I’d spotted the road, way down in the Pigeon River gorge, from Interstate 40 years earlier. Kept meaning to go check it out, meandering as it does along the river, and I mean right along the river. I knew right where I could get back to the interstate — at the exit where the river rafting companies were.
Finally decided one day to try it out, back in December 2014, and after a couple of wrong turns, I was there. It was as beautiful as I thought it would be, five minutes of river. I crossed under the interstate as I came upon the rafting companies, and then promptly missed the turn back onto the highway. I decided to keep going. My GPS said I could make a big loop and get back to where I wanted to be … and maybe I could have, but the road my GPS thought I should turn onto didn’t look like much of a road. I kept going, and that ended up being not much of a road either, and I turned around to retrace my way back. My five minute ride turned into 20.
I haven’t found the provenance of this road just yet … the one by the river, I mean. I’m pretty sure the one I was on after that was just a meandering track up into the mountains. There are a couple of “towns” back in there, and maybe this road just connected them to Newport. I don’t know. But here’s the video of the trip.