Who We Are

We sold our home in June, 2007, and spent the next 7 1/2 years traveling full time in a Cross Roads Fifth Wheel. (We had been traveling during our summers for several years before going full time.) We loved the full-time lifestyle! Each summer we spent a month or two volunteering in State Parks, first in Indiana at McCormick's Creek State Park, near our family, then in later years as the grandchildren got older, at the Bluewater Lake State Park in New Mexico. We spent 6 months each winter at Cactus Gardens RV Resort in Yuma, AZ, where I worked mornings in the park office. The remaining months were spent on the road, seeing this great country of ours. Our favorite places are our National Parks. Anita loved photography and the freedom of digital photography, taking sometimes hundreds of photos in a day. We hiked as much as our legs will allow. We also really enjoyed square and round dancing as we travel across country, and meeting all the wonderful people who dance and/or travel.

But as in all things, there comes a time for change, and we decided it was time to create roots once more. In the fall of 2014, we purchased a home in Cactus Gardens, and in the spring of 2015, sold the 5th wheel. Anita also retired in the spring. We will continue to travel each summer, but for a shorter period of time. We hope to continue blogging about those trips, but it will obviously be on a more limited basis than in the past.

Please explore our past posts if you are interested in traveling this great country. You'll find an index in the left column. We hope you enjoy our blog, and appreciate all comments

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Blue Ridge Parkway – MP 120-46

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From Buena Vista, we returned to Roanoke via Interstate 81 to MP 120. 

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It was very foggy at the start, but had cleared up considerably by the time we reached the parkway.

Here, from an elevation of 2,170 feet, you can look down at a large granite quarry near Blue Ridge, Virginia a mile to the south.

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By mid-morning, we were seeing beautiful skies once more,

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but within an hour, it was once again looking like rain.

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We had thought to eat our picnic lunch at the Peaks of Otter picnic area, but upon seeing a busload of school children there, decided instead to opt for a more private location.  We had a tailgate lunch at a pull-off.

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We stopped at a trailhead, but after a short ways, decided it was more rugged than we wanted to tackle, especially with the chance of rain.

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At this point, we were near the highest point on the Parkway in Virginia at 3950 feet.  The views were beautiful.

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Every day on the Parkway has had its highlights for us.  Today it was the stop at the James River.

The James River flows from the mountains to the coast.  It is the largest river in Virginia and, historically, one of the state’s most important transportation corridors.2012-08-02 - Blue Ridge Parkway  - MP 120 - 46 (70)

Kanawha

Before the Civil War, investors built a canal, the Kanawha, from Richmond to Buchanan. Tow barges and packet boats, laden with flour, wheat, pig iron and dry goods made regular runs up and down the James.

The rapid expansion of railroads during the middle to late 1800s rendered commerce on the James River and the Kanawha obsolete.

A short walk over the river via a pedestrian section of the bridge leads to a restored section of lock is located at MP 63. 

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This lift lock, built in 1848 is 15 feet wide, 21 feet top to bottom, and 100 feet between gates.  It raised or lowered boats 13 feet allowing them passage to and from the river.

The bottom is covered with original pine planking and the walls are of local stone.2012-08-02 - Blue Ridge Parkway  - MP 120 - 46 (85)

Mules pulled the boats through the canal.

A long lever would have been attached here, as illustrated on the right, allowing the gates to be opened and closed by manual labor.  The crank shown allowed raising and lowering of the sluice gates.

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Water flowing from here to the river.

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Looking back at the bridge

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A few more miles took us to the Buena Vista Overlook, where we once again left the Parkway.

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 2012-08-02 - Blue Ridge Parkway  - MP 120 - 46 (100)

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3 comments:

Linda said...

This is such a pretty area, and you've shown it so well in your photographs. Very informative, too. Nicely done.

Traveling Square Dancers said...

Thanks Linda,
One more post and I should have the Blue Ridge Parkway posted...then on to the Skyline :-)

Traveling Square Dancers said...

I've included a link on our blog to yours, Linda.