During the past few months, my husband, Drew, and I have been spending our Wednesday afternoons riding around Wilkes County roads, re-organizing and substituting on some of the newspaper’s home delivery routes.

We’ve gone all over the county, from the Mountain View area, to Cricket and North Wilkesboro, to Millers Creek and Purlear. Drew is the driver and I am the navigator.

 Although he has lived in Wilkes for 34 years, Drew has commented many times on our travels, “I never knew this was here,” and “isn’t this beautiful!”

Turning down just one road puts you in a totally different environment. Right within (or nearby) the city limits, we’ve encountered mini-farms, complete with goats and chickens, which could be right next to a beauty salon, and said hello to cattle.

In the Fairplains area, where we have delivered the most, very often we have met school buses delivering meals to students. And, we also have to be watchful of dogs, which enjoy sleeping in the road and chasing cars.

During this pandemic, when residents are sheltering in place, some of our customers are waiting on the porch for their newspaper to be delivered. We’ve enjoyed waving and speaking to them.

We have been especially surprised by the Hensley Eller Road, Oak Grove Church Road, Friendly Grove Church Road areas. What a beautiful part of the county it is!

Although rural, several neighborhoods fill in the landscape. A new development, Millbrook, with large, comfortable homes, has been built on Friendly Grove Church Road, across the street from Bar-Mill, which also has family-friendly homes.

Millbrook features a beautiful rushing stream through the neighborhood, while Bar-Mill boasts picturesque mountain views. Just a little up the road, Goddard Lane opens to a mix of rural and development.

Goddard Family Farms has a large Black Angus and Simmental cattle farm at the end of Goddard Lane, featuring rolling pastures among the mountain views, while the beginning of the road has a development with large home sites.

I must admit, however, traveling Friendly Grove Church Road is at your own peril. Because it serves as a cut-through from Mountain Valley Church Road, cars absolutely fly. Drew and I have been tailgated and nearly run over several times while trying to find house numbers.

Drew admonished me to “get ready” this past Wednesday just before we started down the road, and we still had to turn around to get one we had missed.

Mountain Valley Church Road and Pleasant Home Church Road, which connect to each other, are also beautiful parts of Wilkes County. One afternoon, we took a side trip a short distance down Tumbling Shoals Road, off Mountain Valley Church Road.

That sunny day, the Reddies River was sparkling and tumbling over rocks, which was an awe-inspiring sight.

All three roads have rolling pastures, among the houses.

House numbers

A few years ago, I wrote a column, “Notes from the Carrier,” which emphasized the importance of house numbers. On a newspaper route, for a new or substitute carrier, nothing is more frustrating than trying to locate house numbers.

Decorative house numbers are attractive, but not very helpful unless the carrier knows exactly where they are. Are the numbers on the house? The post? In the flower bed? On the garage? Falling off the mailbox?

The large, reflective numbers which can be purchased from volunteer fire departments are perfect.

They can be attached to the mailbox, either horizontally or vertically, and are easily seen, even in the dark or bad weather. Not all fire departments in the county sell them, but Millers Creek sells them for $15.

The numbers are available at the fire station,  5200 Boone Trail, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Call 336-838-3213 for more information.    

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