Nancy Cycles!

Nancy Cycles!
"You got to be careful if you don't know where you are going, because you might not get there." ... Yogi Berra

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Last day at Lake James

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Woke up to rain this morning. So there were indoor activities like "Mexican Train", reading, blogging, playing Candy Land, napping.

By mid morning the sun was peeking through the clouds and the rain had stopped. I took myself on the bike ride around the lake again, solo. I used Sally's bike this time, and even though I had raised the seat as far as it would go, it was too small and so not very comfortable. I still enjoyed my ride, but the low saddle height was starting to cause pain in my knee. So I slowed down on even the smallest of hills to guard my knees.

We will have our evening dinner together and then start our packing for tomorrow's departure for the airport. It will be a little difficult to leave this little paradise, and to say goodbye to everyone. As they say -- parting is indeed such sweet sorrow...

More than likely this will be my final post for this adventure, but I will be back for my next adventure near the end of September. Come back then ;'-)

Continuing at Lake James

Saturday, August 18, 2012

I, of course, was wanting a bike ride in North Carolina which would make the 18th state I have biked in.

Four others were up for it so we did a circumnavigation around the Lake. It was a cloudy and cool mid morning which made for good riding weather. Slightly past the half way point we did get rained on, but soon we were out of the shower and on dry road where the rain had apparently missed.

We passed an old and abandoned dairy farm, and though we got only a few of glimpses of the lake, we were surrounded by trees and forest.


Once home and fed, the weather lightened up and we enjoyed more play in the water.




The hot tub felt great after this (once again) full and active day. And THEN the delicious, mouth watering, expertly prepared barbecued pork, corn on the cob, cole slaw and baked beans dinner!!! Our hosts are gracious and generous, and we so appreciate it all.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Lake James, North Carolina

Thursday and Friday, August 16 & 17, 2012

After riding the Virginia Creeper Trail we stopped in the (rather exquisite) town of Blowing Rock for dinner. We may have been a little under dressed in our cycling togs, but no one seemed to care, and most of the diners were also casually dressed. We had a delicious meal, and Susan, Sally and Jessica enjoyed a "Damn That's Good" Southern Comfort cocktail concoction.

Dinner time got us to Sally's house in the late of the evening and soon we were heading for bed.

In the morning it was time to enjoy the lake!


Not only is it beautiful, but the water is warm! Coming from Seattle where water temp is anywhere from 60 to 72ish degrees (depending if in the Sound or Lake Washington), Lake James feels almost like bath water at 85 degrees.

We kayaked about 5 miles to and from the State Park across the lake, and into a cove for some fly fishing -- for guess who. The hotdog stand provided our lunch before the paddle back home. *Then* we swam for a while in the delightful waters before showering and preparing for dinner. What a fine day.

Late that night (Thursday) more family arrived (Mary, Sarah, Jeremy, Jaydon, Lucie), and cousin Jay would soon arrive to round out the clan.

Each found their activity of choice on Friday morning -- swim and play in the lake, a long walk around the area, reading and snoozing on the porch, hot tubbing, a mini bike ride, and catching up with (and reminiscing about) family stories. Will try to get photos of lake play for the next day.


It is so nice here -- and so relaxing. Everyone is having the very best time!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Virginia Creeper Trail

Wednesday, August 15

On the way to Sally's we did a little side trip that Bill and Carol had arranged. They had called to reserve bikes and coordinate the shuttle that would take us to the top of the hill so we could ride *down* the Virginia Creeper Trail for 17 miles. Sally had driven there from her home and was there to meet us, and we had niece Jessica in tow.

It was a little drizzly, but we ended up not needing the ponchos we bought at the last minute. The shuttle driver talked with us the entire drive and was very helpful and thoughtful of us.

We did the finishing touches on our assigned ride and lined up for a group photo.

At about the 20 yard mark we hit soft sand and both Carol and I ended up swashling off the trail and onto the grass, then Carol took a tumble as she was unwinding herself from the bike. Everyone else turned around and returned to see what had happened and to ensure we were OK.

And finally we were cruising down the unpaved Creeper Trail.

We had been told by Sally to be cautious and alert on the bridges because snakes often sun themselves on the warm wooden surface. We didn't have too much to worry about on this wet and cool day, but we were cautious just the same.

