Anatomy of a Bridge

** This is a scheduled post  from a ride one week ago. As you read, I am in full Get Out The Vote mode! **

Another Sunday Ride. Another Old Bridge.

Something is definitely right in my world when I get to ride the bike two weekends in a row.  The rides haven’t been long but during this busy time in my life, I’m thrilled just to be riding on our beautifully curvy Southwest Virginia roads.

We were also able to explore another old bridge.  With this one no longer in use, we were able to take our time checking it out.

I thought of Joe as I photographed all of the rust, and as we looked at the many parts of the bridge, I couldn’t help but wish that I knew more about civil engineering.

 

I also loved the contrast between the man made structure and the natural world.

Soon enough we were back on the bikes and enjoying the wind in our faces.

As always, we ended the ride with a cold craft beer and this time, a brick oven pizza.

It was the perfect way way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

Hiking Buffalo Mountain

Thank goodness for friends who encourage you to add fun to the calendar, and Karen, from The Unassuming Hiker makes sure that we do.

A couple years ago, Karen started a hiking club for women of all ages and hiking abilities, and while the group often ventures out during the week, Karen makes sure to plan a weekend hike several times yearly for those not retired.   In addition, she schedules the date for those hikes several weeks in advance so that we make sure to set aside the time.

“Buffalo Mountain is one of the most significant natural areas in Virginia.  The combination of high-elevation (3,971 feet), wind-exposed openings at the summit, and magnesium rich soils make it unlike any place else in the Commonwealth”.

Karen suggested that we arrive early knowing that it would not be long before the trail became crowded.  The image below is the parking area that morning.  By the time we left a few hours later, the place was packed with cars jockeying for position in what few parking spaces were available.

It was a gorgeous fall day and the hike to the summit, while up hill the entire way, was only a mile.   What an incredible view!

The 4 of us have hiked together before and the comraderie, the combination of silence and talk, and the excitement of being outdoors is a great fit.

Being on top of a mountain is exhilarating and I scrambled around the rocks like a child, at one point losing my lens cap over the ledge.

Beth sent me these images and I’m sharing them because they reveal the feeling of being on top of the world.

The shale and rock were beautiful and while this image doesn’t show it well, the flecks of color glittered in the sunshine.

Climate change has affected the color of the leaves this year, but the beauty remains.

All in all, a wonderful day on Buffalo Mountain.

Please visit Karen’s blog post about our day and read about the kind folks we met along the way.

Ride: Bent Mountain

It’s fall but it still feels like summer, the earth still rotates on it’s axis, despite the political and weather related turmoil, and I am still posting on WP, even if not as much as in the past.  Election Day is in just 16 days, and with so much on the line here in Virginia, it’s hard to think of anything else.  My home is being used as base of operations for several candidates, and there’s lots going on.

In a nice change of pace, I’ve been home for the last two weekends, and I’m happy to report that I’ve spent some time on the bike, and a little time hiking in the mountains.   Mornings have been quiet and misty and lovely.

It doesn’t take long for the mist to burn away, revealing perfect ride days.  The leaves are changing and they fall down around us as we ride.  The many curves of our Southwest Virginia roads make for challenging and incredibly fun riding and the views are breathtaking.  And then there are the bridges.

We love to explore the detail of the old bridges that we come upon, and always hope to find the plaque that reveals the date that the bridge was built

 

It was less than a 200 mile day, but it was a much needed distraction from the woes of the world.

After enjoying a delicious lunch and a cold beer, we headed back to reality.

The Best

That’s what Thanksgiving is to me.  The Best Holiday of the Year.

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Family.   Friends.   Food.   Football.

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Enjoying the traditional Bloody Mary and Mom’s braided bread while watching the  Macy’s Parade, and the National Dog Show.

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No Gifts.   No Shopping.   No fighting over Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas.

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Just the colors and beauty of the season.

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Remembering the blessing of good health, and the opportunity to give to those less fortunate.

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Cheers, and Go Hokies!

Rising Up

Before I head out to do Thanksgiving Dinner Grocery Shopping, I wanted to share a few #Fall2016 photos.  Since the devastating results of the election, I’ve pulled out my camera only once or twice, and because of that, I’ve not really captured the beauty of fall.

I did snap a few though.  Two with the camera. Two with the cell phone.

Can you tell which image came from which camera?

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Thank you for being here. Your solidarity in devastation, your words of wisdom, and your hopeful spirits have been soothing to me.

Contentment Through Photography

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The contentment that comes with this post is two fold:

remembering the bike trip through the Smoky Mountains 2 years ago that allowed me to spend two days with nature and my camera (even if the trip did result in the bike wreck)

and,

knowing that soon, in 12 days, I’ll be spending a lot more time shooting!  And with visiting all of you!

Happy Fall, Ya’ll!!

Carrying Me Along

In the same way that this little leaf got carried along by this big leaf during the storms and flooding yesterday, I feel carried by you.

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My WP journey has lasted over 3 years and a big part of my happiness here has been getting to know you through visits to your blogs.  It is truly my intention to spend a lot more time virtually hanging out with you … in 35 days!  I can’t wait!

Thank you for your support and encouragement!