Morning Prayers

Have you met Jim, a poet and runner over at rite2run? You’ll not regret reading this post and making a visit over to his place!

Poetry In Motion

Morning Prayers

begin with a reading

not mine

Hoagland, perhaps Pardlo

            no need to rhyme

*

pick up a pencil

            let your imagination go

scratch out a verse, or five

            until something flows

*

at times its torture

            borders on tragic

persevere long enough

              you’ll find the magic

*

like jazz it’s best

to just let it be

words fall into place

that’s poetry

*

I won’t ask you

            to LIKE me

to SHARE, or even

read my poetry

*

that would be self-serving

             somewhat unnerving

dare I say pretentious

for all of us

*

what it comes down to

is this

discover poetry

            and find bliss

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It All Adds Up

Beach

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  Family

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 Storms

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 Food

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  Drink

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 Exercise

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 Photography

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Fun

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It all adds up to a fantastic family vacation at the beach, one where I used the cell phone more than the camera (but you already picked up on that, huh).  Blessed beyond measure!

*******

I spent a total of two non-consective weeks in North Carolina, a state I have boycotted since the passage of HB2.  What do you do when plans have been made for over a year, and deposits were paid before North Carolina decided to pass such a controversial law?  You keep your plans and contribute to Equality NC.  From here on out, like the NBA, lots of musicians and corporations, I will continue to avoid spending money in NC.

*******

And now, I’m off to visit all of you!

Jennette’s Pier

Originally built in 1939, and rebuilt several times after being battered by various hurricanes and nor’easters, Jennette’s Pier is a popular destination for visitors to Nags Head, NC.  Known for it’s excellent fishing, locals are also drawn to the pier.

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The current structure opened to the public in 2011 after a $25 million dollar restoration.

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Expanded to 1000ft, the pier is now hurricane-resistant with solid concrete pilings that will stay put regardless of the wind speed. In addition to offering world class fishing, the pier is an outpost of the North Carolina Aquariums network, and includes science exhibits, educational programs, and offers visitors the opportunity to learn about renewable energy.

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In addition, the pier is also LEED Certified, which is the most widely used green building rating system in the world.

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The views from the pier were stunning, and as you might imagine, it was hard to put the camera down.

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We strolled the length of the pier and enjoyed watching the men and women who were fishing.

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Evidently folks get out there pretty early, requiring some to take a late morning nap.

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We were so excited to see this sea turtle, dinner clasped in his (her?) jaws.

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We thoroughly enjoyed our time on Jennette’s Pier.  Be sure to check it out if you’ll be visiting the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

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Please visit my previous post for stormy weather images from the Outer Banks.

Stormy Weather

When I pulled out of the driveway that Saturday morning almost two weeks ago, the skies were slightly overcast and the temperature was 70 degrees F.  It was a lovely day to ride.

As I rode down through the mountains, heading towards the Outer Banks of North Carolina, I was filled with excitement about a week at the beach with the GOAs.  The Girls Of August have been taking a vacation together for over 20 years, and it is one of the highlights of the year for all of us.

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After riding 200 miles, I met up with Jan and we began the second half of the trip.  WIth 180 miles to go, and the skies beginning to darken, I was glad to have a friend to share the journey with.  As it became clear that rain was in our path, we transferred my gear from bike to car.

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It was such a relief to know that all my gear, including my camera, would stay dry in the car because before we knew it, the skies opened up.  It was a deluge!

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For over 100 miles we rode in driving wind and rain, and thunder and lightning.  Headed toward the coast, the road was flat with few opportunities for shelter in this rural part of the state.  At one point, we pulled off the road to seek shelter under an overpass.  I put my feet down at the stop sign, and the water was over the top of my boots!

Several cars and trucks were already idling under the overpass, and I had to laugh at the fact that I had stayed on the road longer than they had.  By the time Jan took these photos, the rain had calmed down a bit and most of the cars had continued on.

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You just have to keep smiling and ride safe.

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From this point onward, the weather became even worse.  It took all my energy to stay focused on the road, and I’m thankful that I wasn’t a newbie rider.  Imagine going up and over the bridge across the Pamlico Sound. In the dark. In the rain.  When we finally arrived, the only part of me that was dry was my head, thankfully protected by the helmet.  I’m so grateful that Jan had been with me.

How wonderful to have friends to greet us, drinks in hand.

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Our time in Nags Head was incredible, and we could not have asked for a better vacation.  We did however, experience one more huge storm.  While enjoying the beach one day, we watched the clouds roll in.

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The GOAs started to pack up beach bags and chairs, but being the lover of storms that I am, I decided that I’d stick it out on the beach.  Janet, too, decided to ride it out, and oh what a wild ride it was!

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Rain, thunder, lightning, hail.  Our beach towels offered meager protection! I kept my camera covered up inside a bag, and these cell phone images do not do justice to the weather that Mother Nature treated us to that day.  I’m so glad that Janet was there to witness it with me.

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When the storm finally settled down, we sent a text up to the house that all was well, and Jan and Becky sooned rejoined us on the beach.  Later that evening, we enjoyed the post storm beauty.

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What a gift.

