Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Daylight's precious when your a youngen'.


We had a wonderful time in and about Sparta, North Carolina for the past week or so. We were visiting my father in law who built a beautiful house pretty much by himself just outside Sparta.

Although there were no Civil War sites nearby :( we did get a chance to take in some of the local culture and cuisine. Here's a few pics---

View from the deck of my FILs house. The kids spent a ton of time swimming in that river.

We were surprised when a huge thunderstorm come through out of nowhere.

My FILs cat loves to catch critters. He eats everything but the tail. I think this is what remains of a squirrel.

We spent a day at old Salem in Winston Salem. The juxtaposition of modern buildings with 200+ year old gunsmith shops and bakeries was a bit odd.

This coke machine was behind a stall door in an original barn. Obviously the settlers were way ahead of their time.

George Washington slept in this tavern... this room.

Downtown Winston Salem was hosting their annual ribfest. It was a pigacaust of biblical proportions.

These guys made the best ribs IMHO. Their name was "Sgt. Oink." Were it up to me he would be promoted to Colonel Oink.

Note all the trophies with little pigs on top of them. They take their ribs VERY seriously.

Mount Airy was a quaint little town that plays up the fact that Andy Griffith was born there and based many of the characters in his show on the people and places there. For example you can take a guided tour in one of these show-themed police cruisers.

The famous statue of Andy and Opie which stands in front of the Andy Griffith museum.

My favorite part of the whole day. In the middle of the South at the birthplace of Andy Griffith and the apex of hometown values the first thing we saw when we parked in the visitor lot was this Obama headquarters sign. Did my heart proud seeing this.

Tweetsie's Railroad was a themepark built around an actual coal locomotive ride that gets attacked by bandits.

Some of the wicked desperados.

Fighting off "Red Devil." Sigh.

All in all it was a wonderful trip and we were sad to have to come home. North Carolina was absolutely beautiful and the people were about as hospitable as they could get.


Fran said...

Groovy man- what a trip. Loving those pics.

I must be missing something - what is up with the Civil War sites?

I only ask because the only person I know in your hometown there (I mean IRL!!) is a big Civil War re-enactment type. Which makes him sound like a head case but he is not.

And I know you are not him!

And you may be a real head case, I mean really!

Don Snabulus said...

That sounds like a major league pig-fest. I would like to try some real southern BBQ in the south (Atlanta doesn't count). I realize that it varies by region, but that is even better.

I am glad you had time to take in a few sites and that you didn't run across any stills or fellers with purty mouths.

Welcome home.

Swinebread said...

with a name like ribfest it has to be good!

Was this the big family vacation?

Dr. Zaius said...

Ick! The tail is the best part.

Anonymous said...

I remember visiting a small town called Kipling when I was a kid. I think it was near Raleigh. Lots of tobacco and an ol' swimmin' hole.

Spirula said...

As someone who lived in NC for 11 years, what's your pick: Eastern style or western style BBQ?

Not sure which is served in the WS area, but you can get either in Raleigh-Durham area.

Dean Wormer said...


It's just the history major in me. I love to visit sites of historical importance and just imagine what happened there. It gives a context to the words in the books.

We were clear up in the North of the state by Virginia and about six hours from the coast where most of the civil war stuff was.

Maybe next time.


It was good bbq with a vinegar based sauce. But doing a quick calculation there probably wasn't a pig left alive in a fifty mile radius.


It was a vacation with the family but also gave us time to help my father in law with some projects. He had back surgery recently and the guy always has some big thing going. In this case the biggest project was cutting logs, drilling holes in them and seeding them with mushroom spores for his mushroom garden. (Shitake not the kind you're thinking.)


That's what I tried to tell the cat but he just looked at me like he didn't understand.


Thanks for reminding me about the tobacco. It was a little strange being in the Waffle House and having people light up cigs right next to us.

That place was tobacco country.


I'm really partial to sauce so I'd have to say western. The stuff at ribfest was definetly heavy on the ketchup based sauce.

I'm in a biggest loser contest with a buddy from work and completly blew my chances at that ribfest.

Randal Graves said...

Oh man, few meals on earth can beat a top-notch rib feast. Many thanks for not posting pictures of actual slabs.

No statue of Barney Fife, though?

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

I love Winston Salem. We live about three hours east and when gas is not too high we drive over and check out the downtown area and other places.

Westcoast Walker said...

Sounds like a fun trip...and oh, can I ever feel my arteries hardening just thinking about those ribs!

mwb said...

Without photos of you buying grits at the Piggly-Wiggly, it could be anywhere!

Arkonbey said...

Wow. Sgt. Oink's looks like a RL interpretation of a bad website.

Distributorcap said...

can you ask sgt oink to open a branch in New YOrk -- we can use some good ribs and a store front that is one giant ad

nice vacation!

Dean Wormer said...


No statue of Barney although we did eat at Barney's diner which was riddled with pictures of him.

dr monkey-

Winston Salem was beautiful but crazy hot for my delicate Northwest sensibilities.

We walked from Old Salem to the ribfest downtown and had to take a cab back because the kids were feeling a bit faint.


Yeah, we threw dietary caution to the wind with the ribs but it was sooooo worth it.


True. There are statues of Andy Griffith all across America.




I'll see what I can do. I spent enough money at Sgt. Oinks that they consider me a bit of a shareholder.

Life As I Know It Now said...

Sounds like you had a great vacation. Glad you're back.

Arkonbey said...

by the way, it's spelled "Young 'un"