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We actually explored the area pretty carefully, and I got to buzz through Shady Valley on 421 last weekend on a run from Boone to Johnson City. If it weren’t for the enormous mountain between Bristol and the valley that really makes the commute in to Bristol a pain, I would love to live there, as we’re looking for good land for a small farm. We have to keep my girlfriend within about a 45 minute drive of the hospital in Bristol though, so it’s just too far out there.
Abingdon and Damascus were both great, and I’m practically salivating just looking at all the good hiking in the region. The weather around there is excellent for hiking pretty much year-round by my definition, so I’ll take full advantage.
I suspect we’ll end up somewhere in the general vicinity of the Tri-Cities airport, as I’ll hopefully be working there, and farm land in the area is plentiful. That will let us take full advantage of all three of the tri-cities as well.