To Kingsport TN

January 3


We left early today on our way to Kingsport TN. It was raining most of the day but traffic was light. We headed to what was advertised as the world’s largest man-made star in Roanoke VA.


The largest one now is actually in El Paso TX and we’ll try to  catch it on our way to California. Roanoke surrounds Mill Mountain Park, where the star is located and only lit at night until mid-night. The scenery from the overlook promised to be interested except for the fog. One can’t fight Mother Nature.

It was a hazy day as we drove by an old friend: The Mount Jackson Apple Basket Water Tower. We’ve driven by it and photographed it many times not really knowing much about it except that it was beautiful.

The water tower is easily visible from Interstate 81 and shows local community pride. The paint job cost Mount Jackson a cool $250,000. Now that’s pride!

We arrived at the town of Pulaski VA after lunch. We entered the Ratcliffe Transportation Museum. Although it had plenty of information about the town’s past full of devastations and restorations, we were more interested in the miniature train display. It was build by Dr. Milton Brockmeyer over a 40 year span in his basement!


The town of Pulaski was used by Milton as the backdrop and  the buildings for his railroad model. Many of the buildings and homes have changed since he built it. The man had lots of time on his hands…no?!?


BTW, did you see Ellen with her new Revolutionary War boyfriend…a Count Casimir Pulaski?

Click any single picture not in a slide show to enlarge.

There’s an older fellow there who operates and fixes the trains. He may be a volunteer…but he gets to play with the trains!

Think: It was built in Milton’s basement! It must have been a big one. The movers had to cut a large hole in the wall to get it out.

The museum also exhibited some of the town’s old fire vehicles, a hearse (which doubled as an ambulance) and a Model A Ford. However, there was one very odd fellow. He was a Tin Man which was used as remarkable advertising feature of the Pulaski Tinning Company in the 1950’s. The roofing and sheet metal business was founded by Robert Kirkner in 1885, a year before the chartering of the Pulaski City.

We headed out of Pulaski City and drove to Kingsport TN toward our hotel for the night. We’ve traveled many times across the country now. For Jorge it is his 28th time. For Tickle, our doggie, it’s her 12th trip. Ellen has done it so many more times (42).


“Haven’t we been to this hotel before?”

“Haven’t we been to this rest stop before?”

“I recognize this gas station bathroom!”


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