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OUR FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY COMMEMORATION:

FOR OUR 50TH WE DECIDED TO DO THE TWO THINGS WE MOST ENJOY, ONE OF WHICH WAS OUR 5TH VISIT TO COLONIAL WILLIAMSBURG IN THE LAST 12 YEARS.

AND WE DROVE THE 101 MILES OF THE SHENANDOAH PARKWAY AND ALL 469 MILES OF THE AMAZING BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY. ONE THING IS FOR SURE: SISTER CAROL AND I BOTH LOVE NORTH CAROLINA...

Nearly 300 acres contain more than 90 building where you are immersed in 18th century America… we like it better than our 21st century… We have learned to stay in Colonial Housing so we can walk out our front door onto the grounds.  Sister Carol is particularly fond of the man (Bill Barker) who portrays Thomas Jefferson, but I’d like him better if he would stop flirting with my wife…He asked her “Where were you 200 years ago?”

BLUE RIDGE PARKWAY

HOLLY AND IVY PUT AN AROMA IN THE AIR FOUND ONLY IN THE DEEP WARM SOUTH.
MOUNTAIN LAUREL GROWS FROM ROCK OUTCROPPINGS, MOCKING GARDENERS EVERYWHERE.
ONE BIRD SINGS DOZENS OF DIFFERENT SONGS, MOCKING HIS PEERS.
AND THE MAGNIFICENCE OF GOD’S CREATION MAKES A MOCKERY OF VAIN HUMANITY.


COLONIAL WILLIAMSBURG


The 461.5 mile trip from our home to Front Royal, Virginia was uneventful and we arrived after about eight hours, having gotten 25.0 mpg and a comfortable ride from the last of the big Lincolns.  The next morning we were on the Skyline Drive for its entire 105 miles through the Shenandoah, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson Forests and each time we pulled over onto an ‘Overlook’ the view seemed more glorious than the last.  We know the earth is sin-cursed and devil-driven, but we found this unspoiled beauty to be soothing to our souls.  The 105 miles took us just under four hours to traverse. The Skyline Drive terminates at the beginning of the Blue Ridge Parkway which then runs for 469.1 miles southwest to the Great Smokies, but after just 64 miles and nearly two hours we went up a corkscrew road to Natural Bridge Virginia.  The bridge is a natural wonder and exists as the last vestige of what had been a cavern. The cavern collapsed except the portion which is now the bridge.Wednesday morning we left the Natural Bridge Historic Hotel, built in the same year we were married (1964), and looking every bit as old and tired as are we. Once back on the Blue Ridge Parkway we drove about 140 miles of the more mundane portion of the Parkway and at Mile Marker 200 we headed south to Mayberry (Mt. Airy) for a pork chop sandwich at the Blue Bird Diner where Barney Fife used to meet his secret flame, Juanita.

Our destination was Old Salem, the historical ‘town’ contiguous to the campus of Winston-Salem University for their “Juneteenth” celebration.  Back on the Blue Ridge Friday morning we found our favorite spot, just as we remembered it, and then we proceeded on to Boone North Carolina and Grandfather Mountain.  Between us, Sis. Carol and I have more than 142 years of looking at things and we agreed that the beauty of Grandfather Mountain and what you see from its mile-high swinging bridge were the most splendid things either of us had ever seen. We already had 1027.9 miles behind us as we started out Saturday morning knowing this day would be the longest of the year, the first day of. Summer, and the end of our Blue Ridge excursion.  The best part of the Blue Ridge experience lies between mile markers 300 and 450 as it climbs well over a mile high with views that stretch for scores of miles of pristine forests. The Blue Ridge near Asheville is over 5000 feet and we found it shrouded with fog so thick Sis. Carol was unnerved and I drove about 10 mph. At the Ranger Station we met some bikers who told us it would be clear in about ten miles but the sky turned into sunshine in less than two.  That was our only weather event the whole week. Where the Blue Ridge ends is where the tacky, over-crowded and always disappointing Great Smokies begin, so we skirted that park.  This was a long day of 296.1 miles and the return to civilization was quite melancholy. Still, home is a good place: there is no place like it.