View From the River’s Edge

_mg_7166-2

If it had been summer, I would have walked right into the river to better capture the late day sun adding light to the trees futher down the way.   Even still, it was a lovely site to see from this park called Riverview.

What a perfect name.

Motorcycle, Bicycle, and River, Oh My!

As I sat in the river yesterday, I thought of all the items on my “to do” list.  Yes, I was actually sitting in the Little River, and I was oh so happy.

_MG_5323-2

I looked up to see the smoke from the grill caught in the sunlight streaming through the trees, and in addition to my “to do” list, I thought about how fortunate I was.

_MG_5335-2

Surrounded by friends, on a gorgeous September afternoon, with laughter and the sound of flowing water providing amazing background music.

_MG_5308-2

The only thing that I could have wanted was more time to take care of that “to do” list.  Thankfully, I had an extra day off for that, and today is that extra day.  I’ve spent the last 8 hours scatching items off of that list, and that means it is finally time for WordPress, a chance to relive the weekend, and a visit to all of you.

After getting off work on Friday, I stopped by Rising Silo Brewery.

IMG_5226-2

Part of a ground-up movement, “the purpose of the brewery is to create fermented beverages from the best ingredients, overflowing with thought and authenticity in taste”.

IMG_5220-2

Rising Silo is a farm brewery, the foundation of which is Glade Road Growing, a farm located on a conservation easement, which means that it will permanently remain open space._MG_5213-2_MG_5211-2

How can you not love their mission: to create “an evolving space that community members near and far may gather to connect, dream, celebrate and relax. We believe in fresh food, true brews, and good people”.

IMG_5225-2

Saturday morning started with a solo, 17 mile ride on the bicycle, partly along the New River,

20160903_085800-3

followed by a 200 mile group ride on the motorcycle.

IMG_5263-2 20160903_163618-3

In my quest to improve my health, I even managed to run 2.5 miles!

_MG_5316-2

And all this fabulousness brings me back to today.

If being able to run, ride both bikes, and spend time on the water wasn’t enough, I’ve been gifted with this extra day, Labor Day, to get caught up.  It is so satisfying to see the “to do” list get shorter.

 Labor Day, a creation of the labor movement over 100 years ago, “is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country”.

While I know that I work hard every day, how is it that I still feel a twinge of guilt for being off today?

_MG_5285-2

One more great thing about this weekend?  The Hokies won, too.

Sam Rogers (45) carries the American flag to lead the Hokies into Lane Stadium for the first time this year.

Photo Credit: thekeyplay.com

Yes, College Football season is here, and I’ll be watching the FSU – Ole Miss game tonight while visiting all of you.

Greenville, SC and The Swamp Rabbit

A road trip to Atlanta to see my son had been on the calendar for months, and I could not wait to get started.

I opted for the truck instead of the motorcycle because most of the 800 mile round trip would have been spent on the interstate. Truth be told, my son is always happier when I am not riding the bike anyway.  Since I was leaving from the office at the end of the day, I decided to stop in Greenville, SC that first night.

_MG_2831-2

Greenville is known for it’s urban revitalization.  With a focus on public-private partnerships and investment in natural resources, the city is enjoying the success of a 30 yr endeavor.

I arrived in Greenville at 9:30 on Thursday evening, and as I always do when I travel, immediately went on the hunt for a local restaurant and a cold beer.  Local Que was just the place, and I enjoyed a BBQ Quesadilla and this Quest Smoked Porter. Yum!

13406873_10209185790339502_2081322616579936592_n-2

The next morning, I was up early to ride the Swamp Rabbit Trail, a 20 mile bicycle / pedestrian trail that follows along the Reedy River.

_MG_2810-2

Amenities along the trail include lighting, picnic areas, benches, water fountains, restrooms, signage and bicycle racks. Views of the Reedy River are plentiful along the trail.

_MG_2816-2

The Swamp Rabbit runs right through downtown Greenville and over The Liberty Bridge.

_MG_2822-2

“At 345 feet long, 12 feet wide and 8 inches thick, the concrete reinforced deck is supported by a single suspension cable”.

_MG_2824-3

As I stood there on the bridge, attempting to capture the beauty of Falls Park on an overly bright, sunny day, I could feel subtle movement beneath my feet.

_MG_2830-2

_MG_2829-2

Riding on, I passed this pre-civil war building.  The shell that remains is used for weddings and other events.

6/20/2016 –  I reached out to the Visitor’s Center for more information about this shell building and found out that it is the former Markley Carriage Factory Paint Shop.  It was part of an historic industrial complex constructed between 1850 and 1914.

