Friday, October 26, 2012

Blue Ridge Parkway Music Center

Oct 26, 2012 Fri
Well I can now die a happy person. I just spent the last four hours playing my spoons with a group of local musicians at the Blue Ridge Music Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway. During the summer they have concerts at their outdoor theatre and from May through Oct a group of local musicians entertain at the visitor center every day at noon. I told them I played spoons and they invited me to join them. After our four hour set they told me they have, in the past, had to ask people to stop playing, but they really enjoyed my spoon playing and ask me to come back anytime. I felt so privileged to be part of such a wonderful group.
There were fiddlers, banjo players, guitar players, a harmonica and a Dobro. I wasn’t the youngest person playing, but there were only a couple of people younger than me. They played old traditional Bluegrass. I’ve been exposed to Bluegrass most of my life and I listen to the XM 61 Bluegrass station quite often. I was familiar with most of the songs they played, but there were some old time numbers that were new to me. One of the older women in the audience got up and danced a jig. What a hoot. She could sure move those feet. This music center has been on my bucket list for some time. They have a wonderful interactive set of displays that teach about the beginning of mountain music. You could spend an entire day viewing all the displays. If you have any interest at all in mountain music or just history in general this is a must see for you.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Shenandoah National Park VA

Oct 22, 23, 2012 Mon – Tue
I spent the last two days exploring Skyline Drive in the Shenandoah National Park VA. Skyline Drive follows the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains for 105 miles. At its southern end it joins the Blue Ridge Parkway, which stretches 469 miles to Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
I spent so much time in Vermont and New Hampshire by the time I arrived in VA the leaves were past peak. There was still some color, but all of the oaks were already shedding their now brown leaves. Here are some views from along the ridge.
Sunset on the Shenandoah Valley VA
Shenandoah Valley from Skyline Drive VA
Skyline Drive - Shenandoah NP VA
Tunnel on Skyline Drive - Shenandoah NP VA
Vines on Cliff
Shenandoah NP VA
View from Skyline Drive - Shenandoah NP VA
Shenandoah NP VA
Looking East from Skyline Drive - Shenandoah NP VA
Looking East from Skyline Drive - Shenandoah NP VA

Saturday, October 20, 2012


Oct 15, 1012 Mon
On my way out of PA I stopped by Gettysburg. I am sooooo glad I made this detour. I’m sure you are all aware of the Civil War battle of Gettysburg and the speech given by Lincoln. The national park service has a new visitor center in Gettysburg. The center includes a wonderful museum, an informational movie, and an awesome diorama.
At the visitor center you can also catch a bus tour or a tour with a private guide, or rent a CD and take your own auto tour at your own pace.
My campground provided me with the two CD self-guided auto tour of the battlefields. This is about a 25 mile trip.
The battlefields have hundreds of statues, monuments, and artifacts. The Cd's were very informative. I was able to spend as much time as I chose at each stop or in between stops. This was a great way to tour Gettysburg. The CD’s do not pull any punches when it comes to describing the horrible conditions and atrocities of war. The CD’s tell of wagons full of amputated limbs from wounded soldiers. They tell the story of a local stream that ran red with the blood of fallen soldiers. It even includes artillery fire in the background as it describes the movement of the troops.
One night a storm formed and we had lightning and thunder and so much rain all at once I thought I would float away. I couldn’t help but think of the thousands of soldiers living and fighting and lying wounded out in the open fields in these conditions with 1860’s equipment.
I stood near the spot where Lincoln gave the now famous Gettysburg address. I talked to ghosts in the cemetery and on the battlefields.
Will we ever be a world without war? It’s such a stupid concept.
I highly recommend a stop at Gettysburg if you find yourself in the area or even if it's out of the way.
Cemetery Hill - Gettysburg
3 Inch Ordnance Rifle and View from Cemetery Hill - Gettysburg
Lookout at Little Round Top - Gettysburg
On Little Round Top Looking Toward the Pennsylvania Monument - Gettysburg
 Robert E Lee and his horse Traveller -Gettysbury
Artillary - Gettysburg
Monument to Irish Troops from NY - Gettysburg
Ordnance Wagons - Gettysburg
Major General Oliver Otis Howard from Maine - Gettysburg
Eternal Flame - Gettysburg
12 Pounder Napoleon - Gettysburg
Father William Corby Chaplain - Gettysburg
A very sad place with hundreds of graves marked as unknown
Soldiers National Memorial - Gettysburg
Lincoln stood near this spot when he gave the Gettysburg address

