Archive for the ‘Virginia’ Category

Along the Parkway

Tuesday, October 16th, 2018

Parkway Signs are about all you see that is similar to the outside highways.  The speed limit on the parkway is 45 so not many residents take the parkway even though there are many homes right on it.  There are lots of roads running along side with driveway like entrances.  The signs were interesting to us although there was one we just didn’t always understand.

These were all sizes and mostly turnouts!

Anytime a crossroads entrance.

This sign was very helpful because you didn’t enter the same way as a normal onramp and it could be miles before you realized you were going the wrong way, unless…..

Every Mile

Sometimes they were hard to find and they were only on the southbound side of the road with numbers on each side.

                       Top of the Parkway

It was a spectacular day when were reached milemarker 431.  We even saw a couple that brought out there recliners and were enjoying the views.

                              Music Center

We arrived here late in the day but on weekends they have live local bluegrass music.  I think the sign is really cool, the shape of the NP sign but almost looks like an instrument.

Appalachian Trail

The Appalachian Trail crosses the parkway in several spots.  We choose this one for a short hike so now we can say we walked the Appalachian Trail.  Paul has dreams about hiking the Trail, not me!  It isn’t that scenic as you are deep in the woods for much of it and camping is what you bring on your back!  Nope.


Lizzy Mabry Mill

Monday, October 15th, 2018

Lizzy Mabry Mill   Mile Post 176 in Virginia, One of the most picturesque places on the Parkway. Mabry’s original sawmill and blacksmith shop still stand.  The National Park has done an amazing job in preserving this treasure.  We saw a blacksmith working his craft, corn being ground and hand weaving.  The Mill was very picturesque and picnics were welcomed.

                                  Mabry Mill

The Big Deal

Sunday, October 14th, 2018

The main focus of our trip this fall was to return to North Carolina and the Smokey Mountains via the Blue Ridge Parkway.  We have done many miles on the Parkway but this trip will be 469 miles on the Parkway.  Smokey Mountain NP will be the ending of the Parkway. We will take several side trips but mostly we will be on the parkway.

First item on the to do list is get to the entry gate at milepost 0  in Virginia and get our senior parks pass that will be good for Paul’s lifetime.  A great value as long as we keep moving.  Not only do you get into the National Parks free but also get 1/2 off camping in most.  So on this trip we spent (actually Amy and Stephanie bought it for Paul’s birthday) $80 and saved about $60 in entry and camping.

A real senior benefit

Our first view of the beautiful area is behind Paul.  We will get in some hiking on this trip but also a lot of views!

Because of the winds last night the parkway had lots of debris because the NP Service does all the maintenance and often closes stretches of the parkway if they cannot get to it.  That happened at about mile 30 but the detour was beautiful also.  We missed about 11 miles of parkway but none of the big stops.

Peaks of Otter near Mile Post 86 is a beautiful resort area complete with a lodge, restaurant and a beautiful lake.

The lodge of Peaks of Otter

Fuel is not available on the parkway so you need to exit the parkway and even though there are lots of signs on the parkway it is a National Park so signs of what is available at the exits is minimal so it is up to your smart phone to guide you to the outside world.  Sometimes you get really lucky and find some amazing place!  Some not so much!

You decide!

Paul pulls into the station for fuel and sees this sign and says “you need to go shopping! I have some work to do!”  Ok then, it was kind of a warehouse with lots of racks of clothing in beautiful colors.  Tunics and Leggings were the hit of the party.  I walked out with a $75 Credit Card bill but some really cute leggings for Halloween.



Shenandoah NP

Friday, October 12th, 2018

The beginning of our road trip during the fall.  We entered the Shenandoah NP at the North Entrance Station under cloudy skies.  The Skyline Drive was our goal thru this park which is 105 miles and will connect us to the Blue Ridge Parkway.  Our first night was very rainy and windy.  The park has several campgrounds and are very well kept with nice showers.  We had to move around some to find cell service to make it through the evening of rain.  When we have no connections we rely on cell service so we can work and play indoors.

A very cool outcropping of rocks, If I was younger I would have tried to get to the top

At the same stop there was a small waterfall and a portion of tracks that have been refurbished and you can get a sense of long ago days.

Waterfalls are always my go to.  I will hike miles just to see running water.  Most of the falls on this trip were pretty close to the roads.  This one was after a nice little uphill trek.  There was plenty of water to fill the streams and falls as it has rained most days that we were in Shenandoah NP.

Our last night was very rainy so we finished the drive and found our way to a local town with Walmart and Starbucks and spent the afternoon and evening with plenty of internet.  It was very windy and rainy.


Another Deli Sandwich

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

If you read my blog from Kentucky  in April you read about my sandwich story!  Today I have another.

Turkey, Lettuce & Tomatoe

Turkey, Lettuce & Tomato

Hunger was taking over again and we were far from a McDonalds, besides I won’t stop there.  Paul found another country store with a sign that said “Sandwiches”  This time they had a real area, the lady was again tired and middle aged (definitely not Togos) who took our order and this time she had wheat bread!  The bread had a little texture,  but the lettuce was iceberg and the turkey came right out of the Oscar Meyer package!   I asked for cheese and the choices were, Yellow!

The chips were good!

What comes to mind when you think about Virginia?

Tuesday, June 3rd, 2014

Southern hospitality, Blueridge Parkway, sweet tea, holler,  and bluegrass.  Thats what I think about and we were able to enjoy most of that while staying at the Stony Fork Forest Service campground near Wytheville, VA.

Enjoying a walk

Enjoying a walk

Sunday we took a drive along the Big  Walker Mountain Scenic Byway and stopped at the Big Walker Lookout thinking we were just going to look at the view of 5 states and stumbled upon a 7 piece bluegrass band.  Tune Town Old Time String Band were just strummin on the front porch!

