Monday, May 26, 2008

The foothills of NC as seen from Fancy Gap, VA

We spent a couple of beautiful and cool days "up the mountain" at Fancy Gap, VA just off the Blue Ridge Parkway, relaxing and visiting with family. Totally unplugged. No computer, no cell phone (Verizon Wireless is dead on that mountain, can't get in or out. Annoying and also oddly refreshing, that. The landline works fine at least.) No screaming cable TV. Books, CDs, a Weber grill, a deck with a view, and a bottle or three of wine.

Below, a pic from the deck Saturday night. If you click to make it larger, you can see Pilot Mountain in the distance, the lights of Winston-Salem on the horizon to the left of Pilot Mountain, and the bright lights of Mt. Airy, NC on the right, closer. (You can click it to bring up a larger picture.)

Sunday we decided to go to Foster Falls, Virginia and have a picnic. The New River Trail runs for 57 miles and 39 miles are along the New River, which may be one of the oldest rivers in the world.

You can walk all the way across the New River at Foster Falls on this, and other, ledges that form the gentle 'falls' here. It's fun to do, but the rocks can be slippery if you don't have on good, grippy sandals.

We went for a hike along the New River Trail and saw bicyclists, horse-riders, and other hikers. Below is the tunnel at Austinville on the New River Trail. I found out that Austinville was named for the Austin family who owned the lead mines at the river for a couple hundred years. Stephen F. Austin, the son, moved to Texas as a young man and later became known as "the father of Texas." You know, the guy that Austin, Texas was named for.

After a full day, we enjoyed brats on the grill. Yum. (Sorry, couldn't resist a food pic.)

The wild blaze azaleas and the rhodies are blooming right now too.


Jack said...

Awesome pics (as usual). That view from the deck is just damn impressive. I could sit there for hours just gazing. It looks like it was an especially clear evening.

And the brats? Now THAT'S what I'm talking about!

Thanks for sharing.

Wannabe Elizabeth Lawrence said...

I think the wild rhodies are a couple weeks behind the domesticated kinds in the yards.

toastie said...

Nice pics! The first looks like something out of Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

Jack said...

When I look at that picture with the lake in the background and the picnic basket in the foreground I can imagine that Andy Taylor and Helen Crump will soon step into the frame.

Very "Myers Lake".

Durham Bull Pen said...

Jack: bonus points for Andy Griffith references!

Next trip up, we'll check out Foster Falls. The pictures truly can't capture how tranquil and beautiful it is there beside the river.

Toastie: I was thinking about your comment all day--you are right, it is kinda freaky looking in a science-fiction way.

Durham Bull Pen said...

Adding this also on the Pilot Mountain picture:

The range that you see in the distance is the Sauratown Mountain range in NC. The mountain with the lighted red towers to the left of the Winston-Salem lights is the Sauratown Mountain itself, and to the left of it is Hanging Rock (Moore's Knob).

Great hiking and camping at Hanging Rock State Park and Pilot Mountain State Park, and only about 2 hours by car from Durham. Another 30 minutes on 52-North puts you on the Blue Ridge Parkway.


Weasel Higgins said...

The smoke off the brats seems real, as if it's coming off the screen!