Greensboro: Denim and The Gate City

Long before becoming the third largest city in North Carolina, Greensboro was known for being the largest denim maker in the world. As Greg and I walked around the city last weekend, we saw many signs of this denim history. As I stopped to capture this mural, the driver of the car that was idling right in front backed up so I could take the shot. How very cool! And how perfect that the guy leaning against the fence was wearing jeans. We stayed at Hotel Denim and would have eaten at Blue Denim restaurant if the tables had not been booked all evening.

To commemorate Greensboro’s rich history with the denim and textile industry, Wrangler, VF Jeanswear spearheaded a public art project, dubbed “Jeansboro”, of painted jeans sculptures all throughout downtown.

Greensboro is also called Gate City because by 1890 there were more than 60 trains passing through the city each day. It had become a major transportation center, largely because of the denim industry.

We enjoyed the street life, the historic buildings still in use, and visiting the International Civil Rights Center and Museum.

The International Civil Rights Center & Museum opened in 2010 as a comprehensive museum of the Civil Rights Movement in the United States. It commemorates the Feb. 1, 1960, beginning of sit-ins at a whites-only lunch counter in Greensboro, by the N.C. A&T Four college students, reflecting careful planning carried out with colleagues at Bennett College. Their non-violent direct action challenged the American People to make good on promises of personal equality and civic inclusion enunciated in the Constitution”.

Did you know that MLK was due to be in Greensboro the day that he was assassinated? He canceled his visit in order to remain in Memphis to continue his work with striking sanitation workers.

We only had 24 hours in Greensboro and are already ready to go back and explore some more!

Mount Mitchell

Covid-19 Update:  Since I picked back up on blogging, I’ve been sharing brief updates about our travels.  Rest assured, we are taking precautions.  Wearing masks, eating outdoors or take out (or in empty restaurants), and hand sanitizing.  We are doing our part to keep ourselves and others safe!

*****

On our way back home to Virginia from South Carolina a few weeks ago, we decided to take the Blue Ridge Parkway and stop in at Mount Mitchell State Park.

At 6684 Ft, Mount Mitchell is the highest peak east of the MIssissippi River and offers incredible views of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

As we climbed in elevation, the temperature dropped and the wind picked up.

We didn’t have time to get out on the trails, but we plan to return to do some hiking another time.  Thankfully, we were able to get back on the Blue Ridge Parkway and appreciate the views along the way home.

 

VA / KY / TN Celebrated, too!

Covid-19 Update:  Since I picked back up on blogging, I’ve been sharing brief updates about our travels.  Rest assured, we are taking precautions.  Wearing masks, eating outdoors or take out (or in empty restaurants), and hand sanitizing.  We are doing our part to keep ourselves and others safe!

*****

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! ❤

Pacific Coast Highway Tour: Astoria, OR to Newport, OR

We left Astoria knowing that we had less than 150 miles to drive.  Piece of cake, right?  Not on Highway 101 and not when we were stopping every few miles.

What an incredible day!  One minute it was gloriously sunny; the next it was raining, and all of it was wonderful!

I’d aleady had my feet in the Pacific Ocean off of the Washington Coast, and on this day I did the same in Oregon.

Haystack Rock on Cannon Beach

Whale Sighting!

Forgive me! I just realized that these next four images are from Cape Disappointment State Park in Washington!

The Astoria-Megler Bridge

My apologies for the lack of order of these photos! Hope you enjoyed them anyway!

Pacific Coast Highway Tour: 3 Hours in Seattle

What do you do when you have 3 hours in Seattle?  After arriving by plane from Virginia, and with WAY TOO MANY options, we picked up our rental car and made a quick stop at the Pike Place Market.

 

After enjoying Fish Tacos and a local craft beer, with vows to return, we took the Edmonds Kingston Ferry to the Olympic Peninsula.

Getting Back Into It: Bike Adventures

This year, I was able to ride into Pennsylvania, my 9th state on the bike (I also was able to visit Oregon, my 48th state overall … but that’s another story).  This image reveals my excitement about visiting Pennsylvania, Gettysburg to be specific.  I also rode through Western Maryland and West Virginia, both previously visited, during this 1200 mile ride in July.

You’ve heard me say this before, but I am FOR REAL, trying to find time for blogging!  It’ll probably just be some photography for now … but Let’s Go!

Sideling Hill

What? Is this an actual post from LB?  Yes indeed it is!

I’m still struggling to balance work / civic commitments / some fun and blogging, and while I’ve continued to contribute to Monochromia each week, I’ve clearly not done so well here.  I’ll make it back, I swear!!

This post links to my contribution to Monochromia this week.