_MG_2842-3

The Wyche Pavilion was built in 1904, and when sold, became the first factory for the production of Duke’s mayonnaise.

_MG_2846-2

_MG_2838-2 _MG_2841-2

I loved the mix of old and new,

_MG_2835-2

but mostly, I loved the commitment to appropriate growth, history, and nature that city leaders had.

_MG_2845-2_MG_2847-2

After a 14.5 mile ride, it was time to shower and get back on the road for Atlanta.

If you are ever in the area, be sure to explore Greenville. My visit was short, but oh so nice, and I look forward to a return visit.

Next Post: Atlanta!

Around Radford

Saturday dawned with a list of errands that needed running, and despite the expectation of rain, I decided to ride the bike.  It should surprise no one that I also made sure to find time to shoot some of the local scene.

_MG_1929-2

I wish I could give you a little back story about this courtyard and the wall that surrounds it, but I have no history.  The plan is to go to Facebook and see if some of the Radford locals can help me out.  Many is the time that I have tried to capture a photo to reflect the wall’s uniqueness, and many times I have deleted those images.  Not today!

_MG_1930-3

It was quite overcast, but clouds always make for intriguing images.

_MG_1899-3

The post processing here reflects the historic trestle over the New River, and a monochrome image will be posted on Monochromia sometime in the next few weeks.

_MG_1904-4

In order to get these images, I had to stop the bike and walk over the bridge.  Thankfully, this fencing only briefly obscures the view.

_MG_1913-4

Some friends have purchased, and while still running the business, are renovating this 50 yr old Pizza House.

_MG_1915-3

_MG_1917-3

A quick stop at a friend’s home yielded these Rhododendron images.  Such a gorgeous bud and bloom!

IMG_1938-7

Every item on the To Do List was checked off, and I enjoyed a cool, slightly drizzly ride.

Satisfaction indeed!

The Wonder of Florida

When you saw the title of this post, did you think about sun, tourists, and Disney World?  While those things certainly are identified with Florida, that’s not the Florida that I experienced almost 2 months ago.

_MG_1482

Those of you who know me will not be surprised to learn that just going over the Sunshine Skyway was exciting!  I wish Donna could have stopped the car but for some reason she didn’t think the Florida troopers would appreciate that too much 🙂  I do love a bridge and I’d have loved to have been on the bike!

My welcoming committee!

_MG_1488-2

My three day visit was jam packed! In fact, we rarely stopped exploring.  A brief, early morning visit to the beach …

_MG_1503-2

_MG_1509

… was followed by a stop at the Sarasota Farmer’s Market.

_MG_1529-2

_MG_1541

IMG_1516

IMG_1533

  Is this not the perfect view for lunch and a cold beer?

_MG_1545 _MG_1554

We spent time at the Myakka River State Park and it was during our time there that I KNEW I needed a zoom lens!  Visitors to Myakka can enjoy “the land in its natural state, a piece of the REAL FLORIDA”.

_MG_1661 _MG_1655

The Birds! The Gators!  The Trees!

“Myakka protects one of the state’s most diverse natural areas. The Myakka River, designated as a Florida Wild and Scenic River, flows through 58 square miles of wetlands, prairies, hammocks, and pinelands. Visitors can enjoy wildlife viewing from a boardwalk that stretches out over the Upper Myakka Lake, then take to the treetops with a stroll along the canopy walkway”

_MG_1616 _MG_1637 _MG_1730 _MG_1688

And then there’s the Canopy Walk!

_MG_1609

76 feet high, the walkway offers an incredible view over the park.  It was a bit hazy that day, but you’ll still be able to appreciate the vista.

_MG_1594

_MG_1598

_MG_1600

_MG_1601

The Airboat tour brought us up close and personal to the gators and other wildlife.

_MG_1713

_MG_1673

_MG_1703

_MG_1705

On our last evening, we took a long leisurely walk around the neighborhood, admiring the trees, flowers, and the sunset.

IMG_1739 IMG_1745

It was a wonderful 3 day getaway, one that ended far too quickly.  I’m already looking forward to next year and time with my dear friends!

_MG_1666

Myakka River

_MG_1685-2

A wonderful weekend in Florida with friends was well worth the craziness of life upon my return.  The Myakka River, designated as a Florida Wild and Scenic River, flows through 58 square miles of wetlands, prairies, hammocks, and pinelands in the Myakka River State Park.

And while I cannot wait to share stories and photos, I’m firmly convinced it is time for a zoom lens!

_MG_1489-2

I look forward to checking out your latest posts!