Mayberry RFD Here We Come

Day 4 – From Christianburg, VA to Mt. Airy, NC…and Back; Miles: 128; Steps* (B) 15,722; (R) 12,301
*We’re committed to exercising while on the road and both wear pedometers to log our daily results.

Mayberry RFD Here We Come

The day had a little slower pace than our previous days on the road. We slept in a little later than usual (8:00 a.m.) and then headed out to take a power walk – needed to burn off extra calories from last night’s pulled pork, smoked chicken, fried green tomatoes and…

We walked 4 plus miles on a trail in Coal Mining Heritage Park, which is located in the middle of the Huckleberry Trail between the towns of Blacksburg and Christiansburg. It was a beautiful trail with informative markers explaining the history of the coal industry.

Huckleberry Trail1

We decided to pay a visit to Mt. Airy, NC – home of Andy Griffith and the inspiration for mythical Mayberry in the long running television series “The Andy Griffith Show”. Sometimes the journey can be as interesting as the destination, and today’s 128 mile side trip was no exception. We traveled unbelievably beautiful back roads and the Blue Ridge Parkway on our way to “Andy’s town”. Gorgeous farms, rolling hills and picturesque mountains.


Mt. Airy was a wonderful, non-touristy town with genuinely friendly residents who not only love their little slice of heaven, but also the connection to their beloved Andy.

Andy & Aunt Bea

After a tour of the Andy Griffith Museum, we ambled through the downtown on Main Street reminiscing about Sheriff Taylor, Floyd the Barber, Aunt Bea, Barney Fife, Goober and Gomer Pyle, Otis and of course Opie. Floyd’s Barber Shop and the Snappy Lunch, the diner where our hardworking sheriff and his faithful sidekick took a break from a day of fighting crime to eat lunch, are still Main St. fixtures.


After a hard day of reliving one of our favorite TV shows, we ducked into Miss Angels Heavenly Pie Shop AND Walkers old time soda fountain for a little “sugar” break. Can you say sugar high? Miss Angel and her husband Randy don’t just make heavenly baked goods (and Rorie knows how heavenly they are from the gooey chocolately brownie she consumed). They also own the 52 acre farm where they grow their own fruit and berries for their delicious sweets and they are huge supporters of local charities and fundraising efforts. They will be featured on either July 4 or 11 on the AMC TV channel’s Show “Showville”. Sheriff Taylor would be proud! You can order your own slice of heaven on their website:

Pastry shop

Next stop, an amazing vintage soda fountain owned by David Jones and his wife. At this community gathering place, which has been on Main Street since the 1800’s, Bart and Rorie sidled up to the formica counter, hopped on stools and ordered a gigantic, homemade, over the top banana split. We figured we could cover most of our food groups with this unbelievable culinary treat. We watched an artist at work as David created our masterpiece. Three scoops of ice cream and fresh whipped cream (dairy), fresh ripe bananas, pineapple and strawberry sauces (fruit), wet walnuts (protein), chocolate sauce (not a food group but necessary for daily living), and of course the cherry on top. Please don’t tell our dentists! Here’s to another day of avoiding the scale.

Your tour guides at the counter

David Ice Cream Shopppe

Davey & Our Sundae

All and all, we had a pleasant, heartwarming and sugar-filled day in Mayberry RFD. On our way back to the hotel we took an auto tour of VA Tech University in Blacksburg. Unfortunately, we got hit by a torrential thunderstorm, so walking the campus was not in the cards. Headed back for a bite to eat and turned in for the evening. Next stop: Ashevile, NC. Stay tuned…

5 thoughts on “Mayberry RFD Here We Come

  1. Aunt Bee’s apple pie? When you folks get back, Ron Howard lives in Connecticut. I wonder how we can let him know about your Tour?

  2. So far, sounds like my kind of tour…sugar, a little fruit, more sugar, and a bar-b-q…oh, and some more sugar!!!

    Don’t miss the Biltmore house at Asheville, and remember you are in furniture country. If you have time, try a side trip to Blowing Rock, N.C.

  3. Love each and every one of your stories and cannot wait to read each entry!!! You guys are too much and what interesting people you are meeting!!! Bonnie

  4. Main Street Siloam Springs AR Facebook page shared your story so I decided to check out your blog. What fun to find that you’re in (or very near) my old home town, just across the line in WV. I still have roots in the Blacksburg area though.

    I look forward to following your progress & can’t wait to read what you think of Siloam Springs. Northwest Arkansas is my new home I do think we have the best main street anywhere you’ll go.

  5. We wanted to be in your suitcase, but since you are only driving a Prius…Sorry I missed that Mt. Airy was on the itinerary — would have wanted you to connect with Wanda Urbanska and her former husband and co-author, Frank Levering — maybe next road trip. They are champions for simple living and small town living, and Wanda’s PBS series on simple living used Mount Airy to illustrate broader trends re pressures on small towns (such as big box stores tearing away at Main Street retailers and high school and college graduates not finding enough economic opportunity to stay) and ways that communities adapt and revitalize. Wanda’s biosketch from Wikipedia is below. Frank had been a Hollywood scriptwriter before they moved back to his parents’ orchard in Ararat, VA — a few miles from Mt. Airy upon which their popular Simple Living book was based. We worked with Frank’s parents, Sam and Miriam Levering, at the Quaker lobby group across from the Hart Senate office building in Washington — they were simple orchardists but world leaders in championing the Law of the Seas. I worked with Frank in promoting a video interview he conducted of his Dad upon the 50th Anniversary of the Friends Committee on National Legislation — an organization that Sam helped found in the thick of World War II — 1943.

    From Wikipedia:

    Urbanska began her career in New York, working for The Paris Review as an associate editor. She later moved to Los Angeles where she joined the staff of the Los Angeles Herald Examiner as an assistant editor of its in-house Sunday magazine and later as a business reporter, covering retail, airlines and health care. She moved to Southwest Virginia in 1986 with her husband, Frank Levering, to take over his family’s orchard business and wrote books in collaboration with him about the benefits of simple and rural living. Their Simple Living: One Couple’s Search for a Better Life was published by Viking in 1992.[7] It was followed by Moving to a Small Town: A Guidebook for Moving from Urban to Rural America (1996). Urbanska co-authored Christmas on Jane Street: Based on a True Story with Billy Romp (1998). She co-authored Nothing’s too Small to Make a Difference with Levering, which was published in 2004.

    She hosted Simple Living with Wanda Urbanska for four seasons, which appeared on PBS stations nationally. The series advocates sustainable living based on the four multiple and overlapping principles of environmental stewardship; thoughtful consumption; community involvement; and financial responsibility.

    Happy travels,

    Larry Newlin
    Peaceful River Farm
    Chapel Hill, NC

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