Friday Thoughts

Staunton 1

It’s a sunny, warm August morning in the Shenandoah Valley with hot summer temps on tap through the weekend. Local public school children returned to classes this week in a new school schedule for Augusta County, Staunton, and Waynesboro that begins earlier and ends by Memorial Day.

Some Friday morning thoughts….

Watching the skies: Did you see the Perseid meteor showers last night, the most prolific in 20 years? No, we didn’t either, but we all have another chance tonight for the most prolific showers in this annual event. We didn’t have artificial light issues here in the Shenandoah Valley and the skies were clear but the moon was bright enough to dim the stars. With competition from the Olympics, the meteors lost out in our attention span. Maybe we’ll check back tonight….

Watch out for the bears: If you’re heading to the Blue Ridge Mountains, keep an eye out for the black bears. Last weekend’s activity centered around the Humpback Rock picnic area along the Blue Ridge Parkway (MP 5-9) after a bear broke into a vehicle parked at Dripping Rock overlook which is a connector to the Appalachian Trail. Other reports of active bear activity caused authorities to close the Humpback Rock picnic area with trail warnings. See more here. Enjoy the mountains but stay safe out there.

Staunton area activities: If you’re heading to the central Shenandoah Valley, be sure to check out my 40 Things To Do In and Around Staunton for tips on historic areas, restaurants, hotels, and more.

Valley activities this weekend: On Saturday morning from 7-1, check out the Staunton-Augusta Farmers Market at the Wharf parking lot in downtown Staunton. The Shenandoah Valley Music Festival is going on all weekend at Orkney Springs in Shenandoah County, while closer to home the 19th annual Staunton Music Festival begins Friday and runs through next weekend. The Dayton Farmers Market offers yummy big soft pretzels, homemade chocolates and bakery goodies, produce, and unique shops for those looking for a special gift or décor. On Saturday yard sale officious will want to check out the Annual Route 11 Yard Crawl, featuring 43 miles of sidewalk sales, yard sales, food, wine, antiques, and more in the Northern Shenandoah Valley. There’s also hiking, camping, and picnicking to round out your weekend.

The Olympics: Can you believe the 2016 Olympics  have already been at it for a week? The U.S.A. continues to dominate with powerhouses like Michael Phelps — the guy is a machine — and fellow swimmers, the women’s gymnastics team, and many other athletes who grace our television and computer screens. As we head into week two, the Games continue….

Economic downturn: News this morning is that Ruby Tuesday will be closing 95 restaurants, and Logan’s Roadhouse  is filing bankruptcy and reorganizing, resulting in the closure of 18 restaurants, after continued losses in a soft market. Hopefully, those locations in Waynesboro will be not be affected. Beyond restaurants, Macy’s announced they will be closing 100 department stores.

It’s summer in the Shenandoah Valley … enjoy your weekend!

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