Morning on the River

Just a couple hours on the water.

That’s all it takes to make me breath deeply and smile big.  It’s similar to how I feel on the bike.

Karen encouraged me to set aside the chores for the morning and get out on the river.

We are so fortunate to live on the New River, and can be on the water within 20 minutes of leaving our homes.  The New River is 360 mi (515 km) long and flows through the states of North Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia.

The part that runs through my little city has just a few Class 1 rapids, but it is often as smooth as glass, offering stunning reflections.

We saw lots of Great Blue Herons, and the fish were jumping right up out of the water.

The roots of this tree reveal evidence of the rise and fall of the water.

When floating this part of the river, you pass under 3 bridges.  The modern day train trestle, the remains of the historic bridge, and in the distance, the new Memorial Bridge.

I’ve posted images of this trestle in the past.  You may remember it.

Despite the risk, it’s hard not to pull out the camera when floating the river.  I keep the camera in a Scuba bag so as to protect it in case the kayak tips over, but even still, I’m always taking a chance when pulling it out of the water safe bag.

It was a perfect morning, and I feel such gratitude for natural wonders and dear friends.

As you read this scheduled post I am enjoying the annual Girls of August (GOA) get together.  You may remembering me telling you about the women that I attended graduate school with over 20 yrs ago.  The Girls Of August have been spending the first week of August together for over 20 years, and it is one of the highlights of the year for all of us.

See you when I get back!

New River Trail: Hiwassee Trestle

The New River Trail is a 57-mile linear park that follows an abandoned railroad right-of-way.  The rail corridor was donated to the state of Virginia by Norfolk Southern Corporation in 1986, and by summer 1987, the trail’s first four miles were opened.

The park parallels the scenic and historic New River for 39 miles and passes through four counties and the city of Galax.  The trail’s gentle slope makes it great for visitors of all ages to hike, bike and ride horseback.

The trail has two tunnels, three major bridges, and nearly 30 smaller bridges and trestles.  These photos, taken one after the other as I moved closer to the center of the bridge, are of the Hiwassee Bridge which is 951 feet in length.

The bridge allows all users to cross over the gorgeous New River.

Multiple access points to the New River Trail make it one of the most popular eco-tourism destinations in Southwest Virginia.  If you are ever in my neck of the woods, I’d love to take you there.  My great friend and fellow blogger Karen, from The Unassuming Hiker, can also show you around.  She and her husband section hiked all 57 miles.

Much of the text of this post was taken from the Department of Conservation and Recreation website, linked above.

2 Wheels / 2 Bikes


How wonderful it was to be HOME last weekend!  Especially when the weather was oh so fine.

I started the morning on the bicycle, putting in 16 miles along the river and on our bikeway / walkway.

Once back at the house, I knocked a few items off the “to do list” and then hit the road on the motorcycle.  I crossed over Claytor Lake, and then stopped for a few photos.

I parked the bike for a bit and walked over one of the New River Trail trestles (more photos of that coming soon).

Then it was back on the bike for the ride home.

I may not look happy, but believe me, I was!

View From the River’s Edge

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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”.

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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”.

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

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followed by a 200 mile group ride on the motorcycle.

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

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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?

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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

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

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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.

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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.

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

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I loved the mix of old and new,

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

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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!