Wilderness Road State Park

Wilderness Road State Park is just about the farthest western point in the state of Virginia.  The park lies astride the Wilderness Road, a route carved by Daniel Boone in 1775.  The route, which followed a buffalo trace, opened America’s first western frontier.

Overlooking the park are the White Rocks, a ridge of 500 foot sandstone cliffs overlooking Powell Valley.  Follow this link to see an image of these gorgeous sandstone cliffs from the air.

The park is also home to a small herd of buffalo.  It broke my heart a bit to see them behind an electric fence.  I tried hard to capture an image that did not include the fence, but no such luck.  These impressive animals seemed sad to me, so I have to confess that I was glad when one of them stomped a foot and showed anger when I got a bit too close.

The park also features a replica of Martin’s Station, a colonial frontier fort that was on this site in 1775.

State Parks are the perfect way to combine the beauty of nature and a love of history.

 

Cumberland Gap National Historical Park

Two weeks ago, Greg and I spent the weekend exploring some of Southwest Virginia, Kentucky, and Tennessee, and part of that time was spent in Cumberland Gap National Historical Park.

“Where the borders of Tennessee, Kentucky, and Virginia converge, a path to new worlds appears. Early native Americans traveled through it along a game trail, before English-speaking settlers, including Daniel Boone, came through in the 1700s to carve out what became known as Wilderness Road. According to many accounts, between 200,000 and 300,000 settlers came through the Gap into Kentucky and beyond from 1775 to 1810” – https://www.nationalparks.org

I was standing in Virginia when I took the next photo and looked upon Kentucky.

In this last photo we celebrated Life and Election Results ❤

Skyline Drive

Historic Winchester, Virginia

VA / KY / TN Celebrated, too!

We spent last weekend traveling the roads of Southwest Virginia, Tennessee, and Kentucky. The colors on individual leaves and trees were so varied and drew my eye again and again.

What a glorious way to spend Election Weekend!

Mother Nature was celebrating, too! ❤

Morning in Big Stone Gap

My new husband Greg and I decided to spend the weekend near Cumberland Gap National Park, Tennessee and left out of his home town in far Southwest Virginia early this past Saturday morning.

Rake vs Blow

My memories of fall include the sound of leaves being raked and neighbors calling to one another to share a story or two while laboring outdoors together. Dogs and children would be jumping in leaf piles all while enjoying the smell of a chimney fire and the anticipation of a well earned fall beverage.
Now … there might be a wave but conversation is almost impossible because of the whine of the leafblowers.
Makes me sentimental for days gone by

Wedding

A Few Hours in Blacksburg

Last week, my friend Ruth and I visited the Blacksburg Museum in order to view the work of longtime Roanoke Times photographer Matt Gentry. Despite the fact that we have spent the last 6 months checking the CoVid19 status of every business and restaurant and potential activity, we somehow forgot to check this day.

Upon arrival at the Alexander Black House, which was built in 1897, we learned that the museum was temporarily closed due to CoVid19.  Despite our disappointment, the outdoor exhibits and the Queen Anne Victorian house were still worth exploring.  I did the best I could with my cellphone and was thankful for the beautiful day.

The exhibit Glass Reflections, created by artists Kate Golden, Paula Golden, Diane Relf and many community volunteers, is made of “serving plates, bowls, saucers, salt cellars and other glass / crystal dishes collected from antique stores and combined into flowers as garden accents that remind us of our parent’s and grandparent’s gardens”.

This next piece, Tryptic in Glass by Diana Relf, is created from “pieces of glass, many unused, discarded, and no longer valued. When combined they are both beautiful – and strong”.

Through the trees, I saw the house next door. The Thomas-Conner House, c.1878, is registered as a Virginia Historic Landmark.

Our next stop was the Hahn Horticultural Garden on the campus of Virginia Tech.   The garden was founded in 1984 and covers 5.8 acres. “The garden was renamed the Hahn Horticulture Garden in November 2004 in honor of Peggy L. Hahn who was First Lady of Virginia Tech from 1962 to 1974 during her husband’s tenure as President.  Their generous gift and bequest for expansion has had a significant impact on the garden – from the construction of the Peggy Lee Hahn Pavilion (2006) to the Hahn Meadow Garden (2008), as well as in other ways too numerous to list”.

My post-surgical status kept me from exploring as much as I would like so I look forward to going back!

Next time, we’ll pack a picnic and spend much more time exploring the gardens

Mothers With … and Without

Today, I am thinking of all the amazing women in my life and all that they have done for me and for those around them.

In particular today, I am thinking about the women without children.

They serve as guidance-givers to friends, family, and even strangers, and as role models and confidantes. They are our aunts, teachers, on-the-job mentors, and neighbors. They might not have given birth or raised children, but they’ve made a difference to the young people in their lives — nieces and nephews, and the children of their friends.

Whether by choice, or by other circumstance, these women earn just as much love and recognition as women with children.
Raising a glass to all mothers and mothers without children ❤