Southwest – Main

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Fog and clouds somewhere near Norton. Photo by Col.

First-day run on the Creeper Trail near Abingdon in Washington County

At Washington County Fair, an exhibitor made small chairs with a chain saw and gave them out to kids. One of them tries to sit. Photo by Col.

Toes in North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky and Virginia.


Swamp Mallow in Saltville. It has the largest flowers of any plants native to in North America


Bell at Francis Marion Motel in Marion. It is maintained in a 1920s style. Photo by Col.

Here we do loop-de-loops in Hillsville. Photo by Col.

Overlook. I think near Norton.

Rocks. At Breaks Interstate Park.


Mushroom. Photo by Col

Pumpkin Pickers somewhere out of Independence in Grayson County.

Dancin' at Dock Boggs festival near Norton.

More Dancin' at the Rex Theater in Galax Virginia.

Dale Jett played at the Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion. He is a a third generation member of the Carter Family - the son of Janette Carter, the grandson of A.P.and Sara Carter.

Gate City Run. This is one of two organized races we were in. The second was in Bristol.

Rangers hang out in front of the entrance to the Gap Cave in the Cumberland Gap.

Waterfall along Big Cedar Creek at the Pinnacle Natural Area Preserve in Russell County. It flows into the Clinch River.

Diner in Hillsville. It is the oldest continuously operating streetcar diner in the state. It was moved here from Mt. Airy, NC, in 1946, where a young Andy Griffith frequented.

Bridge at Hungry Mother State Park outside of Norton.


Ducks at Hungry Mother Park.

Ask most anyone living in Northern Virginia to name the bordering states, and they can’t do it.

Most will get Maryland, West Virginia and North Carolina. After that, they are pretty much stumped.  A few eventually get Tennessee. Kentucky isn’t on anyone’s mind.

Our 14-runs-in-a-week trip to Southwest Virginia found us up against and over the borders of four states.

There were even some multi-state runs, including the Cumberland Gap (where Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee and North Carolina meet), Bristol (a town split between Virginia and Tennessee) and Bluefield (with Virginia and West Virginia sections).

Over the course of the week,  I logged about 50 miles, about half on smooth, flat paths and the other half on sometimes treacherous mountainous trails.

Those mountains isolate the area from the rest of the Virginia.  Southwest, among other things, is known for its mountain music, for being the birthplace of country music and its crafts. Economically, it has been hit hard by textile and furniture plants moving overseas as well as a decrease in coal production. It is making efforts to attract tourists.

I covered the cities of Bristol, Galax and Norton, and the counties of Carroll, Lee, Scott Washington, Smith, Grayson, Carroll, Dickenson, Buchanan and Tazewell.

I broke it down into four pages:

Days 1-3
Day 4
Days 5-6
Days 7-9

108 runs down, 26 to go.



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