Road Trip Day 13 – South through Virginia to Tennessee

It was a misty morning in the little corner of West Virginia where I spent the night. I had decided to get on the road as early as possible, so packed my gear and lugged it down the twenty steps. I could hear a creek, so took a quick walk, but couldn’t get close to it because of the foliage, but I did see cows.

I grabbed a cup of coffee and an apricot bearclaw at this coffee shop down the road in Winchester, VA.

It was a beautiful drive, too misty to see much, but it gradually cleared and I enjoyed my drive through the Appalachians very much. I stayed on the interstate, not stopping much, and did manage a couple of pictures.

I’m in Elizabethton, TN tonight, staying in a studio loft in an old building next to the Doe River, which is a branch of the Watauga River. I can see the river and the covered bridge that the town is famous for, from my window. I took a little walk through town to get some food (disappointing) and walked through the bridge.

I’m really loving going to new places and seeing new sights, but I am also so ready to be home again.

Road Trip Day 10 – Hanging out with the kids

My daughter got up early to make homemade vegan biscuits, to eat with apple butter from yesterday’s fun. They were delicious!

It was a gorgeous day, temp in the 50’s in the morning, so we set off for a short hike and sat by the Deerfield River for a bit. It was really great to be out in nature. So much beauty in this area! If it weren’t for the winters, and being far from grandbabies, I would want to live here.

We went a bit farther down the road, to Shelburne Falls, investigating the shops, not buying much, and then had a really delicious lunch at Hearty Eats.

Ricotto balls, mushroom soup, mixed fries – all delicious!

Then we enjoyed walking across the bridge of flowers. So beautiful!

We found Mo’s Candy store at the other end, and I got some fudge for the trip home – hopefully I won’t eat it all, and can share some with the husband when I get home!

We returned home and enjoyed a game of scrabble —-

I’m so glad I go to spend time with these children of mine, 2000 miles from home.

Jungle trek

This morning we were told by our guide that we should wear something that we don’t mind getting wet. She also told us to be careful with what we took, anything could get wet if we slipped. We were going to take a hike to a waterfall and wade in a river. So I decided not to bring my phone, as others would be taking and sharing pictures.

The experience was beyond my imagination.

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A local guy named Will who also works at the ecolodge was our guide for this adventure. First, he handed out walking sticks, said they were required.

We started slowly down a wide path as he told us about the native plants and herbs, even tasting some of them. Gradually the walk got steeper, and I was thankful for theĀ  steps that had been fashioned into them. He continued to talk about the plants, trees, and wildlife in an engaging manner. Here are just a few photos: a pineapple (rare to see growing wild), a blue jean frog (poisonous) and this cactus thing attached to a tree.

facebook_15542084600867701877805844060198.jpgWe eventually came to a small rocky creek down in the valley. Turns out, this was the river. It is dry season, currently. In rainy season, it becomes a raging torrent. We were all grateful for our walking sticks as we stepped into the cold water and picked our way over the rocks.

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Then we saw it – a cascading waterfall at the end of a narrow passage. The water was knee deep at times. The fall plummeted into a small pool, and we took our turns getting into the waist deep water, our delighted screams at the frigid temperature filling the air.

I thought that we would have a similar hike back, but turned out that the way back was down the river! We walked through the ankle to knee deep water, admiring the green-covered canyon walls on each side.

Finally, reaching dry land, we had yet another treat! There was a pool, roughly filled in facebook_15542074609002787757350077073029.jpgwith concrete and rocks, fed by the river! As we oohed and aahed, Will gave each of us a chunk of the red clay natural to the area and demonstrated that we should wet it and rub it on our face and body! We had a marvelous time, and my skin felt extra smooth after this beauty treatment. It was like a spa in the forest!

 

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