Posts Tagged ‘virginia’

“If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.” — Frances Hodgson Burnett, “The Secret Garden”

Natural Bridge as painted by David Johnson in 1860.

Adventures with Pepper: Day 31 continued 

A 2005 photo of Natural Bridge — Wikipedia photo

I had a fantastic day’s drive this first day of my journey on the Blue Ridge Parkway, despite one big disappointment.

In my perusal of sights along the parkway, I had seen pictures of Natural Bridge and wanted to see it for myself. I didn’t know it was a tourist trap. The entrance to the bridge was on the inside of a gift shop, and a walk down to see it would cost me $20.

The cost of the ticket included some extras, but all I wanted was to see Mother Nature’s creation in a natural setting. When I saw the crowds, and realized the setting would be staged, I passed.

Instead, I back-tracked to Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Natural Bridge Campground, where I had reservations, and checked in early. I like the family atmosphere of Yogi’s campgrounds — and the 50 percent discount I got from this one as a Passport America member.

After hooking up, I had plenty of time to take Pepper for a nice walk down to the James River, which ran along one edge of the park. I had the river to myself, and sat for a while beside it at a picnic table watching Pepper chase fall leaves.

Book Report: Travels with Maggie is now up to 58,302 words.

Bean’s Pat: Discovering Myself http://tinyurl.com/9kfpuuk I’ve been traveling through fantastic fall color country. But this blogger has some fantastic shots of Minnesota’s fall colors. Take a look.

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“Hitler didn’t travel. Stalin didn’t travel. Saddam Hussein never traveled. They didn’t want to have their orthodoxy challenged.” — Howard Gardner

The purple cow at Highway 340 North Campground near Waynesboro, Virginia. — Photo by Pat Bean

Adventures with Pepper: Days 29-30

            Only a few days have passed since my mind wondered and wandered during a drive through Indiana in which I quoted “I never saw a purple cow, I never hope to see one …” to my canine traveling companion, Pepper.

Just in case you’re not into purple cows, what do you think about butterflies. I photographed this near the purple cow. — Photo by Pat Bean

Well, at the end of my gorgeous day’s drive through Shenandoah National Park, I was confronted with a purple cow. How funny, I thought, as I checked into the Highway 340 North RV Park just outside of Waynesboro, Virginia.

As almost all the places I had stayed at during the trip, it was quite nice with lots of friendly people. I decided to stay over a day and catch up on laundry and writing before I began my drive down the Blue Ridge Parkway

Book Report: I didn’t travel today and Travels with Maggie benefitted. The book is now up to 56,782 words.  It was a fun rewriting day as I got to relive my trip to Hawk Mountain with my oldest granddaughter, Shanna.

The Wondering Wanderer’s blog pick of the day.

Bean’s Pat: Fall colors in Minnesota http://tinyurl.com/9d3wjfq I never tire of Mother Nature’s autumn. How about you?

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Layers and layers of colors ending in blue. — Photo by Pat Bean

“Heroes take journeys, confront dragons, and discover the treasure of their true selves.”
—Carol Pearson

Adventures with Pepper: Day 29

The wildflower season along Skyline Trail had ended, but their were still a few flowers, like this small beauty with drops of rain still coating its leaves, to be seen. — Photo by Pat Bean

While the rain had stopped, the morning was still overcast. It was going to be a dreary drive through Shenandoah National Park, I thought.

But then Mother Nature took pity on me. I had just barely started my day’s drive down the park’s 105-mile Skyline Trail when the sun came out and bathed the landscape with its light.

Rain drops on leaves glistened in the sunlight and the passing foliage took on a warm glow.

The leaves of the maples, oaks, elms, beeches, aspens and many others, were a variegated palette of color. They reminded me of the mixed-color yarn my mother often used in making afghans. If she were using Mother Nature’s half-summer/half-autumn colors this day, her crocheted blankets would range in hues from green to lemon yellow with shades of orange, plum and scarlet in between.

Rag Mountain framed by an old dead tree I found interesting. — Photo by Pat Bean

Shenandoah National Park is a long, narrow mixture of lands and forests woven together in a landscape protected for both its beauty and its wildness. Its Skyline Trail is a narrow, winding, hilly road with a 35 mph speed limit designed as the way for people in cars to enjoy it.

With 75 overlooks – I know I stopped at least half of them – and inviting trails leading away from the smell of the road,  Pepper and I found many reasons to at least briefly abandon Gypsy Lee, out home on wheels. .

It took me over seven hours to get through the park.  It would have been longer if I hadn’t have wanted to get off the road and Gypsy Lee hooked up to civilization before dark.

Book Report: Just to keep it moving forward, I added another few words, bringing Travels with Maggie up to 56,103. I think for the next two weeks, until I get off the road for a bit, the book is truly going to be moving at a snail’s pace. I have writing commitments for Story Circle Network of which I’m a board member and other priorities this coming week, plus other priorities on this current journey. I hope I’m not just making excuses.

The Wondering Wanderer’s blog pick of the day

Bean’s Pat: Unusual Travel Tradition http://tinyurl.com/9f3amqx This blogger sees the funny side of travel. A new find for me.

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            “Into each life some rain must fall.” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow  

Adventures with Pepper: Day 28

Earlier in the season, the playground and pool at Front Royal RV Park would have been cheery and bright. In the rainy day I was there, it just looked empty and forlorn. — Photo by Pat Bean

            After yesterday’s long, hard drive, I knew I was going to sit this day out at the Front Royal RV Park.

It was a big campground, and it was getting ready to close for the season. Unlike southern RV parks, which stay open all year, more northern ones start closing down as early as mid-September. Except for half a dozen RVs with a permanent look about them, and a couple of late evening drop-ins, I had the park to myself.

It would have been a great opportunity for a couple of long walks to stretch my legs and give my 10-month-old canine traveling companion, Pepper, an opportunity to use up some of her excess of energy.

Pepper watching the rain an oh so wanting to go outside and play. — Photo by Pat Bean

But it had started raining shortly after I had pulled into the campground, and it didn’t let up the entire day.The short walks Pepper and I took during slack times were with an umbrella for me, and a towel waiting inside of the door of Gypsy Lee to dry off my four-footed friend.

The rest of the time, she and I watched the world behind rain-drop spotted windows.

Book Report: Still stuck. I needed and took a day of rejuvenation yesterday, and wrote not a single word on any of my writing projects, including this blog.

Bean’s Pat:   No recommendation from the Wondering Wanderer today either. My list of ones I wanted to give a Bean’s Pat vanished. I think it had something to do with my trying to clean up my computer.

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