Sunday, October 19, 2014

Mile Post 1.0

...and still northward we go our intended Destination Shenandoah National Park and Skyline Drive! The Blue Ridge Parkway terminates and the S-NP begins..the only difference is an entry fee!! 

Meanwhile before we reach mile post 1.0, we stop at Humpback Rocks..we didnt do the hike to the rock formations....you just can't do it all ya know!  But I got a photo from long distance of some of the rocks up there...



But we (Casey and I) toured the Old  Farm Village across the road--






Then entered the park! the Ranger stamped my passport!! And I think Ill have to swing east to get my Blue Ridge Parkway stamp--- ALL week I kept forgetting to get it stamped!! I may encounter the Parkway again before I'm headed back to SC.  As I type this I'm near Bristol TN!  













taken from the Skyline Drive.  Thats 2 things off my bucket list! Photographing Mabry Mill in fall foliage and making it to Shenandoah Valley!

T.B.C.

PEACE


Eleanor Roosevelt: You must do the thing you think you can not.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

America ---Alive and Well III

Continuing our trek up the Blue Ridge Parkway, on Thursday we stopped at Peaks of Otter campground on the parkway.  There are LOTS of camp spots, I took one close to the comfort station, and soon I was surrounded by 5th wheels, generators, and pit fires---Hello! Quiet time couldn't come soon enough for me! One issue I have with the East there are NO Public Lands!! Scarcely a trace in all of SC there are like areas where you could boondock! Of course I knew I would be staying in the NPS campgrounds...anyway Met a nice lady from CO...who was a single traveler and a member of a Yahoo group called Women With A-Frames and More...she has a Casita tho...and her dog..No photos I was busy trying to get ready for dark  thirty, because Casey and I hiked around the lake upon our arrival, so it was nearing dark when we returned. 


the campground is in the wooded area at the foot of this sharply pointed hill called Sharp Top. Across the lake there is a lodge each room has a lake view...and  there's a nice restaurant too.  It was booked of course a bike tour was in process lotsss of cyclists.  

This is the view from the restaurant..


This is the lodge seen from the other side of the lake...


The trail encircles the lake and along the way is this lovely old cabin  called Polly Woods Ordinary...


Close up...


Polly had a great homestead spot...this heron was fishing in the shallows..


Next morning we headed to the restaurant for breakfast, and I just caught a bit of the sunrise..


Peaks of Otter is at Mile Post 86 give or take, we continued north and came to the James River! Another great spot to hike...



Some nice views along the river walk...


then we followed the Otter Creek trail a loop to Otter lake and back, but Casey refused to fjord the stream here so we turned back...


I tried to point out the stepping stones but he wasn't buying that line!! Floss and Annie would have no problem with going across this but in Casey's defense the water would be over his back! I couldnt carry him and my camera and use my walking stick so....we didnt cross no worries...


there was a view of the lake a little farther down the parkway and some geese were enjoying it


T.B.C.

PEACE
Eleanor Roosevelt: You must do the thing you think you can not.

Friday, October 17, 2014

America Alive and Well part II

After leaving Mabry Mill behind, I continued on North on the parkway...the scenery never disappointed!


and we camped at Rocky Knob campground, its $16 with no hook ups, there is a comfort station but only cold water!! No showers.  BOY it was cold too...we had every blanket in the van on us!  I opted not to bring the Coleman stove..regretfully, won't make that mistake again! 


Next day we headed out pretty early! And I stopped in the small town of  Floyd, VA and had coffee and breakfast in the Blue Ridge Restaurant where all the locals eat! Its all boots and ponytails, and that's the lawyers coming from the courthouse across the street!.





This little town is 6 miles off the parkway, its an original town with no McDonald's, no Walmart, its a real American town where farmers and lawyers live in harmony...~Back on the Parkway after a hearty meal which included grits, (not milled at Mabry, I asked) I took a hike to walk off the jelly I had on the toast...
there's all kinds of points of interest to stop and check out...and hikes galore! This hike took me under the parkway!


