Posted by: Beemer Bob | May 23, 2015

The goose on the loose

Some of the trips while here in beautiful North Carolina.

While thee Saint was doing something else, Hunter and I took a visit to a transportation (mostly motorcycles) museum called “Wheels Through Time”. The guy that owns this also does a TV show called “What’s in the Barn”. In this show, he goes around the USA looking for barn finds of old motorcycles that have been stuck in a garage many years ago and forgotten about.

This museum is huge and full of several hundred American made vintage motorcycles. Back in the day, there were many motorcycle manufacturing companies here in the USA and this guy has collected many, if not all them. The interior pictures I took did not come out well because of the lighting, but if you wish, this website has better pictures and will tell you more about this place

Anyway, on with my pictures
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Afterwards, Tree and I explore a new business venture

One day Tree wants to go back to Biltmore again, I decline so she takes the truck to Asheville and Hunter and I head off to explore the Great Smokey Mountains. Today we head to an area called Cataloochee. In the mid to late 1800’s this was a once thriving community. Now only a few of the old structures remain but the National Park system has refurbished and maintained several for history. Well, let’s go find Cataloochee. The road begins as paved but quickly turns to gravel as we gain altitude and get deeper into the forest.

Religion entered Cataloochee with the Indians, but the white settlers preferred their own brand. Land for this Methodist Church was deeded by Mary Ann Palmer in 1898, and the building went up in the same year. Palmer Chapel was the only church in Big Cataloochee. Circuit riding ministers conducted services once a month, but Sunday school was held every week.
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Next up is the Beech Grove School. As the wilderness gave way to settlement, Cataloocheans provided schooling for their children. Three school districts built and operated schools in the valley. Big Cataloochee’s Beech Grove School is the only one of the three that remains. It was built in 1901 to replace an older log building.
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Some shots along the way

Next up, the Caldwell House
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Hiram Caldwell and his family lived for a long time in an old log house here on Rough Fork. In 1903, he decided it was time for a new home. Typical of houses to come, his new place (completed in 1906) was a modern framed structure with weatherboarding, as well as interior paneling.

Moving on, I find
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In the 1840s George Palmer was living some miles away in Buncombe County. Succumbing to poor judgement and bad luck, he partook a game of chance and lost a considerable sum of money. Ashamed to face his friend and relatives, poor George packed his family and belonging on the wagon and went in search of a new home. A few days later (in the year 1848), the Palmer family landed in Cataloochee, then sparsely populated and seemingly a good place to start anew. Apparently, the lesson took, because George, his wife and decedents became one of the most prosperous families in Cataloochee.

Onward we go. We leave the Cataloochee area and head north on a road/trail called Mt. Sterling trail. Most of the way it was a nice class 1 gravel road but near the summit of Mt. Sterling it did get to a class 1 ½ to class 2 dirt road but still easy and great fun. During wet weather I could see that this road would be a bit challenging for a 2 wheeled motorcycle.
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Descending from Mt. Sterling , we find

This church was apparently in honor of someone named Hiram Leatherwood, but I was unable to find any historical information on this person or the history of this church and cemetery.

Before leaving Mt. Sterling area, Hunter and I lay claim to Mt. Sterling for the Republic of Texas.

Now Hunter and I can say we hiked the Appalachian Trail.

It took us a good portion of the afternoon to descend the mountains until we finally come to the little town of Cosby, TN (apparently we crossed the state boarder somewhere in our travels). It’s now late in the afternoon, we are starved and were able to find this BBQ place. I ordered some brisket and the girl looks at me funny. I forget, brisket is a Texas thing. In these parts BBQ is always pork. So a pulled pork plate with a side of banana pudding will do us just fine. I even get Hunter a side order of pulled pork (no sauce or pudding for him but he did not mind). We were both very pleased with our dinner selection.

It’s now about 5 and time to head home. I find the highway and make my way back to Waynesville, NC. What a fun trip.



  1. That’s a cool museum and you finally found your own bike shop! Had to do a double take on Cataloochee, never heard that name before. Chattahoochee yes, (Chattahoochee River plus Alan Jackson’s song…Way down yonder in Chattahoochee) and now Cataloochee (Cataloochee Valley). Some naming convention, going to have to look up the history of both names.

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