Miles Today: 150
Total Miles: 1966.7
Days on the Road: 76
in NC: April, 1991
Reason: 4th Ammendment Violations
This Sign Produced a Visible Shudder from Anthony
Our Trivia Debacle
Final Points: 39
Points Before Last Question: 59
Why We Wagered 20 Points: We're stupid
Who painted American Gothic? answer
What famous novel was originally to be titled "Tomorrow is Another Day"? answer
What president is mentioned in the theme song from All in the Family? answer
We got the first two wrong, the last one right, and many others wrong or right. What's a baby swan called? We knew that.
Life Imitates TV, and Dog-Cows
It has to be some kind of cow, right? Look at that nose. But it really looks like a shaggy dog. What is that thing? Many mysteries await along the Blue Ridge Parkway, with dogcows only the most obvious.
That may not be true. Mayberry (aka Mt. Airy), North Carolina is pretty obviously mysterious, not to mention the Blowing Rock that doesn't blow, and yet, in another sense, really blows.
But before we get to the weird stuff, it must be mentioned that the drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway is one of the most consistently jaw-droppingly scenic and beautiful things we've ever done. It's not smack-you-in-the-face awe-inspiring like the Andes or the Himalaya or... Dollywood; it's more subtle, more graceful and serene. It is, in a word, sublime.
Mt. Airy North Carolina seems like a regular little mountain town. Strip malls and farms on the outskirts and a charming little Main Street. It doesn't take long to realize that something is different, though. All the store are named Mayberry _______, not Mt. Airy ______. Mayberry 5 and Dime, Mayberry Antiques, Mayberry Tax Preparers. Sooner or later you'll figure out that this is one of those rare, magical places that derives its fame from a loose association with a fictional place.
Andy Griffith grew up in Mt. Airy, and when he created The Andy Griffith Show, he based Mayberry on many of the places from his home town. Emmitt's Fix-It Shop, Floyd's Barber Shop, Aunt Bea's Country Bar-B-Q, they're all here. We even had a nice sit down with a couple fellas at Floyd's, including the Floyd lookalike barber himself, a nice old man who really wanted Liz to move to town permanently. At the visitor center we saw more memorabilia of a second rate actor than you could ever imagine. We even had the pleasure of using this toilet, in which, though we couldn't verify it, we can only assume Andy himself has shat.
It was then off to the Blowing Rock, "North Carolina's Oldest Tourist Attraction". We're not sure if they say this because it's a rock, and therefore quite old, or because they've been fleecing people of $5 since the 1930s. The attraction consists of a rock, where legend has it a despondent Native American failed to kill himself. He jumped off only to be blown back into his lovers' arms by the "magical wind". We dropped several things, most significantly lighter than an Cherokee brave, and they all fell directly to the ground. It was a nice view.
Tonight it's Asheville, hippy capital of North Carolina, where we squandered an early lead in the trivia contest at The Mellow Mushroom, and walked away with only a T-shirt.
© 2002, 2003 Anthony Hecht and Liz Jones. All rights reserved.