Road to Clintwood July 2019

On the Pacific Road…

We recently returned from our annual visit to the Clinch Mountains of Southwest Virginia to Ralph Stanley’s Hills of Home Festival. This year was the 49th year and Ralph II is doing a great job preserving and nurturing the roots of that Good Old-Time Country Music. This year a Blueridge Carter Stanley Memorial Guitar was presented to the Family of the old Kentucky Fox Hunter and Clinch Mountain Boy, Curley Ray Cline.

We usually stay in the Clintwood area and do everything we can to sink into the local cultural scene in every way. Most of the restaurants in that part of the country have given way to some of the regional chains and in Clintwood that means is the choice is The Huddle House for a good traditional breakfast of biscuits and gravy, stuffed hash browns, and sausages with a couple eggs tossed over the top of it all. It’s the kind of breakfast that sticks with you…and then some…

After the end of the festival and a 1:30 AM down-the-mountain return to Clintwood, David Gartland, John Hansen and I got up late the next morning and decided that it might be time to explore a Huddle House alternative. Soon we were barreling down the Orby Cantrell Highway heading for Wise, Virginia, which is about 20 miles from Clintwood. We parked right alongside the elegant Inn at Wise, an historical landmark built in 1910.

We’d been in Virginia for a couple of days but our time reference was still West Coast. It was about 1:00 PM EST but we were still thinking B-R-E-A-K-F-A-S-T! A quick look at the menu showed that we were way late for that choice but Hansen and I both saw a way out… on the menu was Chicken Breasts with Waffles. The conversation with the waitress went something like this:

Do you the have the Chicken Breasts with Waffles?

Yes, sir!

Can you give me the waffles but hold the chicken?

You’d like the WHOLE chicken???

No Ma’am … just HOLD the chicken…

You mean without the chicken?

Well almost. Could I have the eggs instead of the chicken??

I will check with the kitchen, sir.


We can do the waffles with eggs. How would you like your eggs?

Over easy please… could you slip a couple of pieces of bacon next to the eggs?

Yes, sir…

Thank you very much!

If you’re in Wise, stop by the Inn at Wise. Next time we’re there, we’ll try the waffles with the chicken breasts. David Gartland said that they’re fantastic. And if you are in Nashville at the NAMM in July, stop by and pick one with us! Stand No. 1113.

Richard Keldsen
San Francisco
July 2019