I thought it was cool the way its constructed! Many overlooks to admire the Blue mountains in the distance...


the reds were awesome 


another awesome old structure...so very prevalent here in the southeast...


This looks like a 4 over 4, which is a house with 4 rooms upstairs and 4 down! 

and this is a fine example of why its called the Blue Ridge Mountains..



Stopped to see these 2 old fellows...


Many of the overpasses are made of these awesome arched stone bridges...most were constructed by the CCC back in the days...


and American Chestnuts!! 


since I have done quite a bit of backpacking on the Appalachian Trial I was happy to set foot on it again this time with my new pal Casey...


we had lunch here where the trail runs alongside the parkway, it meanders back and forth around the parkway for quite a lot of miles..this sign is the marker for the trail...


we had a fresh tomato, some humus with whole wheat crackers, pineapple juice and this lovely seat to enjoy it on...


Its hard to turn away from the scenery and keep driving...



T.B.C.



PEACE
Eleanor Roosevelt: You must do the thing you think you can not.

America--Alive and Well!

I had hoped to be able to update daily from the road but I've been off the grid so just now have the "power"...NO hook ups is the word...but tonight I do..I'm still on the road, from the beach I headed north up I-77 and then to the Blue Ridge Parkway! IN search of Fall Color and I found it!

I spent my first night at Rocky Knob after I had to stay in a Motel on the rainiest night in NC!! IT poured rain on Tuesday so I got a motel to dry out...Wednesday I headed right for the parkway! 


I had a wonderful conversation with this handsome grey eyed pumpkin farmer!! I tried to pretend to be photographing the pumpkins....


He tried to convince me I did have room in my van for one of his gigantic Pumpkins..I did however point out my favorite one... the one nearest him...I had to walk over and touch it...that one with green marbling on it what a genuine and lovely man, he lives in Meadows of Dan, VA by the way a quaint small town right off the parkway. OH and he also told me he travels to Columbia, SC to the farmers market there...and maybe I should stop by and see him... ;o)



 Okay back to the road trip....


I think I caught the leaf color just right some oaks are stubbornly green but it is gorgeous!!  I love the Americana of the Southern Appalachians...


Including all these preserved  homestead cabins...this is Ma Puckett's cabin she was a midwife who lived in this area her whole life...she delivered like....1000 babies'--


And they used the local stone to build all sorts of structures 


Farms dot the hill sides everywhere!  Clouds hung around but leaf color is more saturated on dull days...


I just can't get enough of the landscapes...and the rail fences are all along the parkway which is 469 miles in length! It actually comes very close to SC on the southern end the northern terminus is at Shenandoah National Park, in VA.  Many of the amenities close around Nov 1, so if you're planning a trip make it before that. 


So I drove from the SC line to Mabry Mill, VA the handsome farmer jokingly told me they call it "Mayberry" Mill I think he was making fun of us "tourans" but it sure is a pretty little mill! So I did my part as a tourist to this area I took LOTS of photos and I spent a total of 52 cents while there...I had to have one of these...


I collect them! Not everyplace has one of these machines, you put in 2 quarters and a new penny and turn the wheel it flattens out the penny and imprints an image on the penny! This one says Mabry Mill, Blue Ridge Parkway, and now I see they have pennycollector.com on the penny so maybe I can order ones of past places I have visited?  You can chose from 4 different scenes,  Now I wish I had done all 4....:o(   I'm a tight wad in case you hadn't noticed!!  This is my fav shot of the ones I took.


I enjoyed trying to get a long exposure photo of the water zooming through the sluice, it had leaves traveling along in it too...


YAHOO boy that water was COLD! Don't stick your head out too far tho---^---


after I took this photo the guy told me Visitors are not allowed in that window...yikes! SO this is one shot probably no other tourists have of the mill in action!! What do they say, try to get a juxtaposition that no one else has to make your photo unique.~


there is a cute visitors center and a cafe here and you can buy grits, buckwheat and corn meal too!

and just one more pumpkin photo...


T.B.C.


PEACE
Eleanor Roosevelt: You must do the thing you think you can not.