mayadon, North CarolinaBrenda and I stopped in the Walmart parking lot in Mayadon, which is about 5 miles from the Budget Inn we stayed in the night before. We bought some bottled water, meat for dinner, and some other supplies. When Bill arrived, Brenda and he walked over to the Burger King near by to grab some breakfast. Robert and Olivia Knight came over while Bill was sipping his coffee. As you can imagine, a horse standing in a Walmart parking lot isn't something you see every day; we often meet people in these curious situations. We talked to these two for awhile before heading on down the road.

Bill and Blackie left traveling east on Highway 770 and we drove on ahead to the city of Eden, into town and found a place to park. As usual, Brenda got on the cell phone and started making calls, trying to find a place for us to stay. After calling the Chamber of Commerce, Brenda was put in contact with Michael Dougherty who is the Director of Business Development for Eden. Mr. Dougherty was enthusiastic about our journey and decided to make our stay in Eden a good one by sponsoring us for two nights at the Hampton Inn.

The Mud Hole to Madison North Carolina

It rained all night at the mud hole. In th morning it had stopped, making it easier to take down the canopy and load up the panels. Brenda and I headed to Madison, North Carolina hoping to get a hotel room, so we all could shower, since we hadn't had one since Yadkinville. The rain started up again on our way to town, lucky for Bill he had his plastic rain coat with him. Brenda made some calls and found that the Budget Inn was the only motel in town (or near town).

Rural Hall to the Mud Hole Near Walnut Cove North Carolina

Brenda and I said our good byes and gave our thanks to the folks at Beaver Creek Farms and headed on past Bill shortly after he left. It can be depressing leaving a lively place and getting back on the road. As soon as we start to get to know people we have to leave. We have done this many times during this cross country trip.

We made a quick stop down the road, and headed to Walnut Cove after. Angie came along from Bever Creek Farms to this point and she took some of Brenda's jeans back home to wash. The rest of the laundry Brenda took to the laundry mat which was near. A previous lead for places to stay didn't pan out, and so Brenda got on the phone. She contacted the Walnut Cove Police Department, and shortly there after Deputy Sink arrived.

East Bend to Rural Hall, North Carolina - Video

Angie and Bill cross the Yadkin RiverAngie, whom we met the day before, arrived just has we finished packing up camp. She was right on time and ready with her horse to ride with Bill. Angie and her father brought us some stew the previous evening during the truck pull event. Brenda and Bill visited with them, and talked over the route Brenda had planned. Bill always welcomes company when he rides; having someone to talk to helps pass the time.

 Brenda drove up ahead to a place called O-Henry's Restaurant. We where hungry so we got some breakfast while waiting for Bill. We met the owner, Ms. Bowman, and she told us a bit about her place (watch the video). Brenda escorted the pair across the Yadkin River, as there was “no escape route” as Bill would say.

Yadkinville to East Bend North Carolina

We headed out of Yadkinville later then we usually do. Bill needed to reset Black's front shoes and replace a piece of Drilltek. Bill had used cheap nails by mistake while he was giving a shoeing lesson. “The inferior nails where sheering off,” he said, “so I put on some Delta nails.” I was able to use this extra time to write a post and Brenda got some clothes washed.  The previous day had been a bit long; the names of roads where different in the map then those posted on signs. Brenda and I ended up driving all over trying to figure it out. As soon as we found a gas station we picked up a local county map.

After leaving Yadkinville we traveled the route that Brenda has mapped out; down Old US-421 then up Falcon Rd. Brenda passed Mt. Bethel Church road about a quarter of a mile as it wasn't marked. We quickly realized the mistake and ended up stopping at a little cafe called Burnettes Place. It was about lunch time so we decided to go in. There where only a few people a first, but after we ordered the place quickly filled with locals. Lots of friendly folks.

Lions Club Fair Grounds Taylorsville North Carolina

The ride from the Peacock Inn to the Taylorsville was a little longer then we had expected. At the Taylorsville Lions Club Fair Grounds we met with Sonny Cook, President of the Grounds. Mr. Cook opened up the gates and restrooms for us. He chatted with us for awhile and we learned that there was going to be a wresting match that evening. The sky was clear and it was getting warm, so Brenda and I setup the canopy that Coleman had gave us, which was the first time in quite a while.