Jennette’s Pier

I’m out on my morning power walk here on the Outer Banks of NC. What an amazing week: time with friends, delicious food, and gorgeous weather (and the power of Mother Nature during two wicked and wild storms, one while riding the motorcycle  – details later).

I’ll share more photos and stories when I get home, but for now am posting this cell phone / straight out of the camera image from inside Jennette’s Pier. First built in 1936, and rebuilt many times after being destroyed by hurricanes and nor’ easters, the pier is a stunning structure, loaded with history, and with educational displays focused on the ocean and all it’s creatures.

Can’t wait to tell you more about it! Hope you all are well, and I’ll look forward to visiting you soon.

** Please visit this link to learn more (and see much better images) of Jennette’s Pier **

Brewery Ride – Day 2

When Ike and his partners opened Old Bust Head Brewing Company (OBH) two years ago, there were only 40 other craft breweries in Virginia.  Today, there are over 100.  The craft beer industry is clearly booming, and I was ready to explore a few.

In my previous post, I wrote about my visit to OBH.  On the second day of my trip, I took the road south, back toward home.  Before doing that though, I stopped in Warrenton for coffee and breakfast.  Located in the horse and wine country of Fauquier County, this town of less than 10,000 people is just an hour from Washington DC.

The current County Court House, built in the 1800s, is the 6th one in Fauquier County, several before it having burned to the ground.

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As always, I prefer to visit a local restaurant or diner, even if it means bypassing the free continental breakfast at the hotel.   I sat outside and enjoyed a delicious cold brew coffee and egg croissant sandwich at Deja Brew.

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Before leaving town, I walked around looking for photo opportunities.  Historic buildings, quaint shops, and local restaurants abound in Warrenton.

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Warrenton is also an historic train town, and like many communities, converted an old rail line to a walking trail.  Phase 1 of the Warrenton Branch Greenway was dedicated in 1998.

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Lots of folks were out walking that morning, proving that local governments who invest in their communities improve the financial health of the locality, and the physical health of their citizens.

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After leaving Warrenton, I made a quick stop in Culpeper, another historic town in Virginia.

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Heading onward, I followed Rt 151 through Nelson County.

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Located at the base of the Blue Ridge, Nelson 151 is the home to Seven Wineries, Three Breweries, One Cidery, and One Distillery.  I definitely didn’t have enough time to visit them all, so a return visit to Nelson 151 is in order!  My next stop was Wild Wolf Brewing Company, where I kept it light with an American Pilsner.

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Check out those hops!

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From there I rode onward to Devil’s Backbone Brewing Company, makers of Vienna Lager, one of my favorite beers.

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What a fabulous day to be on the bike!

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By the time I pulled into my carport at the end of this brief but oh so great ride, I’d put 620 miles on the bike and a whole lot of happy in my heart.  Thanks for sticking with me through this long post.  Be sure to let me know if you’re going to be in the area. We’ll check out some more of Nelson 151 together!

Brewery Ride- Day 1

The sun streaming through my window had me awake and excited about a weekend on the bike.  Since I only planned to be gone for 36 hours, I was packed and on the road in no time.  Just 45 minutes later, I met my sister for breakfast, and then continued the trip by avoiding the interstate and riding the old state road, Rt 11 North.  The purpose of this trip, after all, was to have unscheduled, unplanned time.   To take my time, stop where I wanted, ride where I wanted, and to explore with no schedule.

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When I stopped in Buchanan to check out the swinging bridge, I saw that I had a Voice Message.  A good Samaritan had found the wallet that I didn’t know I’d lost 45 miles back in Salem.

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So much for leisurely riding!  I hit the interstate hard and fast, thinking the whole time how fortunate I was to have a good guy find my wallet.  It could have been a disaster! It turned out to be an hour and a half detour, but I was definitely not complaining.  Besides, the weather was perfect.

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The only definitive plan I had was to meet some highschool friends at Old Bust Head Brewing Company.  It had been over 35 years since I’d seen Ike, and I was looking forward to visiting the brewery that he and his wife had opened.  After riding 340 miles under clear skies and on dry roads, I rode the last 10 minutes in thunder, lightning, and rain.  Thankfully, Ike directed me into an empty garage space and I was able to keep the bike dry.

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I thoroughly enjoyed the Chinquapin Chestnut Porter, although rest assured that I am extremely careful when I ride the bike.

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Bill, another highschool friend, and his son Bobby, also came out for a mini-reunion.

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After hours of conversation, it was time to check into my hotel.  It was then that I realized that I’d only taken a couple photographs, and I decided I’d return to the brewery early the next day.  Despite being less than an hour from Washington DC, much of Fauquier County is rural, horse country, and the roads back to Old Bust Head made for heavenly morning riding.

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The brewing company is located on property that has changed hands and purposes several times as the centuries rolled by.

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When the U.S. Army moved out of the secret listening post they had installed on this old Virgina farm called Vint Hill, they left behind warehouse buildings full of history and intrigue (this from the Old Bust Head website).

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   Ike and his partners have reclaimed these buildings and have plenty of room to brew, imbibe, and expand in their 30,000 square foot facility (again, from the website). With so much redevelopment going on, directional signs are needed.

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Even with backtracking to reclaim my wallet, Day 1 of the ride was a blast!

 Stay tuned for Day 2!