The volunteers (who are from Gig Harbor, a neighboring town of Seattle) at Green Grove Station Visitor Center told us to look down from bridge number 33 where sightings of snakes had been reported. Jessica and I wondered why everyone wanted to stop and look, but we obliged. We all searched over the railing, but alas, saw no snake. YES!

What a fantastic ride we had ---- all down hill! The driver told us that 98% (how does he know?) of those who ride the Creeper do it the way we were doing it. The whole trail is longer, but this is apparently the nicest part. The forested trail meanders along a river (didn't get the name) that can be seen for much of the distance, and who can pass up down hill?

We leave Lynchburg

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

We leave our morning breakfast nook, our reading time, and and all the little things we had while here with Bill and Carol: the Saturday market & breakfast at the bakery, the local bike trail, Carol's water aerobics (Splash Class), and Bill's wealth of knowledge. Did you know that Virginia is the only state where you live in either a *city* or a *county* but not both? A town that has a certain number (we think 5000) of residents in a county can apply to be a city. If they become a city, they are no longer a part of the county. I don't know, but I think it has something to do with tax advantages??

Our time in and around Lynchburg was exceptionally special because of Carol and Bill, and that they could be with us for so much of the local adventure made it that much better. The history, the sights and countryside, the hard cider stop, baseball from the skybox, the biking and the market breakfast are but a few of the things that filled our days, and they, the special two, filled our hearts. At least as we leave their town, we take them with us -- or rather they take us -- to their daughter's home on the lake for their family reunion. So ---- we're not done yet!

Appomatox and a baseball game

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

More Civil War history for us at Appomatox where General Lee surrendered his troops to General Grant in April, 1865.

We joined Miss Emma Hix, who lived here in 1865, to hear the story of her quiet, sleepy town of Appomatox.
As we gathered on the front porch of her father's store, she told us of life in the town and how no one could think of a reason that it could be attacked. But attacked it was, just before the surrender. She related the hardships of war, how food staples were hard to get, and how many of the young boys she knew, and had gone to school with, had been killed or injured in battle.

Miss Emma was kind enough to allow me to capture her image with the little black box I carry with me, even though she was familiar with neither the process nor the concept of a *camera*.
After the Civil War surrender at Appomatox we had to get home and prepare for our night at the ball game. Bill and Carol attend the annual fund raiser game and we got skybox tickets to watch the Lynchburg Hillcats beat the Myrtle Beach (SC) Pelicans by 8-5. This was a new adventure for us. We had never attended a baseball game together, and each think we have attended two other games in our lifetime! It was fun to enjoy the local teams, watch the entertainment between innings and when the teams changed fields, and partake in the hot dogs and hamburgers provided for us.



Internet and wifi coverage where we now are is so slow and unpredictable, it has taken me all morning to upload photos and finish this post. I don't know when I will get the next one posted --- but I will sometime!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Monticello - The Big House

Almost every morning we begin the day with breakfast at the dining room table enjoying casual conversation while we are entertained by the nuthatches, flinches, blue jays, bright red cardinal and other birds at the backyard feeders. The deer appear cute to us, but around here they are pests that many refer to as "rats on stilts" (except cuter) as they eat all the flowers and vegetation in everyone's yard. The babies with their white spotted rumps are hard to think of as "rats" or even pests for that matter. But so they are.

Susan and I were on our own for this day's adventure. Bill and Carol gave us their car for the day, we punched our destination into our GPS, took the map Bill had outlined for us, and braved the strange world.

Poplar Forest in Bedford was Thomas Jefferson's country retreat. His real home was Monticello. He taught himself to be an architect, and designed every aspect of Monticello, modifying it's buildings and landscape over a period of 40 years. The thing I remembered from my visits here oh so many years ago was the clock. It is seen from the outside of the house as well as inside, and inside it also indicates the day of the week. Quite a trick back in the day of Jefferson. No photos allowed inside the house, so this one is of the outside side of the clock.

We learned a lot about Thomas from our tour guide of the house. We walked around the property and under the house where all the "guts" are -- food storage, kitchen, cook's quarters -- and tried to imagine life at that time. Even though Jefferson believed "all men are created equal" and felt everyone had the right of liberty, he owned somewhere around 600 slaves and freed only about 6 of them in his lifetime. A product of his time.