I took a 1200 mile motorcycle ride last week, my annual solo trip, and had the joy of riding through this gap. The Sideling Hill Road Cut on Interstate 68 and US 40 in Western Maryland, is a 340 foot deep notch excavated from the ridge of Sideling Hill.  It is notable as an impressive man-made mountain pass, visible from miles away, and is considered to be one of the best rock exposures in Maryland and the entire northeastern United States.

The image on Monochromia is of the bridge that runs over the highway.

This last image shows the cut in the mountain from many miles away.

Be back soon (I hope!)

Pick Up Where I Left Off?

Not a day goes by that I don’t think about Life on the Bike and getting back into my blogging groove.  I’m 6 months behind on posting photos from various adventures.

Las Vegas, Nevada

Cape Charles, Virginia

Tallahassee, Florida

Knoxville, Tennessee

various Virginia State Parks

and Cincinnati, Ohio

I’ve worked alot, and volunteered alot.

Thankfully, I’ve played, alot, too.  I’ve traveled for fun and I’ve traveled for work.

I’ve worked on political campaigns and hosted non-political fundraisers.

I’ve riden the bike (not enough!) and managed to keep up with photography (again, not enough!).

And finally, I’ve missed WP and my blogging friends.

Slowly but surely, I’m finding my way back to my WordPress home!

Osceola & Renegade in Monochrome

My contribution to Monochromia this week.

A friend and I traveled to Tallahassee for the Virginia Tech / Florida State game last weekend and during a tour of the beautiful FSU Campus, saw the famous statue of Osceola, the historic leader of the Seminoles, and his Appaloosa horse, Renegade.

We enjoyed Tallahassee and even better, won the game! Go Hokies!

Driving the Great Ocean Road

When you last heard from me, I was preparing to drive the Great Ocean Road.  Driving that road is an incredible experience, but for those who are not used to driving on the “other” side of the road and on the “other” side of the car (notice that I didn’t say the “wrong” side), the Road creates an even greater challenge.

I’d hoped to rent a motorcycle and take the ride of a lifetime, but between the cost of rentals and the fact that I couldn’t find a bike to fit my 5′ tall body, I opted for a rental car.  I have to confess to feeling a bit nervous about driving in Australia.  I wasn’t so much worried about driving the Great Ocean Road, as I was about getting out of Melbourne!  I even told the folks at the rental agency that I’d pay someone to drive me out of the city 🙂  Ultimately, it all turned out perfectly, and while the car was a blast, after driving that road, I sure wish I could have ridden those curves on my Harley.

The Great Ocean Road is included on the Australian National Heritage List and at 243 km (151 mi), stretches along the south-eastern coast of Australia between the cities of Torquay and Allansford.  Construction on the road began in September of 1919 and was built by approximately 3000 returned servicemen as a war memorial for fellow servicemen who had been killed in World War I.  In addition to being dedicated as a memorial, the road also connected isolated settlements on the coast, and become a vital transport link for the timber industry and tourism.

As a visitor to Australia, seeing these signs along my route were welcome, and within minutes of driving out of the city, I stopped at my first Visitor Information Centre.

The incredibly friendly and informative folks at the Centre loaded up a reusable bag full of maps and pamphlets, which suited this map loving woman just fine.  GPS is great, of course, but I like to say that I use MAPS.  The volunteers recommended that I stop in Geelong, and I’m so glad that they did.   Located just southwest of Melbourne, Geelong  boasts a 19th-century carousel, a curved art deco boardwalk , and a several colorful sculptures that chronicle the city’s history.

After a lovely stroll along that curved boardwalk, I took off for Torquay, the surf capital of Australia, and the start of the Great Ocean Road.

On this, my first day on the road, I only managed to drive 90 km (50 mi).  I just couldn’t help myself: I had to keep stopping!

I mean, seriously! I think I pulled over at every possible place!  Including the Cape Otway Lightstation, built in 1848.

What an incredible gift it was to have the time to explore.  I had no plan other than to go, to see, to breathe.

The sound of those waves crashing on the shore were captivating, and in my next post, I’ll share some video.

The curves were fun to drive, and every so often, I was pleased to be the only car on the road.  At times, it seemed I could have been driving the Blue Ridge Parkway, as the road wound through lush, forested areas.  At other times, the road took me along the dramatic coastline.  I could have taken weeks, not days, to visit the many natural and historic wonders of this road, and I could have taken thousands and thousands of photos.

At the end of an amazing day, I stopped at the  Great Ocean Road Brewhouse for fish and chips and a nice, cold beer.  On this particular day, I’d worn one of my Harley t-shirts and as always happens when I travel, people come up and talk to me about motorcycles.  Even in this day and time, a woman who rides her own bike is still a big deal.  We also talked about the bracelets on our arms, representing loved ones gone too soon.

Next Post: Day Two on the Great Ocean Road