PTown MA

Oct 13, 2012 Sat
I wanted to see the Cape Cod National Seashore so while I was there I stopped at Ptown for lunch.
View from the Restaurant Provincetown MA
Race Point Light near Provincetown MA
Memorial Stone Provincetown MA
Pilgram Monument Provincetown MA
Town Hall and TV's Provinetown MA
Street Scene Ptown

Duck tour of Boston and RI Capitol

Oct 12, 2012 Fri
I stopped by Boston, but my left foot was acting up and I could hardly walk. I ended up taking a duck tour. This means I didn’t really see Boston. I sort of passed by a few landmarks and took a ride on the St. Charles river.
This foot may cause me to change my plans and return to my doc in CA. Hope not.
 While in the Boston area I drove over to the capitol building in Providence RI.
A duck tour vehicle on the St Charles river Boston
Capitol Building Provendence RI

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Vermont Covered Bridges

There are over 100 covered bridges in Vermont. Many of Vermont's covered bridges were damaged or destroyed when hurricane Irene hit the east coast in 2011. So I found several bridges in various stages of restoration. Needless to say I did not visit all of the covered bridges; although, I would love to. It did seem that every time there was a stream or small river there was a bridge to be found. The Vermont visitor map has little bridge icons where the bridges are located, but no directions just an icon next to a river or stream. This is where the locals really came in handy. Many of the bridges were down dirt roads with no clue that a bridge was to be found. One time I was given directions to 4 bridges at one time. I had to remember all the directions. That was a challenge at my age. That reminds me of a sign I saw at one of the tourist stores I visited. It read "I would be nostalgic, but I can't remember anything".

Flint covered bridge - over White River - Turnbridge VT - 1845
Mill covered bridge - over White River - Turnbridge VT - 1883
Larkin covered bridge - over White River Turnbridge VT - 1902
Upper Falls covered bridge - over Black River - Weathsfield VT - 1840
Taftsville covered bridge - over Ottauquechee River - Taftsville VT - 1836 - being restored
Stoughten covered bridge on private property - near Downers VT - 1880
Slaughter House covered bridge - over Dog River - Northfield Falls VT - 1872
School House covered bridge - over Passumpsic River - Lyndon VT - 1879

Chamberlain covered bridge - over Passumpsic River - Lyndon VT - 1881

Millers Run covered bridge - Lydon VT - 1878
Sanborn covered bridge - over Passumpsic River - Lyndon VT - 1867
Salmond covered bridge - Over Sherman Brook - Weathersfield VT - 1875
Roy Ingalls covered bridge - over Black River - Conventry VT - 1881
Martin covered bridge - over Winooski River - Plainsfield VT -
Lords Creek covered bridge - over Black River - Irasburg VT - 1881
Gorham covered bridge - over Otter Creek - Pittsford VT - 1882
Fisher Railroad covered bridge - over Lamoille River - Wolcott VT - 1902
Emily's covedred bridge - over Gold Brook - Stowe VT - 1844
Creamery covered bridge - over Whetstone Brook - Brattleboro VT - 1879
Coburn covered bridge - over Winooski River - Plainsfield VT - 1890
Cilley covered bridge - over White River - Turnbridge VT - 1883
Chapel on the Green and West Arlington covered bridge - over Batten Kill River - VT - 1852