Toon Town

Toon Town

One of the guys in the band does Auctioneering and auctioned a Big Mountain hat out and for $14 Paul was the proud owner of the hat!

Paul gets into the band!

Paul gets into the band!

Bluegrass music on the porch is definitely something I think of when I think of these southern states, what a great afternoon.

Big Mountain Lookout

Big Mountain Lookout

100 feet into the air and you can see 5 states!  We didn’t make the climb because it is an attraction and they charge a fee, besides the view was pretty amazing from their deck.

Staying in the park which is near the Jefferson National Forest gave us a couple opportunities for some nature.  We took a 1 mile hike right in the park and disturbed a momma wild turkey and her brood!  I tried to get a photo but was so stunned when she rared up from behind a log only about 15 feet from the trail that I didn’t get my camera out in time!

What is this?

What is this?

I did have time to take a photo of this?  What is it?

One morning I was enjoying the quiet when a little squirrel, (yes it is a squirrel – I googled the difference between a squirrel and a chipmunk!)  anyway he was very brave and really wanted to get a tidbit from the drip tray of the barbeque.


I tried to make some noise so he would leave and he just retreated into the tree and waited!  Yes, he did return.

I tried to make some noise so he would leave and he just retreated into the tree and waited! Yes, he did return.

America’s Interstates

Monday, June 2nd, 2014

We have seen our share of Interstates in the past 5 years and I love when we see flowers!

Along I77 in North Carolina

Along I77 in North Carolina

I also get a good sunset once in awhile

Near Columbus, Ohio

Near Columbus, Ohio

Walmart for beginners

Saturday, May 19th, 2012

After a trip to the local CVS to pick up some bug stuff!  I spent $43 on repellent, a personal protection device that I am not sure will really work, spray for the inside of the rig and then some cream to heal the wounds.  I return to the RV park and everyone is ready to head out.  We pull out of the park and hook up the cars.  We are ready to go!  Guess what?  After $43 and lots of complaining and pain I show Paul my arm and ask “do you think this is poison oak, I do?”  Yep, I don’t even have any mosquito bites (maybe a couple) I have a pretty good case of poison oak or that is what it looks like.  I have only had it once and that was a small patch the size of a quarter when I was 18!  Paul is the one that gets this stuff.  Now the question is how did I get it and he didn’t?  He gets it thinking about it.  At least now I can relax about the bugs!  Yuck!!

Our next stop is Intercourse Pennyslvania and it is a bit too far for us to make from Kitty Hawk in one day so we are going to overnight somewhere.  Pat & Kip have never overnighted in a Walmart Parking lot!  Boy are they in for a treat.  Kip found us a Walmart near Fredericksburg which is about 1/2 way to Intercourse.  We arrive about 6 pm, get parked, get the BBQ out and cook up some steaks.  Yeah, we are saving $60 on our accomodations so we get steak.

Everything went fine until about 5 am when bus loads of people and cars start showing up and parking near us.  About 6:30 a megaphone starts but we can’t understand.  I finally get up about 7 and we are boxed in and there is a marathon going on in the street infront of the Walmart!

Kip assesses the situation.  I go do some grocery shopping and when I return, we are unhooking the cars to make room and pulling up stakes and getting on the road.  They are closing the road about 8:30 and getting out is only going to get more difficult until about 1 pm!

We made it and are on our way north!

Natural Bridge

Saturday, June 12th, 2010

We planned to meet Jim & Linda about noon for lunch and then we were to head into the mountains to Natural Bridge a cavern that collasped eons ago and today you can visit for a mear $16!  We arrive, buy our tickets and proceed down the 300 steps to the trail that leads to the bridge and waterfalls. On our way we heard there would be scattered thunder storms and lightening in the area but it was dry until we got down about 100 steps and the thunder comes and the clouds don’t look good!  Linda does not like lightening storms so she requests we return to the lobby and wait until the storm passes.  We turn and walk up the 100 steps to a small landing with a roof and here comes the rain! 

Waiting undercover

We were stranded for about 20 minutes with lots of thunder, lightening and rain until there was a small break that allowed us to get to the building with the gift shop and snack bar.  After about an hour we were able to make our way to the bridge.

Natural Bridge

The bridge is only a very short distance from the bottom of the steps but there is this 50′ waterfall a short 3/4 mile hike into the canyon.  I have not done any exercise since hurting my shoulder but I really want to get some so I choose to hike to this falls!

liars Falls

I guess in Virginia this is 50′.  I love waterfalls and the hike was good but this was not really all that impressive although we did not get rained on as many others did.  Even though this was not the best attraction we have been to it was still a great place to take a walk and enjoy nature – all of nature, even the rain!

Our day and visit ended with an awesome dinner and of course more WINE!  Tomorrow we leave for Maryland and more friends.

Appomattox Court House

Friday, June 11th, 2010

Friday was a day of exploring on our own as our friends have jobs so we chose to go to Appomattox Court House  which is the village that after four years of war and over 630,000 casualties Generals Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant met in the parlor of the McLean House and agreed to terms which eventually ended the civil war. Paul loves this stuff and joined the tour which he spent 40 minutes on this porch listening to a guy tell about the battle, etc. in the first person while Duke and I rested in the shade.

There's Paul on the porch

The National Park Service has done an excellent job of putting these structures on the property to recreate the original village.  It is located in some beautiful country right of the Blue Ridge Parkway.

A look at a piece of the village

On the steps of the McLean House

Our drive back to Roanoke we took the Blue Ridge Parkway which is a scenic byway thru the mountains of North Carolina & Virginia.  Beautiful views of the valley for as far as we drove, about 25 miles.  Our evening ended with dinner and wine with our Jim & Linda.