31 Days of October, Day 10

It’s autumn and the spiders have been extra busy. The past two mornings we’ve noticed their half-moon webs in the coreopsis and on shrubs.

We left in the morning to take a drive to Highland County to check on how the fall leaves were coming along (slowly), and then continued on into West Virginia to check our some other favorite leaf peeping areas (no big changes yet). Taking the back roads that made a big block from Staunton, we ended up at Green Bank, Cass Railroad, and Snowshoe Mountain.

Highland County west of Monterey.

A high valley bog in western Highland County.

Rt. 250 entering West Virginia.

A favorite leaf peeping spot along Rt. 28 north of Thornwood in West Virginia.

Deep in the West Virginia mountains off a gravel road on the edge of a forest with a roof covered in moss and sprouting trees, do you think we found a troll’s house? #MonongahelaNationalForest

Green Bank … the whispering place … home of the huge satellite dishes that listen to the universe, plainly visible against the West Virginia mountains.

“The trailblazers of American radio astronomy called Green Bank Observatory home over 60 years ago. Today, their legacy is alive and well. Nestled in the mountain ranges and farmland of West Virginia, within the National Radio Quiet Zone (NRQZ), radio astronomers are listening to the remote whispers of the universe, in order to discover answers to our most astounding astronomical questions.”

Wonder if anyone is out there listening back….? 🙂


Cass Scenic Railroad State Park is a reminder of West Virginia’s logging days. In addition to the town’s lumber history, in 1955 the Cass General Store was the largest in the U.S.

“Take a trip back to an era when steam-driven locomotives were an essential part of every day life. Trips to Cass Scenic Railroad State Park are filled with rich history, unparalleled views and the sights and sounds of an original lumbering town.

“The town of Cass remains relatively unchanged since its founding in 1901 by the West Virginia Pulp and Paper Company. Cass was built as a company town for the loggers who worked in the nearby mountains. Construction of the railroad started in 1901. It was used to haul lumber to the mill at Cass.

“The railroad track was eventually extended to the top of Bald Knob, the third highest mountain peak in West Virginia. In June 1942, the Cass operation was sold to Mower Lumber Company, which operated the town until July 1960, when the mill and railroad were shut down due to rapid decline of the timber industry in the region.

“In 1961, Cass was brought into the state parks system. In 1977, the company town also was made part of the parks system. Over the years, the railroad was turned into a tourist line and the town was repaired and restored. Today, the railroad is still in full operation, but is managed by the Durbin and Greenbrier Railroad.”


Sorry about the raindrops on the windshield as I took a pic of the historic sign. Rain and fog moved in while we were there.

One of the snow ski resorts Mr. Mitchell and I skied in our younger days, I hadn’t been to Snowshoe Mountain since having kids.

Since we were meandering the back roads in that area today, we drove up the mountain but, sadly, rain and thick fog moved in. Unfortunately, from a mountain where the views are outstanding, we saw … nothing. Guess we’ll just have to go back.

P.S. Opening day is November 21.


Back in Highland County where sheep outnumber people.

This goat cracked me up. I don’t know what he was doing … he seemed to be communing with the building.

Route 84 in Highland heading toward Vanderpool.

I found love in Monterey with their colorful “Virginia Is For Lovers” sign that celebrates the rural landscape and heritage of the scenic community. Each location’s love sign is individual to the area.

In recognition of the many barn quilts located throughout the county, the LOVE letters used traditional quilt block patterns to highlight the many special features in Highland.

“L” uses Maple Block to celebrate the maple products and popular festival in March, “O” uses the Double Wedding Ring to recognize family heritage and sense of community, “V” is painted in Flying Geese to show a love of wildlife and farm animals, and the “E” uses the Log Cabin block to represent a country style and love of home.

#HighlandCountyVA #LOVEworks #VirginiaIsForLovers

Photos by Lynn R. Mitchell

Cross-posted at BearingDrift.com


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