Bristling in Bristol

I’m on day two in Bristol, Tennessee – and Virginia because half of the city in is one state and half is in the other.


I know this because I saw police cars from both states riding right behind me today as I made my way to the Bristol Caverns. Turns out, they were closed (the caverns not the cops), which left me standing at the front of a cavernous entrance wondering how someone can close caverns. Gun-toting security guards can make you believe a lot of things though, and so I took a walk about Bristol instead.

Here are some things I’ve learned since I’ve been here:

There is a spider, which creates a web, and then bites through both sides of the web and rides the thing from one tree to the next. One man here called it the Wright Brothers spider and I’m pretty traumatized by the site of a spider, which has discovered flight prior to leaving the arachnid stage of evolution.

There is a Scuba shop offering Scuba lessons in Bristol, and since we’re smack dab in the middle of the Appalachians, I had to ask the nagging question, “For what?” The answer was unpredictable and awesome, “Somebody gotta fish out the bodies.” I think I love this place.

I ate at Cootie Brown’s today, and the “real food” I mentioned yesterday was unexpectedly awesome. Sweet potato chips with a honey glaze that’s “pretty damn near crack” according to one local. He wasn’t lying. Thank you, Masha, for hooking us up.

The trees remind me of Los Angeles hair colors, the myriad shades dripping from branches with a sort of melancholic longing for summer. It’s pretty in a Melrose Avenue sort of way.

King University’s campus is rolling lawn of green covered by red brick buildings – imagine Christmas squashed by a rolling pin and you get the idea.


Five bedroom houses next to the local country club run between $185-$210,000 and your average yard resembles half a football field. In Los Angeles these would run $1.8-3.5 million, although, to be fair, the weather is probably a little better and the collagen implants means people smile more.

Quaker Stake and Lube is a restaurant  – we’re pretty close to Bristol Speedway, which apparently has quite the Nascar history – and the wings are spicy enough to explain the nearby fire hose.


With a short itinerary, I’ve decided to spend one more day here. I’m hoping to avoid Orville and Wilbur Spider, or becoming one of those Scuba-requiring bodies, however, if you don’t hear from me in the next 48 hours, please assume the worst.

By ccxander

One comment on “Bristling in Bristol

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