Friendly people serving good food. Just like the cafe we used to have in Smithland. Open for breakfast and lunch. About one block before you get to the museum.
I went to the resturant while the wife was across the street at the junk, I mean, the antique store. A man in a red shirt walked in in front of me and the two waitresses started talking to him and they both gave him a big hug. As he walked on to his table, I told them I wished I had worn a red shirt too. They laughed and gave me a hug too. They, of course, knew the other man well.
Favorite Dish: The home made onion rings! Man, those things were good.
Our route took us down I-24 to Nashville, TN, then across Tennessee on I-40 and into North Carolina. This was my first time to drive through the mountains and it was a site to behold. We came upon a pair of tunnels in the mountains that we did not expect. Caught me with my sunglasses on. Good thing the first one was short.
We have also determined that driving through Nashville in the rain is about as close to racing as a normal human can get. I hate driving in Nashville. A route around it really needs to be made. We were also surprised at the number to police out on the road. A lot of speeders were getting ticketed on our way down and back.
Here are a few of the photos my wife took as we wound our way along I-40.
The changing altitudes really had my ears popping. Could be unpleasant for someone having trouble equalizing the pressure in their ears. The changing sun angles caused a headache until I changed to polarized sun glasses. Just remember to take the sunglasses off before you enter a tunnel!
The road though the mountains twisted and turned and rose and fell a lot! You have to keep firm control of your vehicle to stay out of trouble. You also have to be alert for others who are not in total control of their vehicle.
Rest easy. There are no tourist traps in the area because this is NOT a tourist hot spot. The people that live and work here have had racing, both dirt and super speedway, around them most of their lives. Many just take it for granted. Museum aside, we didn’t see anything that could be called an “attraction”.
We had some spare time on our second day so we took a side trip to Mooresville, NC to see if we could find the DEI shops. Remember, I don't know that much about all this racing stuff and all she knew was that the shop was in Mooresville so we got close and then stopped to ask directions. Turns out the road the shop was on wasn't even on the map! We got off I-40 onto I-77 South and got off I-77 on Highway 150 East. We stopped at a gas station/convenience store and this was what the clerk said, “go down the road a few lights and turn right at the ABC store”. The clerk lived in this town but didn’t know the name or number of the road the shop was on even though the road was only 4 blocks away! Now you know why men don’t like to ask directions. The road was Highway 3 South and the shop was only about 6 miles out. It was Sunday so the shop was closed but given the bad night at the motel the night before, we didn't really want to take a tour anyway.
The sign on the traffic cone just inside the gate was the ONLY sign there was. Nothing on the building or fence to identify where you were. The complex was huge and had a high tech look to it.
In order to save time and fuel, it's important to plan your route. We found this to be a problem using the maps from AAA due to the lack of detail. Some roads and towns were not on the map at all. A couple of times we had to get close to where we wanted to go and then stop for directions. North Carolina is home to many auto racing shops and owners headquaters but most of them are located out of the larger cities in out of the way places. If you want more detailed maps, I suggest you contact the state tourist commission for the maps you need. I didn't think to check North Carolina to see if they had downloadable county maps like Kentucky does.
On the other hand, it's nice to take your time and explore the area and talk to the people. All depends on your needs and wants. I just hate to have to hurry and fuss when the object is to relax so getting lost is not